OnePlus 5 Review

Positives
  • Great Performance
  • Excellent Selfie Camera
  • Clean feature packed version of Android
  • Dash Charge
Negatives
  • Good, not great camera
  • Average battery life
  • Most expensive OnePlus yet
  • Not waterproof
  • No high-end audio capabilities

At MobileGeeks we’re not afraid to try something new, for the OnePlus 5 we’re going to cut the fluff. Detailed points about each feature while identifying the pros and cons.

We’re not sure how much of our 3000-word reviews you’re actually reading, if we’re being honest about how we read reviews it’s often skimming for the important points.

Let us know what you think of our no BS review of the OnePlus 5, should we go back to the word heavy version?

Design

  • Unibody metal design is a winner the power button, volume rocker and alert slider and well placed and feel sturdy. Available in two colors, Midnight Black and Slate Grey, we’re reviewing the darker variant.
  • Power button, volume rocker and alert slider and well placed and feel sturdy
  • Available in two colors, Midnight Black and Slate Grey, we’re reviewing the darker variant

 

Though we like the overall design ascetic of the OP5 it is identical to the OPPO R11 which we went to launch event in Shenzhen two weeks ago. Design wise the R11 is missing the alert slider and has much nicer antenna lines. The lines are in the identical position to the iPhone, but on the R11 they’ve used OPPO’s six string antenna design which is more elegant than the plastic used by OnePlus. We’ve got a detailed comparison of the OnePlus 5 and OPPO R11 if you’re keen to really get into it.

If you’re wondering how this happened, OnePlus & OPPO are owned by the same company, BKK. Both OnePlus and OPPO manufacture their smartphones using the same production facilities so the same capabilities are available to both manufacturers.

What is interesting about the over strategy from BKK is that it looks like OnePlus is addressing most of the markets that OPPO is not, in Taiwan the R11 will be on sale but the OnePlus 5 will not.

Pros

  • 7.25mm thin
  • Good in hand feel
  • Premium build

Cons

  • virtually identical to the OPPO R11
  • Uninspired design with the similarities to iPhone’s antenna line placement

Hardware

  • Running the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB of RAM the OnePlus as always has the specs to take on any flagship on the market.
  • The fingerprint sensor in the home button works well, we only had it miss register once.

OnePlus 5: Specifications

display 5.5 inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi), protected by Gorilla Glass 5
processor  Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Octa-Core-SoC (2.45 GHz), manufactured in 10nm process and 64 bit compatible
random access memory 6 or 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM
Internal memory 64 or 128 GB, UFS 2.1
Rear camera Dual Cam, 16 MP main camera with f / 1.7 aperture, plus 20 MP telecam for 2X zoom with 2.6 aperture
Camera front 16 MP Sony IMX 371, pixel size is 1.0 micrometer, EIS & f / 2.0 aperture
OS OxygenOS based on Android 7.1.1 nougat
battery pack 3.300 mAh, non-replaceable, Dash Charge (5V 4A)
connectivity Wi-Fi 2 × 2 MIMO, WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac (2.4 / 5GHz), Bluetooth 5.0, USB 2.0, Type-C, NFC
network LTE Cat.12 / 13
Dimensions 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
mass 153 grams

Pros

  • The Snapdragon 835 is fast and the 8GB of RAM is DDR4 so very efficient
  • LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • 2×2 MiMo Wi-Fi (faster WiFi speeds)
  • Carrier Unlocked
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • reliable ceramic fingerprint sensor

Con

  • The USB Type-C is only 2.0, not type 3, 480Mbps vs 5Gbps

Display


The OnePlus 5 has a 5.5 inch 1080p (1920 x 1080p) AMOLED display with a 401ppi.

Pro

  • Beautiful high-quality panel
  • Accurate Color Representation
  • Good viewing angle and visibility in direct sunlight
  • Lowest brightness is good for viewing in bed in the dark
  • Bluelight Filter built in

Con

  • Not 2K (if you’re someone who consumes a lot of HD content on their phone, otherwise, we’re happy with the panel quality)

Performance

  • The Snapdragon 835 is built on 10nm and draws less power than larger 14-nanometer processors
  • The new Adreno 540 GPU has increased graphics performance meaning you can launch apps faster and play graphically-demanding games smoother than ever
  • 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM, which is 17% more power efficient than the previous generation, you can run a large number of apps simultaneously, without noticing a single second of lag
  • Storage, based on UFS 2.1, coupled with our new 2-lane ROM, which doubles bandwidth, results in faster performance in everything from installation speeds to loading graphic-intensive games

Pro

  • It’s fast and has no lag
  • Doesn’t get very hot with intensive use

Con

Apparently, the benchmark scores are being faked. This looks pretty bad for OnePlus. Having said that the performance is killer and that’s what really matters to me at the end of the day.

Sound

With a single firing single speaker at the bottom of the handset, the OnePlus 5 has a decent audio for sharing. The sound was good and loud though the bass was lacking and the lower mids were too high. Vocals were crystal clear and the trebles weren’t muffled. Overall it was very balanced produced sound and a very enjoyable experience.

Pro

  • Loud Mono speaker
  • Clear Vocals
  • Headphone volume and clarity is good, noise levels are low
    Dirac HD sound
  • Loud enough to share media with another person or two.

Con

  • Headphones not included
  • Lows are weak, it’s missing the semblance of bass
  • No fancy effects like immersive 5.1 surround sound

Camera

  • 16 MP camera, supported by a 20 MP telephoto camera. Together, they’re the highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone today
  • Main 16MP camera has a f1.7 aperture 34% more light in than the OnePlus 3T
  • 4K video recording
  • noise canceling microphone
  • Slow Motion is only available at 720p resolution at 120fps
  • Front Camera – Sony IMX317 16MP, Pixel size 1.0um, EIS & an aperture of 2.0

Pro

  • Dual Camera Setup
  • 2X Zoom is good
  • Pro Mode lets you have multiple presets so you can set things up in advance & it shoots in RAW
  • Excellent Selfie Mode, beautification on it’s highest setting still looks very natural
  • Colors accurate, though a tad over saturated which most people prefer but some don’t. Noticeable most in the reds and greens.

Con

  • No OIS (Optical image stabilization) EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization)
  • Lowest ISO in Pro Mode is 100, 50 is preferred
  • Selfies loose detail in low light
  • Portrait Mode is acceptable but needs some work the edges aren’t perfect
  • Portrait Mode can have trouble recognizing the object so you often have to move around before it tells you the Depth Effect is active
  • Slow motion works well but Macro closeups are often out of focus, while wider more scenic shots look good
  • Low light photos of scenes look a little over processed while low-light photos of people

Let’s take a closer look at the photos, the 2X zoom provides adequate detail and color representation, though as you’ll notice the greens on the zoom lens are a little punchier than the standard lens.

Oneplus 5 standard lens

Standard lens

Oneplus 5 2X Zoom

2X Zoom

Photos taken with good lighting conditions are great, there is a decent look.

Take a look at some photos with backlighting using the photo editing software which was included, you can really create vibrant and punchy photos.

Unedited photo – No HDR on

Edited photo

Looking at images of low light photos of the OnePlus 5 takes better low light shots with the main lens as it’s got an aperture of 1.7 vs 2.6 on the 2x zoom lens. Having said that, it is a good thing.

Standard lens

2X Zoom

Portrait mode is another added feature that makes the OnePlus 5 camera compelling, but it’s a little early to judge it. Right now there are issues. However, like most companies, the depth effect gets a few updates and is a whole new story. We’re planning on checking out the camera in a few weeks after. OnePlus has spent more time improving it. Having said that, it’s not terrible.

Here are several examples of Portrait mode in different lighting conditions.

Now we’re in for everyone’s favorite series of photos, food photos!

We’re very impressed with the self-portrait, it’s one of our favorites, the beauty is very natural even on high.

While in Shenzhen, I had lunch with Ayano Tominaga, she’s an expert on selfie phones. Below you can see her trying out the beauty mode, level zero on the left and maximum level 5 on the right. The skin detail is very good on level 5 removing flaws but leaving texture.

 

 

However, in low light, you loose some detail

Software

  • Running OxygenOS based on Android 7.1.1
  • App Priority – The OnePlus 5 learns which apps you use the most and gets them ready to go as soon as you turn on your phone. Additionally, it de-prioritizes apps you rarely use, which keeps them from harming performance or draining your battery
  • Reading Mode – The OnePlus 5 uses gray-scale mapping, while filtering out blue light and adjusting the sharpness and brightness of the display and can be set automatically for certain apps or toggled on and off manually
  • Expanded screenshots – Hit the expand button when taking a screenshot and the screen will automatically start scrolling down, saving everything on the page until you hit the button again
  • Translucent app drawer – By slightly decreasing the opacity, the app drawer feels a lot less heavy and is a more natural part of the launcher
  • Auto Night Mode – Bluelight can disrupt your sleep, night mode can be automatically enabled from sunset to sunrise or set to custom time ranges. The color temperature is also adjusted according to the environment
  • Three new off-screen gestures (‘S’, ‘M’ and ‘W’), but now all can be assigned to activate specific functions or apps
  • Customizable vibration – The OnePlus 5 comes with a 20% quieter vibration motor and allows users to customize the vibration intensity and pattern settings for notifications and calls
    • 3 intensity settings (Light, Medium and Strong)
    • 5 incoming call vibration patterns
  • Gaming Do Not Disturb Mode allows users to play games without unnecessary notifications or by accidentally pressing the hardware keys. Gaming DND can be set automatically for specific apps or manually controlled
  • Secure Box locks away private documents, photos and videos. A 6-digit PIN or fingerprint will reveal the hidden files
  • Screen wakes when you lift the phone

Pros

  • Highly Customizable – pretty much every add on from every manufacturer available
  • Excellent Data Usage controls for those not on all you can eat plans
  • Latest Version of Android
  • No bloatware

Con

  • I’m sure i’ll come up with something eventually..for now, we’re in love!

Battery Life

  • 3300mAh battery
  • Dash Charge provides fast charge while keeping the temperature of the phone low, so you can game or do more intense tasks while charging
  • Current Over Voltage, other fast charge solutions may increase voltage while Dash Charge carries more current keeping voltage down to 5 volts
  • 3.5-4.5 hours of screen on time depending on the tasks
  • Charging time 0-100% takes 90 minutes

Pro

  • Fast charging
  • Dash charge keeps the phone cool
  • If you do run out of juice 15 min of charging gets you 30% of charge or according to OnePlus half a day’s power. (using the Dash Charger & cable)

Con

  • Not all day battery life for moderate to heavy users
  • Dash charge only works with their dedicated wall charger which means that if you use you Quick Charge 3.0 power pack with dash cable you won’t see Dash charge speeds, I’m able to add I was able to add 11% in 15min of charge.

Price

The OnePlus 5 goes is available for Pre-order today and will be available in North America and Europe in on June 27th and will cost €499 for the 64GB edition and €559 for the 128GB edition. The OnePlus 5 is competitively priced as it comes with high-end storage, processors, and RAM. For those looking for uncompromising performance that is as future-proof as you can get at the moment this a great deal. If you’re just looking for a well-built phone that’s reasonably priced and don’t care too much about having the fastest phone out there you could consider something a little more budget-friendly like the Honor 8 or the Moto Z Play.

Rating
Design / 7
Camera / 8
Sound / 7
Performance / 9
Battery Life / 7
Software / 9
Price / 7
Editor's Choice / 8
Hardware / 8
Display / 7
OnePlus 5

The OnePlus has come a long way since it's 'Flagship Killer' days, the 5 has it's lost its stand apart look and feel but maintained the concept that you're paying less for the highest specs around. Made of a single piece of metal this OnePlus 5 feels amazing in hand, it’s got a beautiful design, that looks familiar… but the 5 has top of the line specs and is feature packed. The display is bright enough for full sunlight and dim enough to use in bed in the dark. It’s not 2K but we’re ok with that. We’re also in love with the OxygenOS, it’s feature packed and little things like being able to change the vibration intensity and add patterns to identity the notification. The fingerprint sensor is ceramic and is fast and responsive. The sound is average, the single speaker is average but the headphone jack good, but lacking high end audio capabilities.

Dash charging keeps the phone cool and you can get 30% charge in 15min and to full in 80min. We didn’t feel like it was all day since we were only seeing about 4.5 hours of screen on time which I include streaming music.

We like the rear camera but we don't think that it's the breakaway feature they are claiming is going to set the apart from the pack. It is good and has the "me too" Dual Lens feature with 2X zoom. It does take a very decent photo, we like the color representation and accuracy but low-light photos of people are average and scenes feel a little over processed. What we were most impressed with was the beauty mode on the front facing camera, anyone looking for a strong selfie phone with uncompromising performance and a feature-packed operating system need not look any further.

We loved the 3 & the 3T but if you're thinking of upgrading from those, we suggest that you skip the 5. Maybe this dual camera smartphone will grow on us over time, but as the highest priced OnePlus yet, it's not capturing our hearts the way the rest of the line did.

7.7
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