Chinese smartphone startup OnePlus has made its name over the last few years by offering high-end specs for a much lower price than more established smartphone makers. It’d developed something of a cult following, too. The run-up to the OnePlus 5 announcement was filled with rumors and leaks, and now we have all the details. OnePlus has announced the OnePlus 5 with an aluminum chassis, Snapdragon 835, up to 8GB of RAM, and a dual camera array. Pricing starts at $479 and pre-orders are live today.
The Snapdragon 835 is the same chip that powers the vastly more expensive Galaxy S8, and you can’t even get a version of that phone with 8GB of RAM. For people who care about specs, OnePlus has certainly come through. However, there are two versions of the OnePlus 5. The $479 device only has 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage. The $539 phone comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You have to choose carefully, because there’s no microSD card slot for expandable storage. For all its focus on big specs, OnePlus is sticking with a 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED on this year’s phone. That’s an advantage when it comes to battery life, though.
The number of phones with dual cameras has exploded in the last year, and now OnePlus is giving it a shot. Some dual camera phones use them for image sharpening, and others are offering wide-angle secondary sensors. Then, there are some like the OnePlus 5 that use the secondary camera as a sort of digital zoom. The built-in telephoto lens offers 2x magnification and 20MP resolution. The main camera is only 16MP, but it has a wider aperture to let in more light. The comparatively narrow aperture on the telephoto lens means that some “zoom” images taken in low light are actually done with the main camera and digital zoom. Also, the positioning makes the OP5 look rather like an iPhone 7 Plus.
The OnePlus runs Android 7.1 Nougat, and it’s almost bone stock. OnePlus makes a ROM called OxygenOS for its devices, which doesn’t make nearly as many changes to Android as Samsung’s TouchWiz or LG’s UI. It’s a very fast phone because of the light touch software. OnePlus has even gotten better about updating its phones, and was one of the fastest to get Nougat on the OnePlus 3 last year.
The OnePlus 5 is a GSM/LTE unlocked phone with support for dual SIM cards. It’s only available direct from OnePlus, but you can pre-order one today with the “clearer photos” code. Yes, really. The phone will be available for immediate ordering on June 27th.
Read our sister site PCMag’s full review of the OnePlus 5.