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OnePlus 5 First Impressions: A significant upgrade over the previous OnePlus devices

22 June, 2017 1:32 PM
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OnePlus has finally launched the company's latest flagship smartphone- OnePlus 5 in the Indian market. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 32,999 for the 6GB+64GB variant and at Rs. 37,999 for the 8GB+128GB variant.

The smartphone will sell exclusively on and pre-booking starts by today itself. The e-commerce giant will offer cash back, data benefits and will also host open sale of the new flagship handset on June 27, 2017.

OnePlus 5 is a significant upgrade over the previous OnePlus devices and offers a dual-camera setup, a new design, latest Snapdragon 835 CPU paired with ample 6GB and 8GB RAM. At this pricing with top-of-the line specs, OnePlus 5 will pose a great challenge to flagship smartphones from Samsung, Sony, HTC an Apple.

We tested the device during the launch event and here's our first impressions of the latest OnePlus 5.

OnePlus is following a standard design strategy; give the consumers same design with two consecutive iterations and then come out with something different for the next two generations.

We have noticed this pattern with the first two installments- OnePlus One and OnePlus 2 boasting similar design and then came the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, which were exactly identical in terms of looks but brought some notable changes in hardware.

This brings us to OnePlus 5, the fifth product from the company which I believe will also inspire the next OnePlus device. I must admit that OnePlus 5 is by far the most premium mobile device from the house of OnePlus.

While we cannot rule out the fact that the handset does resemble the Apple's last year flagship, especially the matte-black iPhone 7 Plus when seen from the rear, it also maintains certain design characteristics of previous OnePlus devices.

These include the front mounted home button/fingerprint sensor, a dedicated button on the left side to change audio profiles and the pretty much similar front fascia taken from the previous OnePlus 3/3T.

But I can ignore all the above mentioned similarities for the fact that OnePlus has managed to make a smartphone that feels just amazing in hands. It is 7.25mm thin, has rounded edges and is really comfortable to hold and use. The curve back makes it fit snuggly in your palm and the handset also does not feel slippery.

Overall, OnePlus 5 brings an improved design which might not feel original but is undoubtedly practical.

OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T were amazing devices but they did not manage to get the best optics. The kind of camera performance these devices offered was good, but certainly not the best in the price-point, which is something OnePlus wants to change with the latest flagship.

OnePlus 5 tries to mimic the Apple's big boy iPhone 7 Plus' camera by featuring a dual-lens camera setup. While we have seen a number of camera smartphones with dual-lens setup, the one on OnePlus 5 closely resembles the camera on iPhone 7 Plus in terms of technology and implementation.

The dual-lens camera setup on OnePlus 5 comprises of one 16MP Sony IMX 398 sensor equipped with Electronic Image Stabilization. This 16MP sensor works on f/1.7 aperture and is accompanied by a 20MP telephoto lens that is capable to offer 2X optical zoom. This does sounds interesting until you find out that the aperture size of the second lens is of f/2.6, which is much narrower when compared to its companion 16MP sensor.

In my brief stint, this interesting setup offered some really crisp shots boasting vibrant colours and very good detailing. The portrait mode is capable to create a worthy bokeh effect. What seems missing is the OIS that may affect the performance, something we will find out in our comprehensive review of the smartphone.

Besides, the camera interface highly resembles the one on iPhone 7 Plus and worked without a glitch in my short time with the handset. The portrait mode is quite effective and delivers great results. Last but not the least; you can also record videos in 4K format. Stay tuned for our detailed review on OnePlus 5's camera performance.

Amidst the new dual-camera setup, new design and the flagship hardware, one very important feature that got sidelined is the 5.5-inch screen. There's technically no improvement on resolution front. The screen has a 1080p resolution churning out a pixel density of 401ppi.

The screen is unlike the taller displays that Samsung and LG are boasting but takes up much of the front as it has very thin bezels at the side. And while the company hasn't bumped the resolution, the 1080p screen is still amazingly bright and feels quite vivid. It is an AMOLED panel and colours pop out really well. To make it durable, OnePlus has added Gorilla Glass 5.

Overall, the 5.5-inch full HD display will do justice to video playback, browsing web pages and for serious game play.

It was quite obvious that the company will make no compromise in terms of processing power, RAM and storage. What OnePlus 5 offers at its price-point is the best deal you can get in the market.

The smartphone puts even the priciest flagships to shame by offering Qualcomm's latest and greatest processor Snapdragon 835 and 6GB RAM in under Rs. 35K. The graphics are handled by Adreno 540 GPU unit.

Besides, the smartphone comes in two storage variants; 64GB and 128GB internal memory. As expected, there's no microSD card support.

Sticking to its core ideology, OnePlus is shipping the latest flagship with Oxygen OS deployed on the latest Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The company has improved over the user experience by adding some notable features. These include custom vibration patterns, a new reading mode, expanded screenshots, etc.

However the highlight feature of the new OS is the 'Quickpay', which integrates Paytm right into the OS and lets you complete the transactions in a jiffy. And while I was writing this story, a new update has been pushed for the new OnePlus 5, the Oxygen OS 4.5.1 update with a size of 159 MB that will bring improvements upon camera, connectivity, system and more.

We will evaluate the complete software performance of the OnePlus 5 in the comprehensive review of the smartphone in the coming week.

As far as battery is concerned, OnePlus 5 is powered by a 3,300mAh battery which is just a slight improvement when compared to the previous OnePlus 3 and 3T.

However, it has the dash charge support which is undoubtedly the fastest fast charge technology in the market. We will evaluate the battery performance in the coming week while reviewing the smartphone.

On connectivity front, the smartphone has Wi-Fi 802.11, USB Type C, NFC, GPS and the latest Bluetooth 5.0, which we have recently seen in Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+.

OnePlus 5 is undoubtedly a significant upgrade over the previous OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T handsets. The smartphone can be a great option for consumers who were willing to invest a fortune in the flagships from Samsung, Sony, HTC and Apple.

The top-of-the line hardware, the new dual-camera setup and a new design will certainly please the smartphone enthusiasts.

We will evaluate the smartphone's performance in the coming week in our detailed review. Stay tuned on GIZBOT for more on OnePlus 5.

Also read: Flipkart to take on Amazon’s Prime Day sale with its Big Shopping Days sale


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