OnePlus 5 Hands-On Review: Not Just An iPhone 7 Clone

When the OnePlus 5 teaser dropped, the iPhone 7 comparisons began and anticipation for the new OnePlus phone immediately rose. With its formal release not until next week, fans the OnePlus 5 will have to wait a little bit longer to try it. However, International Business Times was able to try out OnePlus 5 this week.

Below is our initial impressions on the OnePlus 5 design, display, camera and much more.

OnePlus 5 Hands-On Review

Design: OnePlus has refreshed the design of the OnePlus line-up and given it a smoother look, with chamfered edges in a unibody form factor, combined with its dual-camera at the back of the device, does give it a similar feel as the iPhone, but that is where the similarities end. OnePlus has given the device the sharpest lines we have seen on any smartphone to date. It is easy to hold and fits in the palm of your hand.

Read: OnePlus 5 Revealed: $479 Starting Price, Snapdragon 835 With 8GB Of RAM Confirmed

The company has not gone for an edge-to-edge display, as earlier rumored, but instead gone for thinner bezels, which makes it similar to the LG G6 from the front. The home button has been retained and so has been the embedded fingerprint sensor, which unlocks the phone pretty quickly.

One of features which will please users is the retention of headphone jack. While companies such as Apple have dumped the 3.5mm audio jack in exchange for a single all-in-one jack for both charging and music output, OnePlus has made the decision to retain the jack, which it says that majority of its users still want.

A 3.5mm audio jack provides a user the freedom of listening to music even while the phone is being charged and lets the user use the phone to play music on various devices whether it be headphones or even speakers.

Overall, the design of the device looks pretty suave. But has definitely lost its unique form factor which it used till the OnePlus 3T for a more iPhone-esque on.

Display: There aren’t any fireworks when it comes to the display of the OnePlus 5. OnePlus has persisted with the 1080p full HD display resolution it endowed the 3T with. The quality of the display is a little better now and since it is an AMOLED display, the blacks are more vibrant.

Dash Charge: Dash charge, too has been retained from the OnePlus 3T. Dash charge has been OnePlus’ fast charging standard, which has consistently performed better than fast charging standards such as Qualcomm’s quick charge and Motorola’s fast charge. The battery will charge up to 45 percent in 30 minutes and should last you a whole day, especially since the Snapdragon 835 processor in the device is expected to consume 25 percent less battery OnePlus 3T’s Snapdragon 821 processor.

Camera: OnePlus touts the dual-camera setup as the highlight of the OnePlus5. The 20-megapixel telephoto lens gives it better depth of field and along with 16-megapixel lens.

It also offers a ‘Pro Mode’, which lets users determine metrics such as aperture and white-balance, just like a DSLR. While the options are varied, utilizing this mode will require in-depth knowledge of how a camera works. It will also be useful if you are a beginner and are unfamiliar with these advanced photography metrics. You can use them and try different settings and figure them out, instead of doing it on a DSLR, which is a complex task.

OnePlus Camera Samples Indoor shot taken from the OnePlus 5.

OnePlus Camera Samples Indoor shot taken from the OnePlus 5.

We had a chance to test the camera in an indoors environment, low-light conditions and the device did perform well, although there was some noise under varied light. In totality, the dual-camera is a hit and a miss.

Performance: The OnePlus 5 comes with Snapdragon 835 and offers 6GB/8GB variants. In the time we had with it, the device performed tasks such as shooting videos, running high-res videos and gaming well. For most users, this device has enough power in tow to get them through the day.

Software: OnePlus has endowed the OnePlus 5 with Android Nougat-based Oxygen ROM. The company has added a new ‘Reading Mode’, which automatically tunes the white balance of the screen to match the settings, so that users can read content on their phone without straining their eyes.

Read: OnePlus 5 Price For US Market Leaked?

Verdict: Despite the slightly higher pricing than the OnePlus 3T, the OnePlus 5 excels in several areas. The feature that should appeal to users, even more than its dual-camera setup, is its Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which combined with 8GB RAM and dash charge makes for a high-performance device, which you can use without worrying about charging issues. Its form factor, camera setup and display makes it a value-for-money device.

It is no S8 or iPhone 7, but the OnePlus does well in its niche of budget devices with its new offering.

The OnePlus 5 6GB model will retail for $479 in the U.S., while the 8GB model will retail for $539, starting June 27.