The OnePlus 5 comes with a 5.5 inch 1080p display, just like its predecessor. Not going to lie, it feels a little bit disappointing that OnePlus wasn’t able to employ a new display for their latest flagship. In contrast, LG, Google, Samsung and even Apple utilize higher than HD resolution display on their flagship devices. Company CEO Pete Lau did mention in an interview to The Verge that the company wanted to experiment with edge-to-edge displays, but just did not have the “resources or access to those displays.”
While it may seem like the OnePlus 5 uses the same panel as the OnePlus 3T, there are a few things that differ between the two. For starters, the newer phone’s display is capable of wide-gamut colour reproduction that falls under the DCI-P3 colour profile. It also seems to be able to go brighter than the predecessor, but given that our OnePlus 3T unit is fairly old and has seen significant use, it is possible the display has taken a bit of a hit.
As a standalone device, the OnePlus 5’s display is adept enough to take on the bright sunlight. At full brightness, the screen retains good colours and contrast, not letting the boosted brightness impact the overall quality of the image. The pre-installed screen protector causes some reflections on the screen, but they aren’t bad enough to impact reading/viewing quality adversely. In low light, the display can drop as low as 4 nits, and coupled up with the new night mode that filters out blue light, OnePlus finally has a device that is easy to use in dark rooms.
The OnePlus 5 offers four picture modes under display settings. There’s the new DCI-P3 colour profile for full wide-gamut display, sRGB for anyone who feels that colour accuracy trumps vibrancy, Default which just looks very close to the OnePlus 3T (saturated, with very strong reds and oranges) and lastly, Custom Colour, which is a little misleading as it does not actually let you tweak any colour values, but only the white balance of the screen. OnePlus has also built in something called a Reading Mode which, when enabled, converts the whole screen to black and white with mild contrast. It looks like of like a Kindle e-ink display and is actually quite forgiving on the eyes.
OnePlus not being able to procure LED panels to experiment with new displays means that the OnePlus 5 doesn’t have HDR or a new aspect ratio or even a higher resolution. What it does have, however, is the capability to reproduce wide gamut colour, which is great if that’s something you need. Overall, we walk away feeling that the OnePlus 5’s display is as functional as a display can get, minus any of the bells and whistles.