To this date, OnePlus has been known for its affordable Android smartphones with premium specs. If there’s one thing that’s been lacking from its past smartphones — most recently, the OnePlus 3T (2016), OnePlus 3 (2016) and OnePlus X (2015) — it’s a top-of-the-line camera. But that’s changed with the OnePlus 5, which has a dual-camera system that puts the phone up against the Samsung Galaxy S8+ and iPhone 7 Plus.
Starting at $479, the OnePlus 5 is expensive compared to the rest of the OnePlus line, yet still it’s several hundred dollars less than the premium offerings by Apple, Google and Samsung. So is the OnePlus 5 and its new fancy camera worth buying? Here’s what reviews from other publications are saying.
“While there were some situations when the iPhone, S8 and Pixel had an edge, all of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. The OnePlus 5 is the only phone that we know that has two cameras for the bokeh effect with that high of a megapixel count.What’s more, while the camera is competing neck-and-neck against these rivals, keep in mind it’s doing it at hundreds of dollars less than the others.” — Lynn La, CNET
“Despite the great hardware, the photos don’t impress. For every awesome shot of my jittery dog, the 5 botches a still shot of a basketball hoop. Even in great light, photos featured softer edges and less detail than I’d expect. I found the autofocus lightning fast, but not always accurate. In low light, photos are often noisy to the point of mushiness. Luckily, OnePlus can fix a lot of this in software; the company recently pushed a big update to the image processing. But it still has a lot of work to do, given that cameras separate good Android phones from great ones.” — David Pearce, Wired
“Let’s start with the positives: The 16MP main rear camera is very good. It routinely captured shots with bold, rich tones and colors that sometimes were more accurate than what I saw from a Galaxy S8.” — Sam Rutherford, Tom’s Guide
“Photography is now the biggest differentiator among Android phones, especially given how many companies have figured out how to do good design, big batteries, and (mostly) bezel-less screens. For OnePlus to stand out without its disruptive pricing, it needed to deliver something truly unique with its new camera system. On the evidence of my experience with the OnePlus 5, it has failed.” — Vlad Savov, The Verge
“Outdoors with plenty of natural light, the cameras performed admirably, taking perfectly shareable pictures but not necessarily ones as sharp as photos taken with an iPhone or Galaxy S8. Photos shot indoors or at night also left room for improvement, with some appearing “grainy,” or at times, a bit blurry, particularly compared to those from the aforementioned rival phones.” — Eli Blumenthal, USA Today