I refuse to switch to an iPhone or Galaxy because of this phone

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
I refuse to switch to an iPhone or Galaxy because of this phone
In the past few months I have been switching phones on almost a weekly basis: from reviews to curiosity, I have used anything and everything, from an Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, Google Pixel 2 XL to more obscure phones. But at the end of the day, I refuse to switch to any of these high-profile phones and keep on going back to one phone that works best for me. This phone is the OnePlus 5 and below you will read my long-term impressions of the phone and why it has been my preferred device for so long.

And yes, I am fully aware that the newer OnePlus 5T exists, but there is a special reason why I still go to the older OnePlus 5.

Wear after 8 months

First, the look of the phone. After nearly 8 months of use, the OnePlus 5 that I have has a scratch on the screen. The screen is not cracked, but the scratch is noticeable. I use the phone without a screen protector, so that’s not unexpected (if you can, I recommend ordering a tempered glass screen protector for about $20 from OnePlus itself) and I do not mean it as a criticism, but more of a reminder to my own self to get a screen protector next time.

I do carry the OnePlus 5 with a case on most of the time, but I also sometime go a week or so without a case because I really feel that a case steals away the great in-hand feel of the phone and its elegant body. The curved back and thin body make it probably the most ergonomic big phone I have ever used. The back of the phone is made of metal and is very slippery, but it has also withstood the test of time very well and is not scratched despite my not too careful handling of the phone.

As to the case, I have the Sandstone one that is grippy and has a funky texture that I like. I would understand if you don’t like this peculiar case, though, and I have grown a bit frustrated that there is nowhere near as much variety when it comes to cases for OnePlus as there is for iPhones and Galaxies. I would love a quality leather case, but I cannot find one. I would love a water-proof, rugged case, but there is not such one either.

Why I still love it

There are three main reasons that keep me faithful to the OnePlus 5 in times when there are many newer phones around.

First and foremost, the OnePlus 5 is the fastest phone that I have ever used. Yes, I do realize there are phones with faster system chips available and sure, I have used many of them, but I guess it is the software that really makes the biggest difference, and the software on the OnePlus 5 is clean and optimized for speed more than on others.

I say speed, but what I really mean is a combination of experiences that contribute to this feeling: the speed of loading an app is obviously an important factor, but so is the speed of typing on the on-screen keyboard, the speed of fingerprint scanning, the fluidity of little shortcuts and gestures like the double press of the recents key to switch between apps or the double press of the power key to open the camera. It really is about all these little things working well and then you take the combination of them, and I’ve found the OnePlus to excel in all these areas.

Another key part of the speed equation is the presence of dedicated navigation buttons. On the OnePlus 5, you can choose between using the navigation buttons below the screen or have on-screen navigation keys. I opt to still use the dedicated buttons below the display because I find them to be a big convenience over the often hard-to-hit on-screen keys. I’ve spoken with a few co-workers of mine who share the same frustration with on-screen navigation buttons, and a few of them have actually returned otherwise excellent new phones after using them for a while because of their frustration with on-screen button navigation. And while I would not mind the larger screen of the OnePlus 5T, it is the lack of dedicated off-screen buttons that is stopping me from considering to buy one.

The second reason why I love the OnePlus 5 is battery life. Battery life is extremely important, especially when you are on the go, and the OnePlus 5 has proven to be an excellent battery performer. Not only does the battery last through even the longest workdays, you have Dash Charge on board, so you can plug your phone mid-day for 15 minutes or so, and get a huge battery boost for a short time. Many people might be wondering whether fast charging does not damage the battery, but my experience so far has shown that it does not.

Last but not least, having a lot of on-board storage is absolutely liberating from a long-term perspective. I have been using a 128GB OnePlus 5 model and more than half storage was already used up afterby just 6 months. While it seems like you may never use that much storage, it all eventually piles up and more on-board storage is definitely one of my recommendations for a happy phone life.

The bad

Of course, the OnePlus 5 is not a perfect phone. In fact, it’s far from it. Owning a phone, especially when you see new ones every day, is about accepting the compromises that you have to make.

The biggest compromise with the OnePlus 5 has got to be the camera. It can certainly take some very good shots in favorable conditions, but it can also take blurry shots, have soft detail, have less than ideal colors and a few other issues. When compared against the best cameras out there like the one on the Pixel 2 XL, the Galaxy S9 and the iPhones, it is not in the same league.

The other disappointing quality of it is the loudspeaker. OnePlus has already improved the loudspeaker sound output in the OnePlus 5T and we hope for further improvements, but sound coming out of the loudspeaker on the OP5 sounds very thin and does not impress.

Next up, screen brightness. Yes, the OnePlus 5 has an ambient light sensor just like every other modern phone, but for some strange reason it does not seem to work all that well. After using it for months, the automatic screen brightness is commonly way too low. And even after I manually set the brightness higher, the screen would still just go dimmer after a few minutes. You only notice this after using the phone for a while and it’s not in the specs, but it is a very real issue to me.

Final words

Picking a phone could turn into an agonizing choice given how sometimes the differences between devices are not that big, at least when you look at the specs and features. And since no one phone is perfect, you need to pick your priorities. For me, even without me fully realizing this, speed of use combined with great battery life was actually the biggest priority. And while I will keep on switching phones almost every week, I still think that the OnePlus 5 will stick.

What is your daily driver and why have you chosen it over all the other phones out there? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments section.



3. skyline88

Posts: 698; Member since: Jul 15, 2013

OnePlus all the way!


Posts: 2817; Member since: Oct 03, 2012

You should never switch to an iPhone, it will be a big mistake!

29. Settings

Posts: 2943; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

If he's considering a downgrade, that's the only time he'll be switching to iOS.

5. kevin007in

Posts: 327; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

I refuse to buy Samsung for Huawei. :P

40. GalaxyLeads_iCrapFollows

Posts: 216; Member since: Nov 29, 2017

I would agree if you refuse to buy low quality products from chinese huawei but why Samsung? Samsung makes the highest quality products in the world and even Appple's best products are built with Samsung components. Even a Samsung Galaxy S5 has far better tech than the pos OP5 or 5T that the author is advertising for. Unless you are a blind isheep that has to buy icraps for no good reason, I don't see how you can group Samsung with garbage brands like huawei.

42. michaelny2001

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

S5? Not really. It'a all plastic. S6 and newer on the other hand yes, nice, polished, beautiful but fluidity is lacking. My OP3 is still very good and i have a hard time thinking about switching. I want to, but that notch just kills it for me. If Note 8 is as fluid as OP3 but with much better specs, then that is a worthy investment for a couple of years.

8. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

I have used OnePlus One couple of years back and it was so so good. It was fast and really smooth. It aged so well that even after 6-8 months of extensive heavy use it performed as brand new. After about a year I sold it to one of my friends and I bought a brand new Galaxy S7, I immediately noticed the performance difference between Oneplus and Samsung.

21. Fred3

Posts: 561; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

I did the same. The OP performance ran laps around my S8.

25. Cicero

Posts: 1137; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Having a little bit of speed on a medium quality screen is a NO for me. Screen is the main component of a phone the one where you are looking at for all your running apps or games. Camera is the second one.

30. romeo1

Posts: 816; Member since: Jan 06, 2012

For me performance and speed are nr1 screen is also really important. All reasons not to pick a samsung anymore same with most high end phones actually. 18:9, Rounded corners/edges and notches are really annoying.

9. jove39

Posts: 2147; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Is this paid/sponsored article?

20. Fred3

Posts: 561; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

I don't think so i still feel that the OnePlus 3T that i used to have is way better than my S8 and Pixel. Wish i still had it.

10. Scott93274

Posts: 6040; Member since: Aug 06, 2013

Well, thus far my Pixel 2 experience has been a mixed bag, It easily takes the best pictures of any smartphone I've ever seen, and yet when I'm shooting in portrait mode, it'll freeze and crash on me if I take too many in rapid succession. The phone, as others have reported suffers from very poor battery life. When I first got it a few months back, I'd end the day at 30% to 40% battery life, now it's at 30% after an 8 hour work day with very little usage, damn Google, and their half-assed software updates. The battery issue seems to be a consistent issue with Google branded phones going back to the Nexus devices. Maybe I'd go with another brand, a One Plus possibly.... but I'm on Google Fi. Blah.

11. checkmymike

Posts: 220; Member since: Dec 28, 2011

Is this a sponsored article?

19. Victor.H

Posts: 1076; Member since: May 27, 2011

No, just my impressions. Plus, I doubt OnePlus would sponsor an article about a phone they no longer sell :)

12. Duncdawg26

Posts: 175; Member since: Jan 20, 2017

Moto g4 is my daily driver. I don't have the money for anything more but it serves my needs. There's some lagging but nothing awful. Pictures are usually serviceable. And I still get security patches every 3 or 4 months. After using a phone with an sd210, it was a revelation and it still gets the job done... It all comes down to expectations...

13. japkoslav

Posts: 1517; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

I bought LG V30+ when it did hit UK market. It will be my phone for a long time. When Oreo hits it here, there will literally be no reason for me to upgrade to anything else. I often use my phones 3+ years and I feel confident V30 will last.

14. macawmatt

Posts: 138; Member since: Feb 20, 2012

Wireless charging, yes its a requirement for me.

15. Ellio74

Posts: 74; Member since: Mar 22, 2018

Nowadays flagship grade smartphone are really good. I'm with the XZ Premium for 8 or 9 months now and I'm more than satisfied. Everything works as intended and as I would like them to work. I don't feel the need to change even when considering the new smartphones that came out recently.

16. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Oneplus is the new Nexus, stock Android, flagship specs, affordable price, deal with it

17. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Huawei mate 9. Great battery, great camera, astoundingly fast fingerprint sensor, good screen, good storage. Flat screen, proper 16:9 ratio. Two issues only. The volume rocker is above the power button, which even after a year is annoying. Every so often the Bluetooth switches off, and won't reconnect till I've restarted the phone. Wish Samsung did a note with these specs.

18. em72sk

Posts: 1; Member since: Apr 05, 2018

I bought a used Note 3 over 2 years ago at a great price. While I'd like to buy a new phone, particularly the OnePlus 5T, I can't justify getting rid of a phone that doesn't give me troubles. One month after I got the phone I dropped it, resulting in one long crack top to bottom but not noticeable when the screen is on. I never replaced it.

22. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

There are options that almost fix everything bad about one plus 5, it's the Nokia 8. I switched, I guess you could try it too Victor, bonus is that I get ask security updates on time and I am on Oreo since 4 months

23. sks1969

Posts: 108; Member since: Mar 04, 2012

There are options that almost fix everything bad about one plus 5, it's the Nokia 8. I switched, I guess you could try it too Victor, bonus is that I get ask security updates on time and I am on Oreo since 4 months

26. middlehead

Posts: 458; Member since: May 12, 2014

I didn't read the article, I skipped right down to the comments section to say your clickbait title sucks and you should be ashamed.

27. joey18

Posts: 668; Member since: Jul 20, 2010

Just asian propaganda

31. Poptart2828

Posts: 423; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

I feel as if both oppo and one plus can bring enticing phones to the market. Build quality has always been excellent on both. I do believe that vivo is the better company out of the three. They are the real risk takers and bring better camera and software experience than its siblings. The build quality is also a bit better than one plus. All three companies are thriving in the market because they offer good reliable phones.

32. brasstax

Posts: 543; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

I am happy with my Mi Max Prime. Snapdragon 652 and 4 GB RAM make it reasonably snappy and 128 GB storage means I never have to resort to deleting old photos/videos again. The screen size is unbeatable and with a third party R Just batman case imported from China it looks the boss. Oh the battery life is pretty amazing too with 12 hour SOT with normal use and 2 to 3 days in between charges.

33. brasstax

Posts: 543; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Oh and things I don't like about my Mi Max Prime is that the maximum screen brightness is not the best making it hard to look at during mid day here in sunny India and the selfie camera is crap.

34. puggsly

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 08, 2017

iPhone X! Fast, huge storage, great battery and the new UI takes only a couple minutes before the old home button interface feels clunky. FaceID simply makes the phone feel like it is never locked when I use. The only problem is that I can't wait for the interface to move down to the iPad and I would love to see an option for a list of home screen controls. The addition of the flash light and camera work so well I would like to see more options.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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