Why it matters to you
OnePlus has a history of launching stellar phones at reasonable prices, and it seems likely that its next offering will be no different.
Update: Added news that the OnePlus 5 may have UFS storage.
It seems like it was only yesterday that OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone maker with a dedicated following, released the latest flagship in its eponymous series: The OnePlus 3T. But a brand-new model with dual cameras is on the horizon: The OnePlus 5. The company has confirmed it will launch the device at a live event on June 20 at 12 p.m. ET. What follows is everything we know about the long-awaited device.
Specs and screen
OnePlus makes competitively priced, but powerful phones, so we have high hopes for the OnePlus 5. The most recent news we have about the phone is that it may feature UFS 2.1 storage, which is a much faster standard of storage other phones have. It comes at a time when the likes of Samsung and Huawei have started adopting UFS storage as well. News of the switch came from OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, who posted a cryptic message on Chinese social media website Weibo joking that UFS had become a new standard for flagship phones. The message was then picked up by GizmoChina. This may not be confirmation of a switch but it does suggest the company is thinking about it, and to retain its status as the “flagship killer,” it will need to adopt UFS.
OnePlus has always made a point of having the latest Qualcomm processor power its phones, so which chip will be inside the OnePlus 5? Qualcomm tweeted confirmation the phone will have the new Snapdragon 835 inside, news which was also shared on the OnePlus forums.
— Qualcomm (@Qualcomm) May 24, 2017
OnePlus has also been tweaking aspects of the software to enhance performance. Its Oxygen user interface, placed over the Android operating system, will look at which apps you most use and prioritize them, so they open fastest. Those you rarely use will be pushed down the list. It has even used motion tracking cameras to measure scrolling performance on other phones, so it can create a lightning fast user experience on the OnePlus 5.The Snapdragon 835’s presence has been rumored for a while.
So where will the OnePlus 5 stand among other flagship handsets? Thanks to a Geekbench test provided to GSMArena from “a very credible source,” we may have our answer. A screenshot taken of the results shows the OnePlus 5 sliding into first place with a multi-core score of 6687. The next two devices on the list are the Exynos 8895 version of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Plus and the Kirin 960-powered Huawei Mate 9, with scores of 6375 and 6112, respectively. It’s worth noting here that not only are benchmark results easily faked, but OnePlus itself has been accused of making its phones perform especially well in these tests.
What about other specifications? A series of rumors published on the Chinese social network Weibo by Kumamoto Technology give us a few clues. In addition to the front-mounted fingerprint sensor we now know is coming, there’s a slightly larger 3,600mAh battery mentioned, along with the chance OnePlus may speed up its already excellent fast-charging system too, potentially by 25 percent.
Although some rumors have stated the next OnePlus phone may have 8GB of RAM, this rumor report isn’t so sure, saying 6GB is more likely, but adds a model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage space is possible in the future. The model with 6GB of RAM will likely have 128GB of storage space, although other reports have talked about 64GB as the base standard. There’s also some doubt over whether the OnePlus 5 will have a 3.5mm headphone socket, a feature on all other OnePlus phones, but becoming less common throughout the industry.
A report from Android Headlines states the next OnePlus phone will use an AMOLED screen with a curved edge, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. Some reports suggest it will measure 5.5-inches and have a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. Rumors originating from China agree, and also mention a bezel-less screen, much like the new Galaxy S8. Leaked images since this report suggest this isn’t part of the final design.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) June 8, 2017
The OnePlus 3T is a great looking phone, especially in beautiful midnight black, so how will OnePlus manage the design of its successor? A tweet regarding the device’s June 20 reveal straight from the company came with an image of the back of the device. Based on the render, it would seem that Android Police’s earlier report shakes out — the OnePlus 5 is going to look a lot like the iPhone 7.
From the AndroidPolice leak, we can see that at least the top half of the OnePlus 5 borrows many cues from the Plus variant of Apple’s flagship, with its horizontally arranged dual camera setup and flash, as well as rounded edges and a front-facing camera positioned to the left of a similarly designed speaker. This aesthetic is a significant departure from earlier rumors which proposed a device much more similar in style to the company’s previous products.
Creating a super-thin body also appears to have been a goal for OnePlus’ industrial designers. CEO Pete Lau sent a message through his Weibo account in May saying the first time anyone picks up the OnePlus 5, they will comment on the device’s thinness.
He concluded by adding he believes it will be “the thinnest flagship” phone out there, but won’t compromise on the user experience. This comment suggests the phone won’t have a tiny battery, or be impossible to hold, or incredibly easy to break. For comparison, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is 8mm thick, the LG G6 is 7.9mm thick, and the iPhone 7 is 7.1mm thick. The OnePlus 3T is 7.4mm thick. To break the current thinness record among 2017 flagship phones, the OnePlus 5 will need to be less than 7mm thick.
We also know the location of the fingerprint sensor won’t change, after another Weibo post from Lau, reported by GizmoChina, said as much. He indicated the OnePlus 5’s fingerprint sensor will be on the front of the device.
Additionally, we have a pretty good idea of what colors the OnePlus 5 will come in, thanks to a sly tweet by the marketing team:
What 5hould the color of your next phone be?pic.twitter.com/5FevP1VSq5
— OnePlus (@oneplus) May 22, 2017
The promo image shows four color configurations: Black, a blue-and-pink gradient, red, and gold.
Prior to OnePlus’ own confirmation, in May an image of what was purported to be the back of the OnePlus 5, below left, leaked on Chinese social network Weibo. While it reaffirmed the long-running rumor the phone would feature a dual-camera, the design was different from another rendering we saw in late April. That picture, below right, was published by India Today, based on eyewitness reports from those who claimed to have seen the device.
It’s not a huge surprise predictions were all over the map. A post made to Weibo recently said any images of the OnePlus 5 leaked before the end of April 2017 no longer apply. No reason was provided, but we may have been seeing abandoned prototypes.
GizBot reports that the OnePlus 5 will be more durable than its predecessor. It is said to be IP68-rated against water and dust exposure, or safe in up to 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes.
Name, price, and availability
When will the OnePlus 5 arrive? Thanks to OnePlus, we now have an answer. On June 6, the company confirmed that the OnePlus 5 would launch on June 20, and the firm said that it would publish additional details on its web page as the release date nears.
Apart from the June 20 launch, new reports indicate that the device will be on show at an exclusive event in India on June 22. Not only that, but the report mentions that the Indian variant of the phone will feature a whopping 8GB of RAM.
Why will it be called the OnePlus 5, and not the OnePlus 4? According to The Verge and India Today, OnePlus will name it this way because the number 4 is considered unlucky in China, where OnePlus is headquartered. It’s also the number of former NBA player Robert Horry, who a number of OnePlus employees reportedly are fans of.
Assuming the OnePlus 5’s pricing is in line with its predecessors, it will retail for between $400 and $500. The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T launched at $400 and $440, respectively.
The OnePlus 5 reportedly won’t disappoint in the camera department, and it may differ from previous models with the addition of a dual-lens camera setup, one of the hottest smartphone trends around. OnePlus is teasing the camera’s ability through its official Twitter account, with a post showing a split-screen image, where one has been taken with the OnePlus 5.
Can you tell which photo was taken with the OnePlus 5? pic.twitter.com/Pd27la4ewn
— OnePlus (@oneplus) May 29, 2017
Picture two is the most likely winner, but without word on what phone picture one was taken with, it’s hard to ultimately judge ability. Low-light photography on a smartphone is always a challenge, and picture one is a good example of how most handle the situation. Not terrible, but not great either. Now imagine if picture one continued the improved contrast, shadow, and detail seen in picture two, for a better idea of what to expect from the OnePlus 5.
To make sure the OnePlus 5’s camera delivers the best images possible, regardless of how many lenses it has, OnePlus will work with imaging experts at DxO. Announced on the company’s forum, it’s not giving away much about the phone’s camera, only saying the partnership will “enhance the photography experience on our upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 5.” DxO is best known for its extensive camera benchmarking tests, and clearly understands what makes a good photo. It recently crowned the HTC U11 the best smartphone camera out there, so we’ll have to wait to find out how it enhances the OnePlus 5’s photographic ability, and if it can beat HTC.
What about the camera itself? The latest rumors indicate that the phone will feature a 16-megapixel Sony IMX398 sensor, which is the same sensor used in the Oppo R9s. The rumor comes from a post on Reddit and was picked up by Android Headlines, and while the poster does claim the information is correct, they note that they cannot provide proof. Anther recent leak comes in the form of a photo from Android Authority, which shows off a dual camera setup on what’s apparently a prototype of the phone. Don’t read too much into the design though, as other rumors have warned prototypes don’t represent the OnePlus 5’s final look.
This rumor does contradict some previous rumors, namely one that asserted the device would sport a 23-megapixel main camera (up from 16 megapixels on the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3) with an LED flash and 16-megapixel front camera for selfies. This isn’t certain though, and a Chinese rumor report mentions a dual-lens camera mounted vertically on the back of the phone, again with 23 megapixels. A more recent Weibo rumor also mentions a dual-lens camera, with a horizontal arrangement like the recently announced Xiaomi Mi 6.
The leaked images seen below were reportedly taken by the OnePlus 5, or at least a device with the model number OnePlus A5000. The images do not show all that much, but the EXIF data indicates that they were taken in Shenzhen, China, which makes sense considering OnePlus is based there. Of course, it is possible to fake EXIF data.
A 3,000mAh or 4,000mAh battery may be used to power the phone. It’s highly likely to support the company’s Dash Charge technology, which can charge the battery to 60 percent capacity in just 30 minutes. The base OnePlus 5 will reportedly pack 64GB of storage and have a USB Type-C port.