The OnePlus 5 is now available for purchase. As with previous OnePlus handsets, this new phone offers premium features at reasonable prices. And it appears to offer a compelling alternative to flagship handsets like the iPhone and Galaxy S8.
“We started OnePlus three years ago for a simple reason, to build an Android phone that we ourselves would want to use,” OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei said during a virtual launch event for the OnePlus 5. “Our mission wasn’t just to build a better smartphone, but to change the industry works.”
That quirky presentation is available now on YouTube if you’d like to see it. But here’s what you really need to know about this intriguing new phone.
Thin, light design. While the OnePlus 5 design has been derided as being derivative of the iPhone in particular, I think it’s a handsome design. It’s only 7.25 mm thin, but it does lack the edge-to-edge screen that is becoming common on other flagships.
Colors. The OnePlus 5 is available in two colors, Slate Gray and Midnight Black.
OxygenOS. OnePlus’s clean take on Android is called OxygenOS. It features a refined user interface and some unique features. For example, a new reading mode automatically calibrates the display to match the color temperature of the room, similar to an iPad Pro feature. And screenshots have been improved to optionally include an entire page of information, including the parts that are off-screen.
CPU. As you’d expect of a flagship, this phone comes with a 2.45 GHz Snapdragon 835 processor. Coupled with fast but efficient RAM and storage (below) and various software efficiencies, this should be an impressive device.
RAM. The OnePlus 5 ships with 6 GB or 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM, depending on model.
Storage. The OnePlus 5 provides 64 GB or 128 GB of UFS 2.1 2-lane storage (non-expandable), depending on model.
Cameras. Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the OnePlus 5 features a dual camera system with 16 MP (f/1.7) main sensor and a 20 MP (f/2.6 aperture) telephoto sensor. Like iPhone 7 Plus, it supports a hardware-based portrait mode and 2X optical zoom, plus fast auto-focus, noise reduction, and improved HDR.
Display. OnePlus 5 features a 5.5-inch 1080p optic AMOLED/DCI-P3 display. Yes, it’s a bit surprising not to see QHD or even 4K in 2017, but as with the OnePlus 3T, I bet this is about battery life.
Ceramic fingerprint sensor. OnePlus says it works in 0.2 seconds.
DashCharge fast charging. Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 5 supports DashCharge fast charging technology over USB-C. The firm claims you can charge 50 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes, and do so without overheating the phone.
Connectivity. The OnePlus 5 ships in a single global version with universal compatibility across 34 wireless bands. It also provides Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC capabilities.
Pricing. There are two versions of the OnePlus 5: A Slate Gray model with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage for $479, and a Midnight Black model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage for $550.
Availability: In its usual quirky manner, OnePlus is slowly rolling out this new device. If you want one now, you will need to use the code “Clearer Photos” to get past the Early Bird offer blocker. General availability starts June 27.
This handset looks impressive, and based on my overwhelmingly positive experience with its predecessor, you won’t be surprised to discover that I’m considering getting one. This time, however, I’m going to wait a bit, read the reviews, and make sure that it will meet my needs, particularly with the camera. And of course, I have to think about how I’ll deal without access to Project Fi. T-Mobile, perhaps. International connectivity is key there.
Anyway, I’ll go slow on this one. But the OnePlus 5 looks great.