OnePlus 5 Review – Does it equal greatness?

It has now been a month since the OnePlus 5 was released. Kurt managed to get himself to the launch party, but now I have had my device for a month, and been using it as my daily driver. And I must say, it is fantastic. The build quality, camera, battery, everything about it I am enjoying. So, without further delay, let’s get into the review.


  • Hardware


The design of the handset takes on the minimalistic approach. I’m a fan of that, it’s a hell of a difference from the “look at my shine” HTC U11. Granted, when the original renders were released, it did look like an iPhone 7+, but in person, doesn’t look like it at all. Not one person I’ve spoken to has mentioned it at all.

The contours around the edge of the handset make it comfortable to hold in the hand, and the lack of a bezel-less display means you aren’t accidentally hitting the screen. One thing I would like to have seen is dual speakers, as it currently stands it is very similar to the Google Pixel, and while that isn’t a bad phone to follow, for speakers it is. I find myself covering the speaker whilst holding it a lot. Dual speakers would sort that out very easily.

One last gripe I have about the design, the lack of colour choice, yes, I know it’s very dependant on the person, and I’m a fan of the colour I have, but that’s not to say that everyone likes that. 2 more colours wouldn’t go a miss, and having the choice of colours at all memory variants would be nice too.

The build quality is something else, I have actually dropped this phone already by accident, and it stood up to being dropped on concrete (don’t try that at home). The aluminium feels like it will stand the test of time.  Other things I like about the build is the “Alert-Slider”, solid switch to change the sound profile, but sometimes can become a bit loose and change the profile in the pocket without realising. The fingerprint scanner is by and far away the best I’ve ever used. The screen is bright and colourful, very usable outdoors.


  • Software


The design is clean, simple, and very customizable. You can change a lot of things, and not a lot depending on your taste. I have chosen to go with the dark theme with a blue accent.

OnePlus have included very little in terms of extras, but what they have included is sublime. The shelf feature, which is found to the left of the homepage, can include widgets and important information about the phone. As said, you can change the look of the handset too. They have an audio equaliser found in the settings, but to be honest, the sound from earphones is good anyway.

All this minimalist approach makes sure you get as much storage as possible, couple with the fact that you get as much as 8GB RAM, I’ve found this thing flies, not suffering one single lag, things open quickly, not closed in the background unlike the predecessors. It’s a joy to use.


  • Extras


As mentioned, the alert slider, easily changing the sound profile, but what makes it better, is that you can change it even more so depending on where that switch is.

Dash Charge is something else, I cannot believe how quickly this thing charges up, and then once it’s charged, it just seems to last. I’m used to getting around 3 hours of screen time, I’m a heavy user, this thing borders on 5 hours. I’m staggered, I got this with the HTC U11 too, so I’m putting it down to the Snapdragon 835 chip, which is made to be more efficient.

The dual camera has to be mentioned also, whilst in essence is great, the portrait is something to behold, and dare I say it, on par or even better than the iPhone 7+, it does have its down sides. It isn’t the best in low light, which is a shame when they were heavily promoting it. On a good note, the pro mode is fantastic, even giving you a histogram, and a final nice touch to it, you can add a watermark to it with your name on it.


  • Final Thoughts


I’m going to keep this device, it’s a great size for me, between 5.2-5.5” seems to be the sweet spot for me. The camera is good, the dash charge is something else, but the software for me is the best part of it, and that is what we use every day. If I don’t enjoy the using the phone, it doesn’t matter how good it is on paper, I will get rid of it.

This phone, if you don’t want to be spending the earth, is great value for me, yes it does lack water resistance, but it has so many great features. If you want to check it out in person, you’ll need to head to an O2 store if you are in the UK.