It has been raining leaks, rumors, renders and Lord alone knows what else ever since OnePlus first talked about its new device, the OnePlus 5. Every day we saw a new leak, and every new leak suggested a new feature. But now that the curtains have been raised officially, we finally know what the OnePlus REALLY has. Some rumors have turned into reality while others have just dissolved in the same rumor sea from where it all once started.
And while there is a lot in the device on paper that delights us (those cameras, that processor), we really think that the phone misses out on a few features, at least in terms of what the competition offers. Call us picky, but hey, this is the company that coined the term “flagship killer.” Well, while we think that the OnePlus 5 is very well endowed indeed, we do wish the folks at OnePlus had thrown in the following too:
1. A more distinct design
Just a few days before the launch, OnePlus released the official images of the OnePlus 5 and ever since then, the design of the device has been subjected to severe criticism. A lot of people pointed out that the new OnePlus 5 looks a lot like iPhone 7 Plus by Apple, and even more like the Oppo R11. The placement of the dual cameras that protrude outwards, the flash and the antenna bands, and the curved sides… all look so familiar. No, we are not saying the OnePlus 5 is ugly (hell, both the iPhone 7 Plus and the R11 are lookers!), but previous OnePlus devices really used to stand out in the crowd. We suspect this one might not. Not as much, anyway. There’s not even a sandstone finished back!
2. Quad HD display
The new OnePlus 5 comes with a 5.5-inch full HD display. Some people might be okay with that, but we think it is a bit of a letdown, given the fact that just about every Android flagship out there has gone the Quad HD way. The phone is packed with remarkable features and specs, and a full HD display is something that is now even offered in a mid or sometimes even in a budget segment smartphone. For a device of this standard, we actually were hoping to see a quad HD display which would have made the screen even more stunning (more pixels, hooray!).
3. Stereo Speakers
It is surprising how many manufacturers ignore the audio over speakers aspect in smartphones. We wish we had a penny for every high-specced device with a barely above average mono speaker. That is not something we want in the new “Flagship Killer”, do we? But unfortunately, the specs of the device tells us the same story. The OnePlus 5 is missing out on the stereo speakers that really give an edge to a smartphone (we think Apple really nailed it with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus). Gaming and videos would have been such an epic experience with a good pair of speakers on this beast of a device. Oh well, time for the headphones.
4. Water resistance
A few years ago, this would not have counted for that much, but with Samsung, Sony, LG, HTC and well, EVEN Apple, going the water resistant way with their devices, we think this is fast becoming a flagship feature. And we think OnePlus has just taken a step back by not offering IP68 certification in the new OnePlus. We would have loved to be able to use that camera in the rain. How about you?
5. Xenon Flash
One of the highlights of the OnePlus 5 is the pair of cameras sitting on its back. And while the camera is one of the USPs of the phone (it merits a mention on the packaging), we really wish the company had gone all the way and thrown in a Xenon flash with it as well. Yes, we know it has been a while since we saw one of those on a smartphone, but then this was a phone that is being compared with proper cameras, and any photographer will tell you the difference a Xenon flash can make. Indeed, low light performance would have been an even lesser issue with a flash of that quality. It would have made the phone bulkier, perhaps, but then the image quality would have also given an edge over the competition. Anyway, if lenses can jut out, why cannot a flash?
6. Bigger battery
Yes, we know that the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor comes with great power management (or so they say). But “With great power comes great responsibility”, and considering the kind of workload the OnePlus 5 is expected to handle (high-end gaming, multitasking, and tons of photography), we really think it needed more than a 3300 mAh battery. Yes, we love Dash Charge, but we do not like depending on it all the time. Once again, some will argue that this would have made the phone bulkier and heavier, but we think a 4000 mAh would have been so much better. With Dash Charge too of course!
7. Camera UI
A lot of people love the OnePlus phones because of their Oxygen OS and its very stock Android-ish UI. The clutter free UI obviously make the whole user experience very pleasant. But if there was one thing that we would have liked OnePlus to change about it, it has ṭo be the camera app UI. The new OnePlus family member comes with a dual camera, which is one of the USPs of the phone. It is a massive pity then that going by the reviews so far, its UI seems rather limited compared to what the likes of Honor are doing with their dual camera devices. There are just seven modes in the camera app, which allow you to do only so much with the camera. Don’t settle with this UI, OnePlus.