Review: OnePlus 5

Bang for your buck. Looks like an iPhone 7 Plus

OnePlus 5 is a great mid range phone with the bare essentials of the more expensive flagship phones. Just don’t expect a beautiful phone, but this thing sure packs a punch for a fraction of the cost.

Pros

  • Still great hardware vs price
  • Good battery life
  • Updated Cameras over the 3T to a dual setup

Cons

  • More expensive than their previous models
  • Looks like an iPhone 7 Plus
  • Still no expandable storage
  • No OIS
  • Still hate the auto focus
  • Not water resistant or dust proof

this is the price of advancement

Price

MSRP is RM2,388 for the 64GB + 6GB RAM and RM2,688 for the 128GB + 8GB model. Yet, at the time of publication you can find the phones slightly cheaper, especially if you’re willing to get an imported one straight from China. It’s quite a shame that it’s more expensive than their last series, but with most flagship phones also being more expensive than before, this is the price of advancement.

have more RAM than most budget gaming laptops

Specifications and Performance

OnePlus has always used some of the best hardware for their phones. So it’s no surprise that they’re already on the Snapdragon 835 train and have more RAM than most budget gaming laptops6 GB (64GB storage model) or 8GB (128GB storage model). The only real shame from the hardware point of view is that the storage is not expandable, you get what you buy, and no IP67 or IP68 rating for water resistance.

Otherwise you get your typical Corning Gorilla Glass 5, 5.5 inches 1080 x 1920 screen and a sleek metal unibody. At the very least this smartphone is not only less prone to shattering than some of its competitors but also can keep up in terms of performance for a fraction of the price.

It runs all the latest stuff with ease and will support the new Android Oreo soon. Though, we have to note there was all that fuss about cheating at benchmarking scores. So no benchmarks will be published for this phone review.

 unoriginal, the side by side comparison of the iPhone 7 Plus is scarily similar

Design and Usability

 

This thing looks damn unoriginal, the side by side comparison of the iPhone 7 Plus is scarily similar. I actually picked up my friends iPhone 7 Plus multiple times in a meeting since both of the phones were jet black. Doesn’t mean the phone doesn’t look nice, I guess that imitation is still the best form of flattery.

Once again, the phone is packaged with the bare minimals, no earphones, but comes with its iconic dash charging set. Most people in the midrange just use their own earphones anyways, so no big loss. The only real complaint is that I’ve never liked the stock screen protector provided by OnePlus, so do be prepared to replace it as soon as possible. Also good luck getting any covers, screen protectors, cables or power adapters easily in Malaysia. The stuff is available but does needs some hunting down. So far the easiest, cheapest and laziest way at the moment is to order from China through Lazada.

Otherwise your experience will be like any other good mid range phone, you get a 5.5 inch screen (1080 x 1920). Which while not the high resolution you get on this years big brand flagships, I seriously doubt that most would notice or care about it during daily use.

As for biometrics, you get your standard fast fingerprint sensor under the physical home button and get the ability to use offscreen gestures for better usability. Turning on your phone’s light or launching the camera is quick and simple, a nice feature they kept from the last series OnePlus 3.

Now if only they could have updated the USB-C cable from 2.0 to 3.0 for better transfer rates. It would be nice to offload pictures and those 4k videos to free up memory on the phone.

Dash Charging still makes the OnePlus 5 one of the fastest charging phones on the market

Battery

A non-removable 3300 mAh battery, the OnePlus 5 has more than enough juice for daily usage. If you use the phones moderately you can easily get 2 days worth of life before recharging. Not to mention the iconic Dash Charging makes the OnePlus 5 one of the fastest charging phones on the market (0-100% in under 90 minutes). The only catch is the Dash Charging is only for OnePlus and you need to use the included power adapter and cable. That means all those Qualcomm quick charge power banks and adapters won’t work. Really, it’s just a small price to pay for a mid range phone that fights its big brothers for a spot on the table.

very functional and more than reasonable for the price

 

Camera

 

Gallery: Do note that the photos were not all taken on the same day. So lighting conditions may vary.

OnePlus 5 joins the dual camera race with a 16 megapixel lens and a 20 megapixel telephoto lens for the back main camera. These are Sony lens and give you that better depth of field photo quality like the iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode. So taking gorgeous photos is much easier than before. While not top of the line, it’s very functional and more than reasonable for the price.

Image: Unedited and shot at night outside on the roadside without any extra equipment.

Shame that there is no optical image stabilization (OIS) so being steady on this phone is key to taking good photos and videos. Well that and the annoying autofocus issues with video recording, where you will shoot a scene and the camera does this blurring effect as it corrects itself constantly.  Sometimes it’s best to just lock the focus yourself if you’re using the OnePlus 5’s camera. As for the OIS issue, you can always try a good phone gimbal if you record a lot of videos.

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Price

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Specifications and Performance

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Design and Usability

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Battery

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Camera

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Overall

So when it comes down to it, the OnePlus 5 is certainly a viable mid range phone. It gets the work done and is no slouch hardware wise. It just doesn’t seem very special, it feels more like brutal efficiency. I guess that is what OnePlus has always been and continues to do so with pride.

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