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One Plus 5: Familiar design but still outstanding

Though the OnePlus 5's design doesn't wow us, it more than makes up for it with its camera prowess, powerful specs and affordable price.

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Lynn La
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1 of 11 James Martin/CNET

Available June 27, the OnePlus 5 is one of the most affordable yet premium phones available. Featuring a 5.5-inch display and Android Nougat, the device costs $479, £449 (which converts to AU$629) for the grey, with 64GB/6GB of RAM. The black costs $539, £499 (converts to AU$707), with 128GB/8GB of RAM.

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One of the most impressive features of the phone is its 3,300mAh battery. Though it's a smaller capacity from last year's OnePlus 3T (which had a 3,400mAh battery), the 5 actually lasts longer. During our battery drain test for continuous video playback on Airplane mode, it clocked in nearly 18 hours.

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The phone runs a nearly skinless version of Android 7.1.1 and has no unnecessary bloatware save for a OnePlus Community app that you can uninstall if need be. It also features a headphone jack and USB Type-C.

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The 5 has a standard 16-megapixel camera on the left and a 20-megapixel telephoto lens on the right. This enables the camera to have a clear 2x zoom. You can also take "bokeh" portrait pictures that feature an artsy, blurred background. 

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The standard camera has a wider (f/2.6) aperture than before, meaning it takes in more light. As such, the 5 takes excellent low-light pictures and at times, outperformed the Google Pixel. 

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The camera has a "Pro mode," which gives more manual control for photographing, including new tools like a histogram for adjusting ISO levels and white balance, and a leveler. The camera does not have optical image stabilization, but it does have electronic image stabilization for video only.

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Below the display is a fingerprint reader for added user security. The sensor also comes in handy for authorizing payments, which work with the phone's Near Field Communication chip and the preloaded Android Pay app.

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Overall though, not much has changed. The display, which is now fortified with Gorilla Glass 5 to make it tougher, is vibrant and sharp, and it's the same 1080-pixel resolution.

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Like years prior, OnePlus is releasing an array of cases and snap covers for the phone.

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Another look at the OnePlus 5's cases.

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Despite being a tad pricier than before, the OnePlus 5 is a fantastic phone. It has an excellent camera that rivals the Apple iPhone and Google Pixel, and it's one of the fastest and most powerful handsets at hundreds of dollars less than its high-end competitors.

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