OnePlus is one brand that staked its reputation and more, on its ability to deliver ‘flagship’ level specs at prices that are anything but flagship level. Typically, on a like to like basis, the brand seems to have targeted delivering a flagship experience at a price that is at least 15% or lesser than than the top leaders.With the OnePlus 5T , it has made a clear effort to repeat the same. The OnePlus 5T also builds on the legacy of the OnePlus 3 series, where the 3T followed within barely six months after the OnePlus 3. The 5T similarly acknowledges the need to stay relevant all the time by launching upgrades, if the market changes significantly since your main launch. So was it worthwhile? The 5T comes with a price tag of Rs 32,999 for the 6GB RAM variant, while the 8GB RAM version cost at Rs 37,999. In itself, the pricing surprises, with no difference with its predecessor, the OnePlus5. Making it feel more like a quick catchup or upgrade.
While bearing almost the same specifications of OnePlus 5, the key difference in this one is the new 18:9 display and exclusion of telephoto lens. The display takes care of the new move towards bezelless screens, and the telephoto lens? More on that below.
What we like in OnePlus 5T!
The major welcome change in this flagship killer is the new 18:9 display, which is becoming a new industry standard. The smartphone bears a 6.01-inch Full Optic AMOLED display with a screen resolution 2160 x 1080 pixels. In spite of sporting a big display, the OnePlus 5T is just a bit taller than the OnePlus 5, which is a good move. The phone comes loaded with some minimal bezels around the edges, which catches up with what goes for the new ‘premium’ look. We liked the fact that the device is pretty sleek and lightweight, which makes it easier to use it. However, it is important to note that it is quite slippery in nature, so perhaps a case for a case in the box here.
Coming to the display, it is certainly one of the better-looking displays available in the market. The colours came out to be vivid and text looks sharp. We watched multiple movies on this device and the whole experience was indeed a pleasurable one. With due credit to quality data connections too.The Ambient Display works pretty fine in providing a glimpse of notifications, though an Always On Display would have been welcomed after all it is an AMOLED screen. Then there is Reading Mode that turns the screen into black and white so that you can easily read a book or so, similar to Amazon Kindle. Further, the brand has given the option to choose between different modes: sRGB to get more colour-accurate experience, while DCI-P3 is a bit mild with colour and lastly, you have the option to customize it according to your need.
Moving to the performance, the phone packs some serious hardware muscle. We got the 8GB RAM and 128GB storage variant for the review and it certainly ‘Never Settles’. It is certainly one of the fastest Android phones in 2017 and you can thank the combination of the top-of-the-line hardware and bloat free Oxygen OS for that.. The app load time is particularly short and multi-tasking is buttery smooth. The phone doesn’t really slow down even if a numbers of apps are open in the background and yes, there is no jelly scrolling effect, which was prominent in the OnePlus 5. Gaming is smooth and we faced no noticeable heating issues in this one as well.
Probably one of the best things the One Plusn range has had going for it has been the Dash Charging technology. This delivers here too, despite the phone sporting a 3,300mAh battery, which comfortably lasts a day under normal usage, but when stretched, you get a half day backup. This power usage includes watching movies, playing graphic-intense games, using the 4G network for browsing and streaming, and more. However, with Dash charge, you don’t really have to worry about the battery, as long as you are close to a power socket. While zero to full takes about one and half hours, a 15-30 minute charge gives you enough battery life to take away any battery dying anxiety. This comes at a price of course, which is the bulky charger, that is the only way to get your Dash charge.
Coming to the user interface, the smartphone runs on Oxygen OS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. The brand has promised that it will bring the Android 8.0 Oreo beta by the end of 2017, followed by an official release in early 2018. That said, the user interface is quite close to stock with some added settings and features that enhance the experience. The phone does not bear the bloatware that we see on many smartphones these days. The user interface is quite smooth and fast to respond. There are some nifty additions like Parallel Apps, which basically allows creating cloned apps so that one can sign in two different accounts. Yes, this features alreay exists, but it was smartto make it a part of the OnePlus 5t too.
What’s not to like in the OnePlus 5T!
The only thing dissapointment in the OnePlus 5T is the camera. The company has removed the telephoto lens and instead has opted for a 20-megapixel sensor with same focal length for improved low-light performance. The trade-off is one major thing you miss in the OnePlus 5T, though low light performance vs optical zoom boils down to personal preference.
We took multiple photos in low light and result was not too exciting. The major problem we encountered under low light shots was the issue of soft focus. The brand says that the secondary is utilised when the light in under 10 lux, but in real time scenarios, the photos were pretty much average in nature. However, it takes some good photos in broad daylight with photos coming out to be crisp and well-detailed. So definitely an average rating for the camera.
Moving on, the brand still gives an option of 2x zoom, but it is simply software-induced. This makes the portrait shots a bit difficult to take as the object is not clearly highlighted. The same problem arises when you are taking photos in low light condition. Another major problem we faced was when shooting videos. Whether be it 4K videos or Full HD (both at 60fps or 30 fps) there were moments when you got that jittery effect. Simply put, you get a lag or jitter in the videos you capture. We hope this is not an issues across the whole line, or can be resolved with a software update. Because otherwise, the video experience could be a letdown.
The company has also introduced Face Unlock with this one, which is pretty fast to unlock the device when the lighting is right, however, the performance goes for a complete toss in low light conditions. But thankfully, the fingerprint sensor is present, which is quite fast as well.