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OnePlus 5 Review

OnePlus 5

Posted: , by Victor H. Victor H.

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Camera

The OnePlus 5 camera is fine, but not quite a home run. It’s impressively fast both to start and focus, but images turn out with a lot less detail than on the 3T. New ‘Portrait mode’ is a good start.

OnePlus 5 Review

The OnePlus 5 comes with a dual rear camera system similar to that of the iPhone 7 Plus. You have a main, wide-angle camera and a secondary, ‘telephoto’ one that the phone uses to artificially blur the background and create DSLR-like portraits.

Curious fact: the OnePlus 5 seems to use the exact same camera system as the Oppo R9s.

The main, wide-angle camera has also changed from the OnePlus 3T: that phone used the Sony IMX298 sensor, while the OnePlus 5 uses the newer IMX398 with an f/1.7 lens on top. Both are 16MP sensors with the same, 1.12-micron size for individual pixels, but the OnePlus 5 also supports Dual Pixel auto-focus, the fastest auto-focusing technology around.

The secondary, ‘telephoto’ f/2.6 lens is built on top of a 20-megapixel camera. OnePlus says it is the highest-res around, but the term ‘telephoto’ here is really quite misleading. While the main camera has a focal distance of 24mm, the ‘telephoto’ one only has 36mm, nowhere near standard ‘telephoto’ lenses that have much higher values. It’s also not even 2 times the focal distance of the wide-angle camera.

So how does OnePlus achieve that ‘2x’ zoom effect in the camera app? It is not simply by switching to the ‘telephoto’ lens (which gives a 1.5x effect), but it is with a combination of using both the secondary lens and some form of digital zoom. Interestingly, ‘Portrait mode’ with its blurred backgrounds on the OnePlus 5 works differently: it defaults to a 1.5x zoomed view and when there is enough light it uses both rear cameras, but when it’s darker it can do just fine by using only the regular, wide-angle camera. Then, it adds some software magic to add the artsy blur effect.. Just like on the iPhone 7 Plus, the OnePlus 5 uses the ambient light sensor to read light levels and only uses the secondary ‘telephoto’ lens when there is enough light. If not, it just uses the main sensor and digital zoom.

The camera app on the OnePlus 5 is itself clean and impressively fast.

Here is a tip: double click the lock key to quickly start the camera.

You swipe left and right to go between stills, video and portrait mode, and you tap on your subject and slide up and down to adjust exposure. From the slide-out burger menu, you can view the full set of shooting modes: photo, video, portrait, pro mode, time-lapse, slow motion, and panorama. For selfies, you have a beauty mode that is not turned on by default (thanks, OnePlus), but you can manually turn it on and adjust the strength of the effect.

Image Quality


Enough with the intro, what about how images actually turn out?

Put simply, the OnePlus 5 camera is not a home run. It’s not bad either by any means, but just not quite there with the very best.

Here are the five major changes the OnePlus 5 camera makes to images in comparison with the 3T:

  • Noticeably softer focus
  • A lot of noise appears
  • Much higher contrast
  • Brighter
  • Slightly different, more yellow-ish colors than 3T

The added brightness and contrast makes the OnePlus 5 images at times more impactful and more cheerful than the OnePlus 3T. But look closer and you notice some big issues with image quality. The biggest one is just how soft and lackluster photos turn out when it comes to detail. It’s a big step down from even the 3T, especially noticeably in macros and close-up shots. Images are also surprisingly noisy, even on a bright sunny day.

What has improved without a doubt is speed: the new dual focus system is incredibly quick. In low light, the wide f/1.7 aperture helps get more light in and you get very good image quality.

The built-in dual LED flash is strong, but sneaks in a cold, green-ish cast to images that ruins the colors and we’d rather avoid using it.

When it comes to the front camera, we’re pleased with it. It captures detailed selfies with very good detail and with sufficient sharpness and dynamics.


Image size:
Use our samples comparison tool to see photos from more phones

Camera speed

Taking a pic (sec)Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec)Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
OnePlus 5 1.1
1.5
682
682
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 1.33
2.01
No data
No data
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 1.2
1.3
730
622
LG G6 1.7
2.7
522
530
View all

Portrait mode, 2x zoom


So… there is a secondary, 36mm lens on the OnePlus 5. It requires plenty of light to work, so don’t be surprised if you discover that in other conditions the OnePlus 5 only uses the regular, wide-angle camera for portraits and even 2x zoom. When the secondary camera kicks in, though, it does provide that extra clarity and resolution, which make a noticeable difference.

Having a button to quickly zoom 2 times is neat: it produces a flatter picture with less barrel distortion, and while quality is definitely not top-notch, it’s a nice option.

What we were really curios was ‘Portrait mode’: did it perform as good as the iPhone 7 Plus?

The answer is… depends, sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse. You can see the results for yourselves below: while the iPhone often captures depressingly dark pictures that are barely usable, the OnePlus managed to actually shoot a more pleasing image. The iPhone did better at the edges, where you can see the artificial blur artifacts the most, but the OnePlus was not too far behind. Overall, it’s a toss up, but neither one is perfect.


Video quality


Update: 2 months after the OnePlus 5 release date, the company has released OxygenOS 4.5.8 update that adds 4K video stabilization. We have updated the text of this review with this new update in mind.

The OnePlus 5 can shoot up to 4K video, which looks very detailed and crisp. While at first the OnePlus 5 lacked proper 4K video stabilization, OxygenOS 4.5.8 adds the feature and brings huge improvement to 4K capture. The OnePlus 5 does not have optical image stabilization (OIS), but the added electronic image stabilization (EIS) does wonders in most conditions and delivers very smooth-looking video. There is a bit of a jitter still noticeable in videos when you shoot handheld while walking, but if you work on a smoother walk, videos turn out nearly perfectly smoothly.

Then, there is dual pixel auto-focus, which shines in video. It’s able to acquire and lock the focus instantly, and this results in always-sharp footage.


Sound quality


You have a single bottom firing loudspeaker on the OnePlus 5, and it gets very, very loud. It might just be one of the loudest phones we have ever heard. Put a boombox case on a OnePlus 5, fire up music at maximum volume and carry it on your shoulder to get the full effect. Or challenge your friends’ phones to a ‘who’s louder’ battle. You will win.

This does not mean that the sound quality is great, though. Just like with most phones, it gets tinny and lacks depth, but we appreciate the ability to go extra loud, if only for those times when you want to share a YouTube video with some friends in a slightly louder venue.

There is an audio jack, so that’s nice, but you also have proper Bluetooth 5.0 support with aptX and aptX HD, two standards for high-quality sound when you use wireless headphones.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 0.96
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 0.992
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 0.74
LG G6 0.78
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
OnePlus 5 77
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 77.4
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 80
LG G6 74
View all

66 Comments
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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!

PA

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:
8.5Excellent
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) AMOLED
Camera16 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2457 MHz, Kryo processor
8 GB RAM
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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