OnePlus 5’s 2x zoom isn’t as optical as you might think

The OnePlus 5 is getting a lot of press, and one of the standout features is its new dual-lens camera, which allows for 2x ‘lossless’ zoom.

As far as we can see OnePlus never said it was fully optical, despite some reports elsewhere, but with two lenses on offer and supposedly lossless quality it would be a reasonable assumption to make.

In fact, the OnePlus 5 gives you 1.6x optical zoom according to OnePlus, with the remaining 0.4x handled by “SmartCapture multiframe technology” – a point the company’s co-founder Carl Pei felt the need to clarify on Twitter.

But even that might not be entirely true, as a Reddit user who examined the EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data from a photo found that only a 1.33x optical zoom had been applied.

Little lost, but maybe not lossless

It’s questionable how lossless the zoom can really be when it’s partially handled by software; indeed, in our review we noticed “minimal loss of image quality” when zoomed in, but not no loss.

Is OnePlus being intentionally misleading? We’ll let you make your own mind up on that, but either way, we were very impressed with the camera and the phone as a whole, so you shouldn’t worry too much.

On the other hand, if you do want a phone with true 2x optical zoom (and no debate over whether it’s really lossless) the iPhone 7 Plus has you covered. Though you will need to pay a lot more to get it.

  • The iPhone 8 could have some rather clever camera skills.

Via Phandroid

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.