5 killer features of the OnePlus 5
The OnePlus 5 is one of our favourite phones of the year. It has the right price, a great look and amazing hardware that can square up to any mobile out there.
We’ve been living with the phone for a while now, though, and we think there are five particular features that stand out and make the OnePlus 5 a world-class phone.
Dual Camera: Clearer photos
We’ve been using dual rear cameras in phones for years, but the OnePlus 5’s array is a bit special. Where most just use the second camera as a way to help blur out the background for an arty look (which, of course, it does), the secondary sensor here also has a telephoto lens.
This means you can zoom in without the detail loss and mushy look you get when using pure digital zoom. Try to take a gig photo without zoom and you end up with a shot of the crowd, not the band.
The OnePlus 5’s approach simply gets you better clarity and detail than the competition.
Autofocus speed has also improved by a massive 40 per cent since the OnePlus 3T, a phone we already found dead snappy. If you miss a photo nowadays, it’s probably your own fault.
The main camera lens of the OnePlus 5 is impressive too. The f/1.7 aperture is among the widest you’ll see in a phone. This means the little hole through which light flows onto the sensor is larger. And more light means better photos, particularly at night. OnePlus says the camera collects a massive 34 per cent more light than the previous OnePlus 3T.
These days smart processing and scene recognition are just as important as the core hardware, though. The OnePlus 5 uses its own custom software to determine the settings needed to make every photo look perfect. And if you’re a DSLR shooter at heart, there’s a manual Pro Mode for you too.
Let’s not lie. We still dream of a phone we only need to charge once a week. Why stop there? Let’s have a phone that lasts a year between charges.
However, until Star Trek battery tech becomes a reality, big phone fans will still have to recharge after a day or two.
Still, the OnePlus 5’s Dash charger has changed the way we think about battery drain. It’s so fast, overnight charging can be a thing of the past if you want it to be as now you achieve A Day’s Power in Half an Hour.
In our experience the best part is that, unlike conventional charging, you don’t have to wait for your phone to charge. You can continue using it while the battery is replenishing due to all the power management happening in the socket, so the heat is removed from the phone keeping the usage speeds consistent.
OnePlus also managed to boost battery life by 20 per cent over the OnePlus 3T, so you need to charge even less regularly.
The longer you spend with the OnePlus 5, the more you realise day-to-day performance matters. It’s not much good if a phone is lightning-fast on day one, only to see it gradually slow down as you install apps, take photos and so on.
This phone doesn’t, thanks to a series of factors that work together as a team to keep the OnePlus 5 feeling fresh for good.
First, it uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 platform, which is as powerful an engine room as you’ll find in any phone at present. For this generation, Qualcomm has shrunk the architecture down to 10 nanometers, for unbeatable performance for each watt of power used.
There are other behind-the-scenes tech revolutions in the OnePlus 5 some have missed too. Did you know it uses LPDDR4X RAM, for example?
This is more efficient than plain LPDDR4, which wowed us with its speed in the OnePlus 3 and 3T. You also get a mind-blowing up to 8GB of it, more than is used in some of the laptops we review.
This ensures you can skip between a handful of apps without the slightest hesitation. RAM is a bit like the kind of memory you’d use to hold a conversation about philosophy while solving a Rubik’s cube with one hand and flying up an omelet with the other. The OnePlus 5 is a master multi-tasker.
A bad custom interface can ruin a phone. The OnePlus 5’s Oxygen OS is one of the few that enriches Android without altering the feel of Google’s software.
It’s clean and simple, but packed with extras so good you might not be able to switch to another phone in the future. Let’s take a look at a few.
Reading Mode is one of our favourites. This is for people who like to read books or long-form articles on their phones.
It uses an ambient sensor to measure the colour and intensity of the light wherever you are. If the light is very warm, cool or tinted, a phone’s screen will normally look completely different thanks to the way our eyes work. Reading Mode normalises the screen’s tone and cuts out blue light for a more comfortable reading experience.
Auto Night Mode uses some of the same clever customisation, but you don’t need to read Tolstoy to make best use of it. This mode automatically starts cutting blue light out of the display’s output as night time arrives. You can set the day/night cycle to suit how you live.
Too much blue light before bed can knock out your circadian rhythm, making it harder to get to sleep. Auto Night Mode avoids this. Because while we all know scouring Facebook in bed is a bad idea, sometimes you can’t resist it.
App Priority is a clever battery-saving feature designed to make sure your phone lasts until bed time. This keeps the data needed to run your most-used app at the OnePlus 5’s fingertips. The resources go to the apps you love, not those you forgot were even installed.
Keeping your data secure may not be something you think about too much when dreaming of a new phone. But it is important, and only going to get more so.
The OnePlus 5 makes it easy. Your data is automatically encrypted using Qualcomm security, making you hack-proof as long as you don’t do anything silly.
You can get far more active with security measures too. As well as pins and passwords, the OnePlus 5 has a lightning-fast fingerprint scanner. It lives below the screen and unlocks your phone in just 0.2 seconds.
This is a great way to secure your phone, and make sure friends don’t play tricks on you when your phone’s out of arm’s reach.
Dig into the File Manager and you’ll also find the OnePlus 5’s Secure Box feature. This is a virtual safe whose contents can be hidden, only unlocked with a password or by fingerprint ID.
It’s perfect for birthday shopping lists for your loved ones, or even that poetry you’ve been writing but wouldn’t want near your dog’s eyes, let alone your friends’.