Software & UI8.3
OnePlus 5 ships with OxygenOS 4.5.0 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat ROM. We’ve always been big fans of OxygenOS due to its simplicity and the near stock nature. Typically, OnePlus doesn’t bundle any bloatware onto their devices and that continues to be the case with the OnePlus 5. There is the OnePlus Community app that now comes pre-installed, but that would hardly be considered bloatware.
The new version of OxygenOS comes with a number of under the hood refinements, all of which lead to an incredibly smooth and stable OS environment. Abusing the phone over the last few days, we didn’t experience a single app crash or any random reboots of the phone. What we actually really like about the OS, and this is not really a feature per-se, is the consistency in the look and feel. If you’ve ever used a OnePlus 3 or a OnePlus 3T, you’d feel right at home using the OnePlus 5. The home page, the iconography, the quick actions bar, the notifications, they’re all the same as they’ve been on the previous phones.
The OS does bring a few new tricks to the stable though, the most notable one being Reading Mode. Reading Mode can be enabled from within the display settings in the system menu, and you can choose to have it either just enable is system wide, or you can set it to be active only for specific apps. What it does, it kill the saturation and reduce the contrast ever so slightly so that the display is easy on the eyes for long bouts of reading content. The closest way to describe this feature would be to compare it to the Kindle reading experience.
Other new features include a Do Not Disturb mode for when you’re heading into a serious gaming session. The feature blocks notifications from popping up on the screen and works pretty well, preventing any unwarranted disruptions. OnePlus has also included support for AptX and AptX HD formats for streaming music over Bluetooth, which is great. Hopefully, more and more phones will starting bringing in this compatibility and we might finally start seeing high quality Bluetooth enabled audio equipment in the market.
While OxygenOS 4.5.0 doesn’t bring many radical features or a novel visual re-design, what it does offer is a consistently good user experience. It runs extremely smooth (thanks to the beefy hardware) and handles apps and memory management rather well. OnePlus has some sketchy track record when it comes to OS updates, but what we do know is that the Company will definitely and eventually bring the Android Nougat update to their flagship really soon.