OnePlus 5 a flagship killer?

OnePlus 5 a flagship killer?

June 27, 2017   12:19 pm



A couple of years ago OnePlus came out with this interesting phrase: Flagship killer. It wasn’t new phrase but OnePlus was the first brand to apply it to its latest phone. The idea was that the OnePlus phones were so good that despite their relatively lower prices they were “flagship killers”. In other words, they were as good as a flagship phone from companies like Apple and Samsung. If we apply the same adage to the OnePlus 5, the company’s latest Android smartphone, where does it stand? Is OnePlus 5 too a flagship killer? The answer, not surprisingly, is an empathetic yes. It is a flagship killer, just the way OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T were last year.

As India Today Tech said in its review , the OnePlus 5 is not perfect. But it has enough in it to be a phone that is good enough for most people. With OnePlus 5 in the market, you don’t need to spend Rs 50,000 or Rs 60,000 for  feature or performance that other flagship phones provide. The OnePlus 5 offers almost all of it. At least that is how it is for most people.

Of course, there will be some people who will need something extra. For example, some may need a phone that is unbreakable, like those big, bulky and hideous rigged phones that cost Rs 70,000. For them, it still makes sense to spend extra on something else. But for most users, the OnePlus is as good as it gets, especially when you consider the price of Rs 32,999.

Let us explain.

What you need and what you get

There is a phrase that we love using in the phone reviews. We call it “more than the sum of its parts”. This is also something the separates good phones from the average ones. It means that what matters in a phone is the user experience and not its hardware, brand, price, software or anything else. Although the experience is often - but not always - defined by hardware and software.

When it comes to user experience, the most important aspects of a phone are its performance, screen, software, battery life, easy-to use and attractive design, and cameras. Anything else, such as a feature like fingerprint sensor, are bonus features. And it is in the basics where OnePlus again succeeds with the OnePlus 5.

The OnePlus 5 has top-end hardware, a very attractive design, fantastic build quality, a great screen, a feature-rich camera, superb performance and a software that is clean. All of that makes it a phone that is as good as any in the market for all practical purposes.

When you use the OnePlus 5 you will realise that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB RAM inside it (8GB variant is also available) make it one of the fastest phones around. It is as fast as any other phone in the market while running demanding games or 20 tabs in Chrome. In fact, it feels smoother than high-end phones because it runs a very optimised version of Android Nougat, which OnePlus has not unnecessarily modified. Scrolling through apps like Facebook is butter smooth. And so is switching between open apps or flipping through tens of photos in the photo app.

Once you use it, you will also realise how good is its screen or how useful is its 64GB internal storage (128GB version is also available). The 5.5-inch screen is bright enough to be usable in direct sunlight. Its FullHD resolution, which is more than what you get in the iPhone 7, is plenty sharp. It shows punchy colours. The curved Gorilla Glass layer on it makes it feel opulent and extremely smooth.

On other words, all the features that you need in a good phone are out there in the OnePlus 5. Dual SIM? Check. Plenty of storage to save thousands of photos of your kids and friends? Check. Long battery life (3300mAh) along with fast Dash charging that ensures you will never hunt for a charging point in desperation? Check. Good and sleek looks with metal body? Check. Design that makes carrying and using the phone easy? Check. Latest Android Nougat? Check. Promise of fast future updates? Check. A speaker that is loud enough for YouTube videos and voice calls? Check.

Even the cameras - there are two on the rear and one on the front - are good enough. When we reviewed the OnePlus 5 a few days ago, we said that the cameras could have been better. And that is true. But it is also relative. The competition for the OnePlus 5 is not a Rs 35,000 phone. It is not even a Rs 40,000 phone. When as reviewers we look at the OnePlus 5 camera, we tend to compare it the Google Pixel, the Galaxy S8, the iPhone 7, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium. And OnePlus is up there with these phones under most circumstances. Its camera is not as good as the Google Pixel in low light. But in most circumstances the 16-megapixel primary camera performs beautifully to help you click some brilliant photos.

And then it has a few tricks of its own. The 16-megapixel primary camera is accompanied by a 20-megapixel secondary camera that has a lens with bigger focal length, which allows you to “zoom”. In low light, it’s not useful but in good light it is a neat feature. The secondary lens also allows a new mode called Portrait mode. This lets people click photos with blurred background aka Bokeh and it’s very fun to use. These are also the features that even many high-end phones lack.

OnePlus 5 is a phone for masses

As noted earlier, the OnePlus 5 is not perfect. But for Rs 32,999 it is one hell of a phone. In fact, for most people this is the phone they need to get, and in turn save some money. The OnePlus 5 is so good that it is not worth buying a more expensive phone. Although exceptions exist.

If you are a photographer, may be you will want a phone like Google Pixel because you may get better photos from it. Similarly, you may want a phone like Galaxy S8 if you must buy a phone that has a screen curved on both sides. Or may be you want iOS, even though Android is a better operating system, and hence will prefer iPhone. But these are exception. And they cost at least Rs 20,000 more. If all you want is a good, high-end phone that offers you great user experience, you can very well get the OnePlus 5 and save some money. It is a phone that gets you the flagship experience at very regular prices, just the way last year the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 3 did.

Source: India Today

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