OnePlus 5 review: The Samsung Galaxy S8 rival that’s a lot more value for money

The best smartphone you might never have heard of before has just launched.

The OnePlus 5 is a direct rival to the new Samsung Galaxy S8, as well as the iPhone 7 and Google Pixel, yet costs significantly less than each of them.

If you’re in the market for a new handset, here’s why you should consider the OnePlus 5 over the S8.

Design

While the OnePlus 5 isn’t the most eye-catching smartphone on the market, it strikes the right balance between aesthetics and practicality.

It looks a lot like the iPhone 7, which most people consider attractive enough, and outshines the Pixel, but lacks the wow factor of the S8, which sits right at the top of the tree. However, where it has the edge over the S8 is usability.

Samsung made a shocking error with the placement and design of the S8’s fingerprint scanner and, while it may sound like a small issue, it had a significant negative impact on the overall user experience.

The OnePlus might be a little less flashy, but its fingerprint scanner is large, easy to access and reliable – everything the S8’s isn’t. Since you unlock your smartphone tens of times a day, that’s an important factor.

Build

Another advantage it has over the S8 is durability. The Samsung flagship’s “all glass” design may be stunning, but it’s also fragile. 

After drop tests, it was described as “extremely susceptible to cracking when dropped from any angle”, with the back panel particularly prone to shattering.

Though the OnePlus hasn’t yet been drop-tested, its anodised aluminium body should ensure it can take more abuse than the S8. The handset feels solid, though we must point out that its protruding camera is a slight cause for concern.

Purity

The OnePlus 5 runs Android 7.1.1, and we’re pleased to report that the company hasn’t fiddled with the stock software too much, leaving it almost as pure and user-friendly as Google intended it to…

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