OnePlus 5 dual camera optical zoom is 1.6x, software snaps to 2x

When we hit our reviewers’ guide for the OnePlus 5, we noticed the shocking omission of lens focal lengths for the dual-camera system. We know that the iPhone 7 Plus has 28mm and 56mm lenses on its cameras. Why not on the OnePlus 5?

The camera’s software presents the instant zoom option to us as a straight-up 2x zoom. But OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has announced on Twitter that the optical element of it only accounts for a 60 percent frame pull. The other 40 percent comes from software.

Note the claim of “lossless zoom,” tough to claim with software since there’s an inherent loss when you’re forced to make pixels redundant — all you can do is to be smart about how you edit those pixels. And even if Pei were to claim that a software crop of the 20-megapixel sensor behind the telephoto lens down to a 16-megapixel view equivalent on the wide-angle side, the company still advertised a 20-megapixel camera in conjunction with 2x zoom — there’s room for confusion still.

Add to this the complaints of the company having done a poor job with electronic stabilization of 4K video and you have another bone to pile on in this growing closet of nitpicks and concerns.

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.