There’s a certain aura that a OnePlus user exudes across the Android community. I remember the feeling I had the first time I ever saw a friend owning a OnePlus One—pure envy. Ever since its invite-only premiere years ago, OnePlus has been a strict status symbol. One might even imagine OnePlus users winking at one another as if to say, “You know your stuff.”

Iterations later, OnePlus is still “never settling” with the OnePlus 5. A marvel of smartphone engineering, the OnePlus 5 combines performance, design, and efficient pricing into a sleek metallic body.

Slim and sexy. Unlike the first OnePlus phone with various design styles, the OnePlus 5 sticks to one simple design: a smooth metal body, easy button layouts, and a touchy Gorilla Glass screen. Minus points go against a slightly protruding camera. Overall, the phone’s design is largely unoriginal. Among its peers, however, the OnePlus 5 stands out magnificently.

Vivid screen. Compared to other smartphones of its caliber, the OnePlus 5 has one of the most vivid screens I’ve seen. Colors pop out of the screen from any capacity you use the phone with. Even from the default home screen, the phone confidently gloats its screen with punchy wallpapers and icons.

Towering performance. With an octa-core Snapdragon 835, the OnePlus 5 is sharing the limelight atop the performance food chain. AnTuTu currently marks the test phone at a gigantic 182928. As if that’s not enough, this score sits 1000 points higher than the highest currently ranked phone in AnTuTu—which, unsurprisingly, is the OnePlus 5. PCMark, another benchmarking app, marks the phone at 6713, edged out only by the Xiaomi Mi 6 and the HTC U11. Based on practical tests, the phone can confidently play 3D-heavy games like Sniper 3D and Real Racing 2. Even after several minutes of playing, the phone kept at a manageable warmth.

Weird variant combinations. A slight nitpick I have with its variant strategy is limiting its lower 6G of RAM variant to 64GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, the higher 8GB of RAM variant peaks at 128GB. At 6GB of RAM, the OnePlus 5 is already an ample daily driver. 8GB of RAM just seems excessive. I’d love that 128GB of internal storage, though. Further, it’s not expandable through a microSD card.

Practically vanilla. Except for one app and slight reskins, the Oxygen OS 4.5.8 is mostly a vanilla Android 7.1 Nougat experience. In fact, even its one OnePlus app, Community, is a helpful addition. It connects you with other members of the OnePlus users’ community in case you need some troubleshooting.

Dark and light camera. The OnePlus 5’s strongest touts is its powerful camera. Armed with dual 16-megapixel rear cameras, it’s easy to see why. The camera is a confident shooter in both low-light and excellently-lighted conditions. The contrast pops out more with light, but it still had no trouble focusing in dark rooms.

Next-gen connectivity. The OnePlus 5 has the latest connectivity options available to smartphone technology including USB Type C and Bluetooth 5.0, which is only available for a few phones at the time of this writing. This signals the OnePlus 5 as a future-ready phone even if it’s only for a few years.

Brush through the day. The OnePlus 5 is equipped with a fairly large 3,300mAh battery. PCMark evaluates the battery at nine hours and 15 minutes with heavy usage. At a more practical level, the battery lasts around 18 hours of uptime without needing a recharge. Even with a light downgrade from the OnePlus 3T, the OnePlus 5 is a powerful battery pusher even for hardy users.

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Best value for money. Even with flagship specs, the OnePlus 5 retains its reputation as one of the best value-for-money brands out in the market. According to distributor Digital Walker, the OnePlus 5 costs P26,490 for 64GB and P30,990 for 128GB model in the Philippines.

VERDICT

The OnePlus 5 is one of the best smartphones available in the market this year. For a fraction of what you usually pay for a flagship, the OnePlus 5 has the most power and performance in a smartphone today.

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Specifications
Display 5.5” Optic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (1,920 x 1,080 resolution)
SIM Dual Nano, dual standby
Operating System Android 7.1.1 Nougat, Oxygen OS 4.5.8
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core
Memory 6GB/8GB RAM
Storage 64GB/128GB
Cameras Dual 16MP rear w/ f/1.7 aperture, EIS (gyro) + 20MP w/ f/2.6 aperture, 36mm, PDAF, 1.6x optical zoom, dual LED flash, up to 2160p@30fps video; 16MP front w/ f/2.0 aperture, 20mm, EIS (gyro), 1.0µm pixel size, Auto HDR, 1080p video
Connectivity & I/O Ports Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot; Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD; GPS w/ A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS; NFC; USB Type-C, USB 2.0
Security Front-mounted fingerprint sensor
Battery Non-removable Li-Po 3,300mAh
Dimensions & Weight 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.3mm, 153g
Price P26,490 (64GB), P30,990 (128GB)
Test: OnePlus 5: they never settled
Form Factor9.7
Build Quality9.7
Ease of Use9.7
Performance10
Value for Money10
9.8Overall Score