The next flagship from OnePlus is about a week away from release, scheduled for its global launch on 20th June 2017. The OnePlus 5 comes after a year of success for OnePlus with the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T at the helm. Can the company replicate the success it had last year with this years flagship? Let’s take a look at all the rumors to figure out if the OnePlus 5 is indeed a smartphone to look forward to.
The OnePlus 5’s most controversial aspect this year is very likely to be its design. Previous OnePlus flagships, especially the OnePlus One and the OnePlus Two, were known for standing out from their crowd with their unique take on how a smartphone should look and feel in hand with their signature Sandstone backs. The OnePlus 3 steered towards a more conventional design with a metallic unibody, a choice that sat well with most mainstream consumers though many did criticize the device for being thin enough to bear a sizeable camera bump.
For the OnePlus 5 though, OnePlus is going as mainstream as it could with a phone that resembles one of the most well-known phones around — the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. As revealed by AndroidPolice, with the render affirmed upon by Evan Blass and the design partially confirmed by OnePlus themselves, the design language of the OnePlus 5 looks straight up like an iPhone 7 Plus clone in the renders so far. This is different from the earlier ‘leaked’ images of the OnePlus 5 looking more like an updated OnePlus 3 with a dual camera setup (pictured below), all of which are now accepted as false.
Subjective opinion on the design of the iPhone 7 Plus differs, as many like the choices Apple made for its flagship, while others equally detest the compromises the design brought. The thinness of the device and the odd camera placement meant you had a camera bump on an asymmetrical back, something which can be a cause of annoyance to many who do not like the rocking motion such an asymmetrical protrusion creates when placed on a flat surface. And of course, there is the ‘courageous’ move away from the 3.5mm headphone jack..
So OnePlus choosing to ape the iPhone 7 Plus could be a positive and a negative aspect for the device. The iPhone 7 Plus is a good a phone to copy, but the very act of ‘copying’ undermines the ingenuity of what could be an otherwise spec-impressive Android device. We also do not have complete clarity on whether the OnePlus 5 will have a headphone jack or not, as Carl Pei’s tweet on the subject left us with more questions than answers. But if we must be honest, there’s no reason not to expect one — we bet there’s nothing to be worried about.
Outside of design, the OnePlus 5 is rumored to continue on with a 5.5″ display. OnePlus implied in one of their teasers that the new device is only marginally smaller than the OnePlus 3/3T, so unless the company is deciding to go smaller, it is safe to assume that the phone will retain a 5.5″ display. Rumors point that the display will continue to remain an AMOLED display with FHD resolution, though going for 5.5″ FHD for the fourth year in a row could affect OnePlus’s position against other flagship competitors who are all slowly moving towards 2K display so OnePlus could potentially switch it up this year for the sake of competition and VR. We have heard nothing about the “Optic” branding of their custom AMOLED panels (which is mostly software optimizations anyway), so they might not even focus much on the display, or marketing the display anyway, this time around. Again, that makes sense if it is still a 1080p AMOLED panel.
For the insides, the OnePlus 5 is confirmed to come with the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC and a whooping 8GB of RAM. Rumors also point to a 6GB RAM variant with 64GB internal storage, which adds fuels to the rumors that the 8GB variant would come with 128GB or even 256GB of internal storage (which makes more sense considering that the OnePlus 3T also comes with 128GB of storage, though nothing has been confirmed and it’s likely we’ll only see 128GB at launch).
Battery and Charging
The OnePlus 5 also has its fair share of speculation with regards its battery capacity. Leaks and rumors point to several possibilities ranging from 3,000 mAh to 4,000 mAh. Though, if you recall OnePlus’s implication that the device will be marginally smaller than its predecessors and the renders of the device which showcase a thin device, we are inclined to believe that an increase in battery capacity is unlikely to occur for this successor. OnePlus could offset a potential drop in battery by opting for an upgrade to DASH charging capabilities, though we have no credible rumors or ‘confirmation’ to back it up. So treat both, the battery specification as well as the charging specifications as speculation. We might see no advancements in Dash Charge, given they’d probably open up their teasers with such improvements, and we can expect the battery capacity to sit somewhere between the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.
The final set of rumors, leaks and speculations relate to the camera. The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T had good camera setups by themselves, but these could not compete and win against camera setups from pricier flagships from competitors. So an upgrade to the camera was definitely on the cards for the OnePlus 5.
And of course, the OnePlus 5 does seemingly have upgraded camera capabilities. First, the device is confirmed to come with a dual camera setup, with the confirmation coming directly from OnePlus through their marketing imagery.
What remains unknown is how the dual rear camera setup works. There are two possible working mechanisms that are seen across popular smartphones: the first setup involves using a combination of RGB and monochrome sensors to enhance the detail in images (as seen on the Huawei P10 and P10+), and the second setup involves using the second sensor for optical zoom (like on the Apple iPhone 7 Plus) or for wide angle scenarios (like on the LG G5/G6). It’s also very likely that they’ll adopt the Sony IMX 398 sensor making rounds in Oppo devices.
Which setup will the OnePlus 5 opt for?
There has been no official confirmation from OnePlus on this end, but we can make an educated guess. OnePlus’s marketing slogan for the OnePlus 5 is currently “Focus on what matters”, accompanied by images which have a zoomed-in focus area in the center.
That by itself is not entirely conclusive of the direction OnePlus is taking, but this is where the similarities to the iPhone 7 Plus come in. The iPhone 7 Plus does come with a dual camera setup that boasts of optical zoom, so it would not be far fetched to presume the same setup for the OnePlus 5. Especially given how fond OnePlus seems to be of Apple at an executive level.
To add to this, Oppo recently announced the Oppo R11, a device that also looks very similar to the iPhone 7 Plus. The Oppo R11 comes with a rear camera setup comprising of a 16MP main sensor and a 20MP sensor for 2x optical zoom. Considering the fact that Oppo and OnePlus (along with Vivo) are subsidiaries of BBK Electronics, it makes sense that the OnePlus 5 could be very similar to the Oppo R11. The precedent for the same also exists, as the first OnePlus device, the OnePlus One was also very similar to the Oppo Find 7.
And finally the price. This is a topic that is of much debate and something which leaks and rumors have not been able to put to rest. It is taken for granted that the new OnePlus 5 will be more expensive than previous OnePlus flagships as OnePlus has so far followed along a price progression.
Rumored pricing for the device puts the starting price of the phone to be around $449, but several rumors also quote the pricing to be as high as $499 and even beyond for the 8GB variant. Indian pricing is rumored to ₹32,999 ($510) for the base variant and ₹37,999 ($590) for the top variant, though we are not confident of the source. Since all of these mentioned prices do not have the backing of more reliable sources, remain skeptical.
Here is a recap of what is confirmed for the OnePlus 5 and what remains under speculation:
- ‘OnePlus 5’ name, skipping over ‘OnePlus 4’
- Launch – June 20th
- Metallic unibody design not larger than the OnePlus 3/3T
- Dual Rear Camera
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- 8GB RAM
- 5.5″ AMOLED Display
- 6GB RAM variant with 64GB storage
- Android 7.1 Nougat with OxygenOS
- USB Type-C
- Front Fingerprint Scanner
- Existence of Headphone Jack
- Battery Capacity – Ranging from 3,000 mAh to 4,000 mAh
- Faster/better DASH charging
- Rear camera setup enables optical zoom
- Pricing – Ranging from $449 to beyond $500