After launching OnePlus 5 earlier this year, OnePlus is back with an end-of-year update for the device. The OnePlus 5T has a winning formula: high-end specifications with a low price and a metal body, and reworks the front of the phone to devote as much space as possible to the screen. This device has a new screen, a new button design, a new fingerprint reader and a new camera configuration. It almost feels like a totally new device.
We liked the OnePlus 5 since the beginning of the year, but, with the most modern design, OnePlus has solved the biggest drawback of OnePlus 5. The result is something extremely convincing: a $ 500 phone that makes you question exactly why you would give $ 800 to those other OEMs when this has almost everything that the most expensive phones have.
OnePlus 5T- Design and construction quality
There’s a lot to like about OnePlus 5T hardware. The great addition is the new front design of the thin bezel. The OnePlus 5 is shipped with a 5.5-inch screen, but thanks to the smaller bezels in the 5T, OnePlus can now fit a 6-inch screen into a body that, gives or takes a few millimeters, is about the same size than the 5.5 -inch phone. The larger screen in the same body size makes OnePlus 5T seem like a major update to the previous device. This new version looks more modern and makes better use of the frontal space. The change puts the OnePlus 5T phone’s design on par with those $ 800 flagships.
With the larger screen comes a slightly larger price: the OnePlus 5T is $ 20 more than the OnePlus 5. OnePlus seems to increase the price of your phone every year. The company started offering a first class phone with OnePlus One, which only cost $ 300. The price went up to $ 329 with OnePlus 2, then $ 399 with OnePlus 3, then $ 439 with OnePlus 3T. The price of $ 499 is the highest of all time, but the flagship of the leading original equipment manufacturers have also risen in price in 2017. With high-end phones priced between $ 800 and $ 1,000, 5T still feels like a bargain.
See also: Huawei Honor 9i, analysis
OnePlus 5T- Screen
The screen is a 6-inch AMOLED panel, 2160 × 1080 with an aspect ratio of 18: 9. It is still a “1080p” screen, but it is a bit higher than the usual 16: 9 aspect ratio. The screen It is built by Samsung, which is basically the only company that manufactures high quality OLED panels for smartphones. The screen looks great even in low light, and does not have any of the strange artifacts present in OLED panels made by LG that have appeared lately.
The 401 pixels per inch (PPI) of the OnePlus 5T are not as outrageously dense as the screen of the 570 PPI Galaxy S8 +, but many pixels really seem excessive for the usual use of smartphones. More than 500 PPI is great if you are connecting your phone to a VR headset, but to do normal things on your smartphone, the screen here is beautiful. Also, with “only” 1080p, it should have a slightly better battery life.
In the update from 5 to 5T, OnePlus has also fixed a strange displacement effect that occurred on some devices; the community nicknamed this “gelatin displacement”. OnePlus made an engineering decision to mount the OnePlus 5 screen upside down and then flip the orientation of the screen in the software. This resulted in an intermittent and funky scrolling behavior that would somehow cause the user interface components to collapse and stretch as it traveled the screen. This year, the screen is mounted the right way, and the scrolling should be normal again.
To make room for the larger screen, OnePlus is finally switching from the capacitive navigation buttons that live below the screen to the onscreen buttons drawn by the software. The old hardware buttons of OnePlus could have their functionality interchanged, but that also meant that the buttons had no label, which was often confusing. You can still swap the software buttons, but now the labels move too.
Switching to a slim bezel design means moving the fingerprint reader, so now you get a large round fingerprint sensor on the back, just like on a Google or LG phone. The sensor is mounted in the center about 3/4 of the upper part of the back of the phone, placing it in an ideal place to easily tap with your index finger. It’s made of ceramic, and I found it to be quick and precise. The backside still looks a lot like an imitation iPhone 7 Plus for our taste, although that is diminished a bit with the relocation of the fingerprint sensor.
The phone has a single piece of aluminum, and the back is made entirely of anodized aluminum, except for the antenna bands on the top and bottom of the phone. A metal backing is increasingly becoming a rarity, as RF engineering and easier wireless charging push more and more manufacturers towards the manufacture of crystal telephones. With almost all phones from $ 800 to $ 1,000 (except Pixel 2) that change to a fragile glass, the metal body of the OnePlus 5T is one of the best you can buy at any price. The only drawback is that it does not load wirelessly, but that always seems slow, fussy and obsolete now that we have the reversible USB-C plug with super-fast wireless charging.
And speaking of cargo, the OnePlus 5T still comes with the OnePlus “Dash” charge. This is really quite clean: the heat generating power management circuit that normally lives in the phone also doubles in the power block. When you are using a “Dash” charger, the power management circuit in the phone turns off, and the charging configuration does the power conversion in the power block. This means that the brick is heated instead of the phone, which allows the phone to charge optimally. This also helps a lot if you are trying to use the phone while it is charging, since a hot phone is a slow phone. And remember: the power management is doubled in the power block, so if you do not have a board charger, a normal one will still work.
Still, there are some items on the phone that fall into the “indifferent” category. OnePlus is again including its three-way hardware mute switch. You can slide between “silence”, “do not disturb” (which is only the “Priority” mode of Android, where you can choose which applications or people can make noise in this mode) and “Off”. The switch feels great, however, with a nice knurling pattern and a solid click action.
OnePlus also developed its own version of “Face Unlock”, a feature that Android has had since 2011. Obviously, it is aimed at the iPhone X, which ships with an elegant 3D facial recognition system, but OnePlus is only using the front camera for facial recognition. OnePlus admits that this feature is primarily for “easy access” and is not as secure as a fingerprint sensor. Sometimes it is very fast: if the phone is pointing correctly and if the phone is in a good mood, you will not even see the lock screen when you turn it on. However, when even OnePlus does not guarantee the safety of the function, I am not sure if the speed will impress or alarm me.
If you want some legitimate hardware complaints: the phone is not waterproof, and there is no expandable storage. That’s it, really.
OnePlus has simply made one of the best phones of 2017 from a hardware perspective. Samsung’s slim AMOLED bezel and screen design are just as good as the ones you get on the flagship $ 800 products, and the metal back makes the phone better than most of the $ 800 flagship products. OnePlus 5 was already a great hardware for the price, but with the new design, the OnePlus 5T is an excellent hardware at any price.
OnePlus 5T- Software
The OnePlus software package – called “Oxygen OS” – should be the model of what “customize Android” means. OnePlus adheres to the same aesthetic of “Material Design” that Android, Google applications and third-party applications follow, but the company adds its own features and options. This is a much better approach than the one you get in a Samsung or LG, as both companies re-coat the entire operating system to make it look like a totally different beast. However, since you can not re-apply the appearance of Google applications or third-party applications, the application of a customized design to the main operating system results in a fractured interface if the operating system has a design style and all the applications have another. The OnePlus design definitely feels like the right way, allowing OnePlus to add features and at the same time give users a cohesive software product.
As a result, the basic operating system interfaces are practically the same as those of Android. The lock screen, notification panel, settings and recent applications all work the way you would expect with just a few minor OnePlus settings. The home screen has a panel on the left side, which shows the weather, recent applications and some device specifications, such as storage usage. This is super easy to replace if you do not like it. In the same way, the calculator, the clock and the file manager get customized versions of OnePlus that do not feel very different from Android stocks. If you wish, you can search for alternatives in the Play Store.
OnePlus loves to pack your operating system with customization options, and if you immerse yourself in the operating system settings you can adjust a lot of things. You can fully customize what appears in the status bar, showing or hiding things like the clock, the automatic rotation status, the Wi-Fi and the cellular network. You can set the battery to be the normal battery icon, a circle or show a percentage reading. You can add seconds to the clock or show the speed of the network in kbps. There are also a number of options in the “Gestures” setting: you can swipe down the fingerprint reader to open the status bar or use the fingerprint reader as a shutter button within the camera application. If the screen is off, you can touch twice to activate it or draw a gesture with a letter on the screen to open something. For example, drawing a “V” on a screen off could start the flashlight. There are two system sources to choose from: “Roboto” Google’s default and “Slate” from OnePlus, and you can customize the color of the notification LED. There is also a dark theme, which will color the operating system and the integrated applications, as well as a million other options.
The OnePlus software navigation buttons are really rare. The spacing is incorrect: OnePlus has them creaking together in the middle of the screen, almost as if the company left room for five buttons, but decided to draw only the three media. The spacing here does not seem like a preference, it just looks wrong and ugly when the buttons are all crushed. OnePlus has made optional buttons on the screen in the past, and those were spaced properly, so why the change? OnePlus has ten thousand options for everything under the sun, except the restoration of buttons for proper spacing.
There are some options for on-screen buttons. You can add an optional fourth button on the left side, which can hide the navigation bar, but that’s it. The space in this fourth button does not make sense either. Live in the left corner of the navigation bar, and it is not equally spaced with the other buttons. There is an option to reverse the order of the “return / start / recent” buttons normal to a Samsung style “recent / start / reverse”. You can also choose between some double-tap and long-press functions for each button.
In general, I still love this software package. It is mainly additive for Android instead of trying to be a complete replacement, a model that I wish to follow more OEM. The OnePlus “personalization” route serves both types of consumers. There are those who want to adjust the phone to the content of their heart; You can immerse yourself in the options and do it. And there are some who do not care; You can ignore the additional options.
Perspective of support of devices of OnePlus
The OnePlus Android update policy has not really changed since OnePlus 5, which means there is no official update policy. Even after asking OnePlus, we were told that there is no promise of monthly updates and that there is no designated window for “x years of support.” The OnePlus representatives we talked to would only tell you to see what the company has done in the past.
So, let’s do that: OnePlus admitted OnePlus 2 with major updates for less than a year. The device, released in August 2015, did not receive an update to Android 7.0 Nougat, which was released in August 2016. However, OnePlus still sends quarterly security updates for the Android 6.0 device, and the most recent arrives in October.
Things seem a little better for OnePlus 3 and 3T, who got an official update of Oreo during the weekend. It is not known how long OnePlus will support 3 and 3T, but until now the support window seems longer than OnePlus 2. OnePlus told us that 5 and 5T will have a beta version of Oreo before the end of the year and a final version for Q1 2018.
See also: HTC U11 Life (Android One), analysis
OnePlus 5, 3T and 3 have received new updates several times a month, which usually arrive in the latest security update. Sometimes, it is a month late, and other times they are punctual with OEMs more aware of safety. OnePlus also seems to have gone out of its way to send solutions to high-profile vulnerabilities, such as when it sent the KRACK WPA2 vulnerability in October (which makes it one of the first OEMs to patch it). OnePlus publishes each update version on its website for each device, making the update history and release notes very easy to follow.
While OnePlus offers excellent hardware and software at an excellent price, the company often seems determined to shoot itself in the foot with software oversights or anti-pollution movements that generate terrible public relations. This month, for example, he left an engineering APK in his production software that contained a root back door. Last month, he was caught collecting personal identification analysis data (like phone numbers!) Without informing users or asking them if they want to participate. Earlier this year, the company sent notices to customers.
At the end of its various controversies, OnePlus generally does the right thing. It is issuing an update to remove the engineering APK, is deleting analytical data and updating phones to require a subscription, and is allowing users to block push ads. But why does the company keep doing these things in the first place? The continuous stream of stupid fools from OnePlus and the lack of concrete promises of updating makes it hard to trust the company. At this time, it seems that OnePlus could do something wrong with its software or release support for the device at any time. So I’ll say the same thing I said with the OnePlus 5: The best that OnePlus can do to improve the prospects of this phone is to immediately announce a standard update program with timely monthly updates and two years of support for important updates.
If you want to get really technical and install your own software, the OnePlus 5T has an unlockable boot manager, which allows you to replace the OnePlus software compilations with whatever you want. OnePlus devices are often extremely popular in the modding community, to the point where modification tools are released for OnePlus 5T even before they reach stores. I would expect to see the official support of Android’s most popular aftermarket ROM, Lineage OS and tons of ROMs and mods from other developers.
OnePlus 5T- Performance
There is not much to say about performance. OnePlus 5T has the same specifications as the OnePlus 5 and exactly the same reference scores. It’s the same Snapdragon 835 chip that we’ve seen a million times this year, and, once again, the $ 500 wonder from OnePlus continues with the more expensive phones. Even storage is fast.
OnePlus 5T- Camera
In addition to the new screen, buttons and fingerprint reader, the camera has been changed in the 5T. While the main rear camera is the same as the OnePlus 5T, the secondary rear camera has been switched from a telephoto lens to a camera that specializes in low light. I am pleased to report that this strategy really works, and in low light you will get a much brighter image of the OnePlus 5T than you would with the OnePlus 5.
Following the specifications, there is nothing to indicate that the secondary sensor is better in low light situations than the first sensor. The main rear camera is a Sony IMX 398 16MP sensor with a pixel size of 1.12 μm and an aperture lens f / 1.7. If you want a camera with better performance in low light, you can have a larger pixel size or a wider aperture. Instead, you do not get either option: the “low light” secondary camera is a Sony IMX 376K 20-megapixel sensor with a pixel size of 1.0 μm smaller and the same aperture. The difference, then, is everything in the software.
The low light sensor is a 20MP sensor, but you will not get 20MP of clarity from a dark scene. In the secondary back camera, OnePlus merges every four pixels into a single pixel (in a process that has been called “Smart Pixel Technology”), which allows the phone to capture more light. This is like having a larger pixel size sensor, and it really makes a big difference: the 5T can take photos that are much brighter than the OnePlus 5. The trade-off is that the image is not as detailed. The camera still takes pictures with a resolution of “20MP”, but it is clear that they have been processed to a great extent, since there are all kinds of fuzziness and artifacts at 100 percent.
But, do you care so much about seeing an image of 20MP, 5000 × 3800 at 100%? For most cases of use of “smartphones”, 20 megapixels is exaggerated, and on the “HD” screen of a smartphone or computer, the images look great. If I had the option, I would definitely take the smallest details, the brightest images of the OnePlus 5T on the OnePlus 5. If you are uploading them to Facebook or Instagram or doing something else in the “case of normal use of the smartphone” with them, You will be fine.
Switching to the secondary “low light” sensor occurs automatically. OnePlus was good enough to set the requirements exactly to “10 lux and less” for the secondary chamber to activate. In a well-lit room, you can see how this works by placing your finger on the main camera. The main camera, since it is covered by the finger, will detect the scene as “dark” and will change to the secondary camera. The secondary chamber can see the light of the room well lit, so it decides that it should be turned off and returned to the main chamber. The camera will do this from one side to another, approximately once per second.
However, I have to ask: since all the low-light magic is in the software, and both cameras have practically the same specifications, why not have a single camera that can toggle between this “single pixel” and “quadrangular pixel”? “? software mode? The main camera, with its slightly larger pixel size, should actually be better in a low light situation if it received the same software boost.
OnePlus 5T – Battery
When the OnePlus 5T fled for the first time, it was rumored that the new 18: 9 screen would be completed with a much larger battery. However, those rumors were not fulfilled, and the 5T is sent with the same 3300 mAh cell as its predecessor.
A huge battery like those used in both the Huawei Mate 10 and the HTC U11 + would have been excellent, but the OnePlus 5T is still impressive in terms of endurance. Although the screen is larger, I have been getting battery performance similar to OnePlus 5.
I can comfortably spend the day with combined to heavy use, and I usually have approximately 10-15% spare before I go to bed. An hour of transmission of SD Netflix consumes 8-9%, and is approximately half of the transmission of music with the screen off.
When the phone runs out of battery, there is Dash Charge to reactivate it quickly. Dash Charge is the most efficient fast charging solution that exists and will make your phone back to 100% in just one hour. It also does not heat the phone too much and does not slow down the load when you play. The only drawback is that you are restricted to using the included cable and plug if you want these speeds and things will slow down drastically if you use a different set.
OnePlus 5T- Gallery
OnePlus 5T- Specifications
|screen||AMOLED 6.01 inches with Corning Gorilla Glass5
Resolution 2,560 x 1,080 pixels, 401 ppi
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835|
|Nuclei||8 cores (8 x 2.45 GHz)|
|Memory Storage||64/128 GB|
|SOFTWARE||Android 7.1.1 Nougat with Oxygen OS|
|Navigation||GPS, BeiDou, GLONASS, Galileo|
|Connectivity||WiFi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, 2.4 / 5 GHz, MiMO 2×2, Bluetooth 5, LTE Cat.12|
|Battery||3,300 mAh non-removable with fast charge|
|Rear camera||16 megapixels with aperture f / 1.7 +
20 megapixels with aperture f / 1.7
Video 4K @ 30fps
|Frontal camera||16 megapixels, aperture f / 2.0
Video 1080p @ 30fps
|Others||Fingerprint reader, double SIM, USB type-C, facial recognition|
|Dimensions And Step||156.1 x 75 x 7.3 millimeters
Many people interested in the OnePlus 5T, reading this review and reviewing the specification sheet will ask “where is the trick?” To be fair, the latest version of OnePlus does not achieve the perfect parity of features with all high-end phones. It lacks true water resistance, stereo speakers, wireless charging and a microSD slot. There is no sleek stylus or depth detection cameras optimized for AR. Its screen is magnificent, but others are a little brighter or are full of a few more pixels.
See also: Huawei Mate 10 Pro analysis
That is all true on paper. In the real world, however, there is no cheating. The OnePlus 5T, like the OnePlus 5 above, is a perfectly focused device that achieves everything it sets out to do. It’s a pleasure to use it, and it feels like the kind of expertly designed hardware and software marriage you’d expect from Apple or Google. And best of all, it has a headphone jack.
If it were a device from another company, at this point I would probably call it a great alternative to the latest iPhone or Galaxy and I’ll stop there. But that would be a massive understatement, considering that the 5T costs between $ 200 and $ 500 less than those phones, depending on the model in question. That is not an alternative, it is a complete replacement.
The main obstacle, as for most unlocked phones, will be the lack of support from Verizon and Sprint, and the fact that you will have to pay the money in one go. But if that does not concern you? Skip the Galaxy Note 8 and the iPhone X, buy the OnePlus 5T and go half a gram.