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20
Jun

OnePlus 5 review: The flagship-killer’s coming of age


When OnePlus launched its first phone back in 2014, it was clearly the plucky upstart, one that was trying to offer as powerful a phone as possible that almost anyone could afford. Many of its strategies – from marketing to launch and invites for sales – screamed that this was a small company without the usual corporate strings attached. It could afford to be bold and different. 

Fast forward three years and the key fourth-generation OnePlus device, the OnePlus 5, has arrived. With its latest creation, OnePlus is still trying to give users as good a phone as possible, without charging equivalent flagship prices. And there really is a whole lot of good under the hood.

  • OnePlus 5 is here, and it’s more powerful than ever
  • OnePlus 5: Release date, hardware specs and everything else you need to know

However, with official carrier partners, growing international presence and a functioning supply chain, it’s more corporate than it used to be. It might not be the £200 flagship-killer anymore, but the OnePlus 5 still promises a lot for a price point that’s comfortably cheaper than the competition. 

OnePlus 5 review: Design

  • 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25mm; 153 grams
  • Slate Grey or Midnight Black
  • Ceramic fingerprint sensor

In many ways, the OnePlus 5 looks like its predecessors – it looks like a slimmer, rounder OnePlus 3/3T – but it has a clear enough identity of its own.

Like its predecessor, it’s made from a solid block of aluminium that feels really well made and has a smooth finish. Compared to most other 5.5-inch devices, the OnePlus 5 is narrower, thanks to its slim bezels. It’s noticeably more compact than the iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel XL or Moto Z2 Play.

One of the more subtle changes, which makes the biggest difference in use, is on the OnePlus 5’s edges. On the previous 3T, there’s a corner (or dividing line) between the edges and the back which runs all the way around the phone. With the OnePlus 5, the company has shifted this so that it’s further up the edges, increasing the curves on the back. It’s called the Horizon Line and, combined with the 7.25mm thinness, means the phone feels even more comfortable in hand than before.

This does, of course, mean that there’s less space for buttons and switches. It’s no surprise, then, that the volume rocker, alert switch and power button on the right edge are slimmer than before.

Other important new features in the OnePlus 5 include a new camera design. The new dual camera is no longer placed in a large protrusion in the centre of the back panel like with earlier OnePlus models. Instead, it’s placed in the top left corner. It still protrudes, but nowhere near as much as before. That means the phone won’t rock around so much when placed flat on its back.

There’s also the new antenna band design. Like the Midnight Black OnePlus 3T, the OnePlus 5’s antenna bands are colour matched to make them harder to notice. They also now run around the insides of the corners to follow the edge more closely, instead of being right across the back. It makes for a cleaner design, similar to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

You’ll find the usual selection of ports and holes on the OnePlus 5’s bottom edge. That includes the Type-C port, a 3.5mm headphone jack – OnePlus hasn’t had the “courage” to remove that one yet, despite the slowly growing trend to do so – and five machined holes for the loudspeaker.

On the front, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 has been chosen to protect the display from bumps and scrapes, while the fingerprint sensor is now ceramic, for better durability.

Overall, the OnePlus 5 represents a more refined approach. By evolving the look and feel of its flagship device, while keeping all of what made the last model great, it’s even more likely to make a dent against the current flagship elite.

OnePlus 5 review: Display

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED screen
  • Full HD (1080 x 1920) resolution
  • Gorilla Glass 5 protection

If there’s one thing we’ve wanted to see from the “flagship killer” for the past couple of years, it’s a Quad HD display. Sadly, the OnePlus 5 doesn’t feature one. Those wanting a more pixel dense experience are going to have to wait a little longer or choose something else.

That’s not to say a 1080p Full HD panel on a 5.5-inch phone is low quality. It isn’t. Indeed, this is a very good display. It’s AMOLED based, and is one of the more punchy panels we’ve seen of late. Blacks are pitch black, while colours are really vibrant and saturated in the default calibration.

Here’s where the screen really shines though, for those with very particular standards and requirements: the display can be changed to show sRGB or DCI-P3 colour standards, the latter being the wider colour gamut that Apple is using in its latest devices. If you want a more natural, less saturated appearance, such settings should suit you just fine. Or you can just adjust the colour temperature slider in the Screen Calibration menu to fine tune the white balance to your own preferences.

We’d still like OnePlus to dabble in a higher resolution panel, though. We could notice the difference between this and higher resolution panels. Text and curves aren’t exactly rough or jagged, but when viewing  them up close, they’re clearly not quite as smooth and sharp as a QHD panel might be. Still, despite that, when holding at arm’s length, gaming, browsing and watching movies all look great on the OnePlus 5. But it’s how much the screen pops with life rather than resolution that makes it a pleasing experience.

OnePlus 5 review: Software

  • OxygenOS on Android Nougat
  • Reading mode

OnePlus’ OxygenOS is back and remains one of the more customisable and clean custom Android skins available. On the surface, it looks very much like the Google Pixel’s software, as the app drawer pulls up from the bottom of the screen.

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There are also the quick actions which pop-up on compatible apps when you press-and-hold the app icon. The phone dialler lets you add a new contact, you can take a selfie, photo, video or launch Pro mode with the camera, or compose new messages with the Messaging app, among many other uses. Any of these quick actions can be dragged onto the screen as permanent shortcuts too.

Of course, being OxygenOS there are some differences compared to stock Android. The most apparent is the Shelf – a feature which lives to the left of the primary home screen – which acts an area where your most needed information and widgets live. Recent contacts and apps are placed in individual cards, as is the Manager Centre which tells you how much storage and battery you’re using. You can even add practically any widget that’s available in the system.

One really useful and battery-saving feature is Reading Mode. This changes the screen to display greyscale and sharpens text to make it feel more like an e-reader. You can activate it manually, or set it to apply to any of your specific reading apps when you open them.

There are gestures like flipping the phone on its face to mute an incoming phone call, or to take a screenshot by swiping the screen with three fingers. There’s also the usual selection of letters you can draw on the lock screen to launch a particular app, much like Huawei’s EMUI features: you can assign apps to open when you draw O, V, S, M or W, and double-tap the screen to wake it up.

In traditional OnePlus style you can choose whether or not you want onscreen navigation buttons, and which sides you want the back and recent apps buttons to be on. You can even assign shortcuts to each of the capacitive buttons depending on whether you long press or double-tap them.

One of the more useful features is App Locker, which adds an extra layer of security to the apps that contain personal information or communication. By activating it, you choose which apps you’d like to lock behind a fingerprint scan. That way, whenever you launch those specific apps, it asks you to rest your finger on the sensor, draw your pattern or input a PIN.

As is also customary for OxygenOS, you can change the look of the interface too. Choose between a few app icon styles, plus a system-wide dark or light theme. Once you’ve chosen a theme, you can choose an accent colour which appears on any toggle switches, and on some text.

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None of the changes made to Android by OnePlus feel like obstacles. In fact, they seem beneficial and they’re not obtrusive. If you leave it as it is from the outset, there’s very little to distinguish it from a clean version of Google’s standard operating system.

There is one thing missing though: Google Assistant. As things stand, in our review unit, the search assistant is still the older version. You can still ask it almost anything, it just doesn’t display it in the Assistant’s chat-like interface.

OnePlus 5 review: Performance

  • 2.45Ghz Snapdragon 835 chip
  • 6GB or 8GB RAM (LPDDR4X)
  • 64GB or 128GB storage

The Snapdragon 835 processor is the latest, and most powerful, currently available from Qualcomm. And it absolutely flies in the OnePlus 5. Regardless of what task you might throw at it, the phone takes it in its stride.

This isn’t all to do with processor, though. With a minimum of 6GB RAM, there’s plenty of memory to go around. And with it being a faster, more efficient kind of memory, things are that bit smoother and more responsive.

OnePlus also uses a software tool called App Priority which learns the apps you use most frequently and makes sure they’re always ready to go when you need them. Again, a bit like Huawei’s EMUI software in the P10 Plus. In daily use, we’ve found our most used apps load up very quickly on the OnePlus 5.

If there’s any minor criticism, it’s that sometimes the content moves and scrolls slower than your finger or thumb moves across the screen. It’s not hugely noticeable, though, unless you look for it closely and compare it to something like an iPhone. Otherwise the OnePlus 5 compares very well to other high-end Android phones – including pricier flagship devices.

OnePlus 5 review: Battery life

  • 3,300mAh battery
  • Dash Charge fast-charging
  • USB Type-C port

On paper, the battery specs may not seem too impressive in the OnePlus 5. The 3,300mAh cell is less capacious than its predecessor’s, but we’ve been getting pretty much the same performance. That’s to say the OnePlus 5 will get to the end of a work day very easily.

In our testing, starting the day at 100 per cent battery at around 8am, we managed to get to nearly midnight with 40 per cent of the battery’s charge still remaining with light to moderate use. Heavy users should be able to get to the end of a day too, albeit with less remaining charge.

One of the OnePlus 5’s best features is that, regardless of how much you use the phone, you don’t have to wait ages for it to charge back up again. Even if the phone dies before your work day finishes (we’d call that super-heavy use), you can plug it in for 30 minutes and have enough juice to comfortably get you through the rest of the evening.

This is thanks to something the company calls Dash Charge. It works by amping up the current to deliver lots of power, quickly, and uses a thick cable to dissipate any heat. That means even if you’re using the phone to game, watch videos or navigate in your car, the battery continues to fill up quickly.

The company’s slogan “a day’s power in half an hour” is pretty much bang on. Starting at zero, you can easily get it to more than two thirds full after 30 minutes plugged into its charger. Or starting at 25 per cent, we checked it again after 30 minutes to find that it was over 80 per cent.

The last 10-15 per cent does take a little while longer, as is typical of current battery technology. Even so, you’re never going to be left waiting much longer than an hour to completely refill the OnePlus 5’s battery from empty.

OnePlus 5 review: Camera

  • Dual camera (16MP f/1.7 and 20MP f/2.6)
  • Depth effect in portrait mode
  • 16MP front-facing camera

OnePlus has upped its camera game in the OnePlus 5. There’s now a dual camera system on the back made up of one 16-megapixel camera with f/1.7 aperture lens and one longer focal length 20-megapixel camera with f/2.6 aperture lens.

In a manner similar to the iPhone 7 Plus, the OnePlus’ cameras combine to form a depth effect in Portrait mode. This means keeping the subject in the foreground in focus, but adding lots of background blur via software, as applied from a depth map created by offsetting the data of both cameras. There’s also the option to switch to 2x zoom quickly at the press of a button. 

For the most part, the depth effect function is as good as we anticipated: like most other depth effect cameras, the results can be hit and miss. Sometimes the camera does well at detecting the difference between the background and foreground, creating a nice bokeh effect. Other times, it confuses some of the subject with the background, and blurs the edges that you would ideally like to keep sharp.

One part that has us confused is the way in which the 2x zoom works. Sometimes when hitting the 2x button, the phone switched to the secondary 20MP f/2.6 camera. This resulted in an image that was sharper and had more detail, although there was always more visual noise in these shots (likely a combination of the smaller aperture, smaller pixels on the sensor and different processing being deployed).

Other times we noticed that the phone was still using the primary 16MP camera and, therefore, not using so-called optical zoom at all. In these instances, the images were no sharper than the regular pictures. 

For most users, it’s going to be hard to notice this on the phone’s screen itself. We had a dig into the image properties to see what was going on, and experimented by covering lenses during shooting to see which camera was being used. Whether this is a designed feature, or the switch between the two cameras is not working correctly at present is unclear. 

The long and short of it is that you can hit a handy 2x button on the screen to grab a zoomed in picture really quickly. To call it optical zoom is arguable, however, as the OnePlus 5 has two rather different cameras.

Even so, in general the OnePlus 5’s image quality is up there among the best of them. Colours and detail really shine, while the phone focuses really quickly and reliably. In fact, this fast autofocusing was easily one of the camera’s best features. In low lighting conditions, you’ll notice more image noise, especially in automatic mode, but the relatively fast aperture settings help keep results at a level that’s typical of a high-end smartphone. 

We noticed a tendency for the camera to sometimes overexpose shots in a number of lighting conditions, however, by letting in too much light, and thus killing some detail. Thankfully there is a brightness slider near the focus ring on screen to help you adjust this. There is a new Pro mode which will let you adjust ISO, shutter speed, white balance, focus and gain, too.

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Overall the OnePlus 5’s camera is impressive, it’s certainly more consistent than any previous OnePlus. In conditions where your subject is backlit, the OnePlus’ HDR system does a better job of highlighting the subject than an iPhone 7 Plus does. Other images in good lighting are comparable to the latest iPhone too.

It’s still a little way off competing with the Galaxy S8 though. All-round shots from that device appear more vivid, vibrant and seem more detailed to our eyes. The fact that we can compare the OnePlus 5 camera to a Samsung flagship at all shows the progress made by an ambitious smartphone maker. 

Verdict

It’s impossible to look at the OnePlus 5 and not see the price hike this year. Last year’s first flagship cost £309. Then the OnePlus 3T launched at £399. With the OnePlus 5 that’s up again, to £449 for the Slate Grey 6GB/64GB model. In the space of 12 months, OnePlus has increased the price of its best phone by £140 – which is just over 45 per cent.

With that said, when you compare the OnePlus 5 to what it’s competing with, it’s still very good value for money. The Midnight Black model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage (as reviewed here) costs a little more again, at £499. But compare that to an iPhone 7 Plus or the Pixel XL with the same storage and you’re effectively saving £320 by comparison.

Besides, we can’t get solely hung up on the price difference. Sure, the OnePlus 5 is more expensive than the series has been in the past, but it’s a brilliant phone. It’s better than any OnePlus before it by quite a margin, too, thanks to great software, ultra-powerful loadout, a refined design and some great features.

It’s clear OnePlus is no longer the plucky upstart. It’s a proper, grown up company. And the OnePlus 5 is a fitting flagship: a sophisticated, grown-up flagship that’s still great value for money.

Alternatives to consider

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Google Pixel XL

Spec the Google Pixel XL to the same storage option as the OnePlus 5 and you’ll have to pay considerably more for it. Still, those wanting a pure Android experience in excellent hardware will love this phone. What’s more, you’ll get upgraded to the latest and greatest versions of Android way before OnePlus manages to get its OxygenOS updated to the same version. 

Read the full review: Google Pixel XL review: Android’s new heavyweight champion

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iPhone 7 Plus 

On the hardware front, there are so many comparisons between the iPhone and OnePlus 5. It has the same size and resolution screen, and it has a similar dual camera make-up. It’s even roughly the same thickness. Apart from the price difference, the main reason for considering the iPhone is the software. iOS is quite different to Android, and you’ll always be on the latest software. 

Read the full review: Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: Big changes from the big iPhone

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HTC U11

HTC surprised us all this year with the U11. It may have a bit of a gimmick feature thrown in, but it’s a very capable piece of hardware. The Liquid surface finish is really eye-catching, it has a bright, big screen and is powered by the same Snapdragon 835 processor as the OnePlus 5. 

Read the full review: HTC U11 review: Flagship glory, with a gimmick squeezed in

20
Jun

OnePlus 5 is here, and it’s more powerful than ever


OnePlus has just taken the wraps off its latest flagship, the OnePlus 5. The company has again stuffed some of the most powerful components available inside a sleek, solid metal chassis.

From the outside, the OnePlus 5 looks like a rounder, slimmer version of the OnePlus 3/3T. Improving on last year’s version, the manufacturer shaved down the body thickness to a meagre 7.25mm, rounded the corners and added extra rounding on the edges to make it even more comfortable to hold.

  • OnePlus 5 review
  • OnePlus 5: Release date, hardware specs and everything else you need to know

The size and resolution of the display on the front has remained. That’s to say it’s a full HD 5.5-inch AMOLED panel, this time covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5 that’s slightly curved towards the edges.

One feature that’s definitely new to OnePlus is the dual camera system on the back. It’s made up of one 16-megapixel f/1.7 camera and one 20-megapixel f/2.0 telephoto camera. That means, like the iPhone 7 Plus, they can combine to create depth effects, or you can use the quick 2x zoom feature.

OnePlus

Inside, there’s a the latest Qualcomm mobile processor; specifically, the Snapdragon 835 which is tuned to 2.45GHz. Alongside that there’s 6GB RAM and 64GB storage in the Slate Grey model or 8GB RAM and 128GB storage in the Midnight Black version. 

With the newer processor, and a more efficient kind of RAM, OnePlus was able to get better battery performance, despite dropping down to 3,300mAh. That’s 100mAh less than the 3T. As you’d expect, you can refill it very quickly using the Dash Charge technology built into the power adapter and cable.

To help keep the phone running smoothly, there’s a feature built in called App Priority. This learns what your most used apps are and makes sure they’re ready to go and load quickly when you need them. It also de-prioritises apps you rarely use, and stops them using too much of your battery when you’re not using them.

From a software perspective, it’s no surprise to see a new version of OxygenOS which, this year, is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It includes most of the familiar features including the Shelf for quick access to important information and tools, customisable buttons, icons and theming.

OnePlus

The latest software does include some new features however. There’s reading mode which turns the screen monochrome, filtering out blue light and adapting sharpness to provide an e-reader like experience. You will also be able to take expanded screenshots, similar to what we’ve seen from the likes of Samsung and LG.

There are also new off-screen gestures for launching functions and apps, a customisable vibration motor, Secure Box for hiding private files behind a PIN or fingerprint and a Do Not Disturb mode specifically designed for when you’re gaming.

The phone will be available to buy direct from OnePlus from 27 June. The entry model costs £449, while the more powerful black version costs £499. As is traditional for OnePlus, there will be the usual selection of slim, snap-on cases in various wood, plastic and carbon fibre finishes. That includes the mainstay Sandstone finish.

20
Jun

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: What’s the difference?


OnePlus has announced its 2017 flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 5. The new device hits shelves on 27 June bringing plenty of power for under £500, but how does it compare to its rivals?

We’ve compared the OnePlus 5 to the Samsung Galaxy S8 in a separate feature, as well as to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, but here we are focusing on how it stacks up against the LG G6.

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: Design

  • LG G6 smaller but thicker and heavier 
  • LG G6 waterproof, OnePlus 5 isn’t 
  • Both have dual rear cameras and USB Type-C

The OnePlus 5 features an aluminium build with rounded corners and chamfered edges. It measures 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25mm, weighs 153g and it comes in two colours, comprising Midnight Black and Slate Grey. 

The antenna bands on the rear are more subtle than they have been on previous OnePlus generations, and the new model adds a horizontal dual-camera to the rear too. On the front, you’ll find a fingerprint sensor within a capacitive button, while USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack are present at the bottom. The OnePlus 5 has no IP water or dust rating.

The LG G6 also features an aluminium frame but it has a glass front and rear and it is a little smaller even if not slimmer than the OnePlus 5, measuring 148.9 x 71.9 x 7.9mm. It is also a little heavier at 163g, but it is available in three colour options rather than two, including Black, Platinum and White. It is IP68 water and dust resistant. 

Like the OnePlus 5, there is a horizontal dual camera on the rear, with USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack on board too. The fingerprint sensor is rear mounted on the G6 though, with the display being the main feature of the front, offering very minimal bezels with no physical buttons.

  • LG G6 review

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: Display

  • LG G6 has larger and sharper display
  • LG G6 has Mobile HDR and 18:9 aspect ratio 
  • OnePlus has AMOLED screen 

The OnePlus 5 has a 5.5-inch Full HD AMOLED display, which results in a pixel density of 401ppi. The aspect ratio is the standard 16:9 and it is protected Corning Gorilla Glass 5, with 2.5D glass blending seamlessly with the edge of the handset.

The LG G6 on the other hand, has a 5.7-inch FullVision display, despite its smaller body. It opts for LCD over AMOLED, which means colours are likely to be more vibrant and punchier on the OnePlus 5, even if they are more realistic on the LG G6.

LG’s device does have a higher resolution though at Quad HD+ (2880 x 1440 pixels), which results in a sharper pixel density of 565ppi. It also offers a 18:9 ratio display with support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision, making it an excellent device for entertainment with compatible content filling the display.

  • Mobile HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Mobile HDR Premium explained

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: Camera

  • Higher resolutions on OnePlus 5 cameras
  • Both have manual modes and up to 4K video recording
  • LG G6 focuses on wide angle capture, OnePlus 5 on optical zoom and bokeh

The OnePlus 5 has a 16-megapixel f/1.7 main sensor on the rear, coupled with a 20-megapixel f/2.6 telephoto sensor, while the front-facing camera is 16-megapixels with an f/2.0 aperture.

There is a dual-LED flash on board the rear, 4K video recording capabilities and up to 8x optical zoom. Portrait Mode allows users to create bokeh images, while the Pro Mode allows users to adjust various settings manually from ISO sensitivity to shutter speed and exposure. The front-facing camera will record video up to 1080p.

The LG G6 takes a slightly different approach with its dual camera setup, offering two 13-megapixel sensors on the rear, one with a standard lens at f/1.8, the other a 125-degree wide-angle lens with an f/2.4 aperture. The front-facing camera has a 5-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture.

In terms of features, the G6 also offers a dual-LED flash and it too is capable of recording up to 4K video from its rear snapper. Rather than focusing on optical zoom and bokeh effects though, it uses the dual camera setup to enable users to capture as far as the eye can see thanks to the wide-angle lens. Manual mode is available on the G6 too, allowing for adjustments of various settings.

  • OnePlus 5 review

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: Hardware

  • More advanced processor and more RAM on OnePlus 5
  • LG G6 offers microSD support
  • Both have 3300mAh battery and fast charging

The OnePlus 5 has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset under its hood, supported by either 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, depending on the model. There is a 3300mAh battery on board too, which supports Dash Charge for fast charging and as we mentioned previously, it is charged via USB Type-C.

The LG G6 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor at its core, which although a powerful chipset, it isn’t quite as new as the 835. There is also a little less RAM and storage, with the G6 only available in one model which has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, although the recently announced G6+ now offers a larger storage option.

LG offers microSD support for storage expansion up to 2TB, something OnePlus doesn’t offer at all. The LG G6 has the same capacity battery as the OnePlus 5 at 3300mAh and it too supports fast charging through Quick Charge 3.0.

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: Software

  • Both Android at core
  • OnePlus runs on modified version of Android, LG adds own software on top of Android 

The OnePlus 5 runs on OxygenOS, which is a customised version of Android Nougat 7.1.1, while the LG G6 runs on Android Nougat with LG’s software over the top.

Both are Android at their core but they will offer different software experiences with different features. You can read more about the software for each device and what it offers in our separate tips and tricks features or reviews.

  • LG G6 tips and tricks

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: Price

  • OnePlus £200 cheaper at launch 

The OnePlus 5 costs £449 for the 64GB model and £499 for the 128GB model. It will be available from 27 June.

The LG G6 went on sale at £650 when it first launch, though it is now available a little cheaper from some retailers.

OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: Conclusion

Both the OnePlus 5 and the LG G6 are excellent devices based on our experiences with them. The LG G6 has an amazing display that is not only bigger and sharper than the OnePlus 5, despite having a smaller body overall, but it also packs in some of the latest tech, including Mobile HDR.

The OnePlus 5 on the other hand is all about the power. It features a lovely premium design with all the power and RAM you could possibly need. There is no microSD on board and no waterproofing, but it is £200 cheaper than many of the flagships out there, including LG’s G6.

The decision between these two handsets will therefore come down to what you want from your device and how much you have to spend. If you want a device that has a great camera and is excellent for entertainment, the G6 is your winner. If you want all the power in a nice package without having to spend over £500, the OnePlus 5 is a great choice.

20
Jun

OnePlus 5: Release date, hardware specs and everything else you need to know


After weeks, even months, of speculation and leaks, the OnePlus 5 is finally officially. It is no doubt the company’s most powerful phone so far and continues the trend of offering a flagship phone experience in a device that costs considerably less than its competitors. 

  • OnePlus 5 review: The flagship-killer’s coming of age

From its look and feel, to its internal specifications, cameras, software and hardware, this is everything you need to know about the latest flagship killer. 

OnePlus 5: Design

  • 7.25 mm thin
  • All metal body
  • Ceramic fingerprint sensor
  • Midnight Black or Slate Grey colours

Like the OnePlus 3 and 3T, the OnePlus 5 is hewn from a single block of aluminium which is bead blasted and finished in the popular Midnight Black colour, or the new Slate Grey. 

While it’s similar, there’s a clear difference in shape between this and any previous OnePlus. The corners are more rounded, and the antenna bands bend inwards to follow the corners, similar to the iPhone 7. 

At just 7.25mm, the OnePlus 5 is the thinnest phone made so far by the ambitious tech company. The line around the edges – which OnePlus be-musingly gave an actual name to (Horizon Line) – has moved further up, to improve the ergonomics, making it more comfortable in hand.

It weighs just 153 grams and comes with the standard set of ports and buttons in a familiar layout. That means the textured alert slider on the left, above the volume switch, and the power button on the right.

The front plays home to the pill-shaped home button which – as usual – sits between two capacitive buttons and acts as the fingerprint sensor. Above the 5.5-inch screen you’ll find the classic OnePlus selection of earpiece, front camera and notification LED. The back is devoid of anything except the new dual camera system, which protrudes slightly in its elongated housing and is joined by a round dual-LED flash.

Prior to launch, rumours did speculate that the OnePlus 5 would feature a ceramic finish. This is only partly true, and was likely leakers getting their wires crossed. In fact, it’s the fingerprint sensor that’s ceramic. The rest of the front is glass.

OnePlus 5: Display

  • 5.5-inch AMOLED panel
  • 1080 x 1920 full HD
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 5

Like last year, the OnePlus flagship has a 5.5-inch full HD (1080 x 1920) display. That means a pixel density of 401ppi, and being AMOLED, contrast levels are very high, for nice, inky blacks.

The screen is covered in Corning Gorilla Glass 5, which curves slightly at the edges. For the nerds, the panel supports both sRGB and DCI-P3 colours.

Of all the specifications, it’s the display resolution which will lead many to question the phone’s “flagship killer” status. With a bump in price, and a resolution that still doesn’t match the highest rated phones on the market, it’s perhaps the only set of numbers on the spec list that don’t reach as high as tech-enthused consumers will like.

OnePlus 5: Hardware

  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 6GB or 8 GB RAM
  • 64 or 64GB storage
  • 3,300mAh battery

As is customary for a OnePlus flagship, the company equipped the phone with the latest Qualcomm processor. In this case, that’s a 2.4GHz Snapdragon 835.

The OnePlus 5 features a 3,300mAh non-removable battery, which isn’t quite as capacious as the OnePlus 3T’s 3,400mAh cell. However, because of the newer, more efficient processor and type of RAM being used (LPDDR4X), it should last longer than its predecessor’s. OnePlus claims up to 20 per cent longer.

OnePlus 5: Dash Charge

  • 30 min charge provides day’s battery
  • Fast even when phone in use

For the past year, OnePlus has earned plaudits for its fast charging technology. Dash Charge returns in the OnePlus 5 and will still provide enough juice in 30 minutes to keep you going for a full day.

Dash charge is unique in that it keeps voltage down, with more current being pushed through a cable to the phone. The cable also dissipates the heat, so the phone can charge quickly even when it’s being used for high intensity tasks like GPS navigation, gaming or video watching.

OnePlus 5: Camera

  • Dual 16MP/20MP rear camera
  • Telephoto lens for 2x optical zoom
  • Potrait mode
  • New Pro Mode

As rumours suggested, the OnePlus 5 has been equipped with a brand new dual camera system on the back. It has one 16-megapixel Sony sensor with f/1.7 aperture and a 20-megapixel Sony sensor with f/2.6 aperture and a telephoto lens. The main 16-megapixel sensor is equipped with electronic image stabilisation, while the telephoto camera combines with it to offer 2x optical zoom and background blur.

That means, in this instance, OnePlus appears to have gone done the same route as the iPhone 7 Plus, rather than opting for an LG G6-like secondary wide angle lens, or one colour/one monochrome system like Huawei uses.

The camera app has a portrait mode that adds a depth effect and lots of background blur while keeping the subject in focus. It also has a new, much more detailed “Pro” mode. You can change ISO, white balance, shutter speed, focus and exposure as is common. What’s new is that now you get a histogram in the top right corner of the interface, and a reference line to make sure you’re holding the camera straight.

Similar to previous phones, Smart Capture helps to improve the clarity of photos and works in the background as you shoot. In low light conditions, it works to reduce the noise and uses auto HDR to keep things clear, even when there’s heavy back-lighting.

Pro mode will also let you store up to two settings profiles for quick adjustments and easy access. As previously, you can shoot in RAW format too.

The rear camera system can shoot up to 4K resolution video at 30 frames per second or slow motion 720p video at 120 frames per second. There’s also a new noise-cancelling microphone which will make audio captured during video recording even clearer.

The front camera is also a 16-megapixel Sony sensor with EIS, but with an f/2.0 aperture. To light up your face in dark scenes, the phone will use the display as a flash, and auto HDR can help your photos look dynamic and vibrant, even in challenging lighting conditions.

OnePlus 5: Software

  • OxygenOS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat

OnePlus 5 ships running the company’s OxygenOS system based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It retains OnePlus’ features, like the Shelf that lives on the left of the main home screen, and keeps all the customisation options regularly found in OxygenOS.

Like the Pixel’s pure Android software, you drag the app drawer up from the bottom and can long-press compatible app icons and to bring up the quick options.

OnePlus 5: Price

  • £449 or £499

OnePlus 5 prices start at £449. That entry level price will get you the Slate Grey version with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. For £50 more, you get the Midnight Black model which is equipped with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. 

OnePlus 5: Release Date

  • General sale on 27 June
  • O2 exclusive carrier
  • Early bird offer on 20 June

As usual for OnePlus, the release isn’t entirely straightforward. Those watching the live stream on 20 June will be able to get a unique code, and order it on that day. There will also be pop-up events around the world during the launch week where hopeful customers can buy.

Regular online purchasing will be available globally, direct from OnePlus from 27 June. In the UK, O2 will once again be the exclusive carrier for those who want to buy it from a regular high street phone shop.

OnePlus 5: Conclusion

On the whole, the OnePlus 5 seems to be a promising phone despite the price increase. Its internal specifications and performance should push it close to the best phones available, and its price is still far lower than the likes of the Galaxy S8, Pixel and iPhone 7 Plus. It’s still disappointing not to have a Quad HD display, but that’s seemingly the only thing letting down the otherwise great-looking phone.

20
Jun

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: What’s the difference?


OnePlus has announced its 2017 flagship, the OnePlus 5, which will be available from 27 June.

There have been several rumours surrounding the new handset over the last few months, but with everything now official, how does it compete against its rivals?

Here is how the OnePlus 5 stands up against the mighty Samsung Galaxy S8.

  • OnePlus 5: Release date, specs and everything you need to know

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Design

  • Aluminium body for OnePlus 5
  • Galaxy S8 is waterproof and smaller
  • Both have USB Type-C and headphone jack

The OnePlus 5 features an anodised aluminium body, rounded corners and chamfered hard edge. It measures 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25mm, weighs 153g and it offers a dual camera on the rear in a horizontal array.

There is USB Type-C at the bottom with a 3.5mm headphone jack and a fingerprint sensor sits within a capacitive button beneath the display on the front of the device. No IP waterproofing rating is offered on the OnePlus 5.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features a metal and glass sandwich design, a curved display and a fingerprint sensor positioned at the rear next to the single camera lens. USB Type-C is on board, as is a 3.5mm headphone jack and there is a dedicated button on one side of the device for launching personal assistant, Bixby.

The Galaxy S8 measures 148.9 x 68.1 x 8.0mm, weighs 155g, comes in five colours and it is also IP68 waterproof.

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 review

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Display

  • Galaxy S8 has larger, sharper display
  • Galaxy S8 has Mobile HDR
  • Both AMOLED panels

The OnePlus 5 has a 5.5-inch flat AMOLED display with a Full HD resolution that puts its pixel density at 401ppi, which is the same as its predecessor, the OnePlus 3T. 

OnePlus has not mentioned anything about support for Mobile HDR and its aspect ratio is the standard 16:9, which is found on most smartphones, except the LG G6 and Samsung Galaxy S8.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 5.8-inch Super AMOLED display with an aspect ratio of 18.5:9, offering a Quad HD+ resolution (2960 x 1440) for a pixel density of 570ppi. The S8 therefore offers a larger and sharper display than the OnePlus 5.

The Galaxy S8 also offers Mobile HDR, meaning it is compatible with HDR content when it becomes available through Amazon Video and Netflix.

  • Mobile HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Mobile HDR Premium explained

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Camera

  • Dual-rear camera on OnePlus 5
  • Galaxy S8 has iris scanner on front
  • Higher resolution for front and rear of OnePlus 5

The OnePlus 5 features dual cameras on the rear, consisting of one 16-megapixel main sensor with a f/1.7 aperture and one 20-megapixel telephoto lens with a f/2.6 aperture. It is capable of 4K video recording and there is a Portrait Mode that allows for bokeh images, as well as Pro Mode for manual control over settings such as shutter speed and ISO.

The front camera of the OnePlus 5 has a 16-megapixel resolution and it is capable of up to 1080p video recording.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 has a 12-megapixel Dual Pixel rear camera with an f/1.7 aperture, OIS and autofocus. The front snapper has an 8-megapixel sensor, also with an f/1.7 aperture and autofocus. Results from both are excellent.

There is also an iris scanner on the front of the Galaxy S8, a technology that has not been introduced on the OnePlus 5.

  • OnePlus 5 review

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Hardware

  • More RAM and storage on OnePlus 5
  • Larger battery capacity within OnePlus 5
  • Galaxy S8 offers microSD 

The OnePlus 5 features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and it is available in two models, one of which has 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, while the other has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Neither offer microSD for storage expansion.

The battery capacity on board the OnePlus 5 is 3300mAh and it features the company’s fast charging technology, Dash Charge. As we mentioned previously, it is charged via USB Type-C.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 features either the Exynos 8895 chip, or the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, depending on the region. Both models come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, with microSD for further expansion. 

There is a 3000mAh battery capacity under the hood and Samsung offers 32-bit audio support. It too is charged via USB Type-C.

  • OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: What’s the difference?

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Software

  • Different software experiences, though Android at heart
  • Both Android Nougat at core

The OnePlus 5 launches on OxygenOS, which is a modified version of Android Nougat 7.1.1, while the Galaxy S8 runs on Android Nougat with Samsung’s TouchWiz software over the top.

The software experience of these two devices will therefore be quite different, though both have Android at the heart so there will be familiar features, they will just be packaged in a slightly different way.

  • Samsung Galaxy S8 tips and tricks

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Price

  • OnePlus 5 cheaper by around £200

The OnePlus 5 will cost £449 for 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, or £499 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 on the other hand costs £689, making it quite a bit more expensive.

OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: Conclusion

The OnePlus 5 offers more RAM, a larger battery capacity and a dual-rear camera setup compared to the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Samsung’s device however, offers a curved and larger display, waterproofing, iris scanning and an excellent camera experience. It is £200 more expensive though.

Both devices are excellent based on our experience with them so your decision will likely come down to your budget and which design you prefer.

20
Jun

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: What’s the difference?


OnePlus revealed its new flagship, the OnePlus 5, on 20 June. The next “flagship killer” has some stiff competition on its hands this year though, perhaps more so than ever, with Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and S8+ already out there, as well as LG’s G6 and Sony’s Xperia XZ Premium.

We’ve put the OnePlus 5 up against Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in this feature to see how they differ and what similarities they might offer.

  • OnePlus 5: Release date, specs and everything you need to know

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Design

  • Both aluminium, premium designs
  • Subtle antenna lines on both 
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are waterproof 

The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both come with a slim aluminium build, offering lovely rounded edges, subtle antenna lines on the rear and no 3.5mm headphone jack. The Lightning port sits at the bottom for charging, flanked by speakers either side, while a circular home button with the built-in Touch ID fingerprint sensor is present on the front beneath the display. 

The iPhone 7 measures 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm and weighs 138g, while the iPhone 7 Plus is larger and heavier at 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm and 188g. The smaller handset has a singular camera lens, while the larger has a horizontal dual-rear camera setup. Both devices are IP67 water resistant and come in six colour options, comprising rose gold, gold, silver, black, jet black and red.

The OnePlus 5 features an aluminium build too, again with subtle antenna lines though rather than rounded edges like the iPhone, it has a chamfered hard edge. The fingerprint sensor is positioned beneath the display within a capacitive button and the OnePlus 5 comes with a horizontal dual-rear camera like the iPhone 7 Plus.

The OnePlus 5 measures 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25mm and weighs 153g, putting it in the middle of the two iPhones in terms of size and weight, though both are ever so slightly slimmer. It comes in two colour options of Midnight Black and Slate Grey. OnePlus hasn’t added any form of IP-rated water resistance but USB Type-C and a 3.5mm headphone jack are both on board the OnePlus 5.

  • OnePlus 5 review

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Display

  • OnePlus 5 same size and resolution as iPhone 7 Plus
  • No Mobile HDR on board either
  • OnePlus AMOLED, Apple opts for LED-backlit

The Apple iPhone 7 comes with a 4.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD display with a 1334 x 750 resolution resulting in a pixel density of 326ppi, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a 5.5-inch LED back-lit display with a Full HD resolution for a pixel density of 401ppi.

Neither Apple model has Mobile HDR on board, though remember these two handsets are due an update in September. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both offer excellent displays with good vibrancy, viewing angles and colour representation, despite not offering the highest resolutions.

The OnePlus 5 comes with a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, like the OnePlus 3T. The company also sticks to a Full HD resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 401ppi, making it the same as the iPhone 7 Plus but sharper than the standard iPhone 7. Colours should also be a little more vibrant and punchy, even if not as realistic as the iPhone thanks to the AMOLED panel.

Like the iPhones, no Mobile HDR compatibility has been mentioned for the OnePlus 5, with the new “flagship killer” offering a very similar display to the OnePlus 3T. It does have 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass though, like the iPhones, meaning the display blends more seamlessly into the edges of the device. 

  • Mobile HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Mobile HDR Premium explained

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Camera

  • Dual-rear camera on iPhone 7 Plus and OnePlus 5
  • OnePlus 5 has higher resolution cameras
  • 4K video recording present on all three devices

The Apple iPhone 7 has a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 7-megapixel front camera, while the iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-rear camera featuring two 12-megapixel sensors, one wide angle and one telephoto, and the same 7-megapixel front camera.

Both devices feature a Quad-LED True Tone flash, optical image stabilisation, auto-HDR, exposure control and 4K video recording on the rear, while the front snapper is capable of 1080p video recording and it comes with a Retina Flash. Despite not offering the highest number of megapixels on the market, both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus offer excellent results in the camera department.

The OnePlus 5 features a dual-rear camera, which is horizontally aligned like the iPhone 7 Plus. Also like the iPhone 7 Plus, there is one main sensor and one telephoto sensor, though OnePlus offers higher resolutions at 16-megapixels and 20-megapixels respectively. The front camera is also 16-megapixels. 

The new OnePlus handset has a dual LED flash, up to 4K video recording capabilities from its rear snapper and up to 1080p from its front, as well as auto-HDR and manual control for the rear.

  • OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: What’s the difference?

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Hardware

  • Powerful hardware on all three devices
  • More RAM on OnePlus 5 
  • Higher storage capacity available for iPhone over OnePlus

The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both feature Apple’s A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture and embedded M10 motion coprocessor. Apple doesn’t disclose RAM information, though it is thought the smaller device has 2GB of RAM and the larger has 3GB.

Both Apple devices are available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options, none of which offer microSD. The iPhone 7 has a battery life of up to 14 hours 3G talk time, while the iPhone 7 Plus has up to 21 hours 3G talk time. Like the RAM, Apple doesn’t disclose mAh battery capacities, making them a little harder to compare spec-for-spec.

The OnePlus 5 comes with Qualcomm’s latest 835 chip. There are two models available, one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, while the other has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. OnePlus is another company that doesn’t offer microSD support so whatever the capacity option  you choose, that’s all you get.

The battery capacity is 3300mAh. The OnePlus 3T lasted through a normal day and then some on its 3400mAh battery so despite a slight reduction for the OnePlus 5, it is likely to last a little longer than the iPhone 7, though probably around the same as the iPhone 7 Plus. Quick top ups through Dash Charge are also offered on the OnePlus 5.

  • OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: What’s the difference?

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Software

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus run on iOS
  • OnePlus 5 runs on OxygenOS, a customised version of Android Nougat

The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus run on iOS 10 and they will see an update to iOS 11 when it launches later this year. The OnePlus 5 meanwhile, runs on the OxygenOS, which is a customised version of Android Nougat. 

Which software platform you’ll prefer will be based on your personal opinion and what you want to do with your device. If you have other Apple products, you’ll find seamless integration using iOS but if you want to be able to customise your device in terms of software, the OnePlus 5 and Android will provide more flexibility than Apple.

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Price

  • OnePlus 5 £150 cheaper than iPhone 7
  • OnePlus 5 £270 cheaper than the iPhone 7 Plus 

The Apple iPhone 7 starts from £599, while the iPhone 7 Plus starts from £719. For the 128GB model, you’re looking at £699 or £819.

The OnePlus 5 starts at £449 for the 64GB model and increases to £499 for the 128GB model. It is therefore between £150 to £200 cheaper than the same storage capacity in terms of the iPhone 7, or between £270 to £320 cheaper than the iPhone 7 Plus.

OnePlus 5 vs Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus: Conclusion

The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are excellent devices, offering premium waterproof designs, great cameras and good performance.

The OnePlus 5 offers higher resolution cameras though, not that more megapixels necessarily means better, along with more RAM, a likely larger battery capacity and it is around £200 than the smaller iPhone and £300 cheaper than the larger model.

Despite a few similarities in design, the OnePlus 5 and the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are very different devices, especially in terms of software. The choice between them is therefore likely to come down to your budget and which software experience you favour.

20
Jun

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: What’s the difference?


OnePlus’ next flagship killer has been stealing headlines over the last few weeks with several confirmations from the company itself prior to the launch. Now all the details are official though with the OnePlus 5 arriving seven months after the OnePlus 3T.

The question is, how much has changed in half a year, or a year if you’re a OnePlus 3 owner? Here is how the OnePlus 5 compares to the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 3. Should you upgrade?

  • OnePlus 5 review
  • OnePlus 3T review

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Design

  • OnePlus 5 slimmer and lighter
  • Subtler antenna lines on OnePlus 5
  • OnePlus 5 has more premium-looking design

The OnePlus 5 sports an anodised aluminium build with rounded corners and chamfered hard edges and it comes in Midnight Black and Slate Grey colour options. The premium-looking device features a horizontally-aligned dual camera on the rear, a new feature for OnePlus, while a fingerprint sensor is positioned on the front within a capacitive button, like the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3. 

The antenna lines on the OnePlus 5 are subtler than on the OnePlus 3 and 3T, now sitting at the top and bottom edges of the rear of the device out of the way, while USB Type-C is present at the bottom along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The OnePlus 5 measures 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25mm and hits the scales at 153g.

The OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 feature the same design, which is a little squarer and less refined than the new model. They both measure 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm and weigh 158g, making the OnePlus 5 a little lighter and slimmer, but slightly taller.

Both the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 have an anodised aluminium build, available in three colours and they both have a square single lens rear camera positioned in the middle of the device, along with USB Type-C and a headphone jack at the bottom. None of the three models being compared here offer any official IP rating for waterproofing.

  • OnePlus 5: Release date, specs and everything you need to know

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Display

  • All 5.5-inch AMOLED displays 
  • All Full HD resolutions, 401ppi
  • OnePlus 5 has 2.5D glass 

The OnePlus 5 features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display, like the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3. Despite rumours of a display size decrease to 5.3-inches, this turned out not to be the case for the new device.

There were also reports of a bump in resolution, but alas, the OnePlus 5 sticks to its guns with a Full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution, resulting in a pixel density of 401ppi, which again is the same as the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3.

The new device does offer 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection however, while the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 feature standard Corning Gorilla Glass 4. This means the display on the OnePlus 5 will curve into the edges of the device for a more seamless design finish, but colour and clarity of the display itself should be identical across the three devices being compared here.

All have a 16:9 aspect ratio and there is no word on the addition of Mobile HDR for the OnePlus 5, as there has been on other flagships.

  • Mobile HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10 and Mobile HDR Premium explained

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Camera

  • Dual-rear camera for OnePlus 5
  • Bokeh images and 8x optical zoom on OnePlus 5
  • All three have 16MP f/2.0 front camera

The OnePlus 5 has a dual-rear camera, consisting of a 16-megapixel main sensor with a f/1.7 aperture and a 20-megapixel telephoto sensor with an f/2.6 aperture. According to the company, the new camera will capture 34 per cent more light than the OnePlus 3T and it will offer 40 per cent faster focusing. 

There is a Portrait Mode for bokeh images, up to 8x zoom using a combination of optical and digital, 4K video recording and a dual-LED flash is also on board. The front camera features a 16-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/2.0 and it is capable of 1080p video recording.

The OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 by comparison offer a 16-megapixel single rear sensor with an f/2.0 aperture, PDAF and OIS, as well as 4K video recording. The front camera is also 16-megapixels with a f/2.0 aperture.

All three devices have a Pro Mode for adjusting settings such as ISO, shutter-speed, focus and exposure but there are a few new features within the Pro Mode for the OnePlus 5. All three devices also offer Auto-HDR and RAW image support.

  • OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: What’s the difference?

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Hardware

  • OnePlus 5 offers performance improvements
  • 8GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration available for OnePlus 5 
  • Battery capacity increase for OnePlus 5 over OnePlus 3 but not OnePlus 3T

The OnePlus 5 arrives with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset and it is available with either 64GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, or 128GB of storage with 8GB of RAM.

There is a 3300mAh non-removable battery capacity on board and Dash Charge is also present for quick charging via USB Type-C.

The OnePlus 3T features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, coupled with 6GB of RAM and either 64GB or 128GB of storage, while the OnePlus 3 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage.

The OnePlus 3T has a larger battery than the OnePlus 5 with a 3400mAh capacity, though the processor upgrade of the new device will no doubt mean it offers battery improvements over its predecessor despite being a little smaller. The OnePlus 3 has a 3000mAh battery and both the 3T and the 3 have Dash Charge too.

  • OnePlus 5 vs LG G6: What’s the difference?

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Software 

  • All run on OxygenOS
  • OnePlus 5 has several new features

The OnePlus 5 launches on OxygenOS, a modified version of Android based on Nougat 7.1.1. The OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 also run on OxygenOS, meaning the software experience should be pretty similar between these three devices but there are some new features on the OnePlus 5.

A few of the new features include reading mode, expanded screenshots, translucent app drawer, auto night mode, three new off-screen gestures, customisable vibration, Secure Box and a Gaming Do Not Disturb Mode. 

It is not yet clear if the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 will receive all the new features with an update, but overall the main user experience across these devices will be familiar.

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Price

  • OnePlus 5 is £10 more expensive than same storage model of OnePlus 3T
  • New model still under £500 for 128GB storage and 8GB RAM

The OnePlus 5 is available from 27 June. The 64GB model will cost £449, while the 128GB model will cost £499.

The OnePlus 3T cost £399 for the 64GB model or £439 for the 128GB model, while the OnePlus 3 cost £329 at launch.

OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: Conclusion

As with any flagship successor, the OnePlus 5 offers several improvements over the OnePlus 3T and especially the OnePlus 3, including camera, design and performance.

The new model delivers a more premium design, big camera advancements and some great hardware upgrades, including the option of an 8GB RAM model. It costs a little more than both the older models did when they first arrived, and the top-specced model is double the price of the OnePlus 2 when it launched, but you’re still looking at a very powerful device for under £500.

Sadly, there are no display improvements on the new model, but those upgrading from a OnePlus 3 or 3T should notice a difference in performance with the OnePlus 5, as well as connectivity.

20
Jun

Ask Alexa to play your favorite SiriusXM station


Alexa just got another new skill. Starting today, SiriusXM subscribers will be able to play any of the radio’s available channels through their Alexa devices, depending on the package they’re subscribed to. Howard Stern announced the news this morning on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show.

Other recent Alexa upgrades have included extending the AI assistant’s voice control to all video streaming services, adding the ability to set reminders as well as iCloud calendar support. Google’s Home has also been getting new features to boost its utility, though SiriusXM is not yet one of them.

Amazon’s and Google’s focus on making their smart speakers helpful with a number of services is different from their recently announced competitor, Apple’s HomePod. Apple is going another route, focusing on its speaker quality over its AI assistant.

Using the new SiriusXM feature is simple. For example, all of you Parrotheads out there, to listen to your favorite channel, all you have to do is say “Alexa, play Radio Margaritaville on SiriusXM.” And then you can sit back in your Hawaiian shirts and drink a margarita, or eat a cheeseburger, or whatever it is you do. I don’t know, I don’t listen to the stuff.

Source: SiriusXM

20
Jun

Apple tries to clamp down on leaks with mixed success


For the longest time, Apple product leaks tended to come from the supply chain: a factory worker would send parts or a design file to accessory makers eager to get a head start on their next iPhone cases. You might want to rethink that assumption. In a leaked secrecy briefing (ironic, we know) obtained by The Outline, Apple’s David Rice revealed that leaks from the company’s campuses were more common in 2016 than those from suppliers. This is more a reflection of Apple’s success clamping down on third-party leaks than loose lips in Cupertino, although it does indicate that the tech giant will turn its attention inward.

Rice doesn’t divulge too many of Apple’s methods for countering supply chain leaks, but he notes that Apple will buy back parts to make sure they don’t reach the news: in 2013, it snapped up 19,000 iPhone 5c shells before the announcement. It also screens 221 million transits (that is, people leaving or entering factories) per year, so it’s less likely that someone will walk out with an iPhone enclosure. The reduction in leaks is no mean feat given those daunting figures, especially since workers are sometimes offered juicy incentives (up to a year’s worth of salary) to smuggle parts.

The presentation also underscores the drastic efforts Apple takes to lock things down at home. They’re not completely draconian, but they’re bound to raise questions. Many of Apple’s anti-leak investigators, including Rice himself, come from agencies like the NSA, FBI and Secret Service — does it really need to treat an iPad leak like a matter of national security? The company will also pursue in-house leakers for years, and is adamant that employees avoid discussing products with family or in the more public parts of Apple’s offices. It’ll sometimes place overseers on product teams to actively prevent leaks.

Rice is quick to note that Apple isn’t reading emails or eavesdropping on conversations, but there’s still a sense that Apple is watching closely. Some incoming employees will delete social accounts, or take those accounts private, out of a concern that they might accidentally say too much.

Apple does have strong financial incentives to cut back on leaks, as they can hurt sales or reveal its product strategy to competitors. In a call discussing Apple’s spring earnings, Tim Cook blamed an iPhone sales slide on unusually early and frequent leaks for the next model. However, the briefing makes it clear that Apple takes its secrecy more seriously than many other companies, and possibly too seriously. Is it really a matter of life and death that a new iPhone remains under wraps, especially since Apple’s launch schedules are fairly predictable? Apple built its modern reputation on “one more thing” surprises, but it’s not clear that spoilers are as damaging as the company thinks.

Source: The Outline

20
Jun

Instagram adds 24-hour live video replays to Stories


Late last year, Instagram introduced the ability to broadcast live video; simply swipe over to “Live” mode in the Stories camera, tap the button and stream away. But unlike Periscope and Facebook Live, those live videos couldn’t be replayed after you’re done streaming, which means that your audience needed to be tuning in at the right time to catch the broadcast. Thanks to a new Instagram feature, however, you can finally share the replay of your live video once you’re done.

Now, when the live broadcast ends, you’ll see “Share” at the bottom of the screen. When you do, the video will be available for 24 hours, just like all other Story content. Of course, if you’d rather not share that live video in the first place, you can tap an option to discard the video instead.

If you did though, your followers will know you’ve shared a replay if they see a play button in your profile photo. Viewers of live video replays will not only see the video playback, but also all the likes and comments that happened during the broadcast. Tapping right will fast forward the video 15 seconds and tapping left will rewind it by 15 seconds. If there are multiple replays, arrows at the top will let you jump between them. Number of viewers will include those who watched it live as well as in Stories.

Letting viewers watch the replay of live video for 24 hours puts Instagram on par with Periscope, which has done so from the very beginning. However, Periscope has an indefinite storage option, which gives it a slight edge if you prefer flexibility. Still, seeing as Stories are supposed to be ephemeral anyway, a vanishing Instagram replay seems a good fit. Plus, you can always repost the full video in your regular Insta feed if you want it to be more permanent.

Speaking of Stories, Instagram made yet another announcement today: it now has 250 million daily users on Instagram Stories, which is up from the 200 million it announced just last April. This is quite a bit higher than the number of daily users on Snapchat, which is reported to be around 166 million. With Stories and Live Video (which Snapchat lacks, by the way), Instagram seems to be doing quite well, even if it did kinda, sorta, steal a few ideas.

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