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OnePlus 5T review: It’s the display that will do all the talking
Last year, the OnePlus 3T came with the same body as the OnePlus 3 but bundled an upgraded processor, a bigger battery and more RAM. This year too, OnePlus has announced the OnePlus 5T but the latest one flaunts a different design, especially the a bigger display than the OnePlus 5 that was already launched earlier this year. Other than the display, both the smartphones have similar innards.
- Full-screen design looks stunning
- Dash charging proves to be fast
- Same pricing as the OnePlus 5
- Good camera performance
- No option to expand the internal storage space
- Lack of official water-dust resistance rating
- No Stereo speakers
The OnePlus 5T boasts a premium look with the full-screen design. OnePlus is one of the brands manages to make a statement with the recent flagship smartphone. The full-screen smartphone is gorgeous to look at and is bundled with the Dash Charger as the previous offerings from the company.
We feel that the OnePlus 5T is a great update to the already existing premium and affordable smartphone - the OnePlus 5. The device comes with a different design and brings in some software improvements so that the overall experience is different and enhanced.
OnePlus 5T packs a 6.01-inch display that occupies most of the front of the smartphone and this is a trend that the manufacturers are following this year. Due to the presence of such a bezel-less display, the fingerprint sensor has been moved to the rear of the smartphone. And, of course there is no home button at the front as seen on its predecessor. The 6.01-inch display of the OnePlus 5T features an aspect ratio of 18:9 and everything in the OxygenOS scales well to this aspect ratio.
Moving to the rear panel of the OnePlus 5T, the smartphone comes with a dual camera setup that we have already seen on its predecessor. There are two lenses - a 16MP primary sensor and a 20MP secondary sensor positioned at the top left of the rear panel. The company has made a minor change in the camera department by replacing the telephone lens with a sensor that will use groups of four pixels in order to capture more light and render better low light conditions.
Besides these differences, the design of the OnePlus 5T is similar to that of the OnePlus 5. There is an identical aluminum alloy shell, same placement of antenna lines, similar power and volume rockers, and a notification switch called Alert Slider at the left edge to choose between Ring, Silent, and Do Not Disturb. The only difference is that the body is a little bigger due to the larger display.
While most companies are moving away from the conventional headphone jack in favor of the USB Type-C port, OnePlus has managed to give the consumers what they actually need. The company has incorporated both a USB Type-C and 3.5mm audio jack on the device.
OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition Design
While the regular OnePlus 5T was launched in the Midnight Black color variant, the Star Wars edition features a custom white color called Sandstone White. The design appears to be designed based on the planet Crait in the latest movie in the series, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The company has added subtle detailing to the device with a black power button, volume rocker and SIM tray and a vibrant red Alert Slider.
The Sandstone finish at the rear is not glossy as the metal finish on the vanilla variant of the smartphone. The textured coating offers a great grip that is an improvement over the standard variant. As mentioned above, the white color scheme is designed after the planet Crait from The Last Jedi as the surface of the planet is covered with a layer of mineral salts over the red soil. Also, there is a red Star Wars logo at the bottom of the rear panel.
Besides the design, the OnePlus 5T Star Wars edition comes with a Kylo Ren-themed case that is bulky but cool to look at. Once it is snapped on, the case gives a new look to the smartphone and makes it look like a sci-tech gadget.
The OnePlus 5T's notable aspect is its full-screen design and 18:9 aspect ratio display measuring 6.01 inches. The smartphone flaunts a 6.01-inch Optic AMOLED FHD+ 1080p display that has been supplied by Samsung. The display has a wide range of brightness that makes it visible even in the outdoors and dim enough to use at night.
The display gets a couple of features that we have seen on the OnePlus 5. There is the Ambient Display that makes the screen easy on the eyes and makes it easy to read out any notification that comes in. The other feature is the Reading Mode that makes the display black and white. With the color temperature, the display can be made comfortable for reading websites and e-books.
The OxygenOS that tops the Android Nougat OS of the OnePlus 5T handles any kind of customization thereby making the device simplistic and ultra-customizable. The highlight features of the OxygenOS interface are the Quickpay that is integrated with Paytm, expanded screenshots, etc.
The smartphone gets the facial recognition feature called Face Unlock that works quickly but it might not work well in the low light conditions. OnePlus has also admitted that this feature is not as secure as the standard a fingerprint sensor, so it cannot be relied upon for protecting sensitive information.
The OnePlus 5T gets the Parallel Apps feature that lets you use multiple accounts at once on Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Facebook, etc. Though not many users will need this, those who have multiple accounts on social media will appreciate it.
Star Wars Edition Software
The OnePlus 5T Star Wars edition comes bundled with exclusive Star Wars themed wallpapers and a new Star Wars theme as well. The theme has a red, black and white color scheme in which the red accents are seen all through the settings menu and notification panel.
Again a reminder, the OnePlus 5T is identical to the OnePlus 5 in terms of hardware. The device makes use of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC paired with 6GB/8GB RAM and 64GB/128GB storage space. This is the best hardware that we have seen on smartphones this year. Eventually, the smartphone is snappy in its price range.
During our review, we did not face any slowdown or lag on the device. The apps load faster than the other devices we have tried in the recent times. We should mention that we could witness quick booting of heavy and intense apps such as Shadow Fight 3 on the OnePlus 5T. The device worked smoothly in streaming HD videos, handle multitasking with ease and manage to do any task it is subjected to without any glitches.
The device uses a 3300mAh battery that comes with the Dash Charging feature that can charge it quickly and the device lasts pretty long as well. One thing that we like is that the OnePlus 5T relieved us of the battery concern as we used the device for a long time with an active data connection and accessing the camera to click shots every now and then.
In the Geekbench CPU performance, the OnePlus 5T scored 1976 points in the single-core test and 6714 points in the multi-core test. In the AnTuTu benchmark, the device scored 178,966 points.
As far as audio is concerned, the new OnePlus 5T brings nothing new and performs just like the old OnePlus 5. The audio is loud and clear but lacks in substance and bass. OnePlus should have added stereo speakers in 5T to make it a complete multimedia smartphone. Sadly, you have to compromise with the standard speaker unit.
The rear camera of the OnePlus 5T comprises of a 16MP primary sensor and a 20MP secondary sensor and the camera does a decent job. The colors are eye-popping and the camera is capable of capturing a lot of details in bright light. Given that there is a favorable condition, the photos appear very well. The secondary sensor will be used if the phone needs it.
Even the zoomed in photos on the device look good without any blur. The low-light photos are also bright and sharp with more details. Even the bokeh effect is great as it highlights the subjects than the landscapes. The bokeh effect makes the images look very good with the entire subject popping out of the background. The front camera is a 16MP sensor that can click decent selfies those can be used for your profile on social media.
The device gets a better low-light performance with the change in the camera specifications. The company's decision to use the technique of combining four pixels into one on a higher density sensor has proved successful in enhancing the low-light shooting capability of the smartphone as it has increased the light sensitivity, which is not the case with the optical telephoto lens. You can see our camera sample at night to know that there is not much noise and grains in it.
The OnePlus 5T is a nice addition to the smartphone lineup of OnePlus and it gives us a blend of what we like about the OnePlus 5 and the latest trend of full-screen design. The major highlight is that the smartphone retains the same price tag as the OnePlus 5 that makes it a good deal despite the improvement in its design and looks.
Even the OnePlus 5T Star Wars limited edition model is a good option for those crazy Star Wars fans out there. The device priced at Rs. 38,999 with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage space is great one if you are craving to own a smartphone that stands out from the standard variant.
To summarize, the OnePlus 5T with a full-screen design will offer a richer experience and will be the perfect one for those who want to get hold of a premium smartphone on a budget.