In recent times, Chinese phone companies have rocked the market and Xiaomi is presently the most selling company. OnePlus is one of the Chinese companies which has promisingly done well in the market. After the launch of its OnePlus 5 model in June 2017, it launched its upgraded version in the market, i.e. the OnePlus 5T in the month of November in 2017. So, if you are planning to buy a new phone with OnePlus 5T in your wish list, then this review is for you. So, let’s start without any further hassle.
What to Expect?
With the OnePlus company performing good in market along with its other counterparts, the phone is expected to have some upgradation as per the current ongoing demands in the market. If you are an old user of OnePlus series, you can say that OnePlus 5T is the upgradation of OnePlus 5 and not a totally new phone. Except some physical changes and upgradation, nothing much is there in OnePlus 5T to be excited about.
Though one good news for the OnePlus fans is that, there is no significant increase in its price and its range is almost similar to its older version of OnePlus 5.
It lacks the trending QHD display and sticks to a Full HD resolution at 1080 X 2160p with a pixel density of 401 ppi. The display can’t be claimed bad due to lack of QHD display, but there will be some difference in sharpness when compared to its other counterparts. But still it is good enough to mesmerise with its video and gameplay experience.
Now, talking about the brightness, the lowest brightness gets down to just 2.1 nits, which is dark enough to not to be visible outside and this setting is really a plus for the readers who love virtual bed time reading. The maximum brightness of 440 nits which is quite average, but still ensures a good visual experience outside. It has only been beaten by iPhone X in lab tabs done by GSM arena in terms of its sunlight contrast ratio.
Unlike the OLED panels used in LG V30 and Google Pixel 2 XL, its AMOLED panel does not experience oversaturation or poor viewing angles; but if you go looking for some fault, there is a mild shift to blue if you tilt it off axis, which can be adjusted to great extent in the settings.
OnePlus 5T Camera:
The OnePlus series went with the currently demanded trend of dual cameras in the OnePlus 5 model, like the other flagship competitors. So, in OnePlus 5T also, you will find a dual camera, but with a few changes. First change from the last model is the removal of telephoto 1.6x secondary camera to favour low light photography, but it has also led to some quality loss due to elimination of optical 2x zoom option, although it shows in the camera UI. So, if you prefer low light pictures more as compared to the zoomed ones, then this handset can be a good choice.
Now coming to the dual camera feature, it uses a pair of 16 MP Sony sensor and 20 MP Sony sensor, with increased aperture of f/1.7 to enhance low light photography. The smart pixel technology to combine 4 pixels into one, on the higher density sensor also increases the light sensitivity.
Now talking about the dual camera, the secondary rear camera of 20MP kicks in when the lighting drops below 10 lux and its major function is low light photography. It can not be manually turned on by the user, but still with 16 MP camera the day light photography is quite good. When compared to its elder version OnePlus 5 the picture qualities are better and is of great quality, except the reduced sharpness in zoomed images. Low light photography is not of the standard of Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2 but still the quality is satisfied by the price tag.
Front camera is decent and has good enough picture quality for your social media uploads. The beautification algorithm is different for Indian, Chinese and Caucasian faces and the phone uses your sim card location to determine what nationality it should apply.
The video recording uses EIS technology for high resolution 4K video recording with less shakiness and stable video quality. The video recording can be done in 4K at 30fps, in 1080p at 60fps or slow motion 720 p at 120fps.
OnePlus 5T design, hardware and battery
The OnePlus 5T comes with a metal unibody in various shades and uses the same aluminium frame as used in the OnePlus 5 model. The significant changes from the previous model are the elongated body size and smooth body curves at the edges. The bezel has been reduced significantly to get 80.5 % screen to body ratio and sleeker hand feel. The fingerprint scanner has shifted towards the back unlikely to the OnePlus 5 version, which makes it easier to reach and handle. The position of power button and the volume rocker on the right and left respectively has remained the same, with the notification slider returning back which allows you to switch between silent, don not disturb and louder modes.
The top of the phone is blank, while the bottom has 3.5mm audio jack, USB type C port and speaker grille. The handset doesn’t come with its own pair of handset, you will have to have your own, slim enough to fit in the official OnePlus cases. Above the power button there is tray for two nano sims to fit in and it is not a hybrid slot, i.e. you cannot insert sd card and hence no options of memory expansion. From overall design the OnePlus 5T model is similar to LG V30 and iPhone 8 Plus in terms of weight, shape and thickness.
The battery life is one of the bright spot of the phone. The phone can run almost a full day with its 3300 mAh battery. Although the phone battery is similar to the OnePlus 5 but still with the elongated screen and a bit of increased features the phone performs quite good in terms of battery life and is found to perform better than LG V30, iPhone 8 Plus and Razor phone but not as good as the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus and Huawei Mate 10 pro. The phone comes with a cool Dash charger which enables fastest charging and can charge upto 60% in 30 minutes of time.
OnePlus 5T software, specs and other features
The UI and other software specification are similar to OnePlus 5 handset with little bit of upgradations attached. The OnePlus 5T uses the same Snapdragon 835 Chipset from Qualcomm with Adreno 540 GPU as used in the previous version and this chipset is used by other flagship brands in the market. It comes with 6 GB and 8 GB RAM options and 64 GB and 128 GB internal storage option with disappointingly no memory expansion option.
The phone runs on the previously used and smooth Oxygen OS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The company has promised an update of Android 8.0 Oreo. The performance of the phone is really good and it can handle anything, multitasking, gaming, split screen, etc without any major issues popping up. It runs smooth and good.
The phone supports VoLTE and 4G on both SIMs, but only one at a time, as well as dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 5.0 with aptX HD. NFC, GPS, and GLONASS are supported, and there’s a wide range of sensors including an electronic compass and gyroscope. The USB Type-C port works at only USB 2.0 speed.
Because of the taller screen, you can use gestures like swiping on the screen in various pattern to get into shortcut apps. Also you can assign the gestures to various apps yourself. Other features include a Game DND mode that suppresses notifications, Night Mode, a dark UI theme, and the ability to lock apps of your choice.
The most attractive feature added to the phone is facial recognition unlock. Its really fast, easy to use and effective. Its not as good as the iPhone facial recognition to recognise you in any case, but still its handy and very much safe. It cannot be easily fooled and it can keep your apps and data safe.
Another included feature in the phone is the Parallel Apps. With its inbuilt availability the app does not lag like the downloaded ones and allows you to create and handle multiple social media accounts on your phone.
Price range of OnePlus 5T and where to buy:
The OnePlus 5T is sold exclusively on Amazon and Ebay in the price range of Rs 32,999 for 6GB, 64 GB model and Rs 37,999 for 8 GB, 128GB model.
Pros of OnePlus 5T
Easy to handle.
Good screen quality
Low light photography
Price range similar to older model
Good battery life and performance.
Facial recognition and inbuilt parallel apps feature.
Cons of OnePlus 5T
Reduction in zoomed picture quality.
no memory expansion available
Critics review and rating:
The phone has received a good positive response from experts and users.
Critics like NDTV Gadget’s 360 has praised the change in the screen size and the sync of the display with the Oxygen OS. They have praised the new gesture-controlled shortcuts and the positioning of the fingerprint sensor.
The facial recognition feature has also been tested and praised given the price range. It has been compared with the iPhone’s facial recognition and as per its status critics have claimed it to be safe enough for use. All have marked the good battery life as the bright spot of the phone’s feature. The camera has received really poor response. Critics have criticised the reduced sharpness and removal of zoom feature and low light photography not up to the expectation.
Overall it has gained a really positive response, a common dissatisfaction has been its camera.
NDTV Gadget’s 360 has given a 4.7 start rating out of 5 stars to the phone and Gadgetsnow has given 4.8 out 5. An average rating of 4.5 from various critics tells you how amazing the phone is.
It can not be said a perfect phone but is quite good as compared to other flagship competitors in terms of specs, features and battery life, given the amazing price range. So if you are planning to buy a phone in decent price range with amazing features you can go for OnePlus 5T.