OnePlus 5: Full, in-depth review

A value-driven flagship with few trade-offs

OnePlus OnePlus 5
  • OnePlus OnePlus 5
  • OnePlus OnePlus 5
  • OnePlus OnePlus 5
  • Expert Rating

    4.25 / 5

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Outstanding battery life

Cons

  • Flavorless design with no IP-rating
  • Pretty ordinary display

Bottom Line

If all you care about is getting the best performance for the best price, then the OnePlus 5 is a hard bargain to pass up.

Would you buy this?

Specs

The OnePlus 5 touts a 5.5-inch AMOLED display and Snapdragon 835 processor. In Australia, there are two variants on offer for the handset. One with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of on-board storage, the other with 8GB and 128GB. Both come with a 3300mAh non-removable battery and support OnePlus’ proprietary Dash Charge tech.

The OnePlus 5 runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat (spiced up by OnePlus’ own Oxygen OS) and comes in three available colors: Soft Gold, Slate Grey (exclusive to the 6GB model) and Midnight Black (exclusive to the 8GB model).

OnePlus 5 SmartphoneCredit: OnePlus
OnePlus 5 Smartphone

The rear-side of the device features a dual-lens camera configuration, where both a 16-megapixel shooter (f/1.7 with EIS) and a 20-megapixel one (f/2.6 with phase-detection autofocus) work in tandem to capture both crisp images and video content. There's also a third 16-megapixel camera (f/2.0 with EIS and Auto HDR) designed for selfies on the front-side of the device.

On paper, at least, the OnePlus 5 ticks all the right boxes.

Design

There’s not a lot to dislike about the physical dimensions of the OnePlus 5. Weighing just 153 grams, it’s light, slim and minimalist in all the ways you’d expect from a flagship offering. Plenty of brands and vendors play at being the “Apple of Android-based smartphones” but it feels few have ever gotten quite this close. Squint and you can hardly tell the difference between this and Apple’s lineup.

OnePlus 5 SmartphoneCredit: OnePlus
OnePlus 5 Smartphone

The only notable visual feature or elements here are the lonely OnePlus logo (embossed on the back of the device) and the similarly iPhone-inspired Silent-mode toggle on the upper-left edge of the frame. Still, there are a few differences.

To start with, it’s a somewhat-larger in form-factor than your standard iPhone. In fact, the dual-lens setup means it’s probably closest to the iPhone 7 Plus. However, unlike Apple’s recent flagships, the OnePlus 5 still features a 3.5mm headphone jack (located on the bottom right corner).

The OnePlus 5's display looks bright enough in action, but only just. On this front, it feels like there’s definitely been some settling. It’s only Full HD (1080p) in resolution and sits in stark (or at least dim) contrast to the displays found in the competition. When watching video content, glare often reared itself as a minor issue.

OnePlus 5 SmartphoneCredit: OnePlus
OnePlus 5 Smartphone

Another area where the OnePlus 5 falls short is durability. It feels somewhat-fragile to hold and while the display does come coated in Gorilla Glass 5, OnePlus haven’t secured any Ingress Protection certification for the device against water, splash or dust damage - marking another area where the OnePlus 5 doesn’t really challenge the bigger brands.

Sure, comprehensive waterproofing is still a luxury inclusion but now that the feature is starting to make its way into mid-tier offerings, its absence here is little more felt.

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