OnePlus 5 Review: Arguably The Best Android Experience

The wraps are off the OnePlus 5 and everyone knows everything there is to know about. This is one device that had everyone waiting for and talking about it. I spent a month with the new flagship from OnePlus and here is my review of this phone.

OnePlus 5 Rear ViewHere are the key specifications of the phone. It comes with a 5.5-inch full HD SAMOLED display. The phone is powered by the new and power efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor.The memory options are 6GB RAM/8GB RAM and based on what you go for, you get  64/128GB of internal storage. The rear dual camera assembly houses a 16+ 20 MP sensor  and the front camera is a 16MP one. The phone runs on Android Nougat 7.1.1 with OxygenOS. The flagship is powered by a 3300 mAh battery and comes with Dash Charge support that OnePlus has now come to be known for. Let us now look at the device in detail.

OnePlus 5 Front View

Let’s just quickly get into first thing that the entire media and some technology experts have been discussing to no end apparently. Does the design look exactly like an iPhone 7 plus? Well, it has two rear cameras positioned similar to the iPhone in question. But the similarity starts and ends there. And to be fair, there are only that many ways that you can put dual cameras behind a phone. Get past that and you will see that the design is very different and is very OnePlus when it comes to materials and crafting. The Aluminium is there and shape is consistent with the OnePlus design language that has evolved over the years. The Alert slider is there and the top of the phone is devoid of any connectors. The phone has the 3.5 mm headphone jack at the bottom along with the USB Type-C connector and the speaker grill. The rear side curves very gently and tapers off into really thin edges on both sides. The phone is an absolute pleasure to hold in the hand and grips very good. The fingerprint scanner is the customary OnePlus ceramic scanner that sits in the front and doubles as a home button in the middle of the navigation keys.

OnePlus 5 Front Screen

The phone has a display that is FHD and not 2k or 4k. People seem to be pointing this as some sort of a shortcoming, but I see it as more of a good thing. You see, it is not all that mandatory or essential to have a 2k or a 4k display, to the human eye, the difference is not that easily visible in normal usage. Even if you put your nose right on the screen and peer into the display, you will not see the difference. For the OnePlus 5, the FHD display is actually a boon. Due to the fact that it doesn’t have to burden itself with a heavy display, the powerful processor and memory actually blaze away in terms of sheer performance. Having said that, the display renders colors pretty well and graphically charged games very a pleasure. Videos were very well detailed too. The phone has a simple to use screen calibration setting which allows you switch between the default color setting, sRGB and DCI-P3 as you see fit. This is a very nice thing to have. Once I got to the DCI-P3 setting, I was completely in love with it.

OnePlus 5 in hand

Let’s get to the camera of the flagship next. OnePlus has worked hard and long at the one thing that would move them from flagship killer to flagship – the camera! The dual camera set-up with a combination of telephoto sensor being coupled with the other camera yields very good results. There is lossless 2X zoom that is almost like optical zoom. And the two cameras mean that they can get together and do bokeh magic for you. There is a portrait mode that uses the two sensors to cut out the person in focus very vividly and artistically blur the background like a DSLR. All mode shots came out fine and very well detailed. Colors were just right and not overblown or washed. The phone made someone like me churn out very good pictures and by that yardstick, the camera is pretty cool. Here are a few pictures I took with it. A detailed camera review is coming soon.

Let’s talk about the performance of this spec monster. OnePlus has been consistently delivering devices that perform like a well oiled rocket engine and the OnePlus 5 is the best of them all! Whatever you can throw at this device in terms of massive parallel load, it just breezes through and asks for more. Apps load up in a jiffy and run like the wind. There is embedded deep app learning that assists the phone to manage background apps more efficiently. The memory management is top notch. Whatever I threw at it games, videos, music, 4k recording – the phone simply does not know the meaning of stutter or lag.

OP5 Slanting

And there is one thing that I need to tell you – the device is a cool cucumber! It simply does not heat up! You can’t make Iron Box jokes about this one. Dash charge keeps the phone cooler while charging compared to  other fast charge solutions, so you can actually dash charge while gaming and not worry at all.  While on gaming, there is a nifty do not disturb while gaming setting that will prevent notifications from interrupting you while gaming.

There is a Reading Mode that the phone supports, this mode softens the display to be gentler on your eyes when you are reading off the phone for prolonged time. It is enabled by default for the Amazon Kindle app and you can add any app that you want to the list and when you open the app, the display does the magic. There is also a hardware plus software based solution that OnePlus has implemented to fix touch latency. So the reading and scrolling are both spiffy and good.

OnePlus 5 Front Slant

Android version is 7.1.1 and it has the Oxygen OS UI on it. As usual, the experience is very nearly stock and simply smooth. The call quality was great, sound output from the speaker is good and the phone supports very nearly all global GSM bands, so your Jio SIM will love it. Bluetooth support and NFC are out of the box.

The phone is ultra thin and light, the battery in this light frame is a 3300 mAH one and comes with Dash charge support. The processor is very power efficient and that helps in a big way here. On a single charge, I was able to run a full day of above average use of 4G and WiFi mixed. I was viewing videos, playing games and checking social media. I as also shooting pics and videos. At the end of the day I was left with 30% charge on the battery. Dash charge support means that overnight charging is a myth now. Charge fast whenever you want and be juiced up in a jiffy.

There are two color variants available. The Midnight Black version (8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage) will cost you Rs 37,999. The price for Slate Gray version (6 GB RAM / 64GB storage) is Rs 32,999.

OnePlus 5 open sales across all countries begin on June 27, 2017. In India, it will be available for sale on Amazon.in, oneplusstore.in and across OnePlus Experience Stores in Delhi and Bangalore.

Verdict

The OnePlus 5 is arguably the Best Android Phone experience by a mile and it is a no-brainer that it’s a “go buy it now” if you are looking for a powerhouse to get you through your needs. This is the best android phone of the year if you ask me.