OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now
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Our verdict of the OnePlus 5:
This is the best Android phone currently on the market. It has a solid design, amazing cameras, intuitive software, and it's cheaper than other flagship devices. If you can survive without waterproofing, you should get the OnePlus 5.
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If you’re considering getting a new high-end Android phone, your search is over.

The OnePlus 5 is not only the best smartphone currently available, but it’s also the cheapest high-end device. Starting at $479, it’s more expensive than previous iterations of the OnePlus line but still significantly cheaper than its closest competitors, like the Samsung Galaxy S8 The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The Greatest Smartphone You Shouldn't Buy: Samsung Galaxy S8 Review (and Giveaway!) The $800 Samsung Galaxy S8 is, without question, the best smartphone ever made. But you probably shouldn't buy one. Read More ($574), HTC U11 ($649), and Google Pixel Google Pixel XL Review and Giveaway Google Pixel XL Review and Giveaway Google's first branded device delivers one of the best devices in the Android ecosystem: the $770 Pixel XL. The XL launched with similar specs as the $500 Nexus 6P, but is it worth $770? Read More ($649).

And, not only is it cheaper, it’s also better. Read on to find out what we thought, and enter the competition to win our test device for yourself.

Specifications

  • Color: Space Grey
  • Price: $479 for 6GB/64GB or $579 for 8GB/128GB at time of writing
  • Dimensions: 154.2mm x 74.1mm x 7.25mm (6.07in x 2.92in x 0.29in)
  • Weight: 153g (5.4oz)
  • Processor: Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
  • RAM: 6GB or 8GB
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB
  • Screen: 5.5? 1080p AMOLED display
  • Cameras: 16MP and 20MP rear-facing cameras, and a 16MP front-facing camera
  • Speakers: Quad speakers, two on the top and two on the bottom
  • Battery: 3,300mAh battery, charged using USB Type-C and Dash Charging
  • Operating System: OxygenOS, based on Android 7.1 Nougat
  • Extras: Fingerprint scanner, LED notification light, physical silent/ring toggle, headphone jack, NFC

Hardware

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 front

OnePlus has come a long way since the rough, sandpaper-like texture of the original OnePlus One. The OnePlus 2 and 3 were okay in terms of design, but they weren’t spectacular by any means. And if you’re wondering where the OnePlus 4 went, they skipped right over that, since 4 sounds like “death” in Chinese, and is therefore considered unlucky.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 back

However, the OnePlus 5 is designed beautifully. The matte aluminum body is modern and sleek. The edges are curved so that it fits softly in your hand. It has a fingerprint scanner built into the home button (not on the back like so many other Android phones). The screen is big and bright and colorful.

Strictly in terms of hardware, it’s what other Android manufacturers should aspire to.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 fingerprint scanner

That fingerprint scanner, by the way, is remarkably fast. It’s flanked by two capacitive keys, but you can almost never see those. There’s an option to have them backlit in the settings, but they’re just tiny dim dots.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 bottom

Along the bottom, you can see it has a headphone jack, USB Type-C port, and a speaker. That speaker is shockingly loud, so as long as your hand isn’t covering it while holding it in landscape, it makes listening to music a treat.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 side

The power button and SIM card slot are on the right, but on the left, you’ll find the volume rocker and a silent/ring switch. It actually has three modes: Silent, Do Not Disturb, and Ring. Do Not Disturb is intended as a middle ground where some approved contacts can reach you, but no one else.

Because this switch is built into the hardware, you can’t switch between Silent/Do Not Disturb/Ring in the settings. This might take some getting used to for Android folks who’ve never dealt with a silent/ring switch, but it can be rather assuring to know that as long as the switch is toggled all the way up, your phone will stay silent.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 camera

The rear cameras together offer some neat tricks. There’s a portrait mode, which creates a nice bokeh effect around your subject. It also has an optical zoom up to 1.6x, “lossless zoom” up to 2x, and digital zoom up to 8x.

Aside from that, it’s just a really solid camera. Low-light performance is amazing. Photos are captured quickly. It’s easily on par with the Galaxy S8 and iPhone 7.

Software

Turning to the software, OnePlus’s Android skin Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Android Skins Explained: How Do Hardware Makers Change Stock Android? Hardware makers like to take Android and morph it into something that is entirely their own, but is this a good or a bad thing? Take a look and compare these different Android skins. Read More isn’t all that different from stock Android. It’s called OxygenOS, and it’s home to just a few simple tweaks.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 homescreen

Though you can replace your launcher What Is the Best Free Android Launcher? What Is the Best Free Android Launcher? Nova launcher, Apex launcher, and dodol launcher are all solid free launchers, but which is the best? We put them to the test. Read More , the OnePlus Launcher is what’s available by default here. It’s a basic, yet relatively customizable launcher with a fluid swipe-up motion to bring up the app drawer.

If you swipe over to the left, you’ll find the “Shelf”, which is essentially a place to put widgets and other shortcuts.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 notifications

In the Settings, you’ll notice that there are a few unique customizations options. For one, you can enable or disable the on-screen navigation keys. This allows you to choose between software or physical keys, and it lets you customize what those keys do.

You can even set it to continue using the fingerprint scanner as a home button — even with the software keys on — which is a standout feature, in my opinion. Most Android phones keep the fingerprint scanner on the back, which means you can’t use it while your phone rests on a table.

But with the OnePlus 5, you can turn the screen on or off just using the fingerprint scanner, all while the phone lies on a flat surface.

OnePlus 5 Review: Seriously, This is the Best Android Right Now oneplus 5 settings

There are other little features in the Settings, like Double Tap To Wake, a custom LED notification light, and the ability to customize what’s visible in the status bar.

Together, these little tweaks make for a solid software experience, all without taking away from the feeling of stock Android.

Performance

With the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, the OnePlus 5 is blazing fast. Not only that, it either has 6GB or 8GB of RAM depending on which model you get. That’s massive overkill for a phone, but it also future-proofs the device thoroughly.

Most modern Android phones are satisfyingly snappy, but the OnePlus 5 really does not hesitate. Multi-tasking is near instantaneous, and I never accounted a second of lag. If you really have no patience for slow phones, the OnePlus 5 is ready for you.

Battery Life

With a 3,300mAh battery, the OnePlus 5 gets better-than-average battery life, but it’s not mind-blowing. With light usage you could go two days, but with medium-to-heavy usage, you’ll probably just make it one day 3 Small Tricks to Squeeze More Battery Life on Android 3 Small Tricks to Squeeze More Battery Life on Android Every last battery-saving tweak adds up, even if those tweaks are individually small. Here are three that you may not have considered before. Read More .

That being said, in a world where phones regularly die halfway through the day, the OnePlus 5 is a welcome relief. It’s not the battery-packed champion it could be, but it’s still quite good.

Plus, the included Dash Charging cable can take it from 0% to 100% in just over an hour.

Should You Buy The OnePlus 5?

Yes. This is the Android phone that can actually challenge the iPhone 7. It’s just as good, if not better, than all the other high-end devices out there — and it’s a good deal cheaper. You won’t find better value than the OnePlus 5.

That being said, it does lack one major feature: Waterproofing. That’s become common among many other devices, but OnePlus just isn’t there yet. If you plan on getting your phone wet, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

But, if you can survive without a water-resistant phone, the OnePlus 5 is hands down your best choice. Grab yours now from GearBest for just shy of $500.

Enter the Competition!

OnePlus 5 Giveaway

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  1. Chris
    September 30, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I deserve this amzing cell phone . I have bought all the One plus phones since they came out to the market. Starting with the ONE PLUS ONE ,ONE PLUS X,ONE PLUS 2 ONE PLUS 3 AND CURRENTLY HAVE THE ONE PLUS 3 T.

  2. Neerajsahu
    September 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Hiii I am Neeraj from India I am a college student I need a cellphone but now I have no money and this is to expensive in India so I can't buy..... Hope I win

  3. T Hasarliev
    September 13, 2017 at 10:56 am

    It's got to be better than the Nokia C1

  4. Roy Dean
    September 13, 2017 at 6:56 am

    Got a windows phone need new phone desperately.

  5. laiza apostol
    September 9, 2017 at 6:34 am

    It would be great graduation gift if i win this new best android phone Oneplus 5. I hope so. This is not scam because we're hoping ??

  6. harvie
    September 9, 2017 at 6:32 am

    I llove,like heart want you to use this phone !
    Iwant to win

  7. taufiq
    September 8, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    I wanna win this phone because bullys broke my phone :( . I am just a 14 year old kid and people in grade 11 broke my phone :( . It would make me happy if I win this giveaway. My old phone was a Moto G 3rd gen.

  8. Abdul Naser Shaikh
    September 6, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Please give me this phone .

  9. Khushnood Ahmed Awan
    September 4, 2017 at 8:55 am

    I like oneplus 5 but could not get it yet due to some budgetry constraints and due to rumers of refurbished phones are available in the market. So please give me a OnePlus 5 or 3t.
    Thanks

  10. John Mathew
    August 31, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Is it international giveaway?

  11. Sidharth Rao
    August 30, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    Would really love to win this one. If you guys review comments, please think of me! The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change is service to a fellow human being. -Lee Iacocca-

  12. alanz
    August 30, 2017 at 9:49 am

    thanks for the review! Going to buy it this fall

  13. Ervena Patterson
    August 30, 2017 at 6:16 am

    The best phone I've seen in a while. Sure would like to win one

  14. Ervena Patterson
    August 30, 2017 at 6:15 am

    This looks like the best phone I've seen in a long while. I sure like to win one

  15. Gary Schulte
    August 29, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Gotta get this phone!

  16. Gary Schulte
    August 29, 2017 at 2:46 am

    What a terrific phone! I need to have this one!

  17. Jehiah Corda
    August 28, 2017 at 8:15 am

    Wow. This phone is so beautiful. I'm really impressed about Oneplus on making such a beast smartphone. With that 8 GB of ram and SD 835 of SoC is a pure killer. I hope I would win this giveaway. Goodluck to y'all participants! :)

  18. bluesjr
    August 28, 2017 at 1:27 am

    Need a new phone. Would love to win this one.

  19. Vinita
    August 27, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I wish I get the phone, it's so awesome.. great features and really sleek..

  20. Fik of Borg
    August 27, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Winning a phone is the only way to have a high end phone here in Venezuela (besides being a government official) :/

  21. Tom Sobieski
    August 27, 2017 at 11:36 am

    70 yo retiree, Great value, but living on a fixed income, need one for free

  22. Ed Nelson
    August 24, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Currently happy with an older OnePlus but hey who wouldn't take a new one?
    I wonder when the USB C will be spec'd for waterproof?

  23. Eric
    August 24, 2017 at 12:56 am

    If its so awesome why doesn't it have a SD slot? 128GB is a lot...but not when you have 200+GB of music you want to take with you. Never going back to a phone without expandable storage. Sorry.

    • Jehiah Corda
      August 28, 2017 at 8:18 am

      Uhh, the USB OTG support is added there for a reason. Stop complaining about it.

  24. M. Robinson
    August 23, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    A 3,300mAh battery for 6GB or 8GB of RAM? Sounds like a marketing con.

  25. Asiyah
    August 23, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    Really would love to finally win something, here's hoping I do

  26. Curt Chaffee
    August 23, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Couldn't agree more. One plus is pushing the market toward lower prices and higher specs. This is the same thing that Motorola could have done but failed by going the Moto z mod route.

  27. Dexter
    August 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    Awesome giveaway. Good luck everyone!

  28. James Douglas
    August 23, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Really looking forward to this model. Missed the 3T being broke af starting an urban farm business. Halfway through year two, still broke and so's my OPX. Super bummer because I do all my own photography, and use it to build my website, update customers, and build the education portion on social media. Here's to miracles.

    • Judd Mutua
      August 23, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      How is the farm coming along?

      • James Douglas
        August 23, 2017 at 6:29 pm

        Much improved over last season, still far short of where if like it to be. Planting more of the field, the tradeoff is being spread thin battling the weeds. Website is karmAFARMa.net if you want to look.

  29. Chariot
    August 23, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I found one serious drawback: the missing MTL ability. Fast hardware, good software, good OTG but with USB 2.0 only. What a pity! :(

  30. Subhashish Dash
    August 23, 2017 at 8:31 am

    Awesome phone..... Genuine review???

    • Subhashish Dash
      August 23, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Yes it is...!!!??

  31. Mike De Petris
    August 23, 2017 at 8:05 am

    Let's hope, why not?

  32. Shashwat
    August 23, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Hi.. I want it

  33. Troy Guffey
    August 23, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Doesn't seem to have posted my comment.

    Does it have GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass/orientation?

  34. Troy Guffey
    August 23, 2017 at 6:09 am

    Does it have GPS, accelerometer, gyro, compass/orientation?

  35. Malea
    August 23, 2017 at 3:00 am

    I would like to win this, as my son's phone was stolen and verizon refused to replace it even though I paid for insurance, and I cannot afford a new one. Good luck everyone!

  36. Malea Penix
    August 23, 2017 at 2:58 am

    I would like to win, as my son's phone was stolen, and verizon refused to replace it even though I paid for insurance. I can't afford a new one. Good luck everyone!

  37. Keith
    August 22, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Just be prepared for OnePlus to abandon it as soon as the next model comes out, just like they abandoned the Two when the Three came out.

    from a bitter former Two owner

    • steven
      August 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      what caused you to be bitter? what was it you'd wish theyd have supported longer? any certain feature or bug

      • VFerg
        August 22, 2017 at 4:33 pm

        He is probably referring to official OS updates.