OnePlus 5 Review - Dissapointed
Why my brand new OnePlus 5 will be returning back to China where it belongs
by Cocsie on August 28, 2017 | 05:33 PM
I was hyped. I heard about this phone from friends that had the very good OnePlus 3T. As a side note, OnePlus skipped the 4 and went straight to 5. My OnePlus 5 arrived in less than 3 days after placing my order and I immediately started to play with it. Check out my unboxing of the OnePlus 5.
First, some specs:
- 8GB RAM (or 6GB, but for 50 Euros extra, why would you)
- 128GB Memory (or 64GB, but same as above)
- Snapdragon 835 processor - the fastest one on the market right now
- No memory card
- Amoled display - we'll get to that
- Back Camera: Dual 16 MP, f/1.7, 24mm, EIS (gyro) + 20 MP, f/2.6, 36mm
- Front Selfie Camera: 16 MP, f/2.0, 20mm, EIS
- Bluetooth 5
- Front mounted fingerprint sensor (where it should be)
- Non-removable Li-Po 3300 mAh battery
- Android 7.1.1
- Dual Sim (Nano Sim)
- Gorilla Glass 5
- USB type C
I also got a Dash Charger with a 150cm cable.
The Car Dash Charger for the OnePlus 5.
The tempered screen glass protector.
The OnePlus 5 headphones, the Bullets V2 (the second iteration of the bullets headphones)
And the OnePlus 5 Sandstone Cover witch is really abrasive and nice, it makes holding the phone a joy, without worries that it will slip from your hands.
Now let's start with the good stuff, as it's a shorter list unfortunately.
Super fast! I mean it's by far the fastest phone I had in my hand, and I got to test the Samsung Note 8. It's 8Gb of RAM means that all apps open from memory. I had dozens of apps open, and when I switch them, the response is instant.
Fingerprint sensor is out of this world. It's lightening fast and recognizes your fingerprints no matter the position of your finger and you can add a lot of them. It's way way faster than my previous Galaxy S7 Edge. The difference is enormous.The camera app opens really fast and you can set the home button to double tap to take a photo, it has never failed me. The latest update brought EIS to the 4k video recording. Thing is, when you shoot, the video looks shaky on the viewfinder, but the end result is stabilized which is somewhat award as you don't know if the video is usable until you get to see it.
So yeah, mainly speed. It's the fastest phone out there bar none. It helps that is has a very basic version of Android, the Oxygen OS which receives timely updates from OnePlus.
Charging. OnePlus uses their proprietary charging method - Dash Charging - using a 4 Amps charger (that is bigger than normal chargers both in terms of size and power - a normal one is about 2 Amps) and charges two parts of the battery simultaneously. That results in a faster charging time and prevents overheating of the phone. It works and it's quite fast.
Alert Slider. As with the iPhone, the OnePlus 5 has a 3 position alert slider. At the top is the silent mode, followed by the do not disturb mode and the normal, ring mode. The do not disturb mode is highly configurable with individual settings for reminders, events, contacts who can reach you or notification lights mode.
Now starts the bad stuff, brace yourself. CONS:
Camera. While the camera has plenty of megapixels, we know thats not what matters, what matters is the sensor size, quality and the image stabilization. OnePlus 5 uses the EIS image stabilization as in Electronic Image Stabilization. EIS is a software based solution. It basically cuts the frame at the corners to crop the footage. This means you will lose some pixel information, around 10%, depending on the severity of you movements, and the amount of crop the software has to do to keep the footage steady.
Other flagships use OIS - Optical Image stabilization. OIS is mechanical based using a prism and gyros to correct the image coming to the sensors, this makes for a much improved experience. The OIS tough does add bulk to the camera, and in 2017, unless a phone is thin enough to cut yourself with it, it will just not cut it - pun intended. OIS is also more expensive, as it's hardware based.
How's the EIS on the OnePlus 5? Bad, really bad. Pictures are shaky, and it raises the camera's ISO settings in the process of stabilizing the image. It's a mess. Photos turn out really grainy, that is when they're not blurred (50/50 chance). It's like a phone from three years ago.
The main camera is bad, but the telephotolens one is worse. The colors are really faded. Having two cameras does make for some interesting effects, as the OnePlus 5 promises 2X loseless zoom (not optical) and the most sought after Bokeh Effect (blurring of the background in portraits). Judge for yourself from the samples below.
2X Loseless Zoom:
Bokeh Effect on the OnePlus 5:
Maximum Zoom (8X) - keep in mind that this was a sunny perfect day for shooting.
Night Time Photo - quality is very very bad. I tried this shot several times in the hope that I was doing something wrong.
Daytime Selfie - pretty decent
Also, if you take a nigh time selfie, and the phone detects a low light condition, it will make a white screen flash just before the selfie camera takes the photo. It helps. I was in almost total darkness here.
4K EIS Video Sample:
Software bugs? Galore.
- Notifications from the likes of Facebook Messenger or Whats App sometimes do not appear on the lockscreen, but after you unlock the phone you can see the head bubbles with unread messages. This can make you miss important notifications from friends. You do not want that.
- Parts of the Oxigen OS not directly based on Andoid but written by Chineese software engineers lack a good translation to English, grammar mistakes are common. The OS feels unpolished at best.
- When using the phone, if a call rings in, the answer call is awkwardly located on the right side, very unintuitive. On the lock screen you also have to pull down to answer and push up to reject a call. No swiping left or right on this One.
- When you click a contact it immediately calls it. Sometimes you just want to browse the contacts list and it's a drag.
- Capacitive keys light is not very visible, it's more like a small dot visible only in low light conditions. Although you can change the function of the buttons which is nice, switching the taks manager and back buttons.
- Bluetooth does not always connect to my car on the first try when I want to play music from YouTube. First I have to call a random number and only after that, the media connection works.
- I tried connecting the phone to my Windows 10 laptop via USB with the provided Dash Charger cable to download photos and videos. The computer does not see it as a removable media type, instead it prompts me to install some drivers. Still does not work even after installation. I ended up uploading the files to Google Drive.
- No waterproofing, but the company says that it can survive accidental water spills.
Now the fun part: The display. It's a 1080p AMOLED Display. Kind of last year's techonology, motst other Android flagships have qHD displays. But the main problem with it is the JELLY SCROLLING. I dedicated a whole different article to this huge problem, and it's the main reason I will be returning my phone. Check out here the Jelly Scrolling Effect on the OnePlus 5.