Tech Updates

Friday 5: Getting started with and customizing the OnePlus 5

 

The OnePlus 5 is in good standing to be one of the most significant phones of the year. Its ultra high-end specs and low-cost compared to other flagship devices mean that it’ll end up in a lot of users’ hands and pockets, and many of those users will likely be new to OnePlus and Oxygen OS.

We’ve put together a quick to-do list to help new users become familiar with the OnePlus 5 and all of its customizable settings.

We’re also kicking off a new weekly series borrowed from our friends at 9to5Mac. Friday 5 will close off each week by highlighting tips and tricks from some of our favorite apps. Recommendations are always welcome and appreciated!

Change your theme

Oxygen OS looks almost identical to stock Android, but I’ve never been a fan of all the white used in the menu backgrounds — especially on phones with AMOLED displays, which would benefit more from black menus. Luckily the OnePlus 5 offers themes to switch between white and black at will, and you can select the system-wide accent color as well.

Customize your buttons

By default, the OnePlus 5 uses the fingerprint sensor under the display as a home button, flanked by two hidden capacitive keys. While some may enjoy the added screen real estate this offers, other users might prefer on-screen navigation buttons. You can switch freely between the two options in the settings, and even reverse the Back and Recent Apps buttons if you’re more used to Samsung’s button layout. If you choose to stick with the capacitive keys, you can also assign different functions to long or double presses of each button.

Assign gestures

Screen-off gestures are useful on the OnePlus 5 in the absence of motion gestures (a la Moto devices) or custom hardware keys. You can set each of five letters to activate features like the flashlight or open the camera. Along with the screen-on gestures, the OnePlus 5 also has a convenient three-finger swipe gesture to capture screenshots, as well as the ability to mute incoming phone calls by flipping the phone face-down.

Customize your quick toggles

Rearranging a phone’s quick toggles isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, but it’s convenient to be able to sort shortcuts to your exact preference. You can add or remove toggles from the notification panel with ease, and certain apps can have their own toggles, like Spotify’s offline mode shortcut.

Arrange your home screen

Like just about every Android phone, you can move app shortcuts and widgets around the home screen, but the OnePlus 5 goes a few steps further for customization. On top of support for icon packs, you can swipe up from anywhere on the screen to access the app drawer, and swipe down for the notification shade — features I usually have to download a third-party launcher for.

You can also swipe over from the home screen to access the OnePlus 5’s “shelf,” which holds additional widgets. The default widgets can be rearranged or removed, and you can add your own widgets as well.

The OnePlus 5 offers one of the most customizable out-of-the-box experiences you can get, all while keeping true to pure Android with light and fast software. We’ll have more thoughts on the phone in our full review, coming soon!

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