The wait for the OnePlus 5 is nearly over, so it’s the perfect time to go over all the rumors, leaks and speculation for the Chinese “flagship killer”.
Co-ordinated live events are promised in London, Paris, Copenhagen and New York at 12pm/5pm on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21 June.
OnePlus has made quite a name for itself with its line of high-performance, low-cost smartphones specifically designed to outclass the best that Apple, Samsung and Sony have to offer.
Their previous model, the OnePlus 3T, featured a 5.5 inch 1080p display, 6GB of RAM and 16 megapixel resolution for both front and rear facing cameras – all for the very reasonable price of £399.
Why no OnePlus 4?
It’s a cultural thing. The Chinese manufacturer has skipped over the OnePlus 4 and gone straight to the OnePlus 5. In some East Asian societies, the number 4 is seen as being very unlucky (like the number 13 in the West), so it’s common practice for companies and establishments to omit the number from product names, hotel rooms and even floors of buildings.
So, if you’re superstitious, OnePlus has you covered.
Putting that aside and keeping to the hardware/software let’s take a look at what OnePlus are actually promising with the rumoured specs of this world-beating smartphone.
OnePlus has officially confirmed that their latest model will feature a Snapdragon 835 chipset, a significant upgrade over the 3T’s Snapdragon 821.
The Snapdragon 835 reaches processing speeds of 2.35GHz and can be found in several high-end smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S8, Sony Xperia XZ Premium and the HTC U11.
Not only is the 835 faster at processing than the 821, it uses about 25 percent less power, supports the highest quality standards of video and audio and is fully ready for the release of Bluetooth 5.
It terms of performance, the Snapdragon can match or even outperform the iPhone 7 in both standard and 3D graphics processing benchmarks. The actual performance of the chip is very dependant on how well the phone manufacturer makes use of it, but it certainly has the potential to beat the iPhone 7, which is currently the highest performing smartphone on the market.
Specs: Memory and Storage
We can expect an upgrade to 8GB of RAM, a slight improvement over the OnePlus 3T’s 6GB. More RAM means better multitasking and faster performance for especially intensive tasks and applications.
In terms of storage space, we’ll likely see a 64GB model and a more expensive 128GB model. There’s no indication of an SD card slot, which means the storage you buy will be the storage you’re stuck with.
It seems unlikely that the 5.5 inch screen on the 3T will get any bigger for the OnePlus 5. This size is currently the most popular among recent smartphones, although it is rather dwarfed by the 6.2 inch display on the Samsung Galaxy S8+.
There’s plenty of speculation around the OnePlus 5 featuring a curved screen, waterproofing and even mobile VR support, although none of these rumors are supported by much evidence.
OnePlus have been keen to show off the camera’s specs and features for their upcoming device, strongly pitching their new smartphone to the mobile photographers of the world.
OnePlus tweeted a comparison photo to highlight the impressive quality gained by this twinned camera technology.
In a new partnership with French imaging technology company, DxO Labs, OnePlus have worked hard to improve the quality of their photos and video with some innovative new features.
The OnePlus 5 will feature two rear-facing cameras, one of which is entirely dedicated to taking monochrome (black and white) images.
Not only is a monochrome camera great for taking moody, arty snaps, but it will work simultaneously with the full-colour camera for enhanced low-light photography.
Monochrome sensors are dedicated to capturing the precise light levels of an image, meaning the other sensor can focus entirely on the colours. This results in a higher dynamic range (the difference between the dark and light parts of the image) and more accurate definition for the photo’s colour contrast.
There’s yet to be any official word on the cost of the OnePlus 5 and speculations range from around £329 to £500. It seems safe to assume a price somewhere around £400, with the 125GB model costing slightly more.
Although £400 is hardly a budget smartphone, it is significantly cheaper than the competition, with the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S8+ retailing for around £600 each.
Conclusion: OnePlus 5
We’ll have to wait and see exactly what the OnePlus 5 has to offer, but the combined leaks and rumors surrounding the device are certainly painting the portrait of a true “flagship killer” in terms of both performance and price – continuing the trend set by previous OnePlus smartphones.