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First impression: OnePlus 5 hits a sweet spot between pricing and hardware

Two variants of OnePlus 5 launched at Rs 32,999 and Rs 37,999 respectively

Samie Modak  |  Mumbai 

OnePlus co-founder and CEO, Pete Lau during the launch of OnePlus 5 smartphone in Mumbai on 22nd june, 2017  Photo: KAMLESH PEDNEKAR
OnePlus co-founder and CEO, Pete Lau during the launch of OnePlus 5 smartphone in Mumbai on June 22, 2017. (Photo: KAMLESH PEDNEKAR)

on Thursday launched 5 in India priced at Rs 32,999 for the 6GB RAM and 64GB storage version and Rs 37,999 for 88GB RAM and 128GB storage version.
 
The fifth iteration of the OnePlus, a Chinese upstart aptly known to make flagship-killer phones, is the priciest yet. However, given that the pricing is still quite some distance cheaper than popular flagship phones – the iPhone 7 and Samsung S8 -- the 5 will continue appeal to the its loyal clientele.
 
The phone will also be an attractive preposition for a whole bunch of Android users wanting to graduate from the Rs 15,000-20,000 price point to something more premium. With the mass-market, Xiaomi virtually ignoring the premium segment in India and other brands like Huawei and Motorola also not aggressively vying for the premium space, the 5 could virtually be uncontested in the less than Rs 38,000 price bracket.
 
One major reason why is popular is that it has hit a sweet spot between pricing and hardware. The main draw of the 5 is the top-of-the-line hardware, which rivals most phones. The latest device comes with Snapdragon 835 processor with up to 8GB RAM, making it up-to-date device on the technology front.

Taking inspiration from the iPhone 7 Plus, has for the first time launched a dual-camera phone. The 5 sports a 16 mega-pixel (MP) plus 20 MP rear dual-camera, which the company claims performs even better than the iPhone 7 Plus camera. Besides, features like dash charging and unibody all-metal design, fast fingerprint scanner and dual sim slots (no memory expansion slot) make it a complete hardware package. The screen continues to be 5.5 inches 1080p fullHD with only a minor improvement over the previous generation. On the software front, comes with proprietary Oxygen OS with Nougat 7.1.1 underlying. The OS is similar to stock android OS with minor improvisations. It would be appealing to see if the company has managed to reduce bugs such as touch latency bug that plagued the earlier versions. 

The 5 is ergonomically-superior, making it is ease to hold despite its large-screen. The phone’s back and side looks are appealing and it even has a resemblance to iPhone 7 Plus. The front look isn’t a much bump up over previous models.

Downsides

Key features offered by other flagships but missing in the 5 is the lack of waterproofing or wireless charging. Also, in the age of bezel-less displays, the 5 top and bottom bezels look usually large. The company has slimmed the size bezels which is a saving grace. The phone comes in only two colours---variant of black and grey---both look quite identical.

The company, however, would be selling attractive cases which can add some colour to the device.

The shortcomings notwithstanding, the latest continues to offer more bang for the buck just like its predecessors.

First Published: Fri, June 23 2017. 08:53 IST
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