OnePlus 5T Detailed Review; Is This One Just More Of The Same?
The OnePlus 5T brings the same smooth performance with a newer, bigger display and an improved camera.
It seems OnePlus just can’t wait to release their next greatest flagship killer. Mere months after releasing the OnePlus 5, and skipping over OnePlus 4, OnePlus has released their next flagship killer, the OnePlus 5T. There were rumours that OnePl
It is essentially the same phone internally. Externally, OnePlus has increased the display size, changed the aspect ratio and moved the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone. But let’s get one thing clear, it is still the best value for money in the premium segment of smartphones.
OnePlus were smart with the pricing too! Like the OnePlus 5, there are 2 versions of the OnePlus 5T;
- 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage priced at Rs. 32,999/-
- 8GB RAM + 128GB Storage priced at Rs. 37,999/-
Both cost exactly the same as their predecessor did when it was available.
But if the OnePlus 5T is so similar to the OnePlus 5, does it even merit a separate review of its own?
We think it does. Along with all the same-old specifications, there are also some new things which deserve testing and looking at. One of the biggest complaints about this smartphone comes from the current OnePlus 5 owners. Their latest flagship killer has been rendered obsolete after just 5 months!
This is going to be a comprehensive review of one of the hottest phones of 2017.
Solid Build Quality & Premium Design: A OnePlus Hallmark
The build quality of OnePlus smartphones has always been good. Since the OnePlus 3, they have introduced full metal uni-body and have elevated the build quality to another level. The 5T is no exception. It feels really good in hand. It is slim and sleek and the weight is well-distributed.
It feels light, but not cheap. On the contrary, the body feels sufficiently dense and the cool feel of the metal gives it a premium feel that has to be felt to be believed. The aluminium unibody of the 5T looks and feels slimmer than it actually is. The curves on the edges at the back give it a solid yet comfortable grip.
The backside flows into the frontside where it meets the 2.5D Gorilla Glass almost seamlessly. This time around, there’s only one colour made available. The matte finish of the Midnight Black colour makes it look stealthy and even more premium. OnePlus says that 3 dark coats, each 14 microns thick, are applied in order to achieve OnePlus 5T’s Midnight Black colour. Two sandblasting treatments and an anti-fingerprint layer are added as finishing touches.
The back side of the phone is clean and one unbroken expanse of matte black goodness. The plastic antenna lines are subtly merged into the body at the top and bottom. The dual camera setup sits in a corner at the top, flanked by a secondary noise-cancelling microphone and the dual-tone dual LED flash. The camera hump is quite substantial and protrudes quite a bit.
The ceramic fingerprint scanner sits in the middle of the back. It is fast, OnePlus says it unlocks the phone in 0.2 seconds, and it sits in a very comfortable position. Just below it is the OnePlus logo etched into the body. It is slightly glossier that the rest of the body and stands out amidst the expanse of all the matte finish.
The top edge of the phone is bare whereas the bottom edge is quite busy. It holds the single loudspeaker, the USB type-C port and the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The right edge of the phone holds the power button and the dual-SIM tray. The volume rocker and OnePlus’ famous Alert Slider sit on the left edge.
The front of the smartphone is dominated by the 6.01 inch Full HD+ AMOLED display. OnePlus has managed to fit the 6 inch display into a body that has the same dimensions as the OnePlus 5, which has a 5.5 inch display. Of course they had to change the display’s aspect ratio, which is now 18:9, in order to achieve the magic. It has an incredible 80.5% screen-to-body ratio!
The earpiece, indicator LED, front camera and the sensors sit in their usual placate the top of the display. The earpiece is sufficiently loud and you can hear the person at the other end even in fairly noisy conditions.
The 5T feels like a well-built phone which can stand up to the rigours of everyday usage. The build quality alone justifies its price.
OnePlus 5T: Detailed Specifications
Before going ahead in this review, let us take a detailed look at the specifications of the OnePlus 5T.
|Dimensions||156.1 mm x 75 mm x 7.3 mm (H x W X D)|
|Network Compatibility||FDD LTE Bands: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/
TDD-LTE Bands: 34/38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA Bands: 34/39
UMTS (WCDMA) Bands: 1/2/4/5/8
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; CDMA: BC0
|SIM||Dual SIM; Nano SIMs; Dual Standby|
|Memory/Storage||6 GB RAM + 64 GB Storage; 8 GB RAM + 128 GB Storage|
|Expandable Storage||No Support For Additional External Storage|
|Display||6.01 inch Full HD+ AMOLED Display; 2160 x 1080 Pixels; 401 PPI; 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5; 18:9 Aspect Ratio; 80.5% Screen-to-Body Ratio; Supports sRGB & DCI-P3|
|OS Version||OxvgenOS 4.7.2 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat|
|Chipset||Qualcomm MSM8998 Snapdragon 835
CPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.45 GHz Kryo + 4 x 1.9 GHz Kryo)
GPU: Adreno 540
|Battery||3300 mAh, Li-Po; Non-Removable Battery; Dash Charging|
Primary Sensor: Sony IMX 398; 16.0 Megapixel; f/1.7 Aperture; 1.12 µm Pixels; 27.22 mm.
Secondary Sensor: Sony IMX 376K; 20.0 Megapixel; f/2.2 Aperture; 1.0 µm Pixels; 27.22 mm.
Dual LED Flash; Enhanced Low Light Photos; Portrait Mode; Clear Zoom; Pro Mode; Quick Capture; PDAF; Geo Tagging; Touch Focus; Face Detection; HDR; Panorama.
Video: 4K at 30fps; 1080p at 60fps; 1080p at 30fps; 720p at 30fps; Slow Motion: 720p at 120fps; Time-Lapse; EIS.
Sensor: Sony IMX 371; 16.0 Megapixel; f/2.0 Aperture; 1.0 µm Pixels.
Adjustable Beauty Mode; Manual/Auto HDR Mode; Adjustable Image Aspect Ratio.
Video: 1080p at 30fps; 720p at 30fps.
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2.4 / 5 GHz; MIMO 2 x 2; DLNA; WiFi Direct, Hotspot; Bluetooth V5.0; Supports aptX & aptX HD; A2DP; LE; NFC Enabled; GPS; GLONASS; BeiDou; Galileo; USB 2.0, Reversible Type C; Supports USB Audio.|
|Sensors||Fingerprint Sensor, Hall, Accelerometer, G-sensor, RGB, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Sensor Hub.|
|Other Features||3 Microphones With Noise Cancellation, Supports AANC, Dirac HD Sound, 3.5mm Audio Jack|
These are flagship specifications. Other than the OnePlus 5, it is probably the only, most-widely available phone with 8GB RAM. The other notable phone is the Razer Phone, but it has limited availability as of now.
The phone is smooth in everyday usage. The OxygenOS is a light OS. Yet, it has a wide array of utilities and features baked into it. It is well-optimised to run smoothly on OnePlus hardware.
That Bezel-less Display!
The OnePlus 5T is the first smartphone from OnePlus to feature a Full Optic AMOLED Display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. The 6.01 inch Full HD+ AMOLED Display features a resolution of 2160 x 1080 Pixels with a pixel density of 401 PPI. It has an 80.5% screen-to-body ratio and is covered by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for protection.
The display supports sRGB & DCI-P3 colour profiles in addition to ‘Default Mode’, ‘Adaptive Mode’ and ‘Custom Color’. There is a dedicated ‘Reading Mode’ which filters out the blue light from the display. This is a very useful feature for those who have a habit of reading late into the night.
It can be scheduled to automatically turn on & off during a specified time interval or it turned on & off manually. It can be configured to turn on when any of the reading apps like Google Play Books or Amazon Kindle are launched. But this functionality is not just limited to reading apps and can be turned on for any of them.
‘Night Mode’ essentially works like the reading mode, but in night mode you can control the strength of the effect. You can set this to activate and deactivate automatically as well.
The system text size can be adjusted in 5 ways; Small, Default, Large, Larger and Largest. This being an AMOLED display, there’s also an ‘Ambient Display’ feature which can be set to work whenever a notification arrives or whenever you pick up the phone. The ‘Sunlight Display’ feature enables the display to adapt itself in harsh light for a great viewing experience.
The screen on the OnePlus 5T is a joy to behold. It is amply bright and saturated to justify its inclusion in this flagship smartphone.
Dual Cameras: Still As Good!
The OnePlus 5T features a dual camera setup at the back. The primary camera has a 16.0 megapixel sensor which has a bright f/1.7 aperture. The secondary camera has a 20.0 megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. It is supported by a dual-tone dual LED flash.
This setup can record 4K videos at 30fps in addition to 1080p videos at 60fps and 30fps. It can also record 720p slow-motion videos at 120fps and time-lapse videos. It features Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) for recording steady and smooth videos.
The 16.0 megapixel selfie camera on the OnePlus 5T has an f/2.0 aperture. This is the camera which is used in ‘Face Unlocking’ feature on the 5T. It can record 1080p videos at 30fps and 720 videos at 30fps. It features an adjustable image aspect ratio with options of 18:9, 4:3 and square formats.
The portrait mode on the main camera blurs out the background to mimic the shallow depth of effect usually possible with only high end cameras.
Enhanced Low Light Photos; Portrait Mode; Clear Zoom; Pro Mode; Quick Capture; PDAF; Geo Tagging; Touch Focus; Face Detection; HDR; Panorama.
The camera has 7 shooting modes which allow you to choose between shooting in auto and manual modes;
- Video: The video mode allows you to shoot videos. You have a choice between 4K, 1080p @ 60fps, 1080p @ 30fps and 720p.
- Photo: This is the auto mode for clicking photos. Just point and shoot! You can click the photo yourself or set the timer. You can set flash and adjust HDR and aspect ratio settings right from the camera view-finder. You can also use the 5T’s lossless zoom to get closer to your subjects.
- Portrait: This mode forces a shallow depth of field for some lovely background blurring which makes the subject stand out. This works especially for people’s portraits.
- Slow Motion: The 5T is capable of shooting some good 720p slow-motion videos @ 120fps! This is a fun mode to use, especially if you have pets or children in the house.
- Pro Mode: The pro mode on the 5T allows you to adjust the White Balance, Focus, Exposure Time and ISO to get the best out of conditions. The controls are granular and easy to use.
- Time-Lapse: You can shoot time-lapse videos on the OnePlus 5T with some very interesting results.
- Panorama: Like most phones, the Panorama Mode works in portrait orientation. You click the shutter button and pan the camera in the desired direction.
The camera of the OnePlus 5 was no slouch. The one on the 5T is even better! The secondary sensor has now been upgraded to 20.0 megapixels, which is a step up from the OnePlus 5’s 16.0 megapixels.
Some Camera Samples
Oxygen OS: Light and Powerful!
After their breakup with Cyanogen, OnePlus have developed their own OS. The latest version is OxvgenOS 4.7.2 is still based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. It is a light, feature-packed OS which offers a lot of customisation possibilities.
The launcher has a feature called Shelf, which is the leftmost home screen. Here you can add widgets in addition to checking the weather. You will also find the most used apps and frequent contacts here. It is a handy feature. But, it can be turned off if you find it to be a distraction.
There is a ‘Dark’ theme which turns all white backgrounds to black, throughout the smartphone. Since the 5T rocks an AMOLED display, it results in slightly better battery efficiency.
It also give you the convenience of using gestures to interact with the phone. Some of them work even with the display off. You can switch on the camera, or the flashlight or even map your own tasks with them.
All in all, Oxygen OS is a great OS which is clean, light and highly customisable. What else could you want form your smartphone’s OS?
This One’s A Smooth Performer
The OnePlus 5T sports the latest and greatest in mobile processors, the octa-core Snapdragon 835, which is paired with an Adreno 540 GPU. It is available in two versions;
- 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage
- 8GB RAM + 128GB Storage
We have the 8GB + 128GB version for review. Though 8GB RAM feels like overkill, it is reassuring to know that you have that much leeway to play around. But the 128GB storage space is definitely welcome! Especially since there is no expandable storage.
Everyday performance of this phone is exceptionally smooth. Nothing seems to slow this phone down. During our review we played games, watched movies and multi-tasked the heck out of it. The 5T shrugged it all off and remained steadfast in its good performance.
Gaming was especially enjoyable. We did a lot of gaming on the 5T. From casual games like Subway Surfers and Temple Run to some heavy-weights like Dead Trigger 2 and Modern Combat 5. They all managed to run smoothly, without any lags or frame drops.
But we have a couple of comments when it comes to gaming. The first one might not be an issue for everybody. The longer form factor, coupled with the thin bezels at the top and bottom made for a very uncomfortable grip. We simply couldn’t get a grip for a comfortable gaming experience. But this may not be a problem for everyone depending on how large or ‘regular’ your hands are.
The second problem will be more widespread. While playing, we found that our hands covered up the single speaker on the 5T to the extent that the sound was completely cut off. This might be a potential deal-breaker for some of the more serious gamers as it affects the overall experience. It’s a pity though, because this smartphone is almost perfect for gaming with its high-end specifications.
The ceramic fingerprint scanner is fast and accurate. It worked for us every time. It also doubles up as a the camera trigger while taking selfies.
The OnePlus 5T introduces one more method of unlocking your phone, Face Unlock. It uses the front camera to achieve this. Unlike the iPhone X’s Face Unlock, there is no infrared here. The 5T simply uses the camera’s capabilities. So it won’t work in bad light or darkness. Our experience of using this was a mixed bag. When it worked, the unlocking was near-instantaneous. When it didn’t we had to use the alternatives, pattern or fingerprint scanner.
The OnePlus 5T supports VoLTE. We tested it with a Jio SIM around Pune and it works really well. We have no complaints regarding the call quality.
The 3300mAh Li-Po battery keeps the phone going throughout the day. The 3300mAh battery may seem inadequate, but with Dash Charging, it is a moot point. When we tested it, the phone went from 0% to around 60% with 30 minutes of charging. After that it slows down a bit and the phone takes around 55-60 minutes to charge to 100%.
The OnePlus 5T is a complete package as far as flagship smartphones go.
So, What’s The Verdict?
If this is your first OnePlus smartphone or if you are rocking the OnePlus 3T or something below that, it is a no-brainer. It is a definite buy! The OnePlus 5T gives you the best value-for-money in the premium segment. It is a smooth performer, with a good display and and excellent camera. Dash charging gives it a distinct advantage when it comes to battery life and usability.
If you are looking to play heavy games and good performance without spending too much, the 5T is the phone for you.
But if you already own the OnePlus 5, we’d recommend you to wait for the next version. Other than a bigger display, slightly improved camera and the face unlocks feature, the OnePlus 5T is essentially the same as OnePlus 5.
This phone will definitely surprise you with its form factor, its display and its performance. Its price is one of its best features. We guarantee that you won’t get a better phone at Rs. 32,999/- or even Rs. 37,999/-!