Everything we know about the OnePlus 5.
OnePlus has had a pretty good year, what with the success of its OnePlus 3 and 3T phones and some massive overhauls internally that, against all odds, led to improvements to its Oxygen OS software, with more frequent updates.
Now we’re seeing the first signs that a sequel is in the company’s future and that OnePlus is skipping the “4” name altogether and readying flagship successor, the OnePlus 5. Here’s everything we know so far.
What will it be called?
The one thing we know without a doubt is the phone’s name: OnePlus confirmed to Android Central that its next phone will be called OnePlus 5. We’ve also seen a promotional photo (above) from the company’s CEO, Pete Lau, teasing the name.
Why would OnePlus skip the OnePlus 4 name? Because in Chinese culture, the number four is considered bad luck when attached to a product — and besides, the OnePlus 3T is sort of a fourth OnePlus, so there’s that angle, too.
When will it be available?
The OnePlus 5 will be available some time in the “early summer”, according to the company, which confirmed that approximate timeframe to Android Central. While that could mean as early as late May, we’re thinking it’s likely going to be closer to early to mid-June, which would align with last year’s June 14th OnePlus 3 announcement.
OnePlus, because it doesn’t have much overhead, selling the majority of its devices through its e-commerce store, may put the OnePlus 5 on sale the same day it is announced, which would give its early adopters something to look forward to.
What are the specs?
The specs of the OnePlus 5 aren’t clear just yet, but there are a few elements we know and a couple others, based on leaks, we can pretty accurately guess.
Here’s what we know so far:
|Operating System||Oxygen OS based on Android 7.1.2|
|Display||5.5-inch AMOLED |
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 |
Adreno 540 GPU
|RAM||6GB LPDDR4 (8GB in some markets)|
|Storage||64GB storage (128GB in some markets)|
|Rear Camera||Dual 12MP camera sensors|
|Audio||3.5 mm headphone|
|Battery||~3600 mAh |
|Water resistance||TBD (probably not)|
|Wireless charging||TBD (probably not)|
|Security||Front fingerprint sensor|
I wouldn’t be so sure about an 8GB version for North America.
Breaking it down a little more, there are a few variables to keep in mind. We know that the phone will launch with a Snapdragon 835 processor, because of course it will. OnePlus has launched all four of its flagships with that year’s canonical Qualcomm SoC, and this year will likely be no exception. The OnePlus 3 had 6GB of RAM, so you can expect that same number in the OnePlus 5; it also came standard with 64GB of internal storage, so you can expect that, too. I wouldn’t put too much credence in the idea that it will ship with 128GB standard, nor that it will come with 8GB of RAM. We’re not there yet, and OnePlus gains little from offering those in a base configuration.
We’ve heard that there may be an 8GB/128GB variant of the OnePlus 5 for China, specifically, which makes a lot of sense since that country is obsessed with maxing out what’s possible in a phone, but I wouldn’t count on it coming to North America. It’s possible OnePlus will, instead, offer a 6GB/128GB or even a 6GB/256GB model in North America for $50 or so more.
On the screen front, we’re hearing that OnePlus will keep its 5.5-inch display size and that, while the screen will do away with as much of the top and bottom bezels as possible, it will keep the front fingerprint sensor, and may also maintain the OnePlus 3 series’ 1080p resolution. From a battery-saving perspective, it would make sense to keep the OnePlus 5 at 1080p, especially if the AMOLED panel used is of very high quality — even devices like the Huawei Mate 9 have fantastic screens despite relatively low pixel densities — but given that most competing phones have upgraded to 2560×1440 or an equivalent QHD resolution at various aspect ratios, it would make sense for OnePlus to do the same.
A dual camera setup on the OnePlus 5 could be its most exciting feature.
At either resolution, we’ll likely see the OnePlus 5 support Google’s Daydream VR platform, which will make for another popular handset in the category.
The camera on the OnePlus 5 is expected to be cameras. OnePlus is rumored to be adopting the popular dual camera trend, with two identical 12-megapixel rear sensors. It’s unclear at this point whether the lenses will be of different focal lengths, but either way you can expect some cool camera tricks and an overall improved photo taking experience. What would be cool is to see a OnePlus 5 with the same wide-angle lens as the LG G6, since I think a lot more people would be interested in that than the “telephoto” distance of something like the iPhone 7 Plus. An improved front-facing camera, likely with autofocus, is also in the cards.
Finally, another big upgrade is to the battery. While the OnePlus 3T already saw an improved capacity, from 3,000mAh to 3,400mAh, the OnePlus 5 is expected to pack a 3,580 to 3,600mAh cell. That could translate, along with the more-efficient Snapdragon 835, to much better battery life.
A few odds and ends
- Despite rumors to the contrary, there’s no reason to think that OnePlus will drop the headphone jack from this year’s unit.
- We haven’t heard whether OnePlus will add waterproofing to this year’s flagship, but the company would be doing itself a huge disservice by going another year without it.
- Wireless charging? Not likely, especially if the metal design from the OnePlus 3 series shows up again, which we think it will.
- There’s no reason to think that the mute switch will disappear, given that it’s become a sort-of OnePlus signature, and it has a lot of very loyal fans.
- Dual speakers? Not this year.
- Removable battery? gtfo
What will it look like?
As mentioned above, the OnePlus 5 is probably not going to look too different from its predecessor — don’t expect the same jump that we saw from the OnePlus 2 to the OnePlus 3. Instead, you can be sure that OP is going to go out of its way to shrink the phone as much as possible without sacrificing usability. Front-facing fingerprint sensor? Sure, but you’ll probably see space-savings elsewhere on the device.
You can probably take for granted that the popular Midnight Black color will make a return with the OnePlus 5, even though it may not be offered as a launch color.
What about the software?
Expect another iteration of Oxygen OS on the OnePlus 5, launched with a slightly updated version of what we currently have on the OnePlus 3 and 3T, running Android 7.1.2. The phone will launch long before Android O is public.
Oxygen OS has turned into quite the capable piece of Android software, and while it’s unclear whether the OnePlus 5 will have any distinctive hardware elements that change up the software experience, what is clear is the company’s desire to keep Android as simple and fast as possible, while relegating the gimmicks to the background.
What about software updates?
OnePlus doesn’t have a great track record of maintaining updates for longer than a year or so — the OnePlus 2 still doesn’t have Nougat despite a number of promises — but the OnePlus 3 and 3T are still getting regular updates well into their lifespans, and after a somewhat close call on a promise to get Android 7.0 by the end of 2016, the phones are now seeing new software regularly.
In other words, we don’t know. Hopefully, OnePlus will keep the OnePlus 5 updated long into its lifespan, but we have more confidence in its ability to do just that than we did a year ago.
What will it cost?
Judging from the minor price bump between the OnePlus 3 and 3T, coupled with rising component costs throughout the world, the OnePlus 5 may cost somewhere between $449 and $469, which puts it creepingly close, but still far below, the flagships that it’s competing against. At $399, the OnePlus 3 was a serious contender for “amazingly cheap”; at $439, the OnePlus 3T is just “inexpensive”. A OnePlus 5 at $469 would be close to “Should I spend the extra money on another phone?” Still approachable, and maybe even affordable, but losing its pricing edge.
We’ll have lots more on the OnePlus 5 when it’s unveiled in “early summer,” which is getting here sooner than later! In the meantime, check out our OnePlus 3T coverage and let us know what you want in OnePlus’s new flagship!