The OnePlus 5 is the biggest, baddest Android flagship on the block, boasting some of the most performance-driven specs we’ve seen on a handset to date. With a Snapdragon 835 processor, up to 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage — I’ve been extremely hyped to get my hands on this device and see if it can possibly live up to the hype.
Priced at $480 for the 64GB / 6GB RAM model or $540 for the 128GB / 8GB RAM model, the OnePlus 5 undercuts the competition by at least a hundred bucks, but it’s been criticized for being more of a small, incremental upgrade from the last year’s OnePlus 3 /3T. You still have a 5.5 inch display, 1080p AMOLED display, 16MP rear and front facing cameras, front mounted fingerprint sensor, headphone jack, and trademark Alert Slider.
Like the Moto Z2 Play, we’re seeing the battery capacity take a small hit in favor of a slimmer profile, but it’s not much. We now have a 3,300mAh battery (as opposed to the 3T’s 3,400mAh). We’re sure OnePlus will increase the size for the 5T, but so for now we’ll just have to make do.
The other big new addition is a secondary 20MP telephoto camera used to take closeups. According to OnePlus, it gives the phone the ability to shoot 2X lossless zoom and when combined with the 16MP camera, provides an iPhone-like portrait mode for a more shallow (virtual) depth of field.
Now, with that, let’s dive into our first impressions.
The OnePlus 5 is fast… hella fast. Forget whatever you thought you knew about OS speed — the OnePlus 5 blows that out of the water. It’s basically Android on crack. Everything from unlocking the phone with your fingerprint, locking it back again, double tapping the recents button for lighting quick multitasking — it does it all faster than any other phone I’ve experienced.
By far the best part about the performance is the 8GB of RAM. Every app I’ve opened — which is pretty much every app on my main home screen — sits in RAM and launches the moment you tap the icon. There’s no weird millisecond delay like you find on the other devices (the LG G6 is probably the worst offender) and your apps don’t close nearly as quickly as they do on the Galaxy S8. This phone makes the Galaxy S8 feel slow as molasses and pre-Snapdragon 835 devices feel like they’re stuck in cement.
The OnePlus 5 feels fantastic in the hand. With the current trend in Android phones now being glass-backed, there’s something about metal that just feels more premium. Yes, the OnePlus 5 bares a striking resemblance to the iPhone, but is that really a bad thing? For the most part, it’s rather minimal with a very subtle 1+log etched into the back.
OnePlus’ official “ Protective Cases ” for the 5 are pretty much identical to previous year’s, with the exception of a new version of the carbon fiber model (made by Evutec). Previously, all the cases were snap-on hard shell cases (the kind that leave the top and bottom completely exposed) but the new version — dubbed Karbon Bumper — features a TPU lip that wraps around the entire frame of the phone, for 100% coverage.
It’s pretty nice and although I still prefer the old snap-on style, the added protection of the bumper case is a nice option for those who need it. Because the case is coated in a sort of rubbery, silicone like material, it’s nice and grippy too. Photos below for those interested.
As part of an unboxing / Q&A, we want to know if you have any questions about the OnePlus 5 (that perhaps haven’t already been answered since the phone’s release). We’ll continue working to bring you more of our own personal experiences with the phone, eventually leading up to our full review. Shout out any questions below and I’ll respond to them the best I can. Expect more OnePlus 5 coverage in the coming days.