One plus 5 Review

0
27

Let’s just get this out of the way: The OnePlus 5 is an excellent phone that ticks every box except for cutting-edge looks.

The top-tier variant, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, is arguably the smoothest and fastest Android device I’ve ever used. I can’t stress this enough: this phone is significantly snappier than the Samsung Galaxy S8, the “It” Android phone of 2017 so far. Just to test I opened something like 20 apps and quickly jumped into them at random and every app loaded instantaneously. Launching the camera, in video recording-ready mode no less, from a locked screen state takes not even half a second.

The stunning speed is partly due to the 8GB of RAM, which I thought was overkill until I got my hands on this phone, but it’s also because the software, OxygenOS, is almost as lean as stock Android. As I’ve written in last year’s OnePlus 3 review, I think OxygenOS is the best take of Android (even better than stock) because it is virtually stock but with a lot more customization options.

The only aspect of the phone that disappointed me is the large-ish (by 2017 standards) top and bottom bezels, which as I’ve written earlier, is something most companies can’t help right now. At least OnePlus is honest about it.

That doesn’t mean the OnePlus 5, as you can tell from photos already, is a bad looking phone. It’s sleeker, curvier and more comfortable to hold than last year’s OnePlus 3, and the matte black finish feels and looks superb. It’s just not an eye-catching, “whoa”-inducing device like the Galaxy S8. I’ll admit I’m a superficial dude when it comes to gadgets — I was railing against large bezels a year before the S8/Mi Mix/G6 actually redefined the standard. If you don’t care about looks as much, then the OnePlus 5 is almost the perfect phone. Almost.

Let’s talk hardware. In addition to the 8GB/128GB model that I have (which is on sale for US$538)[Rs.37,999], there’s a cheaper/lower-end version with 6GB/64GB (US$479) [ in India the price of one plus 5 6gb/64gb rate is Rs.32,999], both are powered by the newest and baddest Snapdragon 835 chip.

The 5.5-inch AMOLED panel is “just” a 1080p panel, but unless you have eagle eyes you won’t be able to tell the difference. Its max brightness, at 394 nits of brightness, is solid but unspectacular, but I had no trouble using it in direct sunlight. On lowest brightness, the screen gets very, very dim, which is ideal if you need to use the phone in bed next to a sleeping partner or inside a movie theater.

I already spoiled in the first paragraph what I think of the phone’s software and performance, so I’ll be brief here. OxygenOS looks and feels like stock Android, with the addition of shortcut gestures and seemingly endless customization.

For example, the three navigation buttons, when tapped once, do the usual things you’d expect (go home, go back, open up row of recently used apps). But you can assign tricks to them when long-pressed or double tapped, and the list of things you can assign is quite long. You can use it to open apps (example: double tap back button to launch Instagram); or do specific tasks (I have it set so a long-press of the back button goes straight to starting a new event on Google calendar). You can activate these shortcuts by drawing on the screen when it’s off.

Let me tell you, you won’t realize how rigid and restricting using stock Android or a Samsung phone is until that one time when you’re walking down a dark hilly road and you are able to turn on the flashlight by just drawing a circle on the OnePlus 5′s screen.

Every smartphone is launched with a specific marketing angle. The LG G6, for example, focused on the 18:9 aspect ratio, while the G5 focused on its modularity, and the Galaxy S6 was all about the curved screen of the Edge variant. With this phone, OnePlus centered the marketing around the device’s dual-camera, which can take “portrait” photos with the bokeh effect. So why did I wait until so far down the review before even bringing this up? Because the OnePlus 5′s camera is unremarkable. It’s not bad! Just not great. To be honest, every Chinese phone is doing this dual-camera thing right now, with emphasis on the bokeh effect … and it’s sort of boring to me. Is a blur around a subject that important? At least the OnePlus 5′s camera does a great job at it, unlike the Gionee S10, which also focused its entire marketing campaign behind its bokeh-able camera that somehow took just so-so depth-of-field photos.
Anyway, here are two photo samples of the OnePlus 5′s bokeh effect.

The blurred parts surrounding the cat and the bumper plate look natural, resulting in images that are quite pleasing. I’d say these bokeh shots are on par with Huawei’s line of phones, which started the bokeh mode (before Apple).

Of course, the OnePlus 5′s 16+20-megapixel set-up can do than just blur the background of photos. The OnePlus 5′s secondary camera is a so-called “telephoto” lens a la the iPhone 7 Plus (and the Xiaomi Mi 6), which means you can, in theory, zoom in 2X without losing details. I say in theory because much like the iPhone 7 Plus, I rarely captured shots with the “telephoto” 2X zoom that looked noticeably better or more clear than if I used an LG G6 or Galaxy S8 for a digital 2X zoom. This knock isn’t just for OnePlus, really. The Xiaomi Mi 6 and iPhone 7 Plus’s 2X zoom left me thinking, “wait that’s it?” too.

With the OnePlus 5 (and iPhone 7 Plus and Xiaomi Mi 6), I’d recommend just using the camera’s main shooter and ignore that gimmick 2X “telephoto” lens altogether. In bright daylight, the OnePlus 5 capture good photos, but in low light setting the 5 has a tendency to produce shots with softer edges than the best Android shooters in the game right now (Galaxy S8, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, Google Pixel).
In low light situations, however, the OnePlus 5 falls short to the Samsung Galaxy S8, producing shots that are clearly dimmer with more noise. That doesn’t mean the OnePlus 5 is a bad performer inside bars though — the S8 is just near the top of the class. The OnePlus 5 still takes better shots than most Xiaomi or Sony phones.
The camera software offers modes like time-lapse, slow-mo, and manual controls; the interface is intuitive and well-designed.
There is, however, a bug with the OnePlus 5′s camera app right now. Even though there is an option within settings to turn off the camera’s shutter sound, I have been unable to actually shut it off. Even with the phone in silent mode and volume turned to zero, every snap of the camera still results in a rather loud shutter sound.


The OnePlus 5 is an excellent phone that ticks every box except for cutting-edge looks.

The top-tier variant, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, is arguably the smoothest and fastest Android device I’ve ever used. I can’t stress this enough: this phone is significantly snappier than the Samsung Galaxy S8, the “It” Android phone of 2017 so far. Just to test I opened something like 20 apps and quickly jumped into them at random and every app loaded instantaneously. Launching the camera, in video recording-ready mode no less, from a locked screen state takes not even half a second.

The stunning speed is partly due to the 8GB of RAM, which I thought was overkill until I got my hands on this phone, but it’s also because the software, OxygenOS, is almost as lean as stock Android. As I’ve written in last year’s OnePlus 3 review, I think OxygenOS is the best take of Android (even better than stock) because it is virtually stock but with a lot more customization options.

The only aspect of the phone that disappointed me is the large-ish (by 2017 standards) top and bottom bezels, which as I’ve written earlier, is something most companies can’t help right now. At least OnePlus is honest about it.

That doesn’t mean the OnePlus 5, as you can tell from photos already, is a bad looking phone. It’s sleeker, curvier and more comfortable to hold than last year’s OnePlus 3, and the matte black finish feels and looks superb. It’s just not an eye-catching, “whoa”-inducing device like the Galaxy S8. I’ll admit I’m a superficial dude when it comes to gadgets — I was railing against large bezels a year before the S8/Mi Mix/G6 actually redefined the standard. If you don’t care about looks as much, then the OnePlus 5 is almost the perfect phone. Almost.

Let’s talk hardware. In addition to the 8GB/128GB model that I have (which is on sale for US$538), there’s a cheaper/lower-end version with 6GB/64GB (US$479), both are powered by the newest and baddest Snapdragon 835 chip.

The 5.5-inch AMOLED panel is “just” a 1080p panel, but unless you have eagle eyes you won’t be able to tell the difference. Its max brightness, at 394 nits of brightness, is solid but unspectacular, but I had no trouble using it in direct sunlight. On lowest brightness, the screen gets very, very dim, which is ideal if you need to use the phone in bed next to a sleeping partner or inside a movie theater.

I already spoiled in the first paragraph what I think of the phone’s software and performance, so I’ll be brief here. OxygenOS looks and feels like stock Android, with the addition of shortcut gestures and seemingly endless customization.

For example, the three navigation buttons, when tapped once, do the usual things you’d expect (go home, go back, open up row of recently used apps). But you can assign tricks to them when long-pressed or double tapped, and the list of things you can assign is quite long. You can use it to open apps (example: double tap back button to launch Instagram); or do specific tasks (I have it set so a long-press of the back button goes straight to starting a new event on Google calendar). You can activate these shortcuts by drawing on the screen when it’s off.

Let me tell you, you won’t realize how rigid and restricting using stock Android or a Samsung phone is until that one time when you’re walking down a dark hilly road and you are able to turn on the flashlight by just drawing a circle on the OnePlus 5′s screen.

Every smartphone is launched with a specific marketing angle. The LG G6, for example, focused on the 18:9 aspect ratio, while the G5 focused on its modularity, and the Galaxy S6 was all about the curved screen of the Edge variant. With this phone, OnePlus centered the marketing around the device’s dual-camera, which can take “portrait” photos with the bokeh effect. So why did I wait until so far down the review before even bringing this up? Because the OnePlus 5′s camera is unremarkable. It’s not bad! Just not great. To be honest, every Chinese phone is doing this dual-camera thing right now, with emphasis on the bokeh effect … and it’s sort of boring to me. Is a blur around a subject that important? At least the OnePlus 5′s camera does a great job at it, unlike the Gionee S10, which also focused its entire marketing campaign behind its bokeh-able camera that somehow took just so-so depth-of-field photos.

Anyway, here are two photo samples of the OnePlus 5′s bokeh effect.

The blurred parts surrounding the cat and the bumper plate look natural, resulting in images that are quite pleasing. I’d say these bokeh shots are on par with Huawei’s line of phones, which started the bokeh mode (before Apple).

Of course, the OnePlus 5′s 16+20-megapixel set-up can do than just blur the background of photos. The OnePlus 5′s secondary camera is a so-called “telephoto” lens a la the iPhone 7 Plus (and the Xiaomi Mi 6), which means you can, in theory, zoom in 2X without losing details. I say in theory because much like the iPhone 7 Plus, I rarely captured shots with the “telephoto” 2X zoom that looked noticeably better or more clear than if I used an LG G6 or Galaxy S8 for a digital 2X zoom. This knock isn’t just for OnePlus, really. The Xiaomi Mi 6 and iPhone 7 Plus’s 2X zoom left me thinking, “wait that’s it?” too.

With the OnePlus 5 (and iPhone 7 Plus and Xiaomi Mi 6), I’d recommend just using the camera’s main shooter and ignore that gimmick 2X “telephoto” lens altogether. In bright daylight, the OnePlus 5 capture good photos, but in low light setting the 5 has a tendency to produce shots with softer edges than the best Android shooters in the game right now (Galaxy S8, Huawei Mate 9 Pro, Google Pixel).
In all, the OnePlus 5 camera is good, but won’t blow anyone away. I’d rank it below the Huawei Mate 9 Pro, LG G6, Galaxy S8, and Google Pixel, but better than the Xiaomi Mi 6, Sony Xperia Premium (which I’m reviewing next), and Vivo XPlay 6.

Moving on to battery life. Chinese phones all have great battery life because they cram larger-sized packs into the body and use heavy battery optimization–which often breaks push notifications (even the Galaxy S8 suffers from this). OnePlus’ OxygenOS is one of the few software out of China that doesn’t interfere on this front. Notifications work perfectly here, and despite that the battery life is still great. I averaged close to six hours of screen-on time per day.

It helps that OnePlus has arguably the fastest quick charging technology in the industry — pumping about 2% per minute plugged in. So if you can even plug in the OnePlus 5 for even 20 minutes in the late afternoon or early evening, it’ll almost definitely last you all the way till the end of the night. But, it’s worth mentioning, Dash Charge only works with the charger and cable that comes with the phone. Use another plug, or another cable, and the OnePlus 5 charges much slower.
There are little things that 2017 flagships have that the OnePlus 5 is lacking — for example, water-proofing — but most of what I said about the OnePlus 3 holds true with the OnePlus 5, and that’s bang for buck. Unless you want the absolute best camera or the most eye-catching design, there’s not a thing the OnePlus 5 doesn’t do as well as the best Android phone out there. And in the case of software experience, the OnePlus 5 trump them all.

Source- Forbes.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here