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OnePlus 5, 'The Best Sub-$500 Phone You Can Buy', Launched (arstechnica.com) 174

From an ArsTechnica article: Smartphone companies don't seem to care about cultivating a true "lineup" of phones. If you aren't spending at least $650, most companies will offer you anonymous, second-rate devices that seem like they've had no thought put into them. Enter the OnePlus 5, which continues the company's tradition of offering an all-business, high-end smartphone for a great price. Today OnePlus is both announcing the OnePlus 5 and lifting the review embargo on the device, which we've had for about two weeks now. $479 gets you an aluminum-clad pocket computer with a 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 SoC, 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 3,300mAh battery. You still get OnePlus' physical 3-way alert switch, a USB-C port, capacitive buttons with a front-mounted fingerprint reader, and a headphone jack. The phone has two cameras on the back: one 16MP main camera and one 20MP telephoto camera, arranged in the most iPhone-y way possible. Besides the $479 version, there's a more expensive $539 version, which ups the RAM from 6GB to a whopping 8GB, adds another 64GB of storage for a total of 128GB, and changes the color from "Slate Grey" to "Midnight Black." Further reading: OnePlus 5 review: as fast and smooth as Google Pixel, without the price tag - The Guardian; OnePlus 5 review: the me-too phone - The Verge; OnePlus 5 Review - Wired.
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OnePlus 5, 'The Best Sub-$500 Phone You Can Buy', Launched

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Question for OnePlus owners: does this outfit keep the device OS current?

    • I don't know; I'll skip the 3t (I have a OnePlus One) and wait for the OnePlus Five to get Lineage OS anyway. I don't play well with vendor OSes.

      When I had the OPO, they had regular updates until they dropped CyanogenOS for OxygenOS. The default OS was also very clean, although it pestered me to buy some themes with a non-removable notification (themes needed updates, which required a Cyanogen account or some such rubbish, which I wasn't into). Not quite straight CyanogenMod, but not the crapload of gar

      • I have a 3T, it is a very nice phone. The Vendor OS is very close to stock Android, and the enhancements aren't in the way. I've had the OPO before, and a Nexus 6P, and the 3T is way better than those, by every measure. battery life is awesome. Fast Charge is amazing. 1/2 hour charging will last me 10 hours actual use.

        I am hoping the 5 is as good as it seems.

    • There is info in the article exactly about this. They've done a good job about updating mostly however, for one of their phones they walked back on their promise to update to Android 7.0 within a year. So, basically with anyone else other than Google, cant really expect much regarding OS updates. They do have a strong community though.

      • That was the OnePlus Two (2015), they walked back support for Android 7. I have a OnePlus One with the stock Cyanogen still on it, and it's sitting at 6.0.1. The One launched in 2014 and I've been using it since without major issues since the first major update (the first update fixed several problems I had with the phone). It still feels fast and responsive, although it's running an older version of Android at this point. I never felt a need to upgrade the phone, but I may need to give the 5 a shot and

        • by SirSlud ( 67381 )

          I installed LineageOS on my OnePlus one, works like a charm.

        • My wife's OPO is now running Lineage. That stock Cyanogen hasn't been supported since Cyanogen went belly up (but it was right until then).

          The Lineage update was fairly seemless (except having to hold a button combo after flashing the recovery image or it wipes and replaces with stock again, that part was annoying to figure out, but now fixed forever).

          Because Lineage is just an extension/fork of Cyanogen, support for the OPO is flawless under it.

          • Probably a stupid question, but did you have to copy all of the data back to the phone after installing?

            • Yes, unfortunately I did have to recopy everything.

              As soon as you unlock the bootloader, the phone is wiped.

      • by Rob Y. ( 110975 )

        Yep, OnePlus's biggest selling point is their track record on updates. They're actually not all that great on updates, but they do use mostly stock Android, and they are good about letting you install 3rd party Android ROMs - which is the next best thing.

        My issue with this is, sure the OP5 is now the best $500 smartphone you can buy. But who wants a $500 smartphone? Last year saw a whole crop of $400 phones - led off by the OnePlus 3 and followed up by the ZTE Axon 7, the Huawei Honor 8 and others. All

    • I have a OnePlus 3t and just this weekend got an OS update for security and enhanced features regarding BlueTooth and Android Auto.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm ready to upgrade, though not in a hurry. It's been a great phone and is lightyears ahead of the garbage that Apple and Samsung are dumping into the market.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I have a oneplus 3. I loved it until the latest "security update" this past weekend. I've gotten 3 push notifications from OnePlus regarding the OnePlus 5 since then. There is no way to shut off these notifications - at least none that I have found.

      Other than that, I love the phone.

      • by Teun ( 17872 )
        I've not seen such notifications, just a mail.
        It might depend in which jurisdiction you are, I'm in the EU.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How much malware, spyware, and other surveillance software comes pre-installed?

    Carrying around an electronic leash
    Being this much of a dumb cuck
    Paying out the ass for the privilege of being treated like trash

    It's like you all WANT to be treated like convicts in prison, or animals in a zoo.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Convicts don't want to be in prison.
      Animals don't want to be in a zoo.
      Therefore, we can conclude that these people's IQ is below both convicts and animals.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I comes with a Chinese version of CyanogenMod called OxygenOS. It comes preloaded with all kinds of Chinese state surveillance software, firmware, AND hardware, designed to steal as much information as possible and send it home to our future Chinese masters.

    • I thought these phones have to be bought w/o any contract. In which case, you don't have any more spyware than what Google's built in by design

  • When smart phones first came out it was a gold rush to get a 'good enough' device. Looking back at photos from my early phones they were... terrible. The screen cracked if you looked at it. The OS was slow, feature lacking and had a long way to go.

    Since then I've stopped buying the latest and greatest and transitioned to 1-2 cycle old products. I tried out a Note 5 and 6 but they really didn't seem that impressive over my Note 4. (As compared to say my Note 4 over my 2010 HTC).

    The camera is as good as my ol

    • I quite agree w/ this. I have an iPhone 7, an iPad mini 4 and a Verizon Ellipsis 10. They are the last devices I'll have, unless one either breaks down, or unless I give one of them to my sister, and therefore get a new one. The last couple of upgrades I did to the iToys was due to insufficient storage in both, but now that each has 128GB, I'm good to go. On the Ellipsis, it's still on Lollipop, but I have a 128GB SD card on that. The day I can get either M or N on it, I'd define the SD card as interna

    • There's room for improvement, they just never concentrate on that with the arguable exception of speed and memory (RAM and storage), and on the latter what they add they take away (slightly more storage, but bye bye SD card slot...)

      I don't think any devices out there right now are "good enough", I use them because they're better than nothing, but for the most part I won't spend more than $100 on a device right now because slim, 6 hour battery life, keyboardless, unexpandable devices are not worth $600, n

    • Yep. Anything with at least four cores and 2 GB of RAM is probably plenty fast enough to do everything anyone wants to do. The only exception is 3d gaming, which yes is a thing but frankly is not a big deal even for a lot of gamers. Playing a complex 3d game on a screen that size is pretty annoying. It seems to me that the really interesting battle is who can provide the most functionality for the least money, not who can most efficiently suck $500+ out of the pockets of fools.

  • No one is going to buy a $479 Android phone.
    • Especially, when the option is a $700-900 iPhone!

    • I'd buy a $4.79 Android phone.

    • I'm surrounded by people with $800 Android phones.

    • Totally. That's why OnePlus went out of business in 2014 and definitely hasn't launched 6 phones. That $300 million in revenue in 2014, when they only had a single phone out, is fake news.

      Also, 640kb should be enough for everybody, and the iPod will never beat the Nomad.

    • No one is going to buy a $479 Android phone.

      Due to the "only $19.95 a month!" hardware purchasing gimmicks built into a lot of cell contracts these days, what you meant to say is no one realizes they're already paying for a $479 Android phone...

    • Nice fishing, you reeled a few.

      That said, this does highlight something important; OnePlus started as an "affordable" solution for people wanting an almost premium phone but not wanting to pay the obscene prices of Samsung, LG, or Apple.

      At almost $500 this is outside the "affordable" bracket now and ventures into the premium phone territory they were differentiating themselves from.

      They're still cheaper than Samsung or Apple by a long way, but they're not "an almost premium phone at a decent price" anymore.

    • by millette ( 56354 )

      From the article:

      Compare this to other Snapdragon 835 devices, like the $750 Galaxy S8 and the $650 HTC U11, and that $479 price still looks pretty good.

    • Is this a joke? I recently traded in my Note 5 on an extended warranty and they didn't have any left so I got $800 cash for it, turned around and bought a OnePlus 3T and kept the extra $200+.
    • You're falling for a misunderstanding of statistics parroted by the many ignorant iPhone fans writing in the media. Most of the Android phones sold are low-end handsets, which drags down the mean price of an Android phone.

      However, that does not mean Android only sells cheap handsets as these writers in the media who flunked statistics think. It simply means a greater share of Android phones are cheaper units. But because Android phones outsell iPhones by more than 6:1 [fortune.com], the number of high-end Android p
  • ...and a 3,300mAh battery.

    Which would be great if we knew how much current this thing is pulling. I'm expecting not a trivial amount, with a 2.45Ghz processor.

    How about you have it run Netflix or some games and tell us how long you've got until it craps out?

    • by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @02:01PM (#54655247) Homepage Journal

      It's got one of those heterogeneous processors I think. Runs a slow and a fast core at the same time.

      If you're running Netflix, you're probably close to a charger, like in the car or something. Either that or you're a sad, pathetic fool who goes out to the McDonalds so you can sit there watching Netflix on your phone for 2 hours.

      I get decent battery life out of Spotify, at least.

      • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @02:07PM (#54655293)

        If you're running Netflix, you're probably close to a charger, like in the car or something. Either that or you're a sad, pathetic fool... ... I was not aware that millions of people that have long commutes on a bus or train were sad, pathetic fools.

        Or the millions of people who take plane flights often lasting three hours or longer for domestic flights...

        • Planes today have built-in entertainment, including power ports and even USB ports to charge your phone. Buses ... don't. I mean, they do here, but I get that this isn't basically every bus in the world just yet. On the other hand, I also can't imagine a regular bus trip that takes that long enough for which you would reasonably expect to kill a battery watching NetFlix (which, for the most part, is going to be the screen eating most of the power).

          Most endpoints seem to not be places you'd think to go

          • Planes today have built-in entertainment, including power ports and even USB ports to charge your phone.

            Only international flights, most domestic flights still do not have a USB ports in the seats (I ave never, for example, seen a USB port on a Southwest or JetBlue flight and on Spirit they actually hook electrodes to your body to drain energy from you to power the avionic system). Planes have also been more recently getting rid of in-seat screens and having you watch things on your tablet/phone (they wi

            • I don't often fly on the cattle cars that Southwest operates, but they're the only domestic airline that I haven't seen a USB port on. Every domestic flight I've taken in the last decade has had power, and most now have nice USB ports in the seat back instead of under your seat.

              Try flying on decent airlines that will treat you like a human being. It's well worth the $15 more than those budget airlines charge.

          • Most domestic planes do not have power or usb ports.
            • Huh. I thought power was a long standard for decades now. USB is fairly-new. Planes have had headphone ports (powered) pretty much as part of being on a passenger airplane forever, and some fancy new planes have display screens there now; they've been built to deliver wiring to seats effectively for as long as pretty much every passenger plane in service today has been in service, and retrofitting seating with electrical wiring is trivial. Given that every airliner seat I've ever seen for real or depi

        • If you're running Netflix, you're probably close to a charger, like in the car or something.

          The "something" is a plane, which has chargers. You're close to chargers in planes.

      • by BenBoy ( 615230 )

        ... you're probably close to a charger, like in the car or something. Either that or you're a sad, pathetic fool who goes out to the McDonalds so you can sit there watching Netflix on your phone for 2 hours

        Ha, shows what you know ... when I pathetically watch Netflix at McDonald's, I always sit near an outlet.

    • How about you click on the article and pay attention to the slideshows of benchmarks? You could also take note that the 4 cores running 2.45Ghz don't do all of the work, the 4 lighter cores do a lot also.

    • ...and a 3,300mAh battery.

      Which would be great if we knew how much current this thing is pulling. I'm expecting not a trivial amount, with a 2.45Ghz processor.

      How about you have it run Netflix or some games and tell us how long you've got until it craps out?

      Cracks me up we still call these things "phones" when it's obvious that's the last damn feature anyone gives a shit about.

    • by Teun ( 17872 )
      As the promo says it's 30% more efficient than the one+3T which is better than the one+3.
      I have the one+3 and it has sufficient power to watch a full movie.
      But to be sure I also bought a €10.- external power pack, during a recent 7hrs flight the cute girl next to me ran out of juice on her fancy Samsung so I borrowed here the power, I still had enough at the end of the flight.

      Never the less, I sure wished they'd add 1 or 2 mm of thickness for a much larger battery!
  • I don't necessarily play the latest 3D game with my phone, but I would like to play a real game in the 3D world with it. Having to constantly worry that it'll get broke, or will go haywire if I get it wet from sweating to much.

    "How *livable* is this phone?" is the only question I want answered from any reviews now-a-days.

    I was spoiled by a Casio Commando which I kept for years until I lost it from the handlebars of my motorcycle while doing 80mph down I-40.

    • "How *livable* is this phone?" is the only question I want answered from any reviews now-a-days.

      Who needs reviews? Experience and Greed tells us they don't build jack shit these days to last like it used to.

    • That's why I bought a Motorola phone. Their hardware is not as durable as it was back in olden times when they used to make stuff out of green plastic, with actual metal knobs, but it is more durable than average. I took pretty good care of my LG Nexus 4 and it died, just stopped responding to touches. I think it's because I'm too sweaty. Now I have a Moto G 2nd. It's lasted long enough to where... I'm still using it. The 1GB RAM really is not enough, so I would suggest spending enough to get 2GB, but other

  • My Samsung Galaxy S4 has plenty of capacity for anything I need it for (Viber, OsmAnd, games, calendar, Gmail). My main concern is to have it work as long as possible, because switching phones is always a bit of a PITA. As long as the battery is user-replaceable, I will be able to use this phone for years.

  • Stopped reading at "3300 mAh (non-removable)" and no SD card slot.

    • Why? I've got a Galaxy S7 with a non removable 3000 mAh battery, and it's been an awesome phone so far. With great power management tools and fast charging, I run out of power far, FAR less than I did with my S4 with an extra battery on hand. The fast charging means 15 minutes plugged in and I'm good to go for a couple of hours, at least.

      I was in your camp until I broke the charging port in my S4, and was sort-of forced to switch to the S7. I am far happier with this phone than I ever was with the

      • Why? I've got a Galaxy S7 with a non removable 3000 mAh battery, and it's been an awesome phone so far.

        Batteries go bad. I've replaced batteries in numerous phones including my current phone which first went on the Market over four years ago. Also own a massive ~9000 mAh aftermarket battery I plop in on long trips which is just awesome. Phones are expensive, batteries are inconsistent and have a shelf life even while left unused. I see no point in rolling the dice when you don't have to.

        The OnePlus starts at 64gb and goes up to 128gb, which I think reduces the pressing need for an SD card for most people. If you're storing 128GB of stuff on your phone, that's a little extreme.

        My current 128 GB SD card has only 5 GB left and will soon be replaced with 256GB version. Storing total of 150 GB on p

  • Never settle? This phone? It looks like if you're picking this phone, you're settling for a non-removable battery and no SD card slot. I'm getting rather sick of companies taking away features and touting the results as better.

  • by think_nix ( 1467471 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @03:18PM (#54655853)

    Have a One plus X , bought it for 269 â , or something like that a year ago.

    Best $mart phone I ever bought for the money. The specs (at the time) were more than enough for what I need it for (I dont play games on the phone) . Call, email, txt , camera, occasional browsing , and news apps.

    Has dual SIM and a SD slot. Plus the battery life is amazing, I dont overload it with useless apps either. Most my colleagues at work have One as well , all different models. While the battery servicing is an issue not one of my colleagues has ever had a battery issue. Also maybe we are all engineers and use / charge our batteries properly for longevity.

    • While the battery servicing is an issue not one of my colleagues has ever had a battery issue.

      Because maybe they don't own their phones long enough? I have replaced the battery on every phone I have owned, with the exception of those ancient candybars (that lasted 8 days on a charge)

  • I have a OnePlus X, and it's the perfect size. Best phone I ever had (except for the Nokia 8290 and the Moto SLVR L7). Running LineageOS on it, and I love it. The only thing it's missing is NFC, which, I mean... comeon.

    But this thing, just like most of the "flag ship" phones out there, is just too damned big.

  • by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Tuesday June 20, 2017 @05:40PM (#54656755)
    Apparently they are cheating at benchmarks: https://www.xda-developers.com... [xda-developers.com]

    I don't know how much to trust them as a company. Also the comment further up about them spamming older phones with ads for the new phone, with no way to turn it off. Even Samsung doesn't do that.
    • I wish I had mod points! Thank you for that information. I'm in the market for a new phone, and now I know to avoid OnePlus like the plague!

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