OnePlus 5 first impressions: Top of the line hardware meets evolutionary design

This is a quick first impression of the latest flagship launched in the Indian market by OnePlus, the OnePlus 5.

OnePlus has just launched its latest flagship, the OnePlus 5 in the Indian market. The company announced the launch of the device in the launch event in Mumbai on 22 June. This is the sixth smartphone from the smartphone maker and the fifth ‘flagship’ of the lot. The launch will be followed by pop up events in four cities, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.

The phone will be available in Midnight Black and Slate Gray at launch, which indicates that more colour variations may be available down the line. The phones are priced at Rs 32,999 and Rs 37,999 in India. If you are interested in buying a new OnePlus 5 then you will have to wait till 12.00 am on 27 June this year. The company will start selling the latest flagship as part of an open sale. OnePlus also held an ‘Early Access’ sale today at 4.30 pm for people who were interested in buying the smartphone before anyone else.

OnePlus 5


OnePlus has managed to create an incredible amount of hype behind the OnePlus 5 with a marketing blitz in India. Even without the ad monies, the OnePlus 5 was easily the most anticipated Android device that was coming to our country. The only other smartphone that could possibly match the smartphone, in terms of anticipation and hype, is the upcoming Apple iPhone 8.

We managed to get our hands on the OnePlus 5 and wanted to post a quick first impressions of the device on what the experience is like. This by no means is a review and you will need to wait for our full, detailed review about the device. What you're going to read below is our impressions of the device after spending a few hours with it.

Build and Design:

OnePlus 5 comes with a number of changes in the design of the smartphone in comparison to its predecessor, the OnePlus 3T. The latest flagship from the company is more rounded at the intersection of the sides with the back panel. One thing to note here is that the company has not many much changes to the front of the device.

OnePlus 5

You will get the speaker grill and a slightly different position for the front camera on the OnePlus 5 when compared to its predecessors. The polish on the back of the device does give it a smooth, vaguely rubbery finish, but strangely enough, it also makes the device extremely slippery. I had to pop on the Sandstone protective case for fear of letting this brand new smartphone slip from between my fingers.

The device feels premium and sturdy without any squeaky parts. This affirms our belief that the company is using better quality material to manufacture the smartphone. Coming to the design of the smartphone, the new design does not make the smartphone standout of the sea of smartphones that we're swimming in these days. One would argue that the smartphone may look like the Apple iPhone 7 Plus but OnePlus clarifies that this design is the result of testing and tweaking through more than one hundred iterations.


OnePlus 5

The phone has a 64 GB variant with 6 GB of RAM and a 128 GB variant with 8 GB of RAM. The display is a 5.5 inch screen protected by Gorilla Glass 5. The screen resolution is not in line with the other high-end specifications, however, and is a 1080p HD display that seems to be identical to that on the OnePlus 3 and 3T. The fingerprint scanner is said to unlock the device in 0.2 seconds, and while I can't comment on the accuracy of the claim, I can tell you that it is blisteringly fast. The battery is rated at 3,300 mAh and has the signature feature of OnePlus, the Dash Charge, which was really fast on the OnePlus 3.


The OnePlus 5 comes with a 5.5-inch screen protected by Gorilla Glass 5. There is no 2K or 4K display resolution on the screen. Instead, the company is focusing on improving the colour reproduction of the Optic AMOLED display. The display comes with a resolution of 1080x1920 with a 401 PPI pixel density.

OnePlus 5

The viewing angles, colour reproduction and crispness of the display seems accurate. OnePlus has introduced a new ‘Screen calibration’ option where you can change how the system renders and shows the colours on the screen. The interesting thing to note here is that OnePlus has added support for DCI-P3 colour profile in addition to the usual sRGB, and Custom colour options.Note that just because there's a DCI-P3 colour profile, this doesn't meant that the display hardware is DCI-P3 compliant.

Chipset, RAM, and storage

The phone has a 64 GB variant with 6 GB of RAM and a 128 GB variant with 8 GB of RAM. The RAM used is LPDDR4X, which allows for 20 percent more battery efficiency, claims OnePlus. The phone is powered by a top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor clocked at 2.4 GHz. The CPU is said to consumes 40 percent less power because of the new 10 nanometer manufacturing process.

OS and Software

The OnePlus 5 will come packed with OxygenOS 4.5.0 out of the box, which is based on Android Nougat 7.1.1. According to a recent report, the company is already rolling out a new update, OxygenOS version 4.5.1, to fix a few bugs in the device software, and hopefully address the blatant cheating that the company has been accused of, and admitted to. The interesting thing about OxygenOS is that the company has followed its philosophy of not skinning the OS and only added a few options here and there to ensure that the overall experience is enhanced for the users.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus has improved its Software track record when it comes to Android updates ever since the company announced that it will be merging the OxygenOS and HydrogenOS teams into one to streamlining the software side of things. The company has added a few new features to the device like the new Reading Mode, a redesigned launcher, ‘Quick Pay’ in partnership with Paytm, and app priority to improve the snappiness of the system.


The company has packed two camera sensors on the back of the OnePlus 5. One of the main cameras is a 20 MP unit with an aperture of f/2.6 that works like a telephoto lens, and the other is a 16 MP with an aperture of f/1.7. This is a wide aperture and allows for faster photographs, better results in low light and better bokeh. The cameras work together to replicate the portrait mode introduced by Apple in the iPhone 7 Plus.

OnePlus 5

The selfie shooter is also 16 MP. OnePlus really focused on the cameras with this iteration of its flagship. In the limited amount of fiddling with the device, the photos from the 16 MP camera module were good and clear without any noise problems in a variety of conditions. The image quality on the 20 MP image sensors were passable. OnePlus has also improve the ‘Pro’ mode where you can use the 2x option to zoom in your pictures.

You can shoot 4K video at 30 fps using the back camera. With the front camera you shoot 1080p Auto HDR videos. One interesting thing to note here is that the rear camera does not have OIS (optical-image-stabilisation). The company has added an EIS (electronic-image-stabilisation) to help make videos smoother and less shaky. I still need to test this feature properly because in my experience, only the Pixel managed to nail EIS and actually compete with OIS.

Connectivity and Battery

OnePlus 5 comes with LTE-enabled Dual Nano-SIM slots, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Hotspot, Bluetooth v5.0 with A2DP, LE, and aptX HD support, GPS, NFC, USB 2.0 Type-C port, and 3.5 mm headphone jack, in terms of connectivity options. The company has also added Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity and compass sensors to improve the functionality of the device. Moving to the battery on the OnePlus 5, the company has added a 3,300 mAh battery with Dash Charging. One thing to note here is that Dash charge functionality is the same as on the previous model.


OnePlus 5 is an evolutionary device with substantial upgrades in terms of the hardware. The design of the device leaves a lot to be desired as everyone was expecting a brand new design from OnePlus. The price tag of Rs 32,999 and Rs 37,999 continue the trend set by the company where it is selling stellar hardware at an extremely competitive price. However, it is too early for us to pass on any kind of verdict on the device. You will need to wait for the complete review of OnePlus 5 as we put the device through our extensive testing process to check if the latest flagship from OnePlus is worth your money or not.

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