OnePlus 5 Review
Call quality on the OnePlus 5 is solid. We had no issues on both ends: voices in the earpiece are sufficiently loud and clear, easy to recognize with their natural tonality, and the mic output is also crisp and clear, so callers on the other end will not have any problems hearing you.
The OnePlus 5 battery life is solid, without beating any records: expect to get through even busier days on a single charge, but not more.
The OnePlus 5 features a 3,300mAh, non-removable battery, a slightly smaller one than the 3,400mAh cell on the 3T.
However, with the power-efficient Snapdragon 835 and the non-excessively energy consuming Full HD display, the OnePlus 5 will get you through even those busier, longer days. It’s not quite in two day territory, though. And that’s more than your average phone, so we can safely say that battery life is very good. In real life we get between four and five hours of screen-on time, depending on usage.
The OnePlus 5 also aced our custom battery test beating most flagships and ranking on par with the excellent iPhone 7 Plus. It scored 9 hours and 18 minutes, significantly improving over earlier OnePlus phones.
Then, there is Dash Charge. OnePlus’ proprietary fast charging solution allows you to fully recharge your phone in less than 1 hour and 40 minutes. Its key advantage over others, though, is that it maintains fast charge speeds even when you charge while using your phone. OnePlus says that you get a day’s power in half an hour, and we found that a half-hour charge will indeed juice up the phone to more than 50%. Keep in mind, though, that you need to use the wall charger and the red USB-C cable that come in the box, Dash Charge will not work with third-party accessories.
Battery life (hours) Higher is better
OnePlus 5 9h 18 min (Excellent)
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 9h 5 min (Excellent)
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 8h (Excellent)
LG G6 6h 9 min (Average)
Charging time (minutes) Lower is better
OnePlus 5 99
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 197
Samsung Galaxy S8+ 99
LG G6 97
Price and alternatives
Things are different for OnePlus now. From the ‘Never Settle’ start-up that used to make super affordable phones to… the OnePlus 5. To illustrate the change at OnePlus, here is how pricing has changed throughout the years:
- OnePlus One: $300 for 16GB, $350 for 64GB
- OnePlus Two: $330 for 16GB, $390 for 64GB
- OnePlus 3: $400 for 64GB
- OnePlus 3T: $440 for 64GB, $480 for 128GB
- OnePlus 5: $480 for 64GB, $520 for 128GB
At this price, the OnePlus 5 might be the most expensive OnePlus phone, but it is also the cheapest phone with the Snapdragon 835 chip out there. There’s two ways to look at it. It’s still noticeably cheaper than most flagships, and it’s even cheaper than last year’s flagships. Here is how the price of the OnePlus 5 compares to direct rivals:
- OnePlus 5: $480 for 64GB model
- Pixel XL: $770 for a 32GB model
- iPhone 7 Plus: $770 for a 32GB model
- iPhone 6s Plus: $650 for a 32GB model
- Galaxy S8: $725 for a 32GB model
- LG G6: $700 (currently sold at $600)
- HTC U11: $650
So it’s clear that despite the price hike, the OnePlus 5 is still one of the best value-for-the-money offers out there.
All the above phones, if you are looking for similar firepower and the Snapdragon 835 chip. If you start looking at the same prices, you will have to make do with less powerful devices like the Moto Z2 Play, a $500 phone with slightly better battery, but a less ambitious camera and a weaker, Snapdragon 626 system chip.
We would also look at the more affordable iPhones: the iPhone 6s and/or the iPhone SE if you are fine with their smaller sizes. These phones offer similarly powerful processors, timely updates and excellent software, but battery life is less impressive.
The OnePlus 5 is a very, very good phone for a very, very good price.
Interestingly enough, it is also a victim of its own high aspirations to compete with the very best out there. It lacks just a bit to fully match them: it does not have the wow-inducing design of the S8, nor the fluidity of an iPhone or a Pixel.
Its best two features are a great price and fast performance, plus an impressively quick and accurate fingerprint scanner. The OxygenOS interface offers proper customization options where they are needed. The battery life is solid and Dash Charging is just as impressive as in previous OnePlus phones.
The dual camera, however, falls short of expectations and is not quite great. Actually using the phone reveals some unexpected issues, like the one we had with the Facebook app, where we encountered a number of bugs. And the phone itself is hella slippery (put a case on it!). But those are minor faults in an otherwise excellent package.
Overall, the OnePlus 5 does not feel as ground-breaking as the OnePlus 3. It’s an evolution rather than a revolution, but if you are looking for a solid all-around performer for a great price, the OnePlus 5 is still in a category of its own: one of the best — if not the best — option out there.
- Very good price
- Very fast performance
- Display looks great, pleasing colors
- Dash charging is extremely fast and works even when you use your phone
- Plentiful 64GB of internal storage
- Mute switch is nice to have
- Very fast camera (both to open and to focus)
- Solid battery life
- Very loud loudspeaker
- Some major apps like Facebook are a bit stuttery and buggy
- Camera is not great
- Still no water proofing
- Unoriginal hardware design
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- Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
- Camera 16 MP / 16 MP front
- Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, Octa-core, 2457 MHz
- Storage 128 GB
- Battery 3300 mAh