The OnePlus 3T is the best unlocked phone available for less than $500. So what does OnePlus do for an encore? We’re going to find out soon, as the company has confirmed that a new phone is coming this summer.
The OnePlus 5 should offer less bezel and a bigger screen than the 3T. Credit: Sam Rutherford/Tom's Guide
Latest News and Rumors (May 18)
• A Higher Price Tag?: OnePlus generally prices its phones at several hundred dollars less than the big flagships from Apple and Samsung. The OnePlus 3T, for example, costs $439 and several rumors suggested its successor would start at $450. Now a rumor has surfaced that suggests OnePlus could up the price on its new phone to $650 to indicate that it’s on par with other flagship devices.
• Dual-Lens Camera Looks Certain: The OnePlus 5 is expected to adopt a feature missing from the Galaxy S8: a dual-lens rear camera. A recent leaked image, reportedly of the OnePlus 5, confirms that feature, as it shows the back of the phone with a pair of horizontally-aligned camera lenses.
• A Pretty Powerful Phone: More leaks are confirming a lot of the early specs associated with the OnePlus 5. The phone will reportedly run on a Snapdragon 835 processor and ship with 6GB of RAM. That’s not the 8GB that was rumored when speculation about the phone first started circulating, but it’s still enough for the OnePlus 5 to reportedly top the Galaxy S8 in a leaked benchmark test.
Why Is the Phone Called the OnePlus 5?
No, you didn't blink and miss the OnePlus 4. OnePlus will reportedly jump ahead to the 5, as the number 4's considered bad luck in a large part of eastern Asia. And if you count both the OnePlus 3 and 3T models that came out last year, the next phone from OnePlus will be its fifth model anyhow.
When Can I Get the OnePlus 5?
OnePlus has been keeping its launch plans for the OnePlus 5 rather close to the vest. The company's co-founder Carl Pei has been dropping some hints, saying that he's "looking forward to the next couple of months," but isn't going beyond that.
The company did, however, confirm to The Verge on May 5 that the OnePlus 5 will be hitting store shelves sometime this summer. That's an awfully long span, though, so we can't be sure exactly which month we can expect it. Some rumors have suggested the handset could land in June, but OnePlus tipping a summer release doesn't have us holding out much hope.
What Kind of Display Will the OnePlus 5 Offer?
As spotted by BGR, Chinese site PCPop reports that OnePlus will go with an expanded screen on the OnePlus 5 that all but eliminates the front bezel on the phone. That's a pretty popular design among phone makers these days: LG introduced that very design earlier this year with its new G6 flagship and Samsung's going with a similar look for the new Galaxy S8 and S8+.
OnePlus 5 render (Credit:PCPop.com)
Those phones from LG and Samsung have meant longer screens — 5.7 inches in the case of the G6 and 5.8 or 6.2 inches for the S8 and S8+, respectively. PCPop's report says that the forthcoming OnePlus 5 will have a 5.5-inch display, which is the same size as the current OnePlus 3T. While PCPop claimed the new phone might offer 2K resolution versus the full HD resolution of the 3T, subsequent reports, like these AnTuTu benchmarks published by Android Headlines suggest that OnePlus is sticking with full HD on its next phone.
What Are the Other Key Specs with the OnePlus 5.
Leaked specs from a Chinese reseller named Geekbuying that Android Headlines posted make it sound like the OnePlus is trying to build off the 3T’s feature set. That report says OnePlus 5 will use a Snapdragon 835 processor, keeping with the phone maker's preference of using the latest mobile processing platform from Qualcomm.
Credit: India Today Tech
That same report suggested the OnePlus 5 might have 8GB of RAM, though subsequent leaks from AnTuTu suggest that the phone will only have 6GB. That’s still more than the 4GB of RAM that ships with the Galaxy S8.
That extra RAM could mean a big boost in performance. According to a leaked benchmark posted at GSMArena, the OnePlus 5 outpaces the Galaxy S8 in the Geekbench 4 measure of overall performance, even though they’re both running the same processor.
What About the Camera?
That PCPop report suggests the OnePlus 5 will have a dual-lens 23-megapixel camera, an upgrade from the lone 16-MP shooter on the OnePlus 3T.
Credit: True-TechIn addition, leaked photos that were allegedly snapped by the OnePlus 5 have appeared online. True-Tech has posted what appears to be an image that shows what the dual rears cameras can do; in this case you can see that the front part of the image is blurred and the back of the subject is in focus, which means you'll probably be able to play with the depth of field on the OnePlus 5.
One thing we do know for certain about the camera: OnePlus says it will work with image-processing specialists DxO to improve the camera experience on the OnePlus 5, though the company hasn’t revealed any specific features.
Where Will the Fingerprint Sensor Be?
If OnePlus goes with the larger screen on its next phone, it will have to find a place for the fingerprint sensor currently found on the front of the OnePlus 3T. The solution appears to be moving the sensor to the back of the phone, as Samsung and LG did with the fingerprint sensors on their latest phones.
A render posted by PCPop suggests that the sensor will be beneath the rear camera, minimizing the chance that you'll inadvertently smudge the lens trying to use the fingerprint sensor. A leaked image on India Tech Daily also showed a version without a fingerprint sensor on the back.
We'll have to wait and see to see mocks that are closer to final.
What Will the OnePlus 5 Look Like?
The folks over at TechDroider published a rendering of what the OnePlus 5 might look like, if the rumors are indeed true. And it's a beauty. The rendering envisions a glass and metal design, as well as a physical fingerprint reader on the front, meaning you won't find a screen that entirely covers the face like the Galaxy S8.
On the back, the rendering depicts the latest rumors, suggesting the dual-lens camera design will actually be horizontal rather than vertical. It's unclear, however, whether the concept art is based on reliable leaked information or just a compilation of rumors.
Credit: WeiboLeaked images posted on Weibo that are supposed to be press shots show the front and back of the phone, and conform to many of the rumors we’ve heard so far about OnePlus’s next phone.
How Much Will the OnePlus 5 Cost?
That’s the big question for a phone maker that prides itself on disrupting the smartphone market by putting out lower-priced phones that still boast premier features. It’s widely thought that will continue with the OnePlus 5, with a spec sheet on SlashLeaks claiming the new phone would start at $450. That’s a slight increase from the $439 that a OnePlus 3T will cost you.
But an Android Authority report quotes a source claiming the price on the OnePlus 5 could be as high as $650. The reason? OnePlus is reportedly using costlier components and wants to signal its phones measure up to the likes of the iPhone and Galaxy S lineup. That’s one rumor we’re hoping doesn’t pan out.
These are still just rumors about the next phone from OnePlus, so we could wind up seeing a very different phone once the company officially announces a successor to the 3T. Still, given OnePlus's traditional focus on producing lower-priced phones that sport high-end specs, it's worth keeping an eye on the rumor mill if you're on the lookout for an unlocked Android device.