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Hardware Overview and System Performance
The OnePlus 5 uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, which I first discussed in my review of the Xiaomi Mi 6. It's an octa-core 10nm SoC with eight Kryo 280 CPU cores split into a 2.45 GHz performance cluster and a 1.9 GHz efficient cluster, each with four cores. There's also an Adreno 540 GPU clocked up to 710 MHz, and an LPDDR4X memory controller good for 29.8 GB/s of bandwidth.
The OnePlus 5 specifically is equipped with up to Category 12/13 LTE, so it's not utilizing the full capabilities of the integrated Snapdragon X16 modem, which supports up to Cat. 16. With 3CA, 256QAM support in the downstream, you can still achieve up to 600 Mbps depending on your carrier. There's also Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac support with 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, the usual array of GPS and NFC.
There are two RAM and storage configurations for the OnePlus 5: 6GB of RAM with 64GB of NAND, and 8GB of RAM with 128GB of NAND. Both configurations come with fast UFS 2.1 storage, though no microSD card slot. I received the 8/128GB variant to review, and to be honest, I didn't notice any significant performance differences between this device and phones with 6GB or even 4GB of RAM I've used in the past.
It wasn't surprising to discover that the OnePlus 5 is a mighty fast phone, thanks to its pairing of a fast SoC and near-stock Android. You'll get a great experience here.
I have heard about OnePlus cheating in benchmarks with the OnePlus 5, but in practice this seemed to have basically no effect on performance. The OnePlus 5 was just 0.7% faster than the Xiaomi Mi 6 on average across 18 CPU-limited tests, which is well within the margin of error. Whatever OnePlus is doing in the background is clearly not giving it much of an actual advantage in benchmarks, and it certainly didn't push the phone above its closest competitor.
As the phone is basically as fast as the Mi 6, everything I said about that phone applies here. It's 31% faster than the LG G6, 24% faster than the Exynos Galaxy S8+, and 13% faster than the Huawei P10. These phones use the Snapdragon 821, Exynos 8895, and Kirin 960 respectively.