OnePlus 5 will be all that it was expected to be. The latest phone from OnePlus will give all you paid for, and much more. The phone will set a benchmark for flagships when it comes to specifications, but will still not cost as much.
OnePlus 5 also underlines two new trends that we have noticed over the past few months. One, it is becoming increasingly clear that playing safe and offering a device that ticks all the boxes without flourishes of innovation or indulgence seems to be the go-to model for companies since the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fiasco.
In these social media obsessed times, getting one feature wrong, even if it was a really innovative one, could cost you the brand. So, the Samsung Galaxy S8 clearly played to its strengths by giving the best of everything it had, offering a solid, dependable, phone in the end. OnePlus 5 too plays to these strengths, offering top-end performance, design and camera capabilities. But nothing that is way ahead of the competition in any sense. Just the best of what is on offer at the moment, and in this case at a better price.
The other big takeaway for me is the fact that dual cameras are not yet the standard, and will percolate across the mid-rung in the coming months. Dual cameras are good, but they are yet to start performing to their full potential. This will start happening only when apps that exploit the dual camera capabilities fully, become easily available.
OnePlus 5 launch: Full coverage here
Now, it is all up to the native camera apps to do the portrait modes and bokehs, but we will need maybe some camera companies to use their vast experience in the space to really bring these cameras to their best. That seems to be a few months away, by when dual cameras would have become more accessible for users across the world.
OnePlus has played its game well and focussed on one area, without really spreading itself thin like a lot of the competition. OnePlus 5, at least in first sight, has in it enough firepower to sustain the company’s hawk-like focus on the premium middle segment, which in India would be between Rs 25,000 and Rs 40,000. It is not a large volume game in India, but gives the brand visibility as well as respectability.
This is also a slot where there are very few players left. It also has a high refresh cycle within the same price range as these consumers don’t usually end up choosing a cheaper or costlier device when they go for a new one. So a good product here means, the you could end up with a lot of repeat customers. Now, OnePlus is in the time zone where buyers of OnePlus One and OnePlus Two are looking for an upgrade. With the OnePlus 5 they might have a good option.