OnePlus has been taking it customers and community-driven approach rather seriously ever since the launch of its OnePlus One smartphone back in 2014. The company has evolved since then, it has matured as well, and no longer calls its handset “flagship killers” which they aren’t (not today at least). They even “killed” the invite system and seem to have sorted out their supply and demand problems, to strike the balance and deliver a handset that not only looks and feels polished but also provides a great software experience with the latest updates.

The Chinese smartphone brand that sells globally, recently announced that its next flagship would be called the OnePlus 5 and that it arrives in summer.

OnePlus 5 Weibo teaser
OnePlus 5 Weibo teaser

Indeed OnePlus has found its spot in the smartphone industry and its OnePlus 3T is giving manufacturers like Asus, HTC and Lenovo a tough time in their respective mid-range segments. It’s literally “a problem” when it comes reviewing mid-range smartphones because the OnePlus 3T impresses with its chipset, camera and software in the Rs 30,000 price range. So OnePlus has finally made it. But is it enough?

Not exactly. OnePlus has been playing the specifications game since 2014. And while it may be the exact thing that its fans like it needs to do a lot more in 2017.

Design

I reviewed the OnePlus 3T, I had no problems with its design. It is practical. But practical is not enough for 2017. The OnePlus 5 needs to look good!

OnePlus 3T Review Tech2 (19)

It’s just that OnePlus handsets have looked the same thing since 2014’s OnePlus One with a rectangle and rounded corners. Keeping those tight margins in mind, it’s going for be tough for OnePlus to deliver a spec-happy smartphone with great design. So my best guess is that we could have a repetition of the OnePlus 3 but with some additions (slimmer with ultra-thin bezels?).

galaxy-s8
The Samsung Galaxy S8

Really OnePlus! We need a fresh new design with OnePlus 5. This is more so as manufacturers like LG and Samsung (and even HTC) have clearly separated themselves from OnePlus territory by offering something completely different this year.

Water and dust resistance

And that design needs to withstand the brunt of everyday usage as well. While handset makers started offering IP 67 ratings last year, with most flagships covering IP 68 this year. Both the OnePlus 3 and 3T came without them. While Sony has been offering dust and water resistant handsets for long, it’s no longer at the top of its game. Samsung and LG have done a better job this year with surprisingly good speakers that deliver great audio. I’m not comparing apples to oranges, but any smartphone that claims to take on flagships needs to have an IP 68 rating.

Display

OnePlus 3T Review Tech2 (21)

I get it! Full HD displays are power efficient in terms of graphics. But taking a look at the future! With VR, Full HD displays just do not cut it. I want to see a Quad HD display (2560 x 1440 pixels) that delivers crisp images and text, more so because there is display scaling mode in Nougat that lets you view more content in the same space. Add to this a higher screen-to-body ratio and the OnePlus 5 could stand up to some flagships in this respect.

Camera

The OnePlus 3T’s camera is really good for its price tag. It does not beat the premium flagships like the Galaxy S7 or the S8, but sure comes close. There’s a growing trend among manufacturers to include a dual camera set up today.

OnePlus 3T Review Tech2 (10)

My hopes are high that OnePlus could utilize a similar dual camera set up and let its users do more. This set up could either add an optical zoom, a wide-angle lens, or add depth effects for some bokelicious photographs. Samsung skipped on the idea, but LG still went with it on the G6. OnePlus could do better here by adding a proper manual mode that takes advantage of the two cameras and uses their abilities to the fullest.

Battery

While my experience with the OnePlus 3T got me adequate battery life for a day. Power users demand more. I would love to see a OnePlus 5 with a 4,000mAh battery inside. Oh! And lets not forget Dash Charging with that! Give us more than a day’s usage without the need to recharge and OnePlus could have a winner here!

Publish date: May 9, 2017 1:31 pm| Modified date: May 9, 2017 1:31 pm

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