OnePlus 5: Everything you need to know about the budget flagship

The OnePlus 5 is here, bringing a Snapdragon 835 chip, dual camera system, and higher price tag.

oneplus 5 back
Credit: OnePlus

The original flagship killer is back with, well, another flagship killer. After weeks of leaks and rumors, OnePlus has released its sixth handset, the OnePlus 5, and it has the major Android players in its sights: the LG G6Galaxy S8, and HTC U11.

And it looks to be a formidable competitor. With a sleeker design, bigger battery, faster chip, and better camera, the OnePlus 5 is poised to be the breakout star of the Android flagship season, even with a slightly higher price tag.

OnePlus 5 specs

  • Display: 5.5-inch 1080p Full HD AMOLED, 401ppi
  • Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.25 mm
  • Weight: 153g
  • Color: Midnight black, slate gray
  • Operating system: OxygenOS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat
  • CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 (octo-core, 10nm, up to 2.45GHz)
  • GPU: Adreno 540
  • Rear camera: 16MP, f/1.7 + 20MP f/2.6
  • Front camera: 16MP, f/2.0
  • Storage: 64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 2-LANE
  • Ports: USB C, dual nano-SIM slot, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Battery: 3,300mAh

OnePlus 5 display and design

OnePlus has always put a premium on design, and the OnePlus 5 looks to be no different. At 7.25mm thick, it’s the thinnest phone OnePlus has made. It has moved the camera to the upper-left corner like the iPhone rather than keeping it centered, and the antenna lines remain, meaning the back is made of aluminum and not glass. 

oneplus 5 image OnePlus

The OnePlus 5 looks a lot like the 3T... not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Around the front, OnePlus has resisted the bezel-trimming trend. It looks almost exactly like the 3T, with the same 5.5-inch Full HD 1920x1080 resolution display and pill-shaped home button/fingerprint sensor. Thankfully, it also still has the 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom edge of the device and an alert slider on the left side. It will be available in two color options at launch: slate gray and midnight black

If you’re confused about the name, there’s a reason OnePlus is jumping from the 3T to the 5. In Chinese culture, the number four is considered unlucky, like the number 13 in the U.S. This is due to the Chinese phonetic pronunciation of the number four being like the word for death and suffering. Many elevators in China skip the fourth floor, much like U.S. hotels often jump from floor 12 to 14.

OnePlus 5 performance and battery

The OnePlus 5 will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chip, which comes as no surprise. OnePlus has always packed its flagship handset with the latest silicone, and based on what we’ve seen with the Galaxy S8 and HTC U11, it should be a screamer. Elsewhere, the phone brings 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of UFS 2.1 storage, Bluetooth 5, and a 3,300mAh battery.

While the battery might not quite be big enough to get through a full day of heavy use, the 5 uses OnePlus’ proprietary Dash Charge system to power up quicker than its competitors. However, since the OnePlus 5 has an aluminum back, it doesn’t support wireless charging like the S8 and G6.

OnePlus 5 camera

OnePlus has hyped the heck out of the camera in the OnePlus 5. It has ditched the single shooter in favor of a dual-camera system, pairing a custom Sony IMX398 16MP sensor with a large f/1.7 aperture with a 20MP telephoto one. Around the front you get a 16MP lens with f/2.0 aperture.

oneplus 5 camera OnePlus

The OnePlus 5 features dual 16MP and 20MP sensors.

Like HTC, OnePlus has partnered with camera benchmark kings DxOMark to enhance the OnePlus 5’s camera acumen so it can capture “some of the clearest photos around.” The system brings Fast AF and Smart Capture that will let you take shots instantaneously while filtering out noise and inconsistencies in low-light situations, as well as improved HDR and a portrait mode that simulates a depth of field. It also features 2x optical zoom (8x when combined with the digital zoom) as a pro mode that includes a histogram so you can fine-tune the pixels, but notably neither lens features optical image stabilization.

oneplus 5 camera shot OnePlus

The images OnePlus showed off are predictably stunning, but we’ll see how it performs in our testing.

OnePlus has provided some sample photos to show off the 5’s photography prowess, and it’s clear it has put a lot of effort into improving the camera in its flagship. However, we won’t know for sure how good it is until we put it through its paces to see how it stacks up against our current champion, the LG G6.

OnePlus 5 OS 

The OnePlus 5 runs OxygenOS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. Previous iterations haven’t strayed too far from stock Android, and the OnePlus 5’s version is no different. But there are some new features.

oneplus 5 os OnePlus

OxygenOS doesn’t mess with Android too much, but there are some changes.

As you use it, it will learn your habits and prioritize your apps accordingly on a new quick-launch page. A Do Not Disturb mode just for gaming will block notifications and disable the soft buttons for an uninterrupted experience. Secure Box lets you lock up documents, photos, and videos behind a fingerprint- or pin-protected folder. And a new reading mode will optimize the display in apps like Amazon’s Kindle reader to make words easier on your eyes.

OnePlus 5 price and release date

OnePlus 5 pre-orders begin today using the code “Clearer Photos” and will release on June 27. It will cost $479 for the slate gray model with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while the Midnight Black model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage will set you back $539. That’s a bit higher than the 3T’s $429 price tag, but still significantly less than its competitors. Like OnePlus’ other handsets, the 5 won’t be available through carriers; OnePlus is calling it a “true world phone,” with support for 34 networks across the globe.

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