Welcome to the latest edition of our ‘Device Advice’ blog series, sharing our thoughts and insights into the most recent device releases from the world of mobile, tablets and beyond.
The OnePlus 5 is shaping up to be one of the best Android phones on the market in 2017; phenomenal performance and a deluxe design – but a realistic price – combine to make this a fantastic and affordable premium phone. A phone that holds its own alongside flagship devices from the big boys that have plenty of money to spend on R&D and years of experience making smartphones.
So what makes The OnePlus 5 so special? Firstly, it’s the best-looking device the four-year-old company has made to date. It’s thin at 7.25mm and very light in the hand, weighing just 153g. But the design goes much further than this. As soon as you pick up the phone you can tell it’s made with high-grade materials – the body is anodised aluminium – and the handset has a rounded design which sits comfortably in the hand.
And, design-wise, it doesn’t just feel clean it looks clean. A ridge – named the ‘horizon line’ – runs all around the edges of the phone, casting half of it in shadow and the other in light. While the colour has been specifically designed to try and hide the antenna bands for an unspoilt full-metal look.
The 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED screen is beautiful. Blacks and other dark tones look especially brilliant, and at 401 pixels per inch, it looks great when you’re watching videos – all while Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5 technology ensures you’re getting a fully protected screen that wards off scratches.
Taking a closer look, the top edge is clean while the bottom houses a speaker, USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack. On the right-hand edge of the phone sits the power button, while the left edge features just the silent mode toggle and volume rocker – nothing interrupts the clean lines. The inclusion of the silent switch makes it quick and easy to become meeting ready. The front of the phone has the camera, light sensor, earpiece and ceramic fingerprint sensor.
Regarding functionality, the camera stands out as a star feature. The dual-lens allows for zoom with negligible reduction in image quality and captures stunning shots with artfully blurred backgrounds. The aperture on the main sensor is impressively wide and delivers some of the best smartphone photos possible. An ideal choice for architects, graphic designers, journalists and artists – or anyone needing to take professional photos on the go.
Another of the phone’s unique features is a reading mode, which adjusts the warmth and brightness of the display to match ambient lighting conditions and reduce eye strain – handy for long days in and out of the office. An additional feature useful for busy work days is the ‘Dash Charge’ which produces a larger electric current so you can get a day’s power in half an hour.
The OnePlus 5 has all the features you need for powerful performance; from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor,128GB storage and up to 8GB RAM, it can power through the most hectic of days. This phone even learns how to launch important apps more quickly.
In terms of shortcomings, there aren’t many. There’s no full HD display and no microSD support – it’s also only splash-proof, not waterproof.
OnePlus has produced two versions of the OnePlus 5: the base model comes with 64GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM and costs around £375 excluding VAT, while the higher-end version, with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, is priced at £416 excluding VAT. In both cases, the OnePlus 5 is competitively priced for a smartphone of this design and with these specifications.