The OnePlus 5 made its official debut and it's undoubtedly a powerful beast, but is OnePlus starting to lose its competitive edge?
OnePlus made a name for itself by launching "flagship killers," meaning high-end smartphones with powerful specifications, but at a fraction of the price of other comparable flagships.
With the OnePlus 5, however, it seems the company's days of offering premium specs at dirt-cheap prices are behind it. The OnePlus 5 is the most expensive handset yet in the company's lineup and while it still doesn't cost as much as other flagships such as the Galaxy S8, it does cost significantly more than OnePlus fans likely expected.
OnePlus 5 Specs
The latest OnePlus 5 flagship comes with top-notch specs, including the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, Adreno 540 graphics, and two RAM and storage configurations — 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage space, or a staggering 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage.
The smartphone features a 5.5-inch full HD display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels), dual rear cameras consisting of a 16-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 20-megapixel telephoto lens, a 16-megapixel front shooter, and a 3,300 mAh battery with Dash Charge rapid charging technology.
OnePlus 5 Competitiveness
The base model with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage costs $479, while the premium one with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage goes up to $539.
That's still a bargain price for what the OnePlus 5 has to offer, but it's nowhere near previous flagships that dramatically undercut all others. The OnePlus 5 has solid specs, but it's not that much cheaper than the Galaxy S8 and it has a full HD display, not the gorgeous Infinity Display with a QHD resolution and an 18.5:9 aspect ratio. It's not that much cheaper than the iPhone 7 either, to which it bears an uncanny resemblance.
Without an aggressively competitive price point or a design that doesn't look like an iPhone clone, does the OnePlus 5 really have a solid chance of competing at the high end of the smartphone market?
Will fans pay $539 for the premium OnePlus model, knowing that it could be discontinued in less than a year? The OnePlus 3 was discontinued when the OnePlus 3T hit the scene, and the OnePlus 3T was discontinued recently after less than a year on the market, as the company prepared to release the OnePlus 5.
OnePlus had a spectacular growth since it launched its first smartphone, the OnePlus 1, but the OnePlus 5 no longer seems like a flagship killer. It's not the best flagship smartphone out there; it's the most expensive OnePlus smartphone yet, and it looks as much like an iPhone 7 as many other Chinese smartphones copying Apple's design.
On the other hand, although it lacks originality, the OnePlus 5 does boast a beefy amount of RAM that sets it apart from the crowd. Whether that's enough or not remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure: the OnePlus 5 is no longer as aggressively competitive as its predecessors.