With the OnePlus 3T, the company decided to really up the game with its selfie camera and the OnePlus 5 continues that tradition. Sporting a 16 megapixel shooter, OnePlus has again chosen to rely on the on-screen flash method to take photos in low light. We had hoped that maybe with the OnePlus 5, the company would finally introduce a front facing flash, given the importance of selfies in today’s day and age, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Regardless, the phone takes very impressive selfies. As we had noted in our review of the Samsung Galaxy S8+, expecting the front facing camera to deliver detail rich photos is something we’ve thrown out the window.
The 16 megapixel photos from the front camera on the OnePlus 5 look very impressive at first glance, being sharp, vibrant and sporting the right amount of contrast. The software does a good job of accessing the scene’s attributes and then reproducing them in the photo. The skin is well softened (even with the beautification mode turned off) and the low light selfies do tend to suffer from a bit of noise, but a little clever editing, and you can turn that noise into “classic film grain.”
Overall, the front facing camera on the OnePlus 5 delivers images that are in line with he quality we have seen from other flagships such as the Samsung Galaxy S8+, Google Pixel XL and even the iPhone 7. The smile shutter on the OnePlus 5 is also fairly reliable, as we noted that it was successful in 3 out of 5 situations. It effectively distinguished between a smile, duck face, a straight face and even a frown. Although it should be noted that the phone didn’t take a shot every single time we smiled, but that is okay. We still prefer taking photos the old fashioned way, but the smile shutter could definitely bring an added level of convenience.