OnePlus is not another Chinese brand that we should take lightly. Ever since the first device rolled off its production line, it has always aimed the enthusiast grade of smartphone users who appreciate a sensibly priced smartphone but don’t necessarily miss out on any of the features from its much more expensive rivals. As such, OnePlus brand is well appreciated by almost everyone that knows about it and those who know about it, want one very much. I know that I do. The thing that makes OnePlus so special is that you pay a mid-range price for a top of the line device and yet you don’t feel like you’ve made a compromise. And add to that, any OnePlus device is backed by a ton of developers who keep supporting the development of the device for a long time.
And that brings us to the OnePlus 5T, the alleged successor to the OnePlus 5. In many ways, it is an incremental successor to the much loved OnePlus 5 which was launched just 6 months ago. This launch was by far the shortest for OnePlus because they generally have a gap of 1 year for each of their launches. With that said, let’s quickly get into the hood of the 5T and see what’s changed.
Design and Display:
The one area where the difference is obvious is the design. The OnePlus now has an 18:9 form factor and hence it’s taller. The trade-off that this design decision had is that the much versatile front fingerprint sensor has been moved to the back of the device and for some it might be a bit off putting. Other than that the device has a very identical shape to the OnePlus 5 and it retains the same construction as well, sporting a glass front and an all-aluminium back. The phone doesn’t shout flashy like some of the others and it has a very discrete presence when you use it, kind of like a sleeper car.
The upshot of the 18:9 form factor is that you get some more screen area as compared to the OnePlus 5 with an average screen to body ratio of 80%. Speaking of the display itself, it still sports a 1080p AMOLED panel although it has the new 1080p Plus panel that has a slight bump in resolution of 1080×2160. The screen is now DCI-P3 compliant, meaning its better tuned than the previous model to display accurate colours.
The OnePlus 5T has the exact same SoC and RAM configuration as the previous model. On the plus side it is the fastest CPU currently available for android and performs blazingly fast. On the downside, it is the same internal specification as the previous model so you’re not really getting any more performance from what the OnePlus 5 would offer. Nonetheless, the 8 core CPU on this performs like it should and coupled with one Plus’s legendary software; it absolutely snacks through all tasks like it was nothing.
The OnePlus 5T has a custom android skin named the Oxygen OS. And it is what you call an improved version of stock android. We all have to remember that OnePlus can trace it roots back to cyanogen when it was launched and when cyanogen finally bailed, it switched to the Oxygen OS that we see now. Not only does Oxygen OS stay admirably close to the looks and feel of stock android, it has its own take on tweaks and performance like the stock launcher is trebuchet, which is immensely more customisable than the default Google launcher. Also it features more tweaks than stock android in the settings and lets you set up the device exactly how you like it to be.
Camera and Storage:
This is where things get a bit bizarre. While the OnePlus 5T has the same 16MP+20MP rear camera setup like the previous model, it now has the same focal length of 27mm for both cameras. I’m not sure why it is like that but it does make for some interesting observations. OnePlus themselves say’s that the 20MP camera works best in low light where its ‘intelligent Pixel Technology’ combines 4 pixels into a single pixel to give more depth to the photos. In reality, it is a sort of a mixed feeling because according to OnePlus, the surrounding brightness has to go down 10 Lux to observe that in effect. The OnePlus does come with electronic image stabilisation (EIS) and does a good job of keeping the device stable. It isn’t as stable as the Google Pixel 2 which uses dual stabilisation for rock solid shots but nonetheless it is there and works great. The front camera too remains the same as the previous model. It is a 16MP unit with an f/2.0 aperture and has EIS as well.
Storage wise, the OnePlus comes in 64 and 128GB models depending on the RAM configuration and cannot be expanded via an SD card.
Battery and Connectivity:
The battery too has remained the same as the 1+5 with it featuring a 3300mAh unit just like the last one. However I suspect that it’ll get a couple of hours less as it has few more pixels to push and a slightly bigger screen to power.
Connectivity wise, the 1+5T is loaded to the brim with dual band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA support, Bluetooth 5.0 with A2DP, LE and aptX HD and GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO and BDS. It also has the usual 4G VoLTE and supports Indian networks as it has already launched here.
To justify upgrading from the OnePlus 5T from the OnePlus 5 is absolutely absurd. They are more or less identical devices with the 5T getting a few minor touch-ups here and there but nothing major to actually justify buying the device just for the sake of an upgrade. If you own the 1+5 then keep it because the 5T is the same device wrapped in 18:9 clothing. The OnePlus 5T Price in India starts at Rs.32999 and goes up to Rs.37999 for the 128GB model. The device is a great value proposition if you want the thrills of a top of the line flagship in a middle of the pack pricing and all the 3rd party developer support that you could ask for.