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OnePlus 5 revealed: Everything you need to know

by Brandon Russell | June 20, 2017June 20, 2017 9:45 am PDT

The OnePlus 5 wasn’t much of a secret over the past few weeks. Not even OnePlus could refrain from talking about the device, confirming features ahead of its official announcement. Now, the device has finally been unveiled, and you can get one starting today for $479. And, no, you won’t need an invite to buy one.

As is plain to see, the device looks strikingly similar to the iPhone 7 Plus, from its contoured edges to the horizontal dual-camera setup, which OnePlus promises will produce gorgeous portrait images and lossless zoom. The device looks sleek and elegant, and at 7.25mm, it’s the company’s thinnest device yet.

Like previous models, the OnePlus 5 will sport an Alert slider, a feature that allows users to seamlessly switch between three different notification profiles. The fingerprint sensor remains on the front and will act as a capacitive button when you want to jump back to the home screen.

Otherwise, the design is pretty much identical to the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T (yes, the headphone jack has survived). Which is to say, quite beautiful.

High-end specs

But it’s what’s on the inside that will grab the attention of consumers. As OnePlus previously confirmed, the OnePlus 5 will feature a Snapdragon 835 chip, along with 64GB and 128GB options. There will also be options for 6GB and 8GB of RAM. Some laptops don’t have 8GB of RAM.

Here’s how OnePlus describes the benefits:

With up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, the OnePlus 5 can run a large number of apps in the background without a second of lag. The combination of UFS 1.2 and a new two-lane ROM results in 26 percent faster storage performance in everything from installation to loading apps and games.

Users will notice the biggest benefits while using graphics intensive apps and in battery performance—OnePlus claims the device’s 3,300mAh battery lasts 20 percent longer than the OnePlus 3T.

“Focus on what matters”

As far as OnePlus is concerned, it’s the OnePlus 5’s dual-camera setup that’s the key selling point. That’s because the device features “the highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone today.”

Complementing a “tailor-made” 16-megapixel sensor is a 20-megapixel sensor with a telephoto lens, which can “accurately determine the distance between the sensor and objects in the environment.”

Like the iPhone 7 Plus, there’s a Portrait Mode that creates a professional bokeh effect you get from high-end cameras. OnePlus previously revealed it worked closely with DxO to optimize the OnePlus 5’s camera, but until we see the results for ourselves, we remain unconvinced.

For pro users, there’s an advanced mode that allows users to adjust ISO, white balance, shutter speed, and more.

Do you like to read?

On the software side, OxygenOS is front and center, and includes a new Reading Mode feature that utilizes gray-scale mapping to mimic the experience of an actual book. Essentially, the feature uses the OnePlus 5’s ambient sensor to measure light and changes the screen accordingly. It’s similar to what Apple introduced with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Other than that, it’s the same clean software OnePlus fans know and love.

About that price…

Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in the past, the OnePlus 5 will be the company’s most expensive model yet. And it gets pretty expensive if you want the 128GB version with 8GB of RAM, which costs $539—that’s a $100 premium over last year’s OnePlus 3T.

It’s still cheaper than most high-end flagships, but it’s straddling the threshold of flagship price.

That’s perhaps the most disappointed aspect about the OnePlus 5 that we can think of thus far. Sure, it doesn’t feature an edge-to-edge display or anything else truly groundbreaking, but it’s still an impressive combination of software and design.

The real question is whether or not the OnePlus 5 can enjoy a smooth launch without any major issues. No doubt, the handset will be a hot commodity over the next few months, so hopefully the company can keep up with demand.

By OnePlus’ own admission, its cameras have been good but not great. If it can get the dual-camera setup right, the OnePlus 5 may seriously challenge the Galaxy S8.

The device will support 34 GSM network bands, and is available starting today for customers who use a special code revealed during the keynote. You can also pick one up today from a pop-up store in New York. Additionally, pop-up stores will open in London, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Helsinki and Copenhagen on June 21. General sales via oneplus.net will begin on June 27.

The Slate Gray version (6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage) will retail for $479, while the Midnight Black (8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage) will cost $539.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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