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The 'Soft Gold' OnePlus 5 is a pretty phone, with one big downside

OnePlus has once again trotted out a limited edition color of its phone, this time going with a "Soft Gold" variant of the OnePlus 5. This fair-skinned version of the OnePlus 5 has all of the exact same specs and features — 6GB of RAM, 64GB storage, etc. — as the "Slate Grey" color, and even has the same price. But it also has the distinct advantage of being relatively exclusive; once OnePlus sells out of these soft gold OnePlus 5s, it won't restock them, so you're going to be part of an exclusive club.

Now a new color isn't worth dropping your current OnePlus 5 to get, but if you were considering the phone and want something a bit less generic looking, here's what you can expect from the soft gold model.

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

OnePlus uses the word "soft" to describe the finish, and it's accurate. The gold is more of a champagne-like finish, and in bright light from some angles it almost looks silver (as you can see in some photos here). It definitely stands out from the black models, particularly with the shinier OnePlus logo on the back and shiny bevel where the metal frame meets the front. The antennas aren't as surreptitious as the original dark colors, but they're at least a beige color that attempts to fit in instead of plain white.

Here's the one big problem: that soft gold anodization job on the back and sides of the phone is matched up with a white front surrounding the 5.5-inch display. Now this isn't surprising as a vast majority of lighter-toned phones often go with a white front, but it does have a legitimate influence on how well you can view the screen in bright sunlight. A white-framed screen reflects more light than a black one, making it tougher to see the screen itself. It can also be rather distracting for your eyes — even if you're turning on the OnePlus 5's excellent Reading Mode for the display itself.

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

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OnePlus 5 in soft gold

Whatever your initial thoughts are on the soft gold OnePlus 5, you'll have to solidify them quickly if you're planning on buying one. Sales kick off today, August 7, over at the OnePlus online store and this color was explicitly made in limited quantities with no expectation of new stock coming available. Sure that stock could last a month ... but it could also last a few days. Make your decision early, lest you be disappointed later.

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

24 Comments
  • Lol. Ermmm... Never heard of that being a downside before!
  • I somehow have trouble believing this claim. At any rate, that's a beautiful finish.
  • It is pretty horrid looking... But then so is gold.
  • No sh*t, what a joke. #Graspingatstraws. Lol. 😂
  • Too bad it's not the joke unicorn colour, haha. I might have purchased that one. It's time for an upgrade and I'm torn between this in grey or the Pixel 5 inch. I don't think I can wait for the new Pixel, but it's not like it will have smaller bezels anyway. I still wish phones existed with 4.7 inch screens, that's my conflict.
  • Not out of the question, given they are releasing a limited edition colour.
    This one isn't specifically appealing, nor to be honest would the unicorn be.
    But a red, that would be a different matter, although out of reach were it on a similar limited edition run due to my inability to pay full cost upfront.
  • Glad it wasn't the red, out of the 3 options I'd pick black and I have black.
  • Red would've been nice, too, just from the aspect of standing out.
  • That's what I mean... If they'd released red today I'd think "aww...i want that one!". Not that it really matters inside a bumper case.
  • Enjoying my purple, I mean slate gray model - gold is for fools - that's why they call it fools gold - and don't get me started on black, cause I'll finish
  • Once you go Black, you'll never go back? :)
  • Lol giggles
  • I know there is a gold phone/white bezels thing that manufacturers seem to follow - I really want someone to try it with black bezels. Black and gold would be great together
  • The Gold Nexus 6P had black bezels. It was a looker!
  • Samsung is now doing Gold/Black but not in every country :D
  • I never had an issue with a white-front Moto X Pure (2015/3rd gen), with it mounted in my car in bright Californian sunlight. The real dealbreaker is the hardware-tied Jelly scroll effect, due to the upside down AMOLED that OnePlus somehow thought was a good idea.
  • Gold front, no thanks!
  • I've never been a fan of gold coloured phones. Just seems tacky to me for whatever reason.
  • Yeah the big downside is that screen mounted upside down, not the one you are talking about lol.
  • Samsung's Maple Gold on my S8+ looks similar. I'm glad that Samsung kept the black front on the Infinity Display.
  • Yes.
    Black seems to disappear when viewing the display. White does not. Can't avoid noticing it. I'll never buy a white bezel phone. Also anodized colors wear off at edges due to pocketing and repeatedly putting in the charger.
  • Your "downside" is so lame!!!
  • The downside is it's a OnePlus
  • White fronts are distracting for movies, especially if you use it in a VR headset. But, I usually move on and just pick another color.