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OnePlus 5 camera trails Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC U11, scores 87 in DxO review

The OnePlus 5 offers updated technical specifications, improved OS and a new camera set-up

Khalid Anzar  |  New Delhi 

OnePlus 5 camera gets a DxO Score of 87

Parts of this article first appeared on Business Standard on July 1, 2017
5 scored a decent 87 on 100 in the DxO camera benchmark review released on July 6.

Interestingly, China-based manufacturer had teamed up with image processing software and camera benchmarks expert DxO before the launch of its flagship 5. So, it was expected that the partnership would help improve its camera algorithms to deliver enhanced photography solution.

The score of 87 out of 100 is not a bad score, but it looks pale when you consider that the dual-cameras in the 5 had been much hyped, and yet they lag behind current flagships like HTC U11, and S8+, Google Pixel and HTC 10. With this score, the 5 stands head to head with Huawei P10, which also sports a dual-camera set-up. The has scored 90 on the DxO Mark, while both and S8+ have got 88, Google Pixel 89, HTC 10 88 and scores 87. 

Though a mixed bag of hits and misses, the 5 offers updated technical specifications, improved operating system and a new camera set-up. Here is our detailed review of the smartphone: 

Design

In terms of design, the 5 seems a rather half-baked product, with little that you can call overwhelmingly innovative. The rear certainly has a stark resemblance to the Apple iPhone 7 Plus. Aside from that, the back has a dual-camera set-up on top-left, along with dual LED flash, and a microphone sitting in between the camera module and flash. The logo is engraved at the centre and the back looks clean with no regulatory information or model number. The antenna lines, moved to the extreme top and bottom, are subtler than the previous device.

Even as the rear has some noteworthy upgrade from predecessor 3T, the front is almost identical. The front side is dominated by a 5.5-inch screen, with sensors at the top along with the front camera and earpiece, and the fingerprint scanner is embedded under the home key at the bottom-centre.

The power button is placed on the right, next to the ejectable dual-SIM tray, while the volume rocker keys and alert slider sit on the left side of the smartphone.

Display

What the 5 offers in terms of size and resolution is hardly different from the 3T – a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED screen covered with Gorilla Glass 5. The screen continues to be a full-HD unit with 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution. If you have used its predecessor, the 5 is sure to give you strong sense of déjà vu – the same look, the same feel, the same performance.

The inclusion of the reading mode, which adapts the screen tone automatically to suit the ambience, is, however, a welcome addition. And the use of DCI-P3 colour gamut filter certainly adds to the overall screen performance. Both these additions are software-based tweaks.

Hardware

devices are known for the best-in-class innards, and the 5 seems to take the legacy forward. The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, which has Snapdragon X16 LTE modem to support data speeds of up to 1 Giga-bit per second (Gbps), coupled with an Adreno 540 graphic processing unit (GPU). The smartphone comes with two storage and RAM variants – 64 GB/6 GB and 128 GB/8 GB. Both support dual-lane Universal Flash Storage (UFS) 2.1 for superior performance.

The 5 feels smooth throughout and there is no visible lag anywhere. The device can easily be called a powerhouse that performs blazing fast, irrespective of the task you put it to.

Software

The 5 runs the Android Nougat v7.1.1 operating system, covered under Oxygen OS 4.5.2 out of the box. The OS feels fluid and swift. The company has added some new features to the ‘Oxygen OS’, such as a Google Pixel-like app drawer that can be accessed from any window by swiping up the screen.

The overall look and feel of the OS has improved. As for the promise of reduced touch latency, however, there does not seem to be much visible change. Swiping up the screen shows an abnormal lag and one is unsure if that is another addition to the screen feature or a snag.

Camera

Camera is one department where seems to have concentrated all its energies for this device. The 5 sports a dual-camera set-up at the rear – 16-megapixel and 20 MP – and a 16 MP camera at the front. The 16 MP camera at the rear features a bright aperture of f/1.7 and the 20MP one sports an f/2.6 aperture. Both use Sony sensors and the result is balanced, if not perfect. The cameras support the portrait mode, which focuses on the subject and blurs the background, something that we saw in the Apple iPhone 7 Plus as well.

The camera interface is new and much more flexible and feature-rich. There is an immersive mode that shows additional details in the Pro mode, helping capture better frames. The on-screen option to go for 2X zoom, the company claims, is lossless. The lossless zoom is achieved by using the 20MP camera and software algorithms. We, however, did find the lossless zoom feature of much use, especially while taking landscape photographs.

In the run-up to the actual launch, there was a buzz that the 5 would deliver camera performance tuned by online imaging software and photography benchmarking portal DxO. But the device neither mentions a DxO-optimised camera, nor is the camera benchmarking result available on the DxO website.

Battery and dash charge

The 5 is powered by a 3,300 mAh battery. Thanks to a power-efficient processor, a 1080p display and optimised software that does not consume much battery juice, the smartphone runs more than a day on normal use. Even on heavy use, with several applications open in the background, background data services on, and connectivity set to 4G network, the phone goes on for more than 13 hours without asking for a battery refill.

The amazing battery life is made even better with the Dash Charger function, which replenishes 60 per cent of the battery juice in just 30 minutes. It takes about one hour to fully charge the battery, but for someone in a rush this is the best charging available.

Other features

The fingerprint sensor in the 5 has been placed under the ceramic-coated home button and, the company claims, it could unlock the phone in 0.2 seconds. The home button with fingerprint scanner will soon feature Quick Pay, supported by Paytm for digital payments.

On the connectivity front, the smartphone supports 34 global network bands, so it could be used across the globe. Also on board are Bluetooth v5.0 and Near Field Communication (NFC) chip.

Verdict

While the 5 is a mixed bag of hits and misses, some might find it ‘old wine in a new bottle’. But considering the price tag – Rs 32,999 for the base model with a 6GB RAM and 64GB storage, and Rs 37,999 for premium model with 8GB RAM and 128 GB storage – the smartphone is not a bad deal. Buy this device if you are looking for top-of-the-line innards and good camera performance. If you are out to get a feature-rich smartphone with a futuristic design, you might like to check other options.

First Published: Fri, July 07 2017. 17:33 IST
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