Wednesday, 27 December 2017

OnePlus 5T ★★★☆☆

OnePlus has had decided to launch their phones whenever they are ready, rather than 1 phone a year as other companies tend to do with their flagships. OnePlus 5 was launched less than 6 months back only to be replaced with OnePlus 5T recently. Will the 18:9 screen and improved camera make people switch to the new version, let's have a quick glance below before you decide to take the leap.

Design & Hardware 

Right off the bat, the 18:9 6 inch AMOLED display feels right in the hands and looks similar to the Oppo F5 or LG G6, but sadly nowhere near to the Samsung screens on S8. The body is all aluminium curved at the sides and sharp crease around the edges. With just one colour option of Midnight Black, it's not the best looking phone and you won't identify it from the OnePlus 5 at a distance. No water or dust resistance is a disadvantage too.

The bottom of the phone has a 3.5mm jack, Type C port, and a speaker grill, while the top is bare. The Alert Slider that lets you switch between Silent, DND & Ring is on the left along with the volume buttons. The power button is on the right with the Dual nano SIM slot above it. At the back is the fingerprint sensor with the Dual Camera setup above it. The front just has the front camera on the left. Surprisingly the phone is slightly bigger, hence heavier than OP5. 

Under the hood, you'll find the same Snapdragon 835 with 6GB/64GB and 8GB/128GB variants that were seen on the OnePlus 5. The phone supports 4G on one Sim only and does not have a Micro-SD card slot. At 3300 mAh the battery is more than enough to last the full day and thanks to Dash Charging it can go from 0 to 100 in less than an hour! 


The software is OnePlus' own Oxygen OS which forked out from Android 7.1 Nougat last year but looks like they missed the boat on Android 8.0 Oreo. The update is promised early next year. The OS is smooth and lag free with more customisations than stock Android. Some new updates include Parallel Apps letting you run 2 instances of an app with different account simultaneously. iPhone Migrations assistant if you're switching over from iOS. Game DND mode, Night Mode, Dark UI, facial recognition unlocking which isn't the most secure nor works well in low light.


In terms of camera performance, there's not a world of improvement which honestly wasn't even expected. 16MP camera takes great daylight photos but the portrait mode doesn't give the feel that you get from the S8 or the iPhone 8. Software blurring can never replicate the results that a dedicated lens can produce! The rear camera does not have a telephoto lens for wide angle photography, instead has a 20MP low light sensor for great night shots. The user can't control when the second camera is activated and sometimes it switched even with enough daylight. The front 16MP camera can beautify your selfies and has different styles for ethnicity background that it identifies based on your SIM card... Odd if you ask me. Video recording maxes out at 4k/30fps which is as good as you'll need in your daily use.


Navigating through the apps and games on the phone is a breeze and it makes multitasking look like a cakewalk! Videos look great and 3D games like Asphalt Xtreme run with ease thanks to the powerful GPU. The speaker is good for games but raising the volume to the max often causes it to distort. The phone sadly does not come with earphones even though this is the most expensive OnePlus device yet. 


With major changes being just the screen ratio and slight modification of the camera, the OnePlus 5T can be ignored if you already have the OnePlus 5. If you want a better-looking phone look at the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 or the LG G6 which is marginally higher in price but a stronger flagship. Some regions have a lot more access to Honor phones which are cheaper and do a better job.


Pritesh Khilnani

OnePlus 5T at CeX

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