The OnePlus 5: the best Android handset on the market?

The OnePlus 5 is one of the best Android handsets currently available and punches well above its weight

The OnePlus 5 is one of the best Android handsets currently available and punches well above its weight when it comes to value for money in premium smartphones

There are a good many reasons why the OnePlus 5 is a brilliant phone. Firstly, the OnePlus 5 features the highest resolution dual-camera system on a smartphone today. A tailor-made 16 MP sensor is supported by a 20 MP sensor with a telephoto lens to accurately determine the distance between the sensor and objects in the environment. In portrait mode, the two sensors work together to create a focal separation between faces and backgrounds, while a custom software algorithm makes subjects clear and well-lit. This results in a professional depth-of-field (bokeh) effect that keeps faces sharp in front of a blurred backdrop. Another great camera feature is the “pro mode” which gives users powerful DSLR features such as ISO, white balance, shutter-speed, focus and exposure modification, as well as an on-screen histogram and RAW image file support for complete control of post-shot editing.

The OnePlus 5 is also a very fast phone, thanks to a combination of well-equipped and smart hardware inclusions. It benefits from the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor which makes for snappy performance, while drawing up to 40 percent less power. And with up to 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM, the OnePlus 5 can run a large number of apps in the background with no lag. The combination of UFS 2.1 and a new two-lane ROM results in 26 percent faster storage performance in everything from installations to loading apps and games.

OnePlus’ custom operating system, OxygenOS, is designed to refine stock Android’s core functionalities with features and optimisations that genuinely add value to the user experience. Google would do well to take a leaf out of OnePlus’ OS playbook. New updates to the OnePlus 5 include a reading mode, which utilises an ambient sensor and grayscale mapping to make reading as comfortable as reading an actual book. A “gaming do not disturb” mode also allows users to play their favourite games without being disrupted by notifications or accidental hardware button presses, while an “App Priority” feature loads the most-used apps more quickly to further improve performance.

The OnePlus 5 also features industry-leading charging technology, which gives users a day’s power in half an hour. To benchmark, it is significantly faster than both Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Google’s Pixel XL. OnePlus’ “dash charge” carries more current and shifts power management from the handset to the adapter to keep the phone cooler during charging, Dash Charge can continue to fast charge the OnePlus 5 even when using GPS or playing graphically intensive games, while the 3300 mAh battery also lasts up to 20 percent longer than the previous OnePlus 3T.

At 7.25 mm, the OnePlus 5 (available in midnight black and slate grey colours) is also the thinnest OnePlus flagship ever. It aluminium unibody features a continuous hard line around the edge of the phone, and the “horizon line” casts one half of the phone in light and the other in shadow, offering an elegant, streamlined appearance. The minimalistic design is further reinforced by a new crescent-shaped antenna that blends seamlessly into the top and bottom edges of the phone.

Through a combination of powerful hardware and intelligent software, the OnePlus 5 provides a truly seamless smartphone experience. For an entry level price of $599, the OnePlus 5 is one of the best value premium smartphones money can currently buy.