Breaking the cycle of yearly upgrades, OnePlus surprised everyone by releasing the OnePlus 5T just a few months after the OnePlus 5. Also, the ’T’ upgrades are meant to be incremental, like processor and RAM Bumps. But OnePlus 5T is a huge upgrade, making some of the biggest changes the company has done ever since it’s first device.
OnePlus 5T comes in a similar packaging like the previous OnePlus devices. Removing the lid, you’re greeted with the device on top. Below that is a red box which contains a quick start guide and a silicone case along with it. Then, there’s the dash charger and a Bright Red USB-C Cable.
For the first time, OnePlus has gone for an all-display front. There’s a huge 6-inch screen on the front with thin bezels on the side. Size of the phone remains the same, and OnePlus has removed the fingerprint sensor from the front to do that. No more navigation keys and fingerprint sensor below the screen for the first time with a OnePlus device. The fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back, and you have no choice but to use on-screen navigation buttons.
The fingerprint reader has been moved to the back, right above the OnePlus Logo. The placement feels natural and easy to reach while unlocking the phone on either hand. OnePlus 5T comes with a Dual-Camera like the previous version, but this time there is a noticeable camera bump.
On the left, there’s the volume rocker and the profile switcher. To the right, we get the SIM-Tray which supports two SIMs at the same time and the power button right below it. On the bottom, there’s the USB-C port for charging your phone, a 3.5mm headphone jack and the Speaker/Microphone grills.
OnePlus 5T has a curved back, and the edges are rounded off. OnePlus 5 had sharper edges which made it comfortable to hold. But with the OnePlus 5T, the phone is extremely slippery. You have to claw your phone and since the screen is all the way to the end there is nothing to grip on to. A silicone case is a must, and luckily OnePlus has a whole bunch of options which look really good.
When it comes to hardware, OnePlus does not compromise. The OnePlus 5T comes in two different variants: The base variant with 6GB RAM & 64GB ROM and the second variant with 8GB RAM & 128GB ROM. Other than that, everything else is the same. On the processor side, the phone comes with a 10nm Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 clocked at 2.4GHz. For Graphics Processing, the 5T comes with an Adreno 540 GPU.
OnePlus 5T comes with the standard bunch of sensors which include Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Hall, Compass and G-Sensor. For Cellular connectivity, it includes a whole range of bands, and the phone should work with pretty much all GSM carriers worldwide. With Wifi, the phone supports ac and MIMO 2×2. The phone also comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.
The display is the most significant upgrade on OnePlus 5T. It has been increased from 5.5 inches to 6 inches with an 18:9 Aspect Ratio. The resolution stays the same at 1080P, but has been upgraded to a gorgeous AMOLED Display from Samsung. The brightness goes all the way up to 440 nits under the sun, which is pretty good and goes as low as 2.1 nits if you want to use it in the night.
The default screen calibration is pretty good, and the colours are vibrant. But you have an option to change this in the settings to sRGB and DCI-P3. There is also a custom mode where you can adjust the warmth to your liking.
The new aspect ratio is not a mess like the iPhone. Videos play with a black bar on the sides, and they can be zoomed in to fill the screen, cutting out a portion of top & bottom in the video. When it comes to apps, being Android, all apps can adapt to the new aspect ratio without any issues. In rare instances where apps are unable to make use of the whole screen, there’s an option in settings to force it which works pretty well.
Right out of the box, OnePlus 5T runs on Android Nougat 7.1.1 with the company’s own OxygenOS. Android Oreo 8.0 is set to come out on the phone early next year. OxygenOS is how companies should do their operating system. There is no bloatware, and the company just tucks in a bunch of useful features here and there. The phone looks and feels like vanilla Android.
The only extra apps included with the phone are Amazon, Kindle and OnePlus Community App. But all these apps can be uninstalled if you want to. You can edit the tiny details like gestures, status bar, navigation buttons and system font in settings.
Additionally this year, OnePlus has included a new Parallel Apps feature in Settings. What this essentially does is, it will let you two separate instances of some apps. This is a fantastic feature to have if you’re using both the SIMs and you need WhatsApp for both your numbers. This feature is limited to some apps only but is available for pretty much all the popular networking apps like Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Snapchat and many more.
Performance and Usage
OnePlus 5T does not disappoint because of the monster specs it comes with. We got to test out the 8GB/128GB variant, and we were not disappointed. No other phone in this price range comes with similar specs.
OnePlus 5T did not stutter once with my insane usage. I prefer using my phone as a computer since I spend most of my time away from one. I’m happy to say that OnePlus did not fail me once. To look at my average usage, I’m always juggling multiple communication apps, trading, Editing and creating new content. I just wish it has support for dual-screen apps right now, but it is coming with the next software update. I can get so much work done on that screen and the battery which never gives up.
When you put in a good phone with good specs, it should be good enough for gaming. I like to game on my PC when I’m home. But when I’m travelling (Which is most of the time these days), I have no other option but to settle with mobile gaming. Make no mistake, mobile games are fun and can get intense. I could not find a single game OnePlus 5T could not handle. The phone does get warm on long gaming sessions, but so does every phone because of the aluminium body and it’s not a big deal.
OnePlus has worked on small details for gaming with Oxygen OS. Imagine playing a multiplayer game on your phone and right when it gets intense, someone decides to comment on your photo on Instagram. It’s such a buzzkill when a notification pops up on the screen while gaming. For this, there is an automatic Do Not Disturb mode for gaming. It blocks all notifications while gaming and an option to always answer through the speaker so that you can continue playing while you attend the call.
We’re not huge on Benchmark numbers. The phone has already passed my everyday usage needs, and there’s not a single game OnePlus 5T could not handle. But if you insist on numbers, we did run a few benchmarks for you to check out.
On the Camera side, OnePlus 5T comes with a Dual rear camera and single front camera like the OnePlus 5. But the configuration of these cameras has been changed for new features. The primary rear camera is a 16MP Sony sensor with f/1.7 aperture, and the secondary camera is 20MP Sensor with f/1.7. The front camera is a 16MP camera from Sony with f/2.0 aperture.
The OnePlus 5 had 1.6x telephoto secondary camera. This has been replaced with the new 20MP sensor which, according to OnePlus helps in low light situations. The 2X Optical zoom which is a standard now on many phones is being done by Software now on OnePlus.
Taking photos right off the camera app, it is insanely fast. You won’t notice a lag between hitting the shutter button and the image being captured. The AutoFocus has been incredible and on point every single time without a miss. There’s also a PRO mode where you can manually adjust the ISO, White Balance, Sutter Speed and Focus.
The default camera mode takes sharp photos, and there’s a decent amount of Bokeh. But there is a portrait mode to get good Bokeh effect which makes use of the dual camera setup. It seems to do an excellent job in handling photos and does not mess up with the hair. Additionally, Portrait Mode works well for objects and not just humans.
Shooting Videos on OnePlus is a decent experience. You can shoot in 4K, 30fps or 1080P at 60fps. The AutoFocus is not snappy, but it is not slow like many phones out there. It takes about a second to bring the subject into focus when being moved around. Also, there is no Optic Image Stabilisation on OnePlus. The software takes care of stabilisation which works well, but EIS is definitely not as good as OIS.
Coming to the low-light performance, OnePlus claims to use an ‘Intelligent Pixel Technology’ which merges 4 pixels into one when taking low-light shots. But honestly, I did not see a lot of difference between OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T in those situations. Instead, I would’ve preferred a 2x telephoto lens this time around.
OnePlus 5T comes with a 3,300mAh battery, which is not an upgrade from the OnePlus 5. But it’s not a big deal since OnePlus has put in some work to manage it efficiently. Also, the 1080P AMOLED Screen helps. AMOLED screens are energy efficient, and sticking to a lower resolution made sure the larger display was not power hungry. In fact, we felt the battery performance was slightly better than the OnePlus 5.
With my usage, I had to charge my phone by the evening, after around 6-7 hours of screen ON time. But an average user should be able to smoothly go through the day without having to plug it in. But when I had to plug it in, I had the DASH Charger which is included with the device.
It’s been a while since OnePlus introduced the DASH Charger. But I still can’t get over the fact on how amazing it is. The DASH Charger charges 60% of the phone in 30 minutes and goes from 0 to 100 in an hour. DASH Charger is the fastest charger out there, and every phone should come with it. Also, the charger is included in the box for everyone to use and the company does not make users pay extra. DASH Charging is probably the best feature of OnePlus 5T.
OnePlus has made a few changes to the security of this device. For the first time, they’ve moved the fingerprint sensor from the front to the back of the phone, just above the logo. It is comfortable to unlock your phone with only one hand comfortably. But the convenience of unlocking your phone when it’s on the table is gone.
A new surprising addition on OnePlus 5T is Face Unlock. It is insane! Face Unlock is as fast as the fingerprint sensor and you don’t even see the lock screen when turning on the phone. It is way faster than the face unlock on iPhone X.
iPhone X makes use of an Infrared camera which captures a three-dimensional image of your face which is hard to fake. OnePlus, on the other hand, takes a two-dimensional image of your face to authenticate. This should be easier to bypass, but do not expect your colleague or an average consumer to get past that. In fact, none of these biometric sensors are foolproof. There is a fine line between convenience and security.
I did try unlocking the phone with photos of mine, and it did now work. Also, the phone checks if your eyes are open. Or at least one eye. The phone won’t unlock by itself if someone points it to your face while you’re sleeping.
Face Unlock is not as secure, or perfect as the one on iPhone X. For instance, since there is no infrared sensor, you cannot unlock the phone using face unlock when its dark. But it’s not a huge deal. Unlike the iPhone, face unlock is not the only option for unlocking your phone. You still have the fingerprint sensor which is ridiculously good.
OnePlus 5T is a fantastic phone. The base variant with 6GB RAM & 64GB ROM is priced at Rs. 32,999 and the second variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM is priced at Rs. 37,999. OnePlus does not have any competition at this price range. Also, OnePlus 5T is nearly flagship at a much lower price. It does not have a few features like a higher resolution display or waterproof chassis which is standard on all flagships these days. But those features only add incremental value and aren’t really necessary at this price.
My only issue with the device is that the Camera is not amazing, and the phone is hard to hold onto unless you put a case on it. But OnePlus has not compromised when it comes to performance, software and design. OnePlus 5T checks all the right boxes and is the device to have if you’re on the lookout for a new Android Device. OnePlus 5T does have the WOW factor in it, and gets the job done; every single time!
- Amazing Display
- Face Unlock is fast
- DASH charging is insane!
- Phone is slippery unless you put a case on it
- Low-Light Camera performance not satisfactory