OnePlus 5 Review: Five and Fighting

Every year, smartphone fans look forward to what the OnePlus has to offer. It's the company that spawned flagship killers which poses premium specs with practical price standpoint. This year, it's the OnePlus 5's turn to compete with other mammoths in the smartphone industry. 

So far, we are seeing great hardware, Snapdragon 835, 8GB RAM, dual-camera set-up. The price could be raise a number of eyebrows since we are used to having a cheaper OnePlus devices in the past, but OnePlus 5 struck me as a promising device worthy of our second look. Let's see if it'll be slaying it this year.

First off, thanks for our friends in Widget City for lending us a review unit. OnePlus 5 starts at Php 24,990 in their store.

OnePlus 5 Review

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines


The OnePlus 5 is designed to depart from what we have accustomed to with the older OnePlus phones. The chassis sports a svelte anodized aluminium material which strikes resemblance to the iPhone, a smaller iPhone 7 Plus at that. Running down the key design areas - the subtle antenna bands are curved on the top and bottom of the back plate; the dual-lens setup is accompanied by a circular LED flash; the right-handed power button, the volume rocker, and the notification toggle have all drawn inspiration from the Apple smartphone.

Still, the OnePlus 5 is a well-put together handset. In fact, it’s the thinnest flagship handset that we had from the company to date at 7.25mm. The OnePlus 5 is hard to put down once you held it in your hands due to its softened sides and chamfered edges. It’s very manageable and lighter compared to other 5.5-inch smartphones. I imagined it to be a slim LG G3 that I could use one-handed under most circumstances; the thing that I can’t do with the Galaxy S8+.

The textured notification slider is also a welcome feature, I could easily shift from Silent, Do Not Disturb and Ring mode base on my current daily activity. On the front is a nearly bezel-less display with the oval-shaped home button which doubles as a fingerprint sensor.

The OnePlus 5 kicks in roughly Php 30K in local price standpoint. It’s a price standpoint that’s an earshot away from the nearest competitors. However, this price comes with better quality on how the OnePlus 5 paid attention to details. 

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines

The fingerprint sensor is now very accurate and responsive than ever, double tapping it will put your device to sleep. The ceramic-coated home button is also accompanied by capacitive menu buttons on either side for back and menu functions. You’ll have the option to swap these two or even place them as virtual buttons on screen.  These virtual buttons ingeniously blends with the Midnight Black variant when they’re not in use.


The OnePlus 5 still comes with a 5.5-inch AMOLED panel. It works perfectly fine with 1080p full HD resolution which frames 401 ppi pixel density and comes with the traditional aspect ratio of 16:9. Blacks are deep, and colors are still crisp. I had no trouble using this under direct sunlight, I should also say that the viewing angles are very welcoming. However, in a very oblique angle, the display loses quality, but that’s me being very nitpicky.

Still, I love the display, it’s not comparable to QHD panels of the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, but I’m sure buyers will appreciate this. To add better experience, it’s also a good thing that OnePlus treated the display with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5. It makes every swipe on the edge of the screen even smoother.


The Oxygen OS is one of the Android skins that I love due to the fact that it preserves the goodness of a clean version of Android. The current OxygenOS comes with little tweaks to provide users with better experience. The app drawer can be accessed by swiping from the bottom. You’ll also have a very useful interface which flashes all the important information when you swipe from left from the homescreen. This showcase recent contacts, apps, dashboard information, weather and battery percentage.

There are lots of simple customizations you can do with the OxygenOS. For one, you can simply choose between light and dark theme. My personal favorite is the reading mode which instantly turns your screen into gray scale when you launch assigned apps and revert the screen back once you closed the app. The Do Not Disturb function is intended for gaming enthusiasts like me to not receive notifications while inside a gaming app. Of course, there are gestures to launch apps to which I’m not really a fan of. Customizations are aplenty. You just have to do a little digging in the settings app.


The OnePlus 5 takes decent to great photos under good lighting conditions. However, coming from a Galaxy S8+, I’m not totally blown away by camera. Comparing the OnePlus 5 to the latter is a valid case since OnePlus is positioning the handset to have the "best camera it has shipped in a phone." On paper, the handset boasts 16MP Sony IMX398 with a wide-angle f/1.7 and a 20MP Sony IMX350 with f/2.6 telephoto lens.

Generally, the photos taken with the OnePlus 5 camera produce crisp images and render great detail. Some images come soft due to the fact that the camera does not have OIS (optical image stabilization). OnePlus’ EIS is useful most of the time but it gradually drop in lowlight. Capturing pictures in dim environment is not the strength of its f/1.7 camera. The telephoto/zoom camera, however, is producing good photos with better saturation and detail.

OnePlus 5 also has a Depth Effect Mode which simulates bokeh effect in the background. This portrait mode feature is consistent in giving decent depth of field effects. However, there are times that it’s keeping some background items in focus while in bokeh mode.

What I love about the camera is its speed in capturing images. It focuses so quickly and photos captured in an insanely fast speed to which I’m very impressed. The 16MP front camera is also great in capturing social media selfies with the help of the screen flash.

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines

OnePlus 5 Review Philippines
Performance, Gaming, Audio

As a whole, the OnePlus 5 is lightning-quick. I spent a whole week making the phone as my daily driver and it never failed to deliver blazing fast performance in terms of multitasking activities, and continuous pulling and closing of apps. It chews everything thrown at it with ease. The OnePlus 5 is even faster than the Galaxy S8+ due to the added latter’s additional animations when opening an app.

Running highly intensive titles like the Lineage II Revolution is such a breeze. I love it as as gaming device, I enjoyed uninterrupted hours of Mobile Legends without issues – it didn’t drop a frame nor stutter.

It got one of the highest scores in our Benchmarks. It tallies 178,768 in Antutu, 6945 in PC Mark, 38,095 in Quadrant; and 1963 single-core and 6706 multicore in Geekbench 4.

Sound quality is better compared the OnePlus 3T. But still, the outputs register decent and could be a little muddy when blasted on higher volumes. Getting a pair of earphones is the best way to enjoy music with the smartphone.

OnePlus 5 also produces great videos if yo have steady hands; otherwise it struggles. The latest update gave EIS for 4K videos, though. It definitely improved the video capturing features of the handset. Check our sample video below.


Dash Charging is also one of the handset’s strongest points. The company introduced this charging tech with the OnePlus 3 last year. Charging the OnePlus 5 for an hour, I tallied from 7 percent to 95 percent. There’s a catch though, you need to use the AC wall adapter and the USB Type C cable that comes out of the box. In my typical moderate usage of the handset I could squeeze in up to 30 hours of juice from the OnePlus 5. And it’s not that hard to make the battery last for two-days with its battery saving features.

In our standard PC Battery Life Test, the OnePlus 5 tallies 5 hours and 56 minutes.

The Wrap

OnePlus' claim to be a flagship killer is still valid when we talk about practicality. However, that gap in the price standpoint becomes skinnier making all-rounder phone buyers get an LG G6 or a Galaxy S8 instead.

It's still the fastest handset with Snapdragon 835 that we have been tested so far. Using it feels like you're in fast forward mode. It's a great thing that the OxygenOS was developed having simplicity and efficiency in mind.

Despite it being ripped off from the same melting pot as the iPhone 7 in terms of design, I honestly didn't mind. I love the construction and design just the way it is. It has been intricately designed with finer attention to details.

The camera is decent. It gets the job done most of the time. However, I think this is one of the areas where OnePlus needs to improve, especially with the implementation of the dual camera. I just hope there's an update to improve the camera software.

I believe that the OnePlus 5 has the potential to be a great phone. It may not be perfect in some pressing points, but it makes up to it in speed and efficiency. Will OnePlus 5 kill flagships this year? Probably yes, but in a nearly-defeated battle.

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What I Like

Insanely Fast Processing Speed
Long Battery Life
Small phone with large screen
Reading Mode and Pocket Mode
Fast Dash Charging
Ergonomically design
Clean and Minimalist Software

What I Don’t Like

Bokeh Effect not properly implemented
Not waterproof
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OnePlus 5 Specs

154.2 x 74.1 x 7.3 mm at 153 grams
5.5-inch Full HD 1080 x 1920 Pixels AMOLED Display
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Chipset
Octa-Core Kryo (4x 2.45GHz Kryo & 4x 1.9GHz Kryo) CPU
Adreno 540 GPU
20MP f/2.6 aperture and 16MP Dual Camera f/1.7 aperture lens with EIS
Dual LED Flash
16MP Front Camera, EIS, 1.0 µm pixel size, 1080p with Auto HDR
Dual SIM, Dual Standby
128GB/64GB Internal Storage
4G LTE, 3G, 2G
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth 5.0
USB Type-C 2.0
3.5mm Audio Jack
Fingerprint Sensor, front-mounted
Android 7.1.1 Nougat OS with Oxygen OS 4.5.8
3300mAh Battery
Midnight Black, Slate Gray
Php 28,990 in Widget City (6GB RAM, 64GB variant)
Php 24,990 in Widget City (6GB RAM, 64GB variant)
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