A lot has already been said and written in days before and past the OnePlus 5 official unveiling, but that only made us all the more eager to test what the new OnePlus was all about. OnePlus phones have always excelled at delivering the best possible specs at a value price, but the Chinese manufacturer only really got into the proclaimed ‘Never Settle groove with OnePlus 3 and 3T, that are still one of the snappiest phones you can buy. So, how do you build on a success this big? The answer is, perhaps, incrementally.

OnePlus 5 Specifications and Features

Model OnePlus 5
Display 5.5-Inch, AMOLED Display, Full HD, DCI-P3 Color gamut
Processor 2.45GHz octa-core Snapdragon 835, Adreno 540 GPU
RAM 6GB/ 8GB LPDDR4x
Internal Storage 64GB/128GB
Software Android 7.1.1. Nougat based Oxygen OS
Primary Camera 16MP (f/1.7) + 20MP (f/2.6), 2X Zoom
Secondary Camera 16MP with f/2.0 aperture
Battery 3300mAh with fast charging
Others 4G VoLTE, dual-band WiFi, NFC, Bluetooth 5.0, Fingerprint sensor (home button, ceramic glass), NFC, USB Type-C, Dash charging
Price Rs. 32,999/ Rs. 37,999

OnePlus 5 Design and Build

Yes, it has an uncanny resemblance to iPhone 7 Plus, but that resemblance is more apparent on paper than in person. Having experienced the phone, we believe that this criticism will die down and the OnePlus 5 will gain acceptance for being a good looking and ergonomic handset even when it isn’t exactly original.

OnePlus has incorporated subtle changes, the ones that you can feel rather than see, but yes, we are still inclined to believe that OnePlus could have delivered a unique phone and done things differently, perhaps even after placing the dual camera sensors on the top-left corner.

The OnePlus 5 is a hair slimmer and a feather lighter than the OnePlus 3T, and it occupies nearly the same footprint. The back is made of Aluminum and you will notice color matched U-shaped antenna bands that a number of OEMs have resorted to this year. It feels premium and is manageable for a 5.5-inch display phone. And it feels even better when planted in a case

OnePlus 5 Display and New Reading Mode

OnePlus is using a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED panel that is tuned to DCI-P3 color gamut. This is a wider gamut than sRGB (the default mode that most content is designed for), which means that sRGB content that you see on it will be a tad over-saturated. And if you are sensitive about color accuracy, you can very well switch to sRGB mode from display settings.

The QHD resolution is what is generally expected off flagships, but I you ask me, you will be just fine with a well calibrated full HD display panel. Another thing interesting here is the new Reading Mode that tries to mimic an e-ink display experience. The mode cuts the blue light and sets the color temperature in accordance with the ambient light, so that your display isn’t harsh on your eyes.

With the amount of time we spend on our phones, this is a feature definitely worth having. You can also program it to turn on automatically for particular apps.

Camera Performance

The camera was supposed to be the star features of this year’s ‘never settle’ flagship, but based on our initial impression and initial reviews, it’s quite clear that OnePlus won’t be breaking any new grounds with its dual camera setup.

On the rear, you will find a 16MP primary sensor with f/1.7 aperture lens, combined with the same size sensor with more pixels (20MP) and f/2.6 aperture telephoto lens. Just as in iPhone 7 Plus, the setup can be used for 2X Zoom and for shooting images with blurred background (aka Bokeh mode).

Use of higher resolution on the Telephoto lens sensor has resulted in even smaller pixel size, consequently resulting in more noise in low light shots. Moreover, OnePlus is also missing OIS, which means it has to rely on EIS for stabilizing low light shots.

We will reserve our camera verdict till we have reviewed the handset. Based on what we are seeing, you shouldn’t write-off the camera just yet.

Performance and Power

Naturally, there is no dearth of processing power here. The OnePlus 3T was one of the snappiest phones around and the OnePlus 5 should be even faster. There is Snapdragon 835 inside and you can choose between 64GB or 128GB UFS 2.1 storage variants, each with more RAM than you would possibly need (6GB and 8GB).

Yes, company’s image is tarnished by them being caught red-handed cheating on benchmarks, but they didn’t have to.

The Oxygen OS is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat and is guaranteed to receive Android O upgrade. It’s basically stock Android with a few nifty additions that work. If you are looking for a phone that simply flies by, you can’t go wrong with the OnePlus 5.

Verdict

The OnePlus 5 fits the same mold that OnePlus has crafted over the years. That is to say, it drags down flagship experience minus the flagship camera experience to a very tempting price point.  It feels like a phone that simply works. As of now OnePlus is being criticized for a few wrong choices, but we believe that this criticism will die down eventually and people will accept and buy OP5 simply because everything about it seems to works mighty fine for a upper-midrange phone.

There are several subtle aspects that OnePlus has worked on and successfully improved. And you should never underestimate the importance of detail on the overall impact.

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