Five features we hope to see on the OnePlus 5

OnePlus has always delivered when it comes to price & performance, but can it replicate the magic with the alleged OnePlus 5?

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OnePlus is still riding the success wave of the OnePlus 3T, given that the phone continues to be favourable amongst those who make up the smartphone consumer market. It’s the phone that has set a benchmark for the delicate balance between price and performance. While the phone was a mid-cycle upgrade, rumours have started doing the rounds about what the next flagship from the company will be. It is said that we should expect the next phone to be called the OnePlus 5, given that the number is associated with death in Chinese culture. Grim associations aside, the next flagship from OnePlus is something we’re really looking forward to, and while everyone is going to go overboard with the rumours, here are five features we hope the next OnePlus flagship will have.

Water Resistance
We had noted in our review of the OnePlus 3T how it felt like a rushed device and that we wished the company had put in more thought into developing the phone. Now that OnePlus has all the time they need, we’re really hoping the next flagship comes with water and dust resistance. Water and dust resistance is becoming a staple across flagships and if OnePlus wants to keep its “flagship killer” moniker, it better step up its protection game with the OnePlus 5. The OnePlus 3T missed out being our top choice for a trip to Thailand just because of its lack of water resistance.

Samsung Galaxy S7 cooling off in a bowl of water
Samsung Galaxy S7 cooling off in a bowl of water

Expandable Storage
There’s no such thing as “enough storage”. People have been known to max out their phones with 64GB storage (this author included) and OnePlus has always had a weak footing in this regard. The lack of a microSD card slot on the OnePlus phones (except for the OnePlus X) has always been a pain point for most consumers. Even OnePlus recognises that users want more storage space. Why else would they release a 128GB variant? While it may be argued that a microSD card may result in mildly slower performance on apps, at the end of the day, the choice to experience that or not is with the user. Even Google considers modern microSD cards to now be fast enough for apps to run on them, given that you can now integrate the microSD card into the onboard storage thanks to Adoptable Storage option. If the OnePlus 5 came with a microSD card slot, it’s entirely possible people would store their media on the card while the apps would be installed on the phone’s internal storage.

Where's the microSD card slot?
Where’s the microSD card slot?

USB-PD support for Fast Charging
OnePlus’s Dash Charge is incredibly fast in taking the OnePlus 3T’s 3400mAh battery from 0-100, but the problem is, you need to use the supplied charger and cable. With multiple fast charging standards in the market, things have been getting out of hand, which is why Google introduced the USB-PD standard for fast charging into the Android 7.0 Compatibility Definition Document, stating that “Type-C devices are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to not support proprietary charging methods that modify Vbus voltage beyond default levels, or alter sink/source roles as such may result in interoperability issues with the chargers or devices that support the standard USB Power Delivery methods. While this is called out as “STRONGLY RECOMMENDED”, in future Android versions we might REQUIRE all type-C devices to support full interoperability with standard type-C chargers.” USB-PD will allow you to fast charge any smartphone with any charger and cable combination, as long as all three support USB-PD. Qualcomm has already stated that its next generation Quick Charge 4.0 standard will also support USB-PD. We can only hope that OnePlus 5 would at least support USB-PD on its Dash Chargers.

USB-PD: One fast-charging standard to rule them all
USB-PD: One fast-charging standard to rule them all

Better Display Calibration
The OnePlus 3T’s display by default was extremely saturated, with the colours red & orange being almost hurtful to the eyes as noted in our review. The display settings did offer an sRGB mode which toned everything down to more realistic levels, but the screen ended up being too warm. We hope that with the OnePlus 5, the company would allow for users to tweak the white-balance of the screen while in sRGB mode. Currently, the OnePlus 3T allows the white balance to be adjusted only when the display is in its normal mode (over-saturated). Artists and creators would benefit a lot from a colour accurate display, making the OnePlus 5 a hit amongst the creatives industry.

We need better calibration option than these
We need better calibration option than these

Multiple Colour Choices at Launch
Releasing multiple colour options over a course of time is probably the worst thing a company can do to its loyal customers. Many who had bought the Gunmetal version of the OnePlus 3T said that they’d much rather have the Midnight Black version. It’s the same feeling that OnePlus 3 users had when the OnePlus 3T was announced. With the OnePlus 3T, the company has established uncertainty amongst its user base, who won’t stop wondering if a new colour might be coming out in the next few months and whether they should wait for it or not. If you’re going to launch a phone, just offer all the colour options up front so that we’re not constantly second guessing our choice to buy (or not buy) your phone.

Let's make it a colourful party
Let’s make it a colourful party

OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T are a great pair of devices, however, both of them leave plenty of room for improvement, especially seeing what the new generation of flagships have to offer. The OnePlus One truly gave the flagships of the time a run for their money, with the OnePlus 2 being a slight disappointment with its battery issues and lack of NFC. The very capable OnePlus 3 was quickly over-shadowed by the newer OnePlus 3T which has become the benchmark for value for money, often being compared to the Google Pixel XL and other Android flagships. Given what we’ve seen so far of the Samsung Galaxy S8 (S8+) and the LG G6, OnePlus has its work cut out for itself.