Now that the OnePlus 5 is official, the focus shifts on the real question: Is the OnePlus 5 smartphone worth its price? The simple answer is no. OnePlus 5 really doesn’t have what it takes to be a flagship smartphone in 2017. You may argue that OnePlus 5 packs in specifications that are great at its price. But does that make all the difference for a smartphone considered as a ‘flagship killer’?
In short, the OnePlus 5 smartphone doesn’t feature a great display. It isn’t waterproof, it doesn’t feature the best cameras, there’s no memory expansion slot, and the design isn’t all that special either. OnePlus 5 no longer offers value for your money, but simply an alternative to high-priced smartphones.
Let’s talk about each of these in a bit more detail.
OnePlus 5 Display
The 5.5-inch display on the OnePlus 5 runs at a resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It’s a full HD display in other words. That’s still pretty standard. Flagship smartphones are now expected to carry at least QHD displays. You could argue that keeping it 1080p may help the OnePlus 5 battery last a little longer, but that’s a silly excuse. Android smartphones usually carry a very large battery.
Shipping a smartphone at this point in time in 2017, which will be refreshed in the middle of 2018, with a 1080p display is just shoddy work.
OnePlus 5 Design
The OnePlus 5 features a pretty darn boring design. OnePlus claims the OnePlus 5 design went through multiple iterations before eventually deciding this final design. It looks like an iPhone 7s Plus from the back, thanks to the similar dual-camera assembly. OnePlus doesn’t have the resources like Samsung or Apple, but that’s no excuse to simply borrow designs from your competitors. You can’t go around carrying a OnePlus 5 without anyone noticing if you’re carrying a cheap replica of the iPhone 7s Plus.
The same can be said for the lack of edge-to-edge displays. OnePlus openly admits its supply chain isn’t as generous as Apple or Samsung to ship edge-to-edge displays this year, but then again that’s a shoddy excuse. Bezels are so 2015 now.
OnePlus 5 Camera
OnePlus decided to latch on a dual-camera assembly on the OnePlus 5 smartphone this year. The 20+16MP camera combination is designed to match the growing trend of dual-camera smartphones in 2017. OnePlus focused big time on their camera development this year since they couldn’t really ship a new (read original) design or add anything drastically different to their smartphone.
The Verge reviews the OnePlus 5 camera as “Dual camera system is a failure”. Now that’s just one review, and it’s super hard to make both hardware and software for a smartphone camera and get it right, even Apple took a long time to ship the portrait mode for the iPhone 7s Plus. But for OnePlus 5 the expectations were higher since its USP is the camera itself.
Lack of waterproofing and expansion slots
One honestly expects a smartphone to ship with water-resistant (if not water proof) designs. Our smartphones are precious little devices for us and we just cannot live without one. One little spill here and there and boom! Your smartphone could be dead before you know it. In 2017, it’s absolutely essential for a smartphone to ship with waterproofing.
And no expansion slots on an Android smartphone have to be some sort of a crime. Who do you think you are, Apple or what?
OnePlus 5 Customer Support
During the launch event, OnePlus rolled out a special video showcasing how its customer care team has expanded globally. The video also laid down the process OnePlus carries out to solve customer’s smartphone problems. While it looked all glossy and slick, customer experiences like these ruin a prospective customer’s plans on buying a OnePlus 5 smartphone. This could be a one-off experience but it will make sure OnePlus loses a bunch of prospective buyers.
To cut this down to a TL;DR version, I honestly think the OnePlus 5 isn’t worth the money anymore, not unless you’re getting an absolutely insane deal.
Here’s why I think OnePlus 5 doesn’t deserve your money:
- Lack of qHD display
- Camera fails to impress
- The design is boring
- Lack of edge-to-edge display
- No waterproofing
- No expansion card slot
- Customer care is still flaky