OnePlus didn’t need a flashy, in-person launch event for its 2017 flagship to impress.
Instead of bringing members of the media in from all over the world for a busy and exhausting presentation, OnePlus introduced us to the OnePlus 5 through a brief pre-recorded video. It gave the company an opportunity to talk about what its new phone offers at a relaxed pace. OnePlus didn’t bother talking about things you don’t care about. After all, this is the company that listens to its fans more than anyone else.
CEO Carl Pei and high-ranking employees shared that design, photography, battery life, performance, software, and an always-listening mindset set the OnePlus 5 apart from the competition.
The OnePlus 5, like the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, is made of aluminum to give that premium look and feel you expect from a high-end device. If you’re familiar with OnePlus’ hardware, you’ll feel very comfortable. The OnePlus 5 isn’t a dramatic departure from the past. It gives a OnePlus 3-like vibe. Even the power button, volume rocker, speaker, USB-C port, and headphone jack remain in the same spot from 2016.
Something different is the “Horizon Line,” which OnePlus says gives the phone a different appearance on both the front and back. Light will hit the phone on one side and cast a shadow on the other. And, staying true to the current trend within the industry, the OnePlus 5 has rounded corners and edges.
On-screen navigation buttons still aren’t not standard, though you can activate them in the settings. To the left and right of the fingerprint scanner (that doubles as a home button) are two capacitive keys. Again, anyone who’s owned or seen the OnePlus 3 will know OnePlus is catering to the core.
The star of this phone, at least on paper, is the camera. Well, actually, the cameras. There are two of them on the back of the OnePlus 5. The two-camera setup includes a 16MP sensor and a 20MP sensor, each with a unique purpose. When you take a picture, OnePlus software goes to work and merges two copies into one. You get fast photo-taking that doesn’t skimp on clarity paired with the large f/1.7 aperture.
OnePlus also introduced its own Portrait Mode to “create a focal separation between faces and backgrounds.” Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus does this already, and multiple Android phones have fallen short of admirable results. Will the OnePlus 5 finally make it a hit on Android? Possibly, but we need to see for ourselves through heavy testing.
There was Smart Capture for “optical zoom” and a Pro Mode for “powerful DSLR features,” too. Never before has OnePlus put such an emphasis on photography; however, with so many devices becoming equal in other areas, the company needs to pick an area as a go-to. Now it seems simplicity and photography are where OnePlus wants to make its brand known.
Other specifications include a 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage, a 3300mAh battery with Dash Charge.
At the end of the introduction, OnePlus revealed the OnePlus 5 is already available to purchase in select markets. Just head over to the company’s site and enter “Clearer Photos” as the promotional code. It’ll unlock the OnePlus 5 in Slate Gray for $479 and in Midnight Black For $539. Pop-up stores, too, will be selling the OnePlus 5. The first opens today in New York City while others in Europe join tomorrow.
The official day for everyone to order the OnePlus 5 online is Tuesday, June 27.