Beyond all the hype, is the OnePlus 5 the Android smartphone you should buy in 2017?

 

If there was a prize for the most buzzed smartphone in 2017, there’s a good chance OnePlus 5 might win it. 1 million ‘notify me’ requests on Amazon by June 22 (launch day) suggests that it’s not just hype but genuine customer interest in OnePlus’ 2017 flagship that has already set the cash registers ringing. The OnePlus 5 is riding heavily on its dual camera, but there’s more to this device than its shooter:

It has all the stuff we love about OnePlus: we loved the 3 and 3T, OnePlus’ 2016 launches. These devices were the strongest indication that this focused Chinese brand is here to stay. Dressed in metal with an impressive hardware spec sheet that blazed most of our benchmark tests. Yes, the OnePlus 3 and 3T were fast, seriously fast. The 5 boasts of Qualcomm’s all-new beast – Snapdragon 835, with 8GB (6GB for the 64GB ROM version) of RAM. Enough said. Whether you’re a compulsive gamer or multi-task like crazy, this device won’t let you down. Add OnePlus’ minimalist and buttery smooth take on Android and you have one of the best hardware-software blends on an Android device. The 3300 mAh battery is solid, you should comfortably manage a day’s battery life.

It’s a good looking device: the iPhone 7 Plus influence is unmistakable but this is no iPhone clone. The metal build screams premium and the device feels great in your hands. The slight camera bump means that you’re better off protecting this device with a protective case.

The 16th Century Luz Church in Chennai. Shot just before sunset

The camera pulls no punches: the OnePlus 5 takes the iPhone 7 Plus dual-cam route with a 16MP primary lens and a second 20MP lens. It enables you to shoot with optical zoom (1.6x); it also allows you to shoot on depth of field mode and the Portrait mode that we love on the 7Plus. There’s also a pro-mode which opens a host of possibilities. OnePlus’ laser ‘focus’ on the camera has paid off; with the 5, the brand finally has a primary shooter that can rub shoulders with the best flagship cams. We’ve tested this cam in multiple scenarios and the results were impressive.

Lowlight shot on a rainy night

 

There’s some stuff that’s unchanged from 2016: like the 5.5-inch display (1080×1920 pixels / 401 PPI) and the fact that the device is not waterproof.  OnePlus will be quick to point out that their AMOLED display is all you need to get stuff done and they’re probably right.

 

If you’re a OnePlus 3 and 3T owner who’s not fussed about your smartphone cam, there’s no pressing case for an upgrade. But if you’re a serious camera buff  then you probably need the 5. The OnePlus 5 may not have some of the talking points that some of 2017’s flagships possess but it offers a clear Rs 20,000-30,000  price advantage over some of those devices. It’s why we think the OnePlus 5 is going to be one of 2017’s most formidable Android devices.

The OnePlus 5 costs Rs 32,999 (64GB ROM/6GB RAM and 128GB ROM / 8GB RAM) and is available on Amazon and the OnePlus store.  

Food shot in lowlight at Stix, Hyatt Regency Chennai. 

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