OnePlus 5: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

AH OnePlus 5 feature 1

After we’ve been seeing various leaks and rumors for the past couple of weeks, the OnePlus 5 is finally here. OnePlus’ new flagship sure comes with a set of powerful specifications, and even though it resembles its predecessor (and a couple of other smartphones out there), it’s definitely a very well-built smartphone. As is the case with pretty much every smartphone out there, there are some positives to be discussed, but there are also some negatives that need to be considered when it comes to the device. The OnePlus 5 is a really interesting smartphone which builds upon the success of its predecessor(s), and we’re here to take a closer look at its positive and negative sides, so read on if you’re interested, and see if you agree with what follows.

The Good


The OnePlus 5 is, for the most part, a really good smartphone, especially if you considering what it offers at its price range, which is why there’s plenty to list in this section. Let’s talk about the phone’s design for a moment, and let’s ignore the fact that it looks almost identical to the OPPO R11, and that it resembles the iPhone 7 Plus quite a bit. The OnePlus 5 offers a really nice, industrial design, the phone is made out of anodized aluminum, it’s quite sturdy, and it looks nice. The device is not exactly small, but it’s not big either, and a curved on the back should make it easier for you to hold it. For better or worse, the OnePlus 5 sports some bezel on its sides, and from the practical standpoint, that might even be a good thing, so that accidental screen presses can be avoided when using the device with one hand.

The OnePlus 5’s fingerprint scanner is extremely fast and it comes with a layer of ceramic on top, which should protect it from scratches, as was the case with the OnePlus 3T. Speaking of that fingerprint scanner, it’s located on the front side of the device, and it seems like more people prefer it to be there (for practical reasons), even though phones tend to look better when a fingerprint scanner is placed on the back. A 3.5mm headphone jack is included on this smartphone, which is great news for those of you who like to use wired headphones, and simply hate dongles. When listing OnePlus 5’s positives, it’s hard not to mention its price point, this handset sports top of the line specs, and costs considerably less than its competitors, the 6GB RAM model of the OnePlus 5 can be purchased for $479 in the US (prices differ a bit in other regions, click here for more info), while you can get a model with whopping 8GB of RAM for ‘only’ $539.

Speaking of RAM, the 6GB RAM model of the device comes with 64GB of storage, while the 8GB RAM variant ships with 128GB of storage. Now, the OnePlus 5 is also fueled by one of the most powerful processors out there, the Snapdragon 835 64-bit octa-core SoC, which is able to chew through pretty much anything you throw at it, and in combination with a fullHD display and OnePlus’ highly optimized OxygenOS, you’ll get one of the smoothest software experiences out there. OnePlus’ OxygenOS is not only highly optimized, it also comes with a ton of customizability, you can alter this OS to serve you best, from theming it, to adjusting its gestures, and so on, think of it as stock Android with a ton of customization on top of it.


The OnePlus 5’s camera setup is also one of its strong suits, from what we were able to see thus far, the device can produce really compelling images, no matter if we talk about its main shooters, or its front-facing camera. There are two cameras on the back of this smartphone, a 16-megapixel RGB sensor (f/1.7 aperture, Sony’s IMX398 sensor), and a 20-megapixel telephoto snapper (f/2.6 aperture). This camera should be able to provide really solid images in both daylight and low light, while you can also get some nice bokeh effect thanks to its telephoto lens, not to mention that lossless zoom is also a part of the picture (2x). The OnePlus 5 comes with a 3,300mAh battery on the inside, which is a decent battery size for a 5.5-inch fullHD display, but just in case that’s not enough for you, OnePlus’ Dash Charge is definitely a positive aspect of the OnePlus 5, as it can recharge the OnePlus 5 really fast, even if you’re playing a graphically intensive game while it’s charging, that won’t affect the device at all.

The Bad


Not a single device is perfect, and that’s the case with the OnePlus 5 as well. Let’s talk about the phone’s display for a bit, a fullHD (1920 x 1080) panel OnePlus used in the OnePlus 5 is actually really good, this might even be the best fullHD (1920 x 1080) display out there, but it’s not QHD (2560 x 1440). The OnePlus 5 actually sports a fullHD Optic AMOLED display, which is exactly the same as the on the OnePlus 3(T), at least from the hardware standpoint, OnePlus made the effort to improve this display even further through software, and now it actually supports DCI-P3 gamut, which promises even better colors and general experience using this display. The OnePlus 5’s competitors offer QHD panels, most of them at the very least, and even though this fullHD display is really good, and it won’t bother most people… you see where this is going, it’s not QHD.

The OnePlus 5 does not come with an ‘IP’ rating, which means it is not water or dust resistant, and that is something that some people are not happy about. Most top of the line flagships out there offer some sort of water and dust certification, so it’s somewhat odd OnePlus decided not to go there this time around, though it’s understandable to some degree considering the device’s price point. Now, the dual camera setup on the back of this smartphone is quite compelling, but unfortunately, those two cameras protrude on the back quite a bit, which was the case with the OnePlus 3(T)’s single shooter as well. Nobody likes camera bumps, so it’s not exactly surprising that this particular tidbit ended up on our list of negatives.

Both NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 are included in the OnePlus 5, but one thing this phone does not come with is wireless charging. Truth be told, quite a few flagships out there do not offer wireless charging, but it’s definitely a neat feature to have, and OnePlus’ competitors, the Galaxy S8 and the LG G6 (some variants) ship with such functionality.


The Ugly

The device’s build is really good, and looking at it as a separate entity, it also looks fine, but it resembles the OPPO R11 and the iPhone 7 Plus too much. One would think that OnePlus would want to develop a completely unique design in order to differentiate this phone considering how powerful its specs are, how optimized its software is, and how great of an experience you’re getting, not to mention its price point. So, from the design standpoint, the OnePlus 5 could look better and a bit different than it currently does, while those bezels could have been thinner as well (in general). Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with the device’s design in general, but some uniqueness goes a long way.


Wrap Up

So, to wrap things up, the OnePlus 5 is a great offering at its price point, it would be a great phone even if it cost more, which says a lot about the device. You’re getting a really sturdy phone here which is capable of shooting really great pictures, while its hardware and software will offer great performance on all accounts, one of, if not the best out there. The device’s display is quite compelling, and if you’re not bothered by the fact that it’s not QHD in resolution, chances are you’ll like it a lot. The phone’s selfie shooter is also its strong suit, and the phone is available to a number of regions around the world. The OnePlus 5, of course, has its downsides as well, and the only question is, are those downsides enough of a reason for you to skip buying this phone? That’s a question you need to answer if you’re interested in purchasing the OnePlus 5 at all, but one thing is quite certain, this phone is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a new flagship handset.