Once OnePlus put out a rather revealing teaser of the OnePlus 5's hardware, showing off its dual cameras, the focus quickly turned to one discussion: "it kind of looks like an iPhone." A fresh render of the top-right corner of the back of the phone, obtained by Android Central, shows a few subtleties that paint a bit of a different picture.
A few shared design elements doesn't make one phone a 'copy' of another.
Unfortunately we don't have a complete look at the phone from multiple angles here, but the zoomed-in take gets the point across: this isn't just an iPhone 7 clone. Yes it's black, metal and curved, but the details are clearly different. Take a look at that render above — see the way the metal subtly curves from the flat back then transitions along a straight line to a flat side. That flat side carries all the way down the side of the phone — and based on previous leaks the way it meets the front glass is entirely different from the iPhone as well. It may seem like making a mountain out of a mole hill, but these are differences that will have a big influence on how the OnePlus 5 feels in your hand every day.
Thankfully the Alert Slider (which lets you switch between configurable Do Not Disturb modes) is back, and looks to be nicely crafted with a tight diamond pattern to make it easy to toggle even when you're not looking at the phone. Yes I will grant you the fact that the wide embedded antenna lines look familiar — but you have to get antennas in there somewhere, and if that's the best way to do them right now, so be it.
There are clearly features that make it more than just a design lifted from a competitor.
Based on the views we have right now, does the OnePlus 5 give you feelings that it shares some design elements with the iPhone 7? Sure it does — but to my eyes, it doesn't seem to share much more than any other modern black aluminum smartphone does. You can point to specific parts of any phone out there today and find similarities to another phone.
Yes it seems as though OnePlus is going to stick with an understated, almost generic look for the OnePlus 5 — and once we see the whole thing revealed we can make those assessments. But there are clearly design flourishes and attentions to detail here that make it more than just a basic hardware design lifted from a competitor.