When OnePlus released its first smartphone in 2014, the company called it the “flagship killer.” This was because it packed powerful flagship-level specs, and instead of charging customers an arm and a leg for the handset, the OnePlus One cost as little as $300 unlocked. This year, though, OnePlus released its newest flagship with a $539 price tag. It sounds steep, but I think it’s a good thing…

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In the past, OnePlus was able to keep the price of its flagships down mainly by cutting corners. This meant lower resolution displays, subpar cameras, and other relatively-lower-quality internals. These phones made up for these shortcomings by having flagship-level processors, lots of RAM, and a fantastic near-stock software experience that enthusiasts loved (minus some input lag).

When the company announced the OnePlus 3, it came with a slightly higher price tag as the company was starting to use more premium build materials. The entry price has increased even more with today’s announcement of theĀ OnePlus 5.

There are two different variants of the OnePlus 5: Slate Gray with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage and Midnight Black with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The first will be available for $479 while the latter will be sold for $539.

These cost a couple hundred dollars more than the $300 first-generation OnePlus flagship killer, which might be a letdown for those who appreciated the lower price tag. But with the OnePlus 5, this increase in cost is great because it allows the company to keep focusing on its original mission: to provide a more affordable premium device with features found on more expensive smartphones.

This is most apparent with the OnePlus 5’s dual-camera setup. Last year, the 3 and 3T handsets suffered in the camera department, so this year, the company spent a little more time and money improving it. We’ll have to wait and see how the photos that it captures look to really determine if the addition was money well spent.

Secondly, the OnePlus 5 has internal specs that rival if not outshine other flagships. Both variants of the handset are being powered by the Snapdragon 835. This is the fastest CPU you can currently buy from Qualcomm and is the same chipset found in the Galaxy S8 and HTC U11. And for RAM, while most phones have 4GB, the OnePlus 5 will be shipping with a minimum of 6GB for $479 with the more expensive $539 model arriving with 8GB.

Overall, what this price increase means is a better smartphone for you. Instead of cutting countless corners to reach a price point, the OnePlus 5 should feel and work just as great as many $700+ flagships on the market. Yes, it’s more expensive than previous offerings from the company, but at the same time, you’re still saving hundreds of dollars compared to phones like the Samsung Galaxy S8.

Click here to learn more about the OnePlus 5.


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