OnePlus phones have always claimed to be reasonably priced flagship alternatives. And over the past years, OnePlus has indeed managed to narrow the gap. The Chinese manufacturer recently launched the OnePlus 5 in India that’s powered by Snapdragon 835 and boasts of dual rear cameras.

Let’s just get this out of the way. The OnePlus 5 too won’t be replacing 2017 flagship phones (especially considering how swanky this year’s flagships look), and perhaps, It isn’t as big a leap forward as the OnePlus 3/3T, but It’s certainly a phone you need to look long and hard at, if you are in line to buy something in and around 30k.

Also Read: Reasons Why You Should or Shouldn’t buy OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5 Specifications and Features

Model OnePlus 5
Display 5.5-Inch, AMOLED Display, Full HD,supports DCI-P3 Color gamut
Processor 2.45GHz octa-core Snapdragon 835, Adreno 540 GPU
RAM 6GB/ 8GB LPDDR4x
Internal Storage 64GB/128GB (UFS 2.1)
Software Android 7.1.1. Nougat based Oxygen OS
Primary Camera 16MP (f/1.7) + 20MP (f/2.6), 2X Zoom, EIS
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

Note: For this review, we have the 8GB RAM, 128GB storage variant 

OnePlus 5 Design and Build –  Solid, ergonomic, but not unique

Ok, so the design isn’t exactly ingenious. The antenna lines and dual camera system has an uncanny resemblance to iPhone 7 Plus, but as we noted in our first impression piece, this resemblance is more apparent on paper than in person.

OnePlus could definitely have done things differently. But keeping the iPhone semblance aside, how well does the design work? Well, honestly the OnePlus 3T was prettier in our opinion, but the OnePlus 5 is more ergonomic. And unlike the 3/3T, this one looks and feels even better when you put a OnePlus case on it (they aren’t cheap and you will have to buy them separately).

Just as the last generation models, the OnePlus 5 is solidly built. It can resist daily wear and tear and even drops remarkably well. Unfortunately, it’s not water resistant.

If you compare the looks to reigning flagships, the 5 is miles behind the likes of LG G6 and Galaxy S8, and not just because it’s lacking those curved displays.

OnePlus 5 Photo Gallery

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Display – Good for the price

OnePlus is sticking with a full HD display panel this year too, and we think it’s a fair compromise. Even on the S8+ that we were using prior to OnePlus 5, we ended up switching to the Full HD+ resolution (which is also the default resolution) just to conserve battery.

Generic users won’t notice any pixelation. Being an AMOLED screen, contrasts and blacks are awesome. OnePlus also adds different color profiles including sRGB and DCI-P3 and the DCI-P3 is one we have been using (the sRGB is the most accurate one, though). Maximum brightness isn’t chart-busting, but everything was still legible under direct sun.

Also Read: Best Smartphone With 8GB of RAM

A reading mode is also present on the phone that tries to mimic e-ink displays, but it’s not as light and glare free as, say, a Kindle Paperwhite. It’s still way better than those unnaturally yellowish reading-modes we usually see.

Also Read: OnePlus 5 Reading Mode – Quick Guide On How To Get In All Smartphones

Even when the display is nowhere as flawless as AMOLED panel on Samsung flagships, it’s still a very good display, and you will most likely love it.

Performace and Software – Crazy fast

The OnePlus 5 is about the fastest smartphone that we have experienced so far. This is one area where OnePlus can beat contemporary flagships hands down. With Snapdragon 835 CPU, LPDDR4x RAM and UFS 2.1 Storage underneath its hood, this shouldn’t come off as a surprise but it does.

The Oxygen OS software has been updated twice in the last week that we have been using it. It adds some light, useful and tasteful customizations on top of stock Android that add value. It’s not easy to get the software right and it’s impressive how OnePlus can strike the right balance so early in the game.

We particularly find gestures (including alternate actions you can assign to navigation keys) and the left home screen pane very helpful.

Camera Performance – Not a bad camera at all, but needs some polishing

The dual camera system includes a 20MP sensor with 36mm focal length telephoto lens (apparently, focal length isn’t long enough as per telephoto lens standards), a 16MP regular sensor with f/1.7 aperture, EIS, and dual tone flash. The camera app allows you to capture RAW files, but only using the primary 16MP sensor. The Pro mode too uses only the primary sensor. The secondary lens is used for 2X Zoom (of which 1.6X is optical zoom).

The camera on the OnePlus 5 is good enough for still photography, but you might miss OIS while shooting videos.

The dual cameras are used for 2X Zoom and for adding background blur in ‘Portrait’ mode. The 2X zoom isn’t lossless, though. Even in good lighting, there is some loss in quality, but the end result is still better than digital zoom.

The camera shows improved dynamic range and colors are mostly accurate. The reds, however, look a bit over saturated.The 16MP selfie camera is also a good performer for both indoors and outdoors.

We clicked same images from both S8+ and OP5 and what we saw on S8+ display was significantly better. However, once we compared these samples on our desktop monitors, the difference wasn’t as much, especially in daylight shots.

 

The bottom line – OnePlus 5 shooter isn’t remarkable, but it’s an improvement over OnePlus 3T and is perhaps better than or as good as whatever anyone else is offering in this budget.

OnePlus 5 Photo Gallery

Battery, Audio, and more

The 3300mAh battery on the OnePlus 5 can comfortably last for one moderate usage day. On particular heavy usage days, you will have to resort to mid-day charging. The Dash charge is incredibly fast as ever and will prove to be a big convenience. It, however, works only with the Inbox charger and cable.

The fingerprint sensor on the front is also the fastest and most accurate one that we have used. It registers our thumb impression every single time.

The loudspeaker on the phone is present on the bottom edge. It’s quite average in terms of loudness but the audio quality is reasonable. Audio output via headphones is very good. The call quality on the phone is excellent.

Verdict – Should you buy a OnePlus 5?

The OnePlus 5 is the fastest phone you can buy for around 35K today. There is no area where it particularly disappoints, but at the same time, it still can’t match the overall premium flagship experience. It doesn’t look awesome, but a case can fix that.

If you own a OnePlus 3T, the OnePlus 5 doesn’t have substantial improvements to warrant an upgrade, but otherwise, we have no qualms about recommending the 5 to anyone looking for an allrounder priced under 35,000 INR.

Pros

  • Extremely snappy
  • Simple and intuitive software
  • Good display
  • Excellent fingerprint sensor

Cons

  • No water resistance
  • No OIS
  • Dual camera needs some work

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