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Oneplus 5: Is It Still The Value Flagship?

The day is here and we take the wraps off the Oneplus 5. It has been 4 years since Oneplus redefined the smartphone industry as we know it. They set out with a clear goal, to kill the other flagship devices. The company who has told us to never settle has done this by delivering device after device with flagship specs at half the price of some other notables.

The Oneplus 5 is the most expensive device to date from the company, but does it offer the same value it once did. The Oneplus One debuted at $350usd/$2350ttd, fast forward to the Oneplus 5 and the price has raised to $480usd/$3200ttd for the base model. So what’s changed?



  • 5” 1080p Optic AMOLED display
  • Snapdragon 835 CPU
  • Gorilla Glass 5
  • Dual Sim
  • Nougat 7.1.1
  • Dual 20mp + 16mp rear camera setup, 16mp front camera
  • Dirac HD Sound
  • 64/128gb storage, 6/8gb RAM
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 3300mAh battery
  • Dash charging
  • USB Type C

The Oneplus 5 is set to be the most criticised version yet. They decided to stick with a 1080p display, no wireless charging,  no waterproof, and no expandable storage. Now while some of those features may not be a deal breaker for you, the fact is a lot of manufacturers have thrown those features in which can warrant the higher price tag, and since the Oneplus 5 is a small step away from being over $500usd, you would think that those features would have been added into properly compete with the high priced flagships on the market.  As it stands, you can currently pick up an LG G6 for $480usd-$500usd and that does not make nearly as many sacrifices as the Oneplus 5 does.

The OnePlus 5 takes a page from Apple’s camera setup using higher-resolution Sony sensors: a 16-megapixel with a wide-angle f/1.7 lens, and, closer to the middle of the phone, a 20-megapixel IMX350 with a f/2.6 telephoto lens.  The 5 also has a portrait mode that simulates bokeh around the subject of the picture, re-creating the shallow depth-of-field effect of DSLR cameras.

Coming up to the launch date, there was a lot of talk from Oneplus themselves saying that they are working with DxO mark to create a high-end camera setup, and during the presentation, there was no talk of DxO mark working with them.

All this added to the big hype about the camera setup, and so far early reviews are not living up to that hype. There is no Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) on the device and even though electronic stabilisation is here, it’s still not what we would have expected.

Oneplus is trying to sell us specs and speed but this time for a higher price tag. While I have always been a fan of Oneplus and what they have done, I feel this is the device that gives Oneplus the bump in the road, that reality check.

They didn’t innovate, they borrowed the design from other devices (Oppo R11, Iphone 7plus) and increased the price. The positive to this device is that now the Oneplus 3T will be even cheaper if you can get your hands on it since the company has already announced that it has discontinued the device.

Take a look at this comparison between the Oneplus 5 and the Xiaomi Mi 6. Both are almost identically speced and the Mi 6 adds splash resistance, stereo speakers. The Mi 6 starts at $370usd/$2500ttd for its 64gb, 6gb Ram variant. Does the Oneplus pack enough to warrant a full $100usd more? You be the judge. (Oneplus 5 vs Xiaomi Mi 6)

Let us know in the comments if Oneplus has done enough for you in the 5 to make it a worthwhile purchase given the stiff competition from this year and last years devices on the market.


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Keron Mcleish

Keron McLeish is the owner of Droid Island and has over 10+ years of international experience working for some of the biggest brands in mobile such as Apple, Telus, and Rogers. He is located in Trinidad and Tobago and is a trusted mobile expert in the region. In his off time, he can be found shooting airballs on the basketball court or eating a bake and shark on the beach.

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