Highs

  • nice and clean slim design
  • excellent computing performance
  • great battery capacity and charge speed

Lows

  • slight weakness in low-light photography
  • 1080p display

Rating and Price

  • Rating: 9/10
  • Price: ~$500
  • Available on Amazon

With rumors starting as early as February, the OnePlus 5 is ont of the most anticipated and most researched smartphone of 2017. OnePlus has made a name for itself by building phones with good design and powerful technical features, at a reasonable price. Just as expected, the phone has launched as the summer started, and OnePlus’ CEO is saying that it is their fastest-selling device ever. We’ve taken one for a spin since the June 20 2016 launch, so here’s our complete review:

Industrial Design

Those who are familiar with the OnePlus line of products know that the OnePlus 5 (model A5000) takes things one step above, not only for the company but also for every competing phone within this price range.

Everyone in the industry would tell you that when it comes to industrial design, money does make a huge difference. One may think that design creativity is not limited by money and that one can design “smart” — it is only somewhat true. In reality, “money” means better materials, more processes, more expensive processes, higher fit tolerances and many other things that lead to a potentially “better” design.

Slim and fit

Older OnePlus phones were bigger and thicker than the “higher-end, more expensive” competition. On the other hand, it had top processor, memory, battery, and storage technical features (aka “Specs”). The trade-off seemed obvious, and many users were happy to do it. However, what if OnePlus was closing the gap fast? Is that even possible?

The OnePlus 5 is very thin (7.25mm) and light (153g). In fact, it is thinner than the Google Pixel (8.6mm), the HTC 11 (7.9mm), and the Galaxy S8 (8.0mm). The Huawei P10 (7mm) and the iPhone 7 (7.1mm) remain thinner than the OnePlus 5 by a very small margin. It is true that the OnePlus 5 doesn’t have a camera module that is flush with the back cover, but this does not change the overall feel in hand.

The overall volume (WxHxD) of the OnePlus 5 is noticeably larger than the S8, P10 and iPhone 7. It is comparable to the HTC 11, if we are talking about new handsets.

The small size is quite an achievement for a handset that is priced somewhat aggressively ($480+ in the U.S ). As we continue into the review, you will see that while there are some trade-offs, this phone brings great value to the user as well.

Classy and soft

The front of the phone is almost completely glass, with a 2.5G glass bezel near the edge. It is not curved glass, but it does provide a “soft” feel to the palm, although without the “infinity” visual effect of the curved glass as seen on the Galaxy S6-edge/S7/S8. In the front, you have a fingerprint reader located at the classic “Home button” position. It is very fast (0.2 sec) and works as a Home button as well, so it feels very natural.

The button setup on either side is minimalist, and I like the fact that the buttons are well-placed. Whether you are left or right handed, you can grab the phone, and your fingers will land naturally near the buttons, but without being where you would press them unintentionally (I wear U.S size M gloves for reference). It is small things like these that often separate the good phones from the great ones.

"MINIMALIST DESIGN AND LOW-KEY BRANDING"On the left side, OnePlus has an “Alert Slider” tri-position slider that switches the sound settings quickly to/from ON, Do Not Disturb or Silent. If you find yourself switching audio settings often because you are in meetings, you probably know that some phones require you to unlock the phone and go into the quick settings. The physical selector makes it much more convenient and fast when you need it the most.

The back of the phone also has a minimalist design and low-key branding. Many of the larger brands could learn from this because after dropping several hundred dollars into a phone 1/ you know what the brand is 2/ you do not want to advertise (for free). Low-profile branding makes the phone look more “Premium/classy” in many ways.

The OnePlus 5 is not water-resistant, so it does not have an IP rating. This feature might be really important to some users, while others are not so concerned (you decide). The only important thing to know is that many smartphones die from water exposure, which is why the feature is important to start with.

Design conclusion

"ANY PHONE MAKER COMPETING AT THAT PRICE LEVEL SHOULD TAKE NOTICE"OnePlus’ ability to push industrial design higher despite budget restrictions is impressive. In absolute terms, the OnePlus 5 phone has a very good industrial design that can compete, and beat, many offerings in the $600+ price range, despite being itself priced at ~$480. You will have to look at last year’s high-end phones such as the $440-$480 Galaxy S7 to find stiff competition design-wise, but of course, the internal hardware platform of the OnPlus 5 is stronger (Snapdragon 835 vs 820).

Design-wise, the OnePlus 5 is no Galaxy S8, but the ratio between value and price is simply too strong to ignore. Any Phone maker competing at that price level should take notice.

Overall product rating: 9/10

Filed in Cellphones >Reviews. Read more about Android, OnePlus, OnePlus 5.

Display
5.5"
1920x1080
AMOLED
401 PPI
Price
~$500 - Amazon
Camera
16 MP
F1.7 Aperture F-Stop
Weight
153 g
Battery
3300 mAh
Non-Removable
No Wireless Charg.
Launched in
2017-06-20
System
6GB RAM
Snapdragon 835 + None
Storage (GB)
64, 128
Oneplus 5 Review
Score: 9/10
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