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Oneplus 5 – Fast and Furious – [Review]

When other mobile companies launch a mobile it’s news, when Oneplus launches a mobile, its sensational news! This year Oneplus 5 remains to be the most talked-about mobile of the year. A few years ago, not many knew about this brand and now there is not many who doesn’t. Such is the efficient and tactical marketing by Oneplus. Oneplus devices have always been a great spec at an affordable price and Oneplus 5 is not an exception. I have been using the mobile for over a month and here is my review of the Oneplus 5 after 1 month of usage.

Also, Read : Oneplus 5 – Is this the best Android smartphone of 2017? [First Impressions]

Design

I have been using the Oneplus 5 as my primary mobile for over a month now. The mobile is very comfortable to hold and handle. I use the Official carbon fiber textured protection case with it. But if am not using that case, the mobile is a bit slippery. It is smooth but sturdy. The mobile did fall off from my hand from a height of 4 feet, without any protective case. It shows no signs of the incident and the mobile came out unscathed. From a design point of view, it is a bit uninspiring. Nobody noticed the new mobile in my hand and a few even thought I had an iPhone. The top side of the back of the mobile resembles iPhone. But to me holding the mobile, I never felt like holding an iPhone. Oneplus 5 is a lot more ergonomic and comfortable to handle, for a mobile with a 5.5-inch display. It is a sturdy and comfortable mobile. I just wish that it had certified water and dust ingress protection.

Display

While many may complain that the mobile does not have a futuristic QHD or UHD resolution, I am happy and contended at the fact that is has a realistic Full HD display. The 5.5 inch AMOLED display is pleasing and pleasant to look at every time I look at it. Viewing angles are great and direct sunlight visibility is bright. The colors are realistic as I used the sRGB mode which can be chosen from the display settings. I have not used the reading mode. Reading is something which I do on books and not on mobile because I am a bit dated and a true 80s kid. The 2.5D curved glass looks appealing, but it is not possible to protect it with any tempered glass. Though it has Corning Glass protection, tempered glass gives a peace of mind. There is no tempered glass for the Oneplus 5 that sticks to it from all edges. The official tempered glass has a black frame around to mask the imperfections. The mobile comes with a film protection out of the box and I choose to keep it. Totally pleased with the quality of display and it is one of the best implementation of AMOLED of mobiles, next to Samsung.

Hardware and Performance

The mobile is powered by the latest and the greatest Snapdragon 835. It comes in 2 variants: 6 GB RAM with 64 GB memory or 8 GB RAM with 128 GB RAM. I would recommend the 8 GB variant because of its storage capacity. The mobile is super fast, blazing fast and insanely fast. Opening any native or installed app is ridiculously instantaneous. Installing apps is fast, switching between apps is crazy fast. Without any doubt, this mobile can match (or even surpass) the flagship phones from any Android phone maker. I played Asphalt 8, Nova 3, Mortal Combat 5 and God of Rome. In spite of playing the games continuously for over 2 hours, the mobile did not heat up a bit. Such a mobile is rare these days. I say it again. Oneplus 5 is blazing fast and it is one of the fastest mobiles I have used till date. I would even go a step further and tell that this mobile is faster than iPhone 7.

The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate. The loudspeaker is loud and audio quality is crisp. Network latching was spot on. The mobile gave me no troubles making or taking phone calls on JIO and Airtel networks.

Camera

The rear camera has 16 MP sensor with f/1.7 along with a 20 MP sensor of f/2.6. The camera does not have any Optical image stabilization, which is a huge negative point. The 20 MP camera is a tele focus lens and it with 2X lossless optical zoom. But it works only when it detects ample light. When light is low, the f/1.7 lens ise used to digitally zoom the frame, which is sensible. The dual lens arrangement also aids in clicking portrait shots with background blur. The background blur works well, most of the time. It is quite intelligent to blur the background according to the distance and give a natural depth of focus. Under low light, the blur is a hit or miss. It works well for human subjects, but struggles a but for any other complex subject.

Leaving aside the Tele zoom or blur, the camera is one of the best I have used. It has a wide dynamic range. The colors are vibrant. The contrast and exposure are perfect. Focusing is fast and instantaneous. Images get noisy when it is low light. The grains are not disturbing, but with the hype around the quality of this mobile camera, low light performance was also expected to be on par with day light conditions. Samsung S8 or even the latest Honor 8 Pro have similar day light performance, but lot better low light performance. The Camera app has very little functions. But with what it has, it works perfectly. It has a manual mode for anyone seeking better controls on shots.

The quality of the video is also similar to the still shots. But the 1080p footage recorded at 30 fps has electronic image stabilization, which makes it a bit smoother. The front facing selfie camera is a capable shooter. It does not have flash, but the screens brights up with white light, giving it a fill light.

To conclude, the Oneplus 5 has a great camera and the few flaws is has, is due to software and can be cleaned up by Oneplus, easily. Hope they fix the low light noise and add a few additional guided modes for easy clicking experience.

Software

Oneplus 5 runs on the latest version of Android, Nougat 7.1.1 with Oxygen OS skinned on top. I have been regularly receiving OTA updates on my mobile. Oxygen OS has very minimal visual design changes. For the most part of it, you will feel like using stock Android. Here are a few unique features that the Oxygen OS offers.

  1. Customizing the orientation of navigation buttons
  2. Gestures, loads of gestures. To open apps, control music, screenshot, mute phone, etc…
  3. Control what is seen in the Status Bar
  4. Micro control over screen calibration
  5. Reading mode, Night mode
  6. Accent color for menu items
  7. Custom LED light notifications
  8. Always on display (Ambient display)

These nifty little features are definitely useful. In my usage period, apps were stable and so was the OS. But in general, it is a very conservative OS and I would suggest you flash some custom ROM like Hydrogen or Lineage on your Oneplus 5, from day 1. Oneplus does not void warranty for rooted or custom ROM mobiles.

Battery

The 3300 mAh battery gives me over 4 hours of Screen on time, consistently. But the best part of the mobile is the Dash charge. It is the fastest fast charger I have ever used. It charges up the mobile completely in 1 hour. In 30 minutes, it the battery is filled up to 60%. The mobile does not heat up while charging. Only the charging unit gets heated up. The circuit to sense battery level and pass on the required Wattage is on the charger brick. I would recommend the Oneplus 5 to anyone, just for this amazing feature. I am love with the Dash charger.

Verdict

Oneplus 5 6GB variant is priced at Rs 32999. The top end variant with 8 GB RAM is priced at Rs 37999 and even at that price, this mobile is worth it. If you have the budget to buy the 8 GB variant, you must consider the LG G6. LG G6 has a much better implementation of the dual camera system. It is water proof and is a flagship device in all sense. If you are in the market to buy a mobile for 30k, I would strongly recommend you to extend the budget and go for the Oneplus 5, 6 GB variant. It is a great Android mobile with super fast and cool processor. It has a great camera, sensible OS and the dashing Dash Charging. This time around, the Oneplus 5 may not be a flagship killer, but it is definitely a sensible choice. Oneplus mobiles have better shelf life, support and developer community support. Advantage Oneplus.

Available to buy on Amazon (No flash sale, No Invite code)

About Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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