OnePlus 5 release date, news and rumors
Posted by James Rogerson on 19th June 2017
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This post was originally posted on TECHRADAR TECH NEWS

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Update: The OnePlus 5 is launching tomorrow (June 20)! So we’ll soon know everything there is to know. But ahead of that a last minute rumor has pointed to a worryingly small battery. Read on below for all the latest on the OnePlus 5. 

The OnePlus 5 is arriving tomorrow, as the Chinese startup has now confirmed the name of its next flagship smartphone and that it will land on June 20.

OnePlus has managed to consistently stand out from the crowd by offering high-end hardware at a mid-range price, but even to say that undersells its achievements.

The company often out-specs rivals with its ‘Never Settle’ mantra and clearly puts time and thought into its phones, yet still manages to sell them for less.

All of that is true of the OnePlus 3T, which has a massive 6GB of RAM, along with a premium build and high-end specs throughout, all for just $439, £399 (around AU$580).

It’s a remarkable phone then, but it’s not perfect and we’ve come up with a wish list of things (on page 2) that we want to see for the OnePlus 5.

You’ll find all the latest news and rumors about the OnePlus 5 on this page, along with speculation and analysis to fill in the gaps.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next affordable flagship from OnePlus
  • When is it out? Launching June 20, available summer 2017
  • What will it cost? At least £400, $439, AU$580, could be more

OnePlus 5 release date

Hottest leaks:

  • A June 20 launch
  • Confirmed: coming ‘Summer 2017’
  • May hit stores on June 22
OnePlus phones to date

April 2014: OnePlus One
July 2015: OnePlus 2
November 2015: OnePlus X
June 2016: OnePlus 3
November 2016: OnePlus 3T
Summer 2017: OnePlus 5

OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 5 will be announced on June 20. That’s tomorrow!

And that’s in line with previous launches, as the OnePlus One launched in April 2014, the OnePlus 2 in July 2015 and the OnePlus 3 in June 2016.

We don’t yet know for sure when it will be available to purchase in the UK, US or Australia, but Amazon India is listing it for June 22, so it’s likely to land elsewhere on that date too.

Either way,  OnePlus has teased the phone for “Summer 2017” so we probably won’t be waiting much longer, especially as the company has stopped selling the OnePlus 3T already.

TechRadar’s take: The launch date has now been confirmed for June 20, while June 22 looks likely for when you’ll be able to buy it.

The name: OnePlus 5 vs OnePlus 4

  • It will be called the OnePlus 5
  • We won’t get a OnePlus 4

The eagle-eyed among you will note that we’ve not had a OnePlus 4. We’ve had the OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, OnePlus X, OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T – and now we’re getting the OnePlus 5.

Why 5? The number 4 is a sign of bad luck in China, which is the main thinking as to why we’re going straight to the OnePlus 5. It would also, technically, be the fifth flagship phone (ignoring the short-lived OnePlus X) with the OnePlus 3T taking the fourth generation spot. 

Thing is, apparently neither of those are the reason behind the name. According to OnePlus, it was apparently inspired by the former NBA player Robert Horry who had a number five jersey and is a popular player among OnePlus employees. 

OnePlus 4

The OnePlus 3T is great – but there’s still room for improvement

OnePlus 5 screen

Hottest leaks:

  • A change in technology
  • A 5.3 or 5.5-inch 2K display

The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T have a 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 display, just like the OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus One. Given how staunchly the company has stuck to that size and resolution combination it’s tempting to think it will do the same with the OnePlus 4, and that’s certainly possible.

In fact, one tipster has said exactly that, but the image they shared along with that claim is now known to be false, and we reckon OnePlus might push the resolution up to 1440 x 2560.

That possibility has also been rumored, with talk of a 5.3-inch screen of that resolution, while another source points to a 5.5-inch QHD display.

The resolution of the screen on the OnePlus 3T is one of its few faults and one of the only areas you can really point to and say that’s where the company cut corners.

To make an impact this year it’s likely to push the resolution up, especially since now just about every flagship has a QHD or higher resolution screen.

But why do we need to push resolution above 1080p on such a small screen? Two letters: VR. Virtual Reality was big in 2016, even OnePlus has got in on the act launching the OnePlus 3 in VR (and the OnePlus 2 in 2015), but for the best experiences you need a high resolution display.

A 2K screen would improve the VR experience on the OnePlus 5, as well as giving a boost to movies and gaming.

OnePlus 4

All previous OnePlus flagships have a full HD display

The  rumored drop in size to 5.3 inches is more surprising. OnePlus only makes one or two phones a year and while there’s no such thing as one size fits all the company is going to want to get close.

Big phones are growing in popularity and it’s done well with the 5.5-inch size point, so we’d be surprised if it really gets any smaller, but any bigger pushes it into phablet territory, which is a relatively niche market.

We may see a move from AMOLED back to LCD though, as OnePlus is reportedly struggling to source enough AMOLED panels to keep up with OnePlus 3 demand. Then again, the first OnePlus 5 rumors point to AMOLED still.

TechRadar’s take: We reckon the OnePlus 5 will have a 5.3-5.5-inch QHD LCD screen – so roughly the same size as the OnePlus 3, but higher resolution to catch up with rivals, and a return to previous tech due to AMOLED shortages.

OnePlus 5 design

Hottest leaks:

  • A metal body

OnePlus has jumped the gun in sharing an official image showing the back of the OnePlus 5. From this we can see that it’s almost certainly made of metal, with curved edges and an antenna band running along the top edge. There’s likely also one at the bottom, but that’s not visible in the picture.

You can also see a power button and SIM card slot on right edge, while the top edge has no buttons or ports. All in all it looks to be a plain but polished design.

It also lines up with recent leaks like the one below, which shows off not only the OnePlus 5’s back, but its front and sides too.

Credit: Android Police

Build aside, we’re hoping for further bezel slimming from its predecessor – allowing the OnePlus 5 to sport a more compact frame even though it houses a 5.5-inch display.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 boasts a larger 5.8-inch screen, but it’s narrower and shorter than the OnePlus 3T, which means the OnePlus 5 should be able to slim down a bit.

And there’s reason to think the OnePlus 5 will be smaller than the 3T, as OnePlus has tweeted a teaser image of the 5 under the 3T. You can’t really see it – but that’s the point, as if it was as big as the 3T the edges would be visible.

We won’t mind if OnePlus makes its next flagship slightly thicker, allowing it to reduce bezel size while making a bit more room for a bigger battery. And space for a microSD slot? We can but dream.

A teaser has also suggested there will be four colors for the OnePlus 5. Pictured below you can see the black, red and gold versions, but number two is a bit bold compared to the others and OnePlus is calling it “Unicorn color”.

TechRadar’s take: The OnePlus 5 will probably have a metal back and has been shown to be more an evolution of the OnePlus 3T’s design than a complete change.

OnePlus 5 camera

Hottest leaks:

  • Confirmed: a dual-lens camera
  • 12MP rear and 8MP front snappers
  • Augmented and mixed reality features

We now know for sure that the OnePlus 5 has a dual-lens camera, as the company has revealed as much in a recent tweet.

The tweet also has the tagline “Dual Camera. Clearer Photos”, which suggests that it will be a monochrome and color lens pairing, since that would allow it to capture more light and detail, for clearer photos. 

Exactly that has been claimed in a leak, which also says that both lenses will be 12MP, and there will be an 8MP front-facing camera.

The suggestion that one lens will be monochrome and one will be color seems to have also been backed up by some images that have leaked on to the web.

And a recent leak gives us another look at that now-confirmed camera setup.

OnePlus co-founder Liu Zuoto also revealed the first black and white camera sample from the OnePlus 5, which you can see below. It looks to be sharp and impressive considering it’s taken on a smartphone, but there’s no confirmation from OnePlus yet that it hasn’t been some post-production tweaking as well.

OnePlus has announced that it’s working with camera expert DxOMark to improve the quality of the camera on the OnePlus 5. No specifics were given, but the company has since shown a teaser photo, demonstrating strong low-light performance. And we’ve also heard rumors of the form these improvements might take.

For one thing, other than the camera being dual-lens, one source talks about augmented reality and mixed reality functions, though no details are given on the specifics of these features.

We’ve also seen a leaked retail box with that now-official dual camera tagline, and a leaked teaser image, (below) which shows us a seemingly accurate view of the camera and rear of the phone.

Credit: Weibo

These changes make sense. A lot of work was put into the camera on the OnePlus 3T. Both rear and front sensors have a high megapixel count (16MP on both), there’s optical image stabilization and plenty of other features.

But the end result is a snapper which still isn’t quite up to the standards of the best around, so beyond being dual-lens expect the camera on the OnePlus 5 to be further tuned and improved. That’s not to say it’s a bad offering, it’s just the bar has been raised so high it’s difficult – on a budget – to match it.

OnePlus 4

Credit: anzhuo.cn

Surprisingly, a leaked sketch shared by Chinese site anzhuo has shown a dual front-facing camera. No details of its specs are included and this is the first we’ve heard of that, so we’re highly skeptical, but can’t rule it out.

TechRadar’s take: We now know for sure that the rear camera is dual-lens. A 12MP rear camera is likely, as this would both change things up and fall in line with rivals.

OnePlus 5 battery

Hottest leaks:

  • A 4000mAh juice pack
  • Seriously fast charging

Battery life is one area which OnePlus will hopefully be focusing on for this year’s handset. The company delivered great life with the 3,400mAh OnePlus 3T and we want to see a repeat of that – or something even better.

Fortunately, it sounds like that might be what we’ll get, with rumors of a 4000mAh juice pack.

Then again, another source says to expect just a 3,600mAh juice pack – but with 25% faster charging speeds.

The Dash Charge tech OnePlus has employed in the 3 is already impressive, and we fully expect to see it return in the OnePlus 5. It could be even faster too, as sister company Oppo unveiled an even speedier charging tech at MWC 2016.

One source claims it will have Dash Charge 2.0, though its description of being able to get a full day’s charge in half an hour is the same as the claims OnePlus made about the original Dash Charge. The same source says the phone will have a 3,580mAh juice pack.

And yet another source shared the (admittedly sketchy) image above, suggesting the OnePlus 5 will have just a 3,300mAh juice pack.

As sketchy as that image seems, the same rumor has now popped up again, courtesy of the image below, so it could well be true. You can also see another mention of Dash Charge with a day’s power in half an hour.

Credit: MyDrivers

If this is true that would be a drop in size, which is possible, especially since the overall handset could be getting smaller, but wouldn’t make for much of a selling point.

TechRadar’s take: Evidence suggests the battery might have shrunk to 3,300mAh.

OnePlus 5 OS and power

Hottest leaks:

  • Confirmed: Snapdragon 835 chipset
  • 8GB of RAM

OnePlus flagships are always among the most powerful around, at least on paper, and we don’t expect that will change with the OnePlus 5.

In fact, OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 5 will use the high-end Snapdragon 835 chipset.

That’s the same chip that you’ll find in the Sony Xperia XZ Premium, HTC U 11 and US variants of the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus. In short then, the OnePlus 5 is not going to be short of power.

Alongside that we may see 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, although another Weibo source claims that the amount of RAM could be upped to 8GB.

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has also hinted the storage tech used on the OnePlus 5 will be the superior UFS 2.1, which will allow for faster reading and writing speeds than previous OnePlus phones.

Reliable leaker Evan Blass also points to 8GB of RAM, while saying the Snapdragon 835 chipset will be clocked at 2.35GHz. That information seemingly comes from source code on Amazon India’s website, so it’s likely accurate.

And the 8GB of RAM spec has also been outed by PCPop.com, and it would certainly be eye-catching on paper – it’s unlikely to have much of a noticeable advantage in general usage though.

A benchmark also lists 8GB of RAM and a multi-core score of 6562, which is comparable with other flagships, but actually lower than the 6630-scoring Samsung Galaxy S8, despite there being twice as much RAM in the OnePlus 5.

The OnePlus 5 will almost certainly run Android (likely Android Nougat) overlaid with OnePlus’ own Oxygen OS.

TechRadar managed to get hold of internal speed testing stats from the OnePlus 5 production line, which shows the upcoming handset could well be faster than the Samsung Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel XL.

While we wait for the final components to be confirmed, it looks like it’s safe to say the OnePlus 5 will be supremely powerful.

App opening speeds: OnePlus 5 vs Galaxy S8 vs Pixel XL

TechRadar’s take: The Snapdragon 835 has been confirmed and 8GB of RAM is looking likely.

OnePlus 5 other features

Hottest leaks:

  • 128GB of storage
  • Two speaker grilles
  • No headphone port

The OnePlus 3T has a fingerprint scanner, so expect that to return. It’s possible that OnePlus will add other features for its next phone, perhaps an iris scanner for example, since Samsung has started using them.

But, on the other hand, the company will likely be focused on making the best phone it can while keeping costs down, so if it doesn’t think a feature is worthwhile or likely to be used by many then it probably won’t include it. An example of that is the lack of NFC on the OnePlus 2.

The other question is whether the OnePlus 5 will come with a 3.5mm headphone jack. 

Motorola and Apple have dropped the aging audio technology from recent phone releases – including the Moto Z Force and iPhone 7 – and it seems Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, is interested in whether the community thinks the headphone jack is necessary.

The result was overwhelmingly in favor of the OnePlus 5 keeping the headphone jack, so you’d think it would be likely that the phone will keep the 3.5mm jack.

There were suggestions that OnePlus was moving the location of the headphone jack to the top of the phone after a couple of cryptic tweets from Carl Pei, but an official image of the phone has shown that isn’t the case.

The image doesn’t show the bottom edge, so we can’t say for sure whether there’s a headphone port or not, but we’d expect there will be.

As for storage, that could jump to 128GB if early rumors are to be believed.

TechRadar’s take: We don’t expect feature-overload on the OnePlus 5, but old features like the fingerprint scanner are likely to return.

OnePlus 5 price

  • The OnePlus 3T launched at $439 (£399, around AU$580)
  • We expect there to be a price increase for the OnePlus 5

The super low price of past OnePlus phones may be about to disappear for the OnePlus 5

A source speaking to Android Authority claims the company is planning to use “more costly components” on the new phone and will therefore have to increase the price.

The source claims the OnePlus 5 will cost about $650 (£500, AU$880), which is much more than the OnePlus 3T, which launched at $439 (£399, around AU$580).

That price hike has also been backed up by details of a prize fund offered by OnePlus. The company is giving away a OnePlus 5 handset and VIP tickets for Provinssi Festival that make a prize fund worth €948.

If you were to buy the VIP tickets to Provinssi Festival separately it would cost €398, meaning the phone should be worth €550. It may be the prize fund will include travel, food or any other element though so the source isn’t 100% accurate.

Previously a store listing suggested the OnePlus 5 would have a much smaller price increase only up to $449, but the latest information may supersede that. It’s looking pretty certain there will be a price increase of sorts, but we don’t currently know exactly how much it’ll be.