OnePlus 7 Pro vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?

Best answer: The OnePlus 5 has been around for over two years, and the hardware has held up incredibly well in that time. But the design is dated, and while OxygenOS is still fast and fluid on the device, it's unlikely to receive further platform updates. The OnePlus 7 Pro, meanwhile, offers a stunning new 90Hz display along with the latest hardware available today, making it the obvious upgrade pick.

Obvious upgrade: OnePlus 7 Pro (From $670 at OnePlus)

The OnePlus 7 Pro has a stunning display and much better camera

The OnePlus 5 debuted two years ago and was one of the first devices to feature Qualcomm's 10nm Snapdragon 835 chipset. The hardware is still going strong in 2019, and with the phone picking up the Pie update earlier in the year you get access to most of the latest OxygenOS features. OnePlus has done a fantastic job over the years on the hardware front, with its devices holding up to scrutiny two years down the line. You definitely can't say that about most phones in this segment.

The one area where the device feels outdated is the design. With huge bezels at the top and bottom and a front-facing fingerprint sensor, the OnePlus 5's design hasn't aged well. You only need to look at the phone next to the OnePlus 7 Pro to see how far we've come from a design standpoint in the last two years, with the introduction of the retractable camera module facilitating an all-screen form factor.

The all-screen design on the OnePlus 7 Pro is one of the best you'll find in the market today.

As you can see from the photo above, the OnePlus 7 Pro has barely any bezels at the top or bottom, and the phone has a massive 6.67-inch display in a chassis that's just 8mm taller. The screen is not only larger, but you also get a higher-res Quad HD+ display with HDR10+ certification.

But the key upgrade when it comes to the screen is the 90Hz refresh rate, which makes all interactions silky smooth. The high refresh rate combined with the all-screen design and QHD+ panel means you're getting one of the best displays around — regardless of the price point.

OnePlus has even managed to integrate stereo sound into the OnePlus 7 Pro, with the earpiece that sits above the panel doubling up as a secondary speaker. Stereo sound and the lack of a cutout at the top of the display makes for an immersive experience when viewing videos or playing games on the device, and that 90Hz panel is just addictive to use for everyday tasks like web browsing or scrolling through social media.

Then there's the hardware: the OnePlus 7 Pro is the most powerful phone on the market today, and you get Qualcomm's latest 7nm Snapdragon 855 chipset paired with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You can also pick up an option with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and go all out with a 12GB/256GB model. The OnePlus 5 has decent hardware, but you're getting an upgrade in every single area with the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Sure, the OnePlus 7 Pro doesn't have a headphone jack, but the industry as a whole is moving away from the analog port, and OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 offer fantastic value for the asking price.

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CategoryOnePlus 7 ProOnePlus 5
Operating systemAndroid 9.0 PieAndroid 9.0 Pie
Display6.67-inch Fluid AMOLED3120x1440 (19.5:9)90Hz, HDR10+Gorilla Glass 65.5-inch Optic AMOLED1920x1080 (16:9)Gorilla Glass 5
ChipsetSnapdragon 8551 x 2.84GHz Kryo 4853 x 2.41GHz Kryo 4854 x 1.78GHz Kryo 485Adreno 6407nmSnapdragon 8354 x 2.45GHz Kryo4 x 1.90GHz KryoAdreno 54010nm
MicroSD slotNoNo
Rear camera 148MP, f/1.61.4um, OISDual Pixel PDAF16MP, f/1.71.12um, PDAF
Rear camera 28MP, f/2.4OIS, telephoto20MP, f/2.61.0um, telephoto (1.6x zoom)
Rear camera 316MP, f/2.2117-degree field-of-viewNo
Front camera16MP, f/2.016MP, f/2.0
ConnectivityWi-Fi ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0AptX HD, LDAC, NFC, A-GPSWi-Fi 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS
AudioUSB-CStereo speakers3.5mm jackSingle speaker
ChargingUSB-C 3.130WUSB-C 1.020W
Water resistanceNoNo
SecurityIn-display fingerprintFingerprint (capacitive)
Dimensions162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm206g154.2 x 74.1 x 7.3mm153g
ColorsMirror Gray, Nebula Blue, AlmondMidnight Black, Slate Gray

The OnePlus 7 Pro also has a larger 4000mAh battery, but the higher-res display effectively negates it — you'll still only get a day's worth of usage out of the device. But the phone does come with 30W wired charging, which charges the phone from flat to 50% in under 30 minutes.

The biggest improvement, however, has to do with the camera. The OnePlus 7 Pro has a 48MP Sony IMX 586 sensor that takes much better shots in daylight and challenging lighting scenarios, and you also get a wide-angle lens and a zoom lens with 3x lossless zoom. OnePlus needs to tweak the processing to get the most out of that Sony imaging module, but the hardware is one of the best available on a phone today.

Here's why you should upgrade to the OnePlus 7 Pro

OnePlus 7 Pro vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?

The OnePlus 7 Pro delivers a meaningful upgrade in all key areas, making it an obvious choice if you're using the OnePlus 5 in 2019. The display in particular is outstanding, and you have to use it to believe just how smooth it is. OxygenOS continues to be stellar, and the hardware on offer should easily last three years.

If you're rocking the OnePlus 5, it's time to make the switch to the OnePlus 7 Pro.

It's not just the all-screen front that's new: the design at the back has also been overhauled. The OnePlus 7 Pro has a similar aesthetic to the OnePlus 5 — with the horizon line and curved sides — but the subtle gradient with the Nebula Blue finish and the switch to a glass back make the phone look much more premium.

The camera has also been overhauled, and the 48MP sensor takes much better photos. You also get 30W wired charging, stereo sound, and a much better vibration motor. If you're rocking the OnePlus 5 and are in the market for an upgrade, look no further than the OnePlus 7 Pro.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.