OnePlus has developed a serious fan in recent years, driven by its marketing and the extremely attractive price of its flagship quality products. The company will be back in 2017 with the OnePlus 5 and will again try to dethrone established champions like Samsung with the best hardware at the lowest possible price.
So let's talk about the basics of OnePlus 5. Yes, it's called OnePlus 5, although last year's model was the OnePlus 3 and 3T. It's not as cheap as it used to be. The price of the entry-level OnePlus has risen steadily, from $ 329 for the OnePlus 2 to $ 399 for the OnePlus 3, now to $ 479 for the OnePlus 5.
The hardware is still a collection of premium parts, but OnePlus must now charge more for its handset. The OnePlus 5 is still cheaper than most flagship phones, although it's not as outstanding as it used to be.
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Some aspects of the hardware have largely remained the same as with the OnePlus 3T. We're still looking at a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display with roughly the same body shape. The battery was slightly reduced from 3,400 mAh to 3,300 mAh, although the phone now uses the more efficient Snapdragon 835 SoC.
The camera system is one of the biggest upgrades and is being switched to an iPhone 7 Plus-like dual sensor solution.
More specifically, it's not just the camera system that OnePlus has borrowed from the latest generation of iPhones. The case is also remarkably similar, especially the camera lens and flash assembly on the back, which is almost identical in shape and position to the iPhone 7 Plus.
I think in some ways it is difficult for phone designers to be completely unique when most phones are similar in form and function, but with the OnePlus 5 some aspects come too close to the "copying" field. Nevertheless, the construction and design of the OnePlus 5 is generally excellent.
I got a "midnight black" model for review, and I love the matte finish OnePlus used here for its metal unibody. It's smooth, fingerprint resistant, and only screams from the moment you see and touch it. A hallmark of a well-built phone in my eyes is the seamless transition from the back case to the glass front, and the OnePlus 5 does this by bending its single piece of metal well to shape the edges before entering the Gorilla Glass 5 front transforms.
OnePlus has given its flagship design some shine compared to the 3T. The antenna lines are far less visible and are now shifting to curves along the top and bottom edges, similar to many other modern phones. The edges are rounded more comfortably, which makes it easier to grip the handset, although the OnePlus 5 is just as slim as before. I loved the design of the OnePlus 3 and 3T, but with the new OnePlus 5 it's a step further.
The front of the phone is identical to the OnePlus 3 except for a few minor changes. OnePlus did not choose an expanded display, but opted for a more traditional (and possibly the last) 16: 9 AMOLED with a size of 5.5 inches.
The bezels on both sides of the display are narrow, which improves the usability of the phone. However, massive aperture pieces are stuck at the top and bottom. A screen-to-body ratio of 73% corresponds to the OnePlus 3 and is far from the 84% of the Galaxy S8 +. I know that a lot of people are not completely sold on large smartphone screens, but I like them very much and prefer a larger display than a useless bezel.
The OnePlus 5 continues to use capacitive navigation buttons below the display, so users can use the entire screen area of 5.5 inches. In the middle of the two buttons, which can be adjusted in the software, there is a fingerprint sensor, which is also similar to the OnePlus 3. The sensor is fast and works very well and can easily be used as a home button.
While the OnePlus 5 has a speaker over the display for calls, it only uses a single speaker at the bottom for audio. Some modern phones use the in-call speaker in conjunction with a lower speaker for additional audio. This leads to a better experience when watching videos and games without headphones, but not with the OnePlus 5.
One of the more unique aspects of OnePlus handsets is the alarm control, which is located above the volume rocker on the left edge. The slider has three positions so that users can easily switch between loud, non-distracting and quiet notification modes.
Earlier OnePlus phones also had this slider, although in the past they switched between all notifications and priority notifications and were not disturbed. The ability to switch between loud and quiet modes is far better, which makes it a feature that I've actually used a lot.
At the bottom are the most important ports: a USB-C port, which is only configured for USB 2.0, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.
One of the main rivals of the OnePlus 5, the Xiaomi Mi 6, has omitted the headphone jack for no good reason. So it's great how you can use OnePlus 5 with wired headphones without a dongle.
Some functions that we see in premium phones are not available on the OnePlus 5. The case is not waterproof, which is the case with the more expensive Galaxy S8 and LG G6. The OnePlus 5 also does not have a microSD card slot, but 64 or 128 GB of fixed internal NAND. Both are fine, and OnePlus only charges $ 60 to upgrade to 128 GB, which is less than most other providers.