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OnePlus 5 Review

OnePlus 5

Posted: , by Victor H. Victor H.



Interface and Functionality

Mostly the same-as-before, clean Android experience with focus on speed. We noticed some bugs in critical apps like Facebook, though.

OnePlus 5 Review

The OnePlus 5 features a clean Android interface that the company calls OxygenOS.

The keywords here are “speed” and “no bloat”. Indeed, the OxygenOS is an exemplary interface with the useful customization options that it provides and with its focus on being... wicked fast. It is also built on top of Android 7.1.1 Nougat, a modern Android build. OnePlus has a somewhat sketchy history with Android updates, but it promised to change last year when it launched the OnePlus 3. So far, it has lived up to its promises with timely updates that address key issues, so we have no reasons to doubt its commitment to the OnePlus 5 as well.

There are very few new features in this latest OxygenOS: the big one is the swipe-up app drawer, similar to the one on Pixel phones. It’s a much more convenient, coherent way to access your apps. There is a new ‘Reading mode’ as well, that turns your screen to grayscale and increases sharpness, which should make reading off your phone easier on the eyes. It’s nowhere near as good as an ebook reader like the Kindle, but it indeed helps with eye strain.

Other neat little new features include a ‘do not disturb’ mode for gaming where an accidental press of a button will not quit a game, a new ‘secure box’ for your private files, expanded screenshots and auto night mode triggers.

For all else, the interface is the same as before. You can set quick shortcuts to open particular actions when you double press or long press the home, recents or back button (go into Settings > Buttons for that). For instance, we’ve now set our OnePlus 5 to lock with a long press of the home screen. You can also switch the recents and back keys your way (some think the back key should be on the left, while others like it on the right). Want to use on-screen navigation keys? You can enable that as well. This is an example of useful, great customization that we would love to see on other Android phones.

There is also a welcome Dark mode for the interface (go into Settings > Customizations to enable it). It turns all the backgrounds in settings and the app drawer dark, which is easier on the eyes at night, but also helps save battery life.

It’s not all roses, though. The OnePlus feels incredibly fast without feeling fluid. We would have liked a bit smoother transitions, and they are just not there.

One issue that spoiled the great experience was with the Facebook app. Scrolling the news feed feels jittery and slow. There were bugs with images: when you try rotating the phone horizontally, Facebook images would not rotate properly and you would need to pinch to zoom in and try to see them in full size. Those issues are frustrating, especially when it comes to an app that many people spend hours in, and we hope OnePlus works this out.

Processor, Performance and Memory

The Snapdragon 835 coupled with fast UFS 2.1 storage and proper optimization makes the OnePlus 5 fly. Also, 8 gigs of RAM because… why not?

OnePlus 5 Review

There are two ways to look at the OnePlus 5: on one hand, at $500, the OnePlus 5 is the most expensive OnePlus phone ever. On the other, it’s also the cheapest phone with the Snapdragon 835 currently available.

Whichever way you look at it, the fact that you have the latest and greatest Snapdragon 835 is important: it’s the fastest Android chip around and it is the only one built on the most advanced, 10 nm manufacturing node, meaning that it draws less power while providing more punch.

In addition, the OnePlus 5 features the newer UFS 2.1 type of storage, which is slightly faster than UFS 2.0 storage and much faster than older MMC storage. In practical terms, UFS 2.1 storage ensures that apps will not only load fast, but app installs will be faster and everything on the phone will get a speed boost.

The OnePlus 5 does not feel as fluid as the Google Pixel, the gold standard on Android these days, but it does feel surprisingly fast.

The OnePlus 5 still does not support a microSD card memory expansion slot, but with 64GB of storage in the base model, we don’t feel like this is a major omission. You also have a slightly costlier 128GB OnePlus 5 version, in case you need that extra storage.

The 128 GB 'Midnight Black' version also bumps the RAM from 6 gigs in the base model to 8GB of RAM. This is a first on a mainstream phone and while most users will not notice it, 8 gigs of RAM does mean that you can have a few games and a dozen of Chrome tabs open simultaneously. There are no issues with RAM management as on earlier OnePlus phones either.

Performance benchmarks

Higher is better
OnePlus 5 178968
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 179811
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 173945
LG G6 157208
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 69.780
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 167.76
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 60.931
LG G6 57.368
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 60
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 58.2
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 60
LG G6 50
GFXBench Manhattan on-screen
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 40
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 55.8
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 41
LG G6 14
Basemark OS II
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 3500
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3119
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 3256
LG G6 2122
Geekbench 4 single-core
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 1941
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 3443
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 2006
LG G6 1797
Geekbench 4 multi-core
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 6678
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 5619
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 6708
LG G6 4285
View all

Internet and Connectivity

More 4G LTE bands than ever make the OnePlus 5 a true global phone.

The OnePlus 5 ships with Google’s Chrome as the default and only browser on board. By now, Google Chrome is the go-to browser for most people: it’s speedy, syncs effortlessly across devices and is comfortable to use. And it loads pages impressively quickly on the OnePlus 5.

Google’s Chrome - OnePlus 5 Review
Google’s Chrome - OnePlus 5 Review

Google’s Chrome

The OnePlus 5 is still not CDMA-carrier compatible: it will not work on Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the United States (it does work effortlessly on AT&T and T-Mobile, though).

This, however, does not mean that OnePlus is sitting still in terms of connectivity: the 5 comes with support for a whopping 34 frequencies, making it a truly global 4G LTE phone. Here is the full list LTE bands the OnePlus 5 supports:

  • FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66
  • TDD LTE: Band 38/39/40/41

In terms of other connectivity option, you also have dual-channel Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX and aptX HD support, and NFC support.

  • Options

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 10:09

3. omnitech (Posts: 982; Member since: 28 Sep 2016)

8.2. So same level as the HTC U11.

Oneplus vs HTC fanboys fight!

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 10:18 1

7. NoAllegiance (unregistered)

At least it scored higher than One Plus 2....

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 10:21 16

8. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1621; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)

So let me get this straight. U11 gets 8.2 because of an EXTRA software gimmick is not easy to learn, and yes that was one of the cons. OPO5 a phone with great specs, the smoothest fastest android phone, with great camera, 200-300$ cheaper than most flagships also gets 8.2.

But an iPhone SE gets 8.8 even though when it came out it had LITERALLY the same design, same screen, same battery as a 4 year old iPhone 5 with just new cpu, gpu and better camera.

Can you IMAGINE the s**t OPO or HTC would get if they did that? Just imagine OPO made a new phone with OPO1 design, same screen and just added new cpu, camera etc and priced it 500$. DAMN!


posted on 27 Jun 2017, 11:53 3

22. jjface (Posts: 66; Member since: 07 Jun 2017)

Camera is mediocre.

It is also no more than $100ish cheaper than most flagships these days. You can get the U11 right now for $599. LG G6 unlocked version on BH photo is $549.

Then there are plenty of deals that give you other flagships for less eg the S8 with a trade in of a $5 phone for $425. Brand new G6s on ebay go for $400 for lots of different versions. Lots of people selling them off from carrier bogo deals or $10 a month deals etc.

The SE is significantly better than the iphone 5. I wish oneplus had done that with the 3T-5. Upgrade the camera, upgrade the processor and battery. A guaranteed win.

posted on 24 Aug 2017, 21:00

67. Ricardonez (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Aug 2017)

If oneplus 5 camera is mediocre, iphone 7 has a poor camera.

Search for this video on youtube: OnePlus 5 4K EIS Video Update Test (vs iPhone 7 Plus & Galaxy S8)

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 12:02 2

24. TechieXP1969 (banned) (Posts: 14967; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)

What? The camera on the 1+5 is worse than the iPhone 7. Nother beats the S7 or S8's camera at all.

Smooth? At doing what? Nothing?! Liek the iPhone?

The camera has software OIS and it sucks. side by side videos show the camera is worse than the iPhone 7's.

Is it possible to get high off ignorance? Because so many guys here are so high off their own stupidity.

posted on 28 Jun 2017, 00:44 2

51. cnour (Posts: 1647; Member since: 11 Sep 2014)

As usual fake news...liar Techie.

posted on 02 Jul 2017, 09:07

60. ebilcake (Posts: 974; Member since: 16 Jul 2016)

Camera is pretty good, I'd take it over the iPhone 7 camera.

But clearly the android flagships are in different league, OnePlus 5 is a good phone but overpriced.

posted on 24 Aug 2017, 20:59

66. Ricardonez (Posts: 2; Member since: 24 Aug 2017)

Worse than iphone 7 ?? Are you sure??

Search for this video on youtube: OnePlus 5 4K EIS Video Update Test (vs iPhone 7 Plus & Galaxy S8)

Iphone 7 has a mediocre camera for the price.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 20:54

48. rOHAN287 (Posts: 3; Member since: 06 May 2016)

Very well said.
Phonearena should rethink about their review system. Rating iPhone SE 8.8 which has same 5s design small battery, OK camera and smallest battery. You people are definitely paid or give biased reviews.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 10:43 1

11. cripton805 (Posts: 1485; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)

I dont think the OP5 looks or feels like an iPhone aside from the camera. I think that was a stupid decision in OP part. They should draw a line a distance themselves. They need to make a name for their own products outside of China. A slightly different camera bezel and position of the flash would help.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 11:07 2

16. adecvat (Posts: 355; Member since: 15 Nov 2013)

Good review.
Cheating in camera, cheating in benchmarks, no waterproof, no OIS.
2016 year phone. Better buy cheaper S7.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 11:17 4

19. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 3692; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)

So... where did they cheat in the camera department?

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 16:10 1

40. Lumberjack (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 May 2017)

Optical.zoom is not 2x, just 1.6x

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 16:17

43. RebelwithoutaClue (Posts: 3692; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)

True but they never claimed it was 2x optical zoom.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 16:23

44. Veteater (Posts: 59; Member since: 04 Aug 2015)

OnePlus never claimed 2x optical zoom, that's the bull that all the reviewers are claiming the OP5 is capable of due to their own excitement about the camera similarities to the iPhone 7 Plus. The OnePlus 5 has 1.6x pure optical zoom, but is capable of producing 2x of maximum optical zoom by way of Smart capture MultiFrame Technology; look it up. So technically the OnePlus 5 has 2x lossless zoom, not optical.

The benchmark thing is something that while I wouldn't call it cheating, I'd call it wrong and without purpose. Google has warned against this being done by OEMs and OnePlus still chose to do it anyway.

There is no waterproofing on this device because of the savings in manufacturing costs. The OnePlus 5 is already more expensive than an iPhone to manufacture and is the same or similar in manufacturing costs to other devices on the market that sell in the $600 range. So, OnePlus is already operating on thinner profit margins than others; waterproofing the device would make OnePlus have to up the actual release price by enough to where there isn't a distinct difference between its price and other devices' price.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 11:14 5

18. Lumberjack (Posts: 258; Member since: 04 May 2017)

No QHD for 5.5
Pentile matrix instead of rgb
No micro sd slot
No IP against dust nor water
Photos do not look better than 2015 flagships
No 4K stabilization ( wil be added later)
Ugly design
No stereo speakers

Still got same score of U11?

LMAO !!!!

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 12:25 3

29. jellmoo (Posts: 2117; Member since: 31 Oct 2011)

In Canada, the U11 is $250 more than the OnePlus 5. It's almost like that extra money buys you some things that the other handset doesn't have.

Do you want to spend the money for the extras, or do you want to save the money and do without?

Options are good.

posted on 29 Jun 2017, 13:52

56. p51d007 (Posts: 393; Member since: 24 Nov 2013)

SOFTWARE OIS for the camera, instead of HARDWARE OIS for the camera.
They "settled" again. Software OIS is cheaper than the hardware variety.
Not surprised. Remember the "stereo" speakers of the OnePlus one that was a twin MONO? The "we are just a startup", owned by Oppo and on and on.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 11:44

20. jeroome86 (Posts: 2202; Member since: 12 Apr 2012)

Thought I was reading about the One Plus 5. Good grief. What the bleep.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 11:50 2

21. itsikkan (Posts: 6; Member since: 12 Jun 2017)

Unbelievable. It got the same score as the HTC U11 a phone a lot better...

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 12:12 2

27. wesley. (Posts: 96; Member since: 06 Aug 2013)

Hmmm... a quite expensive and already I can get a Samsung Galaxy S8 for a very slight amount more and an LG G6 for significantly less.

Unlikely to get any discount on Oneplus's website either.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 12:35 3

30. Plasticsh1t (Posts: 2443; Member since: 01 Sep 2014)

Called it. This and the U11 scored 8.2 despite the U11 got a high end camera and one of the best available, superior audio quality, better hardware in general, superb software and fast updates from HTC, and an innovative squeeze feature. I call bulls**t. Please save yourself the trouble and never give scores in your future reviews.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 13:34

33. davthom123 (Posts: 92; Member since: 02 Mar 2015)

if performance is a reason why at least the iPhone 7 gets a nine+ despite note being the highest specced flagship then one plus deserves the same on android

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 16:11 2

41. DBoss (Posts: 67; Member since: 18 Feb 2017)

Iphones charging time in graph is a biggg middle finger...

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 17:02 1

45. sasch (banned) (Posts: 40; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)

Unreal this page is starting to extremely piss me off with them stupid ratings . One plus 5 deserves at least 8.8. if not a 9 alone for what one plus has achieved in the price range and still packing 8 GB ram and 128 GB storage camera isn't perfect but good in my eyes design is great software is the best one out there full stop . Same for the HTC bloody great phone does everything better that the iPhone does so why only an 8.2 seriously pathetic. Apart from the bezel the phone is one of the most complete devices this year . I hope pA chockes on the apple Dik

posted on 02 Jul 2017, 09:03

59. ebilcake (Posts: 974; Member since: 16 Jul 2016)

Nope, taking value into account I'd give it no more than a 8.0.

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 17:38 1

46. Ferrari458 (Posts: 5; Member since: 08 Jun 2017)

This year Oneplus 5 (with about 500$ price) IS NOT THE FLAGSHIP-KILLER!
Maybe Xiaomi Mi6 ( same soc, ram, battery and better stabilized camera at 350-400$) could be!

posted on 27 Jun 2017, 18:35

47. ithehappy (Posts: 48; Member since: 24 Apr 2014)

OK, so this phone gets 8.2 and U11 gets 8.7? Anything else? Sun moves around Planet Earth too.

posted on 01 Jul 2017, 21:45

57. perfectnine (Posts: 195; Member since: 11 Mar 2016)

You should be the one revolving around planet earth. The u11 got 8.2 too.

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OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5

OS: Android 7.1
view full specs
PhoneArena rating:
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) AMOLED
Camera16 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2457 MHz, Kryo processor
Size6.07 x 2.92 x 0.29 inches
(154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm)
5.40 oz  (153 g)

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