Another mid-cycle release from OnePlus is here. The highly anticipated OnePlus 5T comes with less bezels and a nifty set of features. Interestingly, OnePlus has retained the same price tags, which means 64GB storage and 6GB RAM at Rs 32,999 and 128GB storage and 8GB RAM at 37,999. I've spend roughly 48 hours with the device and here's what I think about it.
Now, didn't we see this coming? The new bezel-less design with 18:9 display has taken the phone market by storm, and the 5T stays at par. It brings lesser bezels along with a 6-inch 18:9 screen that offers an immersive experience with almost no borders on the sides and slightly larger above and below the display.
The 6-inch display is crammed inside a 5.5-inch body, but it’s still big for one hand use. The camera protrudes slightly more than its predecessor. The left edge has the Alert slider and volume keys while the right comes with power button and SIM slot. The upper edge is smooth while the lower edge gets USB Type-C port, speaker grilles and we loved that the company has retained the 3.5mm audio jack.
It's a beautiful looking smartphone with an aluminium body that we've received and it is dipped in Midnight Black. It feels sturdy, but do not expect water or dust resistant capabilities, which is disappointing as we expected them with this iteration. Design-wise, one prominent change is the fingerprint scanner being moved to the rear of the device placed below the dual cameras and flash.
And, the fingerprint scanner is more than just to unlock your device. You can long press to click photos, something I really liked and it can also be used to view notifications as you swipe on it.
The OnePlus 5T features a 6-inch AMOLED display with 1080 x 2160 pixels of resolution, which is an improvement from what we saw in the OnePlus 5. The colours reproduced are sharp and bright. It offered an engaging experience, when we played some casual games or watched videos. The display is brilliant offering viewing angles with almost no loss of details. Bringing relief from eye strain, the company has added a reading mode that adjusts the screen brightness to the environment around.
The device gets an improved camera with 16MP + 20MP dual Sony sensors at the back and a refreshed camera app. Now, the 16MP sensor is the same as seen on the OnePlus 5, and the 20MP sensor is not a telephoto lens rather it works at handling low light photography. It also includes the Pixel technology that merges four pixels into one to offer better clarity and reduce blurring and noise. Both sensors come with increased aperture of f/1.7. Now, it does perform better than the OnePlus 5 in low light. The 2x function is now managed manually, and you will find some quality loss upon zooming. So, you have an on-screen slider for switching between video, stills and portrait mode with depth effect. The portrait mode is improved and it appears much better than what we saw on the OnePlus 5.
Then, there's the pro mode that lets you control ISO, white balance, shutter speed and focus. As aforementioned, you can use the fingerprint scanner to click photos.
Now, moving to the front, it gets a 16MP selfie camera. We took numerous photos to check the camera in different lighting conditions and must add that it doesn't disappoint.
Here are some sample photos:
Performance and battery
Under the hood, it is powered by a Snapdragon 835 and coupled with 6GB and 8GB RAM options. These options are combined with 64GB and 128GB storage options, respectively. Unfortunately, it runs rather older android version and not the latest Android Oreo.
The UI was slick and the device worked like a breeze. Multi-tasking with numerous tabs while dabbling with social media and photography, didn't give it any hiccups. Gaming and watching movies was an immersive experience, owing to the screen. The speakers are good enough to fill a small room. The face unlock was sometimes tricky, but what we liked is it worked smoothly even in a dark room. OnePlus also gets parallel apps that lets you use two WhatsApp or Twitter accounts. A gaming mode lets you enjoy immersive gameplay without any visual notifications disturbing you. And, here are the impressive benchmark results.
The device comes equipped with the same battery as the OnePlus 5. The 3,300mAh is accompanied by the rapid charging Dash Charge. It is great when you are pressed for time and need to quickly fuel the device, offering 60 per cent charge in 30 minutes. It didn't really struggle, but didn't go above competition either, running full day on a single charge and moderate usage.
The OnePlus 5T is a worthy upgrade to the OnePlus as an overall package. It does have its fair share of cons such as the lack of weatherproofing, no Android Oreo out-of-the-box, and missing storage expansion.
It is essentially competing with the biggies from Apple and Samsung, and what sets it apart is offering all of this at half the price tag. One device that gives it competition in this price range is the Mi Mix 2, but we think the OnePlus 5T has an overall edge over the Xiaomi device. Yes, if you are looking for a device somewhere between Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000, and can overlook the above mentioned flaws and then the OnePlus 5T makes the cut.