The OnePlus 5 smartphone has finally been launched, with many reviewers touting it as the best phone under £500.
However, others have warned buyers not to be taken in by the benchmarks claimed by OnePlus for the device, arguing that the company has deliberately gamed benchmarking systems in order to boost its scores.
But the handset's main selling point is its camera, claims OnePlus, which is touting the dual sensor set-up as the "highest resolution on any smartphone today".
As expected, the OnePlus 5 sports a 16MP Sony sensor with a f/1.7 aperture that's said to capture 34 per cent more light than the OnePlus 3T, paired with a 20MP telephoto lens with a f/2.6 aperture.
The OnePlus 5's camera also boasts Fast AF, which the firm claims make it 40 per cent speedier than the OnePlus 3T, alongside a dual-LED flash and 4K video support.
"The OnePlus 5 showcases our obsessive attention to detail and our focus on delivering the best user experience possible," said OnePlus Founder and CEO Pete Lau.
He added: "We have applied this approach to all aspects of the OnePlus 5. For example, the dual camera provides some of the clearest photos on the smartphone market today and gives users more control to take stunning photos in all conditions."
In addition, the OnePlus 5 bears a 10nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU, paired with an Adreno 540 GPU, 8GB LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB built-in storage. A lesser-specced model will also be made available with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage.
These all more-or-less confirm some of the rumours that circulated in the spring, with some claiming 8GB of RAM, and others 6GB. However, the suggestion that it would have a monster 4,000mAh battery proved unfounded.
Instead, there's also a 3,300mAh battery equipped with OnePlus' Dash Charge technology, a 5.5in Full HD display and a fingerprint sensor built into the home button, which the company claims will recognise (or reject) prints in 0.2 seconds.
In terms of design, the OnePlus 5 is a near carbon copy of the iPhone 7 Plus with its aluminium unibody chassis and crescent-shaped antenna lines on the top and bottom, but it's thinner than the big-screened Apple smartphone at 7.25mm thick. The OnePlus also packs a 3.5mm headphone jack, alongside its USB-C port for charging.
The OnePlus 5, which runs Oxygen OS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, will be available in the UK from 27 June, with the 64GB and 128GB models priced at £449 and £499, respectively. O2 will also be selling the smartphone, with tariffs starting from £34 a month.
However, the launch was marred by claims that the company had been gaming benchmarking software, with XDA accusing the company of "inappropriately manipulating benchmark scores".
XDA got its hands on the new smartphone ten days before it was officially launched this week. It claimed, though, that the OnePlus 5 features a "cheating mechanism" that it described as "blatant and aimed at maximising performance".
The developer website claims that this cheat mechanism detects the presence of the benchmarking software and keeps the clock rate running at an artificially high level during benchmarking tests.
"It is almost certain that every single review of the OnePlus 5 that contains a benchmark is using misleading result," claimed XDA in a long blog posting.
It continued: "This is an inexcusable move, because it is ultimately an attempt to mislead not just customers, but taint the work of reviewers and journalists with misleading data that most are not able to vet or verify," XDA said in its lengthy blog post.
XDA's accusations aren't new. In January, it warned that the OnePlus 3T, the predecessor to the OnePlus 5, appeared to be cheating benchmarking software.
"OnePlus swiftly promised to stop targeting benchmarking apps with their benchmark cheating," reported XDA, "but [said that they] still intend to keep it for games (which also get benchmarked). In a future build of OxygenOS, this mechanism will not be triggered by benchmarks."
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