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OnePlus 5 review

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OnePlus 5 review
  • OnePlus 5 review
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Summary

Our Score:

9

Pros

  • Fantastic software
  • Not as cheap as previous models, but still great value
  • Dash Charge is great
  • Dual cameras work well

Cons

  • Missing some higher-end features
  • Poor Wi-Fi and audio performance

Key Features

  • 5.5-inch 1080p screen
  • Snapdragon 835
  • 6 or 8GB RAM
  • 64 or 128GB storage
  • Dash Charge
  • Bluetooth 5
  • 3300mAh battery
  • USB-C
  • Android 7.1
  • NFC
  • Manufacturer: OnePlus
  • Review Price: £449.00

What is the OnePlus 5?

With the OnePlus 3, the Chinese 'start-up' finally made a phone that was nearly perfect. There's no OnePlus 4 this year, but instead the OnePlus 5 takes things up another level with a seriously packed spec sheet – and a higher price.

The headline feature here is an interesting dual-camera setup on the back, but in typical OnePlus fashion there's a serious amount of power and the option of a frankly ridiculous 8GB of RAM.

For £449/$479, the OnePlus 5 is a fantastic deal, but the higher price necessitates a more critical look at some of its shortcomings. There are a few missing features and some odd omissions, but this is still one of the best tech bargains.

OnePlus 5 – Design

The OnePlus 5 is a really good-looking phone, but it’s not the most original. The back reminds me of an slightly curvier matte-black iPhone 7 Plus, right down to the camera arrangement, the blended antenna lines and even the flash. The front is pretty much the same as those of the outgoing OnePlus 3 and 3T, which is no bad thing, but in a world of the Essential Phone and LG G6 it feels a bit old-fashioned.

Old-fashioned is acceptable in this case, though, because OnePlus has managed to make this phone so comfortable to hold and a pleasure to use. The curved back fits perfectly in your palm, while the 3D Gorilla Glass 5 on the front also curves slightly. This multitude of curves make it super-slim, but also easy to fish up from a table.

The OnePlus 5 with its 5.5-inch display is a larger phone than the 5.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S8, but it’s smaller in all dimensions than the same-screen-size iPhone 7 Plus. It doesn’t feel big, although I have become used to this size of phone now, and I can reach all the elements of the screen with one hand.

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Previous OnePlus devices have felt great for their price, which tended to be below £350, but even though the OnePlus starts at £449 it still feels better built than anything else in that price range. Everything is precisely cut, it feels sturdy and there are really neat touches like the alert slider that sits above the volume rocker. I know this has been a OnePlus staple, but I'm appreciating being able to quickly flip the phone into silent mode when it’s still in my pocket more and more.

There’s a headphone jack and Dash Charge-capable USB-C port on the bottom, along with a microphone and mono speaker, plus a dual-Nano SIM tray on the side. I’d have preferred a microSD slot, or a hybrid slot, but at least there’s a decent amount of base storage here.

The OnePlus 5 comes in two colours, though to be honest they look almost exactly the same. The 64GB model has 6GB RAM and comes in ‘Slate Grey’ while the 128GB/8GB RAM version takes the ‘Midnight Black’ hue that was briefly available on the OnePlus 3T. Both colours are deep, dark and matte, and it feels odd to have two options so similar.

The lack of any sort of water-resistance rating is slightly disappointing, but not a deal beaker yet.

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OnePlus 5 – Screen

OnePlus has stepped up the game in the vast majority of areas this year, but on paper at least the screen feels very much the same. It’s still a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel, which is still 1080p as opposed to the more common quad-HD resolution.

The OnePlus 3 (and 3T) suffered from a few annoying screen issues, including poor calibration and laggy scrolling, but the OnePlus 5 sorts these out. So that’s a bonus straight away.

The display now covers the wide DCI-P3 colour gamut, like the iPhone 7 and Galaxy S8, and this is my preferred colour profile. It gives colours more of a punch, without oversaturating, and there’s more variety in the shades. There’s an sRGB mode too that removes a bit of the punch, and a Default mode that feels to me a bit too colourful.

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I would have liked to see a resolution bump, but in all honestly it’s tough to pick out individual pixels unless you get really close. It’s not as sharp as the HTC U11, nor is it as sharp as a 5-inch 1080p device, but colours are nice and because it’s AMOLED there’s that extra depth to blacks that you don’t get with LCD.

Gorilla Glass 5 covers the panel and that should help prevent scratches, but I have still found small hairline scratches appear on the display after a week of use.

FireCrackerJim

June 20, 2017, 6:06 pm

I have the 3T and wont be upgrading to the 5, Im not sure the 5 is such a great bargain when you can get an S8 for 100 sheets more if you shop around

J0n35y

June 20, 2017, 6:50 pm

Does anyone know if the 5 utilises Hi-res audio of any sort? Or even if potential LDAC support could be built in in future. Im in the market for a new phone but I really want to take advantage of my MXR1000s over bluetooth. They already sound amazing but have the odd drop out now and again.

jualian

June 21, 2017, 5:55 am

Muy interesante el terminal aun que creo que este modelo no es nada resisten sobre todo porque no tiene proteccion ip68 una falla y su precio a subido mucho, yo tengo el AGM X1 y estoy encantado con el voy tranquilo para cualquier parte claro guardando las proporciones con respecto al oneplus5 g

HDN900

June 21, 2017, 8:13 am

Samsung should reduce the price of S7 and Sony of XZ.

David

June 21, 2017, 10:50 am

Does someone know which phone thats has the best camera, OnePlus 5 or Huawei P10?

jimmy

June 21, 2017, 11:30 am

this is not a 4.5 star phone. The price is no where near the value of previous models. It has no water proofing. No expandable storage. No replaceable battery. Is still stuck with a 1080p screen which at 5.5 inches doesn't cut it these days.
This is an average phablet at best. Shame, as they were just starting to build a decent foothold in the market. The 5 just doesn't do enough in a crowded market place.

jimmy

June 21, 2017, 11:38 am

and no mention of the price of the 128gb model? why can you not give all the relevant facts in your reviews these days? I constantly have to google things after reading your reviews to find out further details, it's shocking.
64gb with no expandable storage isn't great these days. my old S6 had 64gb and I was forever having to clear out photos and things to make space.
the more I revisit this phone, the more I think they've dropped the ball. a fast processor alone doesn't make a good phone.

CZFred

June 22, 2017, 8:21 am

One of the biggest differentiating features of this phone when compared to the industry staples of Samsung and Apple is the dual SIM. This is essential for me, and comes as standard in all OnePlus phones. Why don't you mention that?

CZFred

June 22, 2017, 8:22 am

6/64 = £449, 8/128 = £499

Faheem Yazdani (Feemy82)

June 22, 2017, 12:42 pm

Gotta agree with you there.

FireCrackerJim

June 22, 2017, 6:13 pm

Well said sir

jimmy

June 22, 2017, 7:21 pm

not to mention the lies about the camera spec and benchmarks.
you can get a new galaxy S7 edge for the same money or less which beats this in everyway except the processor. And for 99% of people they won't know the difference as phones are more powerful than the apps these days and have been for a few years.

Milkpowder

June 23, 2017, 5:21 pm

The situation is perhaps not as dire as you say it is - the screen is relatively low res, but with P3 gamut and decent contrast ratios would still be a winner, and fast dual channel UFS 2.1 storage will always run rings around any microSD card. You're right about the lack of IP certification and non-replaceable battery, but the latter in particular is getting much less common in the current marketplace. I can see the need for it in my current line of work where the phone is constantly in use and I am rarely sat down long enough to get my phone charged.
The issues with the wifi and speakers highlighted in the review are true concerns, but I welcome a fast phone that gets the job done with little to no stutter.

Kate

June 23, 2017, 6:21 pm

want to by my first smart phone, would like a good camera, battery life and not lots of add ons. What do you recommend all you savvy phone users?

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