Due to the higher price of the OnePlus 5 compared to the company’s previous devices, OnePlus opted to market the smartphone primarily on one feature — the new camera. When marketing a phone on just one feature, it would only make sense to ensure that specific feature is topping the charts in the industry. Unfortunately for OnePlus, that’s not quite the case.
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Smartphone cameras have definitely been improved leaps and bounds in the past few years. Most major flagships and even a ton of lower-end phones offer excellent cameras. Judging between them really comes down to the little things, and that’s exactly what DxOMark looks at to determine who has the best camera.
OnePlus announced ahead of the OnePlus 5’s reveal that it was working with DxO to fine tune the dual-camera on the 5 to make it the best available. The company was so confident in this that the camera is the first thing on the OnePlus 5 product page. It was a major talking point in the announcement event, and its “Dual Camera. Clearer Photos” tagline is even embossed on the packaging twice. Clearly, OnePlus was confident in this camera.
However, DxOMark just revealed the score of the OnePlus 5’s camera as an 87. Looking at the big picture, that’s not bad. Other devices well-known for their cameras such as the Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel score just a point or two more, and the top contender, the HTC 11, is sitting at the top at 90.
Unfortunately for OnePlus, a marketing campaign based almost entirely on how amazing the camera is on the 5 can make such a good score sound, well, pretty bad. The main reason why the camera suffers is because of its mixed indoor performance and digital noise in shots, both things that many reviewers have pointed out.
Of course, a score like this should be taken with a grain of salt. The OnePlus 5’s camera isn’t the worst thing out there just because it’s not at the top, it’s just not as good as the marketing might make you think. It’s definitely not good enough to be the phone’s main selling point. Simply put, OnePlus overhyped this sensor and it didn’t pay off.