OnePlus 5 Review: The Android Flagship Killer

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The OnePlus 5 is probably the next best smartphone after the mighty Samsung Galaxy S8

Punchy performance 

OnePlus 5 display flatUnder the OnePlus 5’s hood sits Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip, one of the fastest mobile chipsets around, and it comes paired with an Adreno 540 graphics chip. Combined with the 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM – the type found in the latest Apple MacBook Pro models – the OnePlus 5 has a lot of performance on tap.

Everything from swiping through app trays and notifications to loading graphically intensive apps apps is handled with ease. Arguably 8GB of RAM is overkill for a smartphone when many make do with 4GB, but at least the OnePlus 5 will not be left wanting in the performance stakes, and having bountiful amounts of RAM means apps and data can be stored in memory for longer making them snappier to access, though in real world use this isn’t really noticeable to smartphones will less RAM. 

Contributing to the slick performance is the Oxygen OS, pretty much a light-weight overlay to Android Nougat at the OnePlus 5’s core. Oxygen OS takes the best features from the katest iteration of Android, such as its app tray, long-press options to native apps and slick notifications and adds a few extra features and apps without filling the operating system in blotware. 

Combined with the processing and memory grunt on offer, the OnePlus 5 is the slickest Android phone I;ve used since the Pixel XL. While the Galaxy S8 has plenty of power, it’s TouchWiz overlay just isn’t as slick a native Andorid or Oxygen OS. 

OnePlus 5 angleOxygen OS is a joy to use, with its apps meeting the guidelines set out by Android’s Material Design  framework. But it also has a few useful features up its sleeve such as the Reading mode which filters out blue light to make reading text easier in low light and a Gaming mode that switches off notification when playing mobile games.

The Secure Folder is one of the best features for business users as it provides a password-protected place to store sensitive business or personal data and apps hidden away from the view of anyone else using the OnePlus 5. 

As a workhorse smartphone, the OnePlus 5 is excellent, with the slickness of the operating system facilitating productivity rather than hindering it with bloatware slowdown.

In terms of battery life, the 3300mAh battery can last pretty much a working day, but with adaptive brightness enabled the battery life can push around the 24hour mark.

As such, the battery life is about on par with most flagship smartphones. But the addition of OnePlus’ Dash Charge allows for rapid charging, enabling the handset to go from empty to full in around an hour, arguably negates any concerns over battery life, though you’ll need to make sure you have the original charger and cable to make the most of this rapid charging. 

Final thoughts 

OnePlus 5 buttonWith a few feature omissions, a design that plays it safe, and a higher price than its predecessor,  the OnePlus 5 is not the perfect phone.

However,  excellent performance and software, with a great camera array and vibrant display at a price that is still superbly competitive, with a solid design that is attractive but doesn’t require swaddling in a girth expanding case, the OnePlus 5 is arguably the ideal mobile device.

OnePlus 5 dual cameraAndroid 7.1 Nougat and with the light touch of Oxygen OS is now slick enough to challenge Apple’s iOS, and while the OnePlus 5 doesn’t offer the design and feature set of the Samsung Galaxy S8, it is also around £200 cheaper. 

To my mind, the OnePlus 5 is the second best Android phone to the purely excellent Galaxy S8, and a phone I’d choose over an iPhone 7, despite the promise of iOS 11. If it wasn’t for the excellent camera and display on my Pixel XL, I would happily swap over to the OnePlus 5. 

For people looking for a new handset for both business and pleasure that doesn’t break the bank and provides a side order of excellent smartphone photography, I can thoroughly recommend the OnePlus 5. 

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