OnePlus 5 comes in two flavours with regards to core components. The Qualcomm snapdragon 835 is standard, but there is a unit with 6GB of RAM and another with 8GB of RAM. We reviewed the 8GB RAM variant and honestly, it felt a little unnerving to be reviewing a phone that had more RAM than our work laptop. Back when the OnePlus 3 had launched Carl Pei, Co-founder of OnePlus, had said that he didn’t think there were enough apps in the market capable of utilizing 6GB of RAM, and now, we see a smartphone with 8GB of RAM. The OnePlus 3 at launch was criticized for how memory management worked, and thankfully, the company has learnt from its past and kept all 8 gigs of RAM open for use by apps and processes. We were able to fill up all 8GB of RAM on the OnePlus 5 using an app designed for the very purpose, leading us to believe that there is no chunk of the RAM that is being locked away from apps.
The combination of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and 8GB of RAM sees the OnePlus 5 blaze through benchmark results, and onto the top-most spot in the pool of devices that we have reviewed. The phone clocks an impressive score of 180135 on AnTuTu and 6677 on Geekbench 4’s multi-core test. There was never any doubt that OnePlus would go all out in terms of performance components and the benchmark results corroborate that. However, benchmark results can easily be manipulated and unfortunately, OnePlus has a history of employing “questionable” tactics to boost benchmark numbers. This is precisely why we use the phones extensively as a primary device over a number of days to see if the two match.
We used the phone for a period of 10 days as the primary device to see just how it would stack up in the real-world usage and this is where we noticed something very interesting. While playing games, switching between the browser, Gmail and a Word file or even while photo editing, the phone didn’t stutter even once. This is great, but when you take into account the fact that the OnePlus 3T almost identical real-world performance, you start to wonder if we’ve crossed into the ‘overkill’ category.
We played Asphalt 8, Injustice: Gods Amongst US, Modern Combat 5 and even the Vulcan graphics engine based Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore on the OnePlus 5 and not a single game showed any signs of hitting a bottleneck in terms of performance. Load times for each game was acceptably quick and there were no delays between switching from one menu screen to the next, especially in Asphalt 8. Honestly, the OnePlus 3T was great at this trick as well and with the OnePlus 5 and its powerful entrails, things don’t change, and that is good.
For photo editing, the OnePlus 5 could ingest all six of our RAW DNG files from a 5D MarkII in roughly 24 seconds, a very impressive number by any means. Editing the RAW files was super convenient as well, with previews generating instantaneously as the sliders were being moved. Lightroom was able to export the 22 megapixels RAW DNG file into a full resolution JPG in about 5 seconds.
After having used the OnePlus 5 for a number of days as the primary device, there hasn’t been a single instance where an app or the OS in general has frozen, crashed or gone into a forced reboot. Scrolling through 20+ tabs in Google Chrome is brilliantly smooth, switching between apps is flawless and overall, the phone is just extremely responsive. It is almost impossible to imagine to situation where the phone is going to deliver sub-par performance, regardless of the usage scenario.