2017 was the year that shaped many new trends in the mobile phone technology, i.e. from dual-camera system introduction, to stretched-out 18:9 displays to the facial recognition feature. All of these features had been adopted by the major smartphone manufacturing companies in their flagship phones released in 2017. Another, unfortunately sad, thing that was introduced in these smartphones was their hefty price tag of over $1,000.
As a matter of fact, there have still been some new smartphones, which have introduced all of the above-mentioned latest features except the $1,000 price tag. One of them is OnePlus 5T. This is the latest high-tech smartphone from Chinese company. In first look, OnePlus 5T might look like a minor update from the earlier OnePlus 5. However, do not be fooled that easy, as the new 5T will be pretty nicely stacking up against the recently released flagship smartphones. So, let’s take a comprehensive look over the newly released OnePlus 5T and dissect its parts to give you a better look inside and outside of this phone.
OnePlus 5T was released very soon after the release of OnePlus 5, i.e. only a few months. So, it would not be surprising to note that OnePlus 5T has not much deviated from its predecessor. The design language has therefore remained same. In fact, one could note that the design is the exact copy, as it features the similar smoothly shaped metal construction as well as the sloppy edges. As a matter of fact, the fingerprint sensor has been placed on the back in order to keep the larger display within the relatively bigger footprint. The fingerprint sensor will hence be visible just beneath the rear camera.
When you hold it in your hand, you will find the construction of OnePlus 5T to be pretty solid. It simply suggests that it is not going to have that sort of fragileness that is typically seen in the glass-meets-metal phones released by the other manufacturers. In the time where most of the companies go with the latter design and construction, OnePlus 5T keeps itself refreshed with the all-metal design approach. Still, it looks great as much as the other phones it is competing with. Usually, this phone will seem to be featuring the recycled design with only a few changes, but still it will be gaining the commanding position in comparison of the other metal-and-glass smartphones.
Similarly, while OnePlus 5T will have all those trends that other companies have been following, there are two features that it will not have as a matter of fact. One, it will not have water resistance, and two, it would not be offering the wireless charging feature. Yet, OnePlus has an edge over others by retaining the headphone jack, as it dearly accepts the purpose of this for its users.
While competing with the high-end smartphones, OnePlus 5T has also jumped onto the trend of featuring 18:9 aspect ratio. 5T is going to feature 6.01-inch display with the resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels, and the display will be Full Optic AMOLED one. Furthermore, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 will be protecting it externally.
While this phone actually impresses the users due to its minimal bezels and all-screen appearance, still the screen resolution is not in accordance with the Quad HD displays, which was featured in LG V30 and Samsung Galaxy Note 8. However, the 401ppi of pixel density in OnePlus 5T is still an admirable thing. Apart from the resolution, the AMOLED display panel will be a cool thing owing to its default cooler temperature, which is further evident from the bluish tint along with the white color. As a matter of fact, one can easily treat this thing through adjusting the calibration in the Display Settings.
Moreover, OnePlus 5T looks decent in both the brightness output as well as viewing angles. These aspects highlight a very minor distortion in the wide angles and highlight sufficient visibility in the external environment. Similarly, AMOLED displays normally show this vivacity. However, as much as strange as it seems, OnePlus 5T will have the dullness to the wayit appears. On the whole, display does not impress us the most, and noting that there will be many more out there, which will gather attention, but we are less satisfied with the display result of OnePlus 5T.
Interface and Functionality
The main attraction in OnePlus is its promising community, in which the users often offer the feedback that is entirely based on their experience and usage. This is helpful in shaping the software used in the devices of this manufacturer. OnePlus software is named as Oxygen OS, and the community’s feedback helps in establishment of its software both functionally as well as visually. Oxygen OS basically refines the base Android experience without leaving out the non-essential extras.
In case of OnePlus 5T, there are many familiar features that are still existent. One example is the Reading Mode, which basically filters out the blue light. Then there is Expanded Screenshot, which lets the user capture the screenshot of the entire website page viewed vertically. There is also a Do Not Disturb mode for gamers. The latest version of Oxygen OS is also going to include another great feature namely Parallel Apps, which will be helpful in cloning the app so that the user is able to run two accounts in a single time. This will support the apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Skype and Instagram. It will be useful if the user wants to separate the work from personal needs, and it is expected that this feature is going to expand to include more apps in its network.
On the whole, Oxygen OS 4.7.2 will be sufficient in the delivery of tangible experience, which actually transform the phone operations in simple and intuitive manner. However, this will be basically running on top of the Android 7.1.1 Nougat, which will soon be updated to Oreo. For some people, though, this will be the real deal, but just like that of many other flagship smartphones available in the market, in due time the new update will arrive.
OnePlus 5T has another modern feature, which will be the latest facial unlocking system. Where the fingerprint sensor is going to be necessarily swift in terms of its response rate, the new facial recognition feature in this phone is going to add a new layer to the security mix. From its appearance, there is not any extra hardware used in it. Hence, it is only left to the algorithms and software, which will be utilized for recognizing the face via selfie camera.
Our experience shows that the Face Unlock feature in OnePlus 5T worked very swift and fast. All one needs is to tap the power button quickly while the phone is seen from the front, and it will instantly unlock the phone. Another great thing is that it attempts to unlock in the dark environment as well. However, this Face Unlock in OnePlus 5T will not work when the phone is even slightly tilted. More so, the front camera needs to be aimed directly at the users, so that this feature could effectively work.
Processor and Performance
OnePlus 5T is going to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC. The basic model of the phone is going to be supported by 6GB RAM. Another model of the same is going to have 8GB RAM. This might be unprecedented RAM size for many people, but those who are quite conscious about the specs would be satisfied with the RAM sizes at the least. Another worth mentioning aspect is that the RAM sizes are the same as in case of OnePlus 5.
Nevertheless, one can simply assess based on one-hour usage that OnePlus 5T will quite smoothly run. Even when it will respond in quick and smooth manner, we will not be going far right now in saying that it will be snappy with regard to its performance in comparison of Google Pixel 2 XL, which is the benchmark in the Android smartphones at the moment.
Moreover, 5T is going to be available with 64GB and 128GB internal storage capacity. The difference between these two variants will be about PKR 6,600, which is still not as much as is found in case of other phones. The phone is however not going to feature expandable storage option.
When it comes to the dual camera setup, OnePlus 5T is also no exception. This has already been stated that previous OnePlus 5 was released only a few months ago. For this time, however, there are a few changes. In case of OnePlus 5T, there is going to the 20MP Sony IMX 376K secondary camera sensor, which will feature the aperture of f/1.7. It will not be the telephoto camera which was present in case of OnePlus 5. Rather than that, it will activate the low light shots and will use the intelligent pixel technology, which will combine the individual pixels of the sensor into four groups and will merge their data.
Moreover, the whole camera thing in this phone feels like that UltraPixel concept featured in HTC. The main intention in this phone might have been the provision of boost when the images are shot in low-light conditions. In the meantime, the main camera has 16MP Sony IMX 398 sensor, which will come with the aperture of f/1.7. Similarly, for portrait shots in particular, dual camera system is in place, while there is isolation in case of subjects and there is blurring out for the background.
Before discussing the camera performance, let us quickly go through the camera interface. This is going to be quite an intuitive interface, which will allow you to switch quite speedily between the different modes through swiping to the left. It will be transformed together for appeasement of both the new as well as experienced users, which is evident from the fact that the pro mode will dish up the features such as that of histogram and level gauge.
The image quality in case of OnePlus 5T has bene fine when it is compared with the camera performance of Google Pixel 2 XL at least. Still, it is not something that could be classified as class-leading. The camera in OnePlus 5T does handle most of the situations pretty well, and which does create appropriate details as well as relatively warm-toned colors, which is about as long as there is abundant light present. Still, we would say that the camera performance and image quality are just a reflection of what we experienced previously in case of OnePlus 5: It is good, but it is not great!
When we took photos in low-light conditions, they appeared to be of relatively grainy tone as well as softer details. This meant that the secondary camera on the rear, which was specifically made for these sorts of situation, might not be that good as OnePlus did want us to believe in. Similarly, utilizing the dual-LED flash, which was helpful in controlling such deficiencies, we are still able to produce only unnatural and unwanted colors, e.g. similar greenish hues that were also experienced in case of performance of OnePlus 5 smartphone.
For the case of front camera, which is made for selfies, it was however able to take some good shots. The best results were gained when there was natural lighting. We noticed that when there was enough light, the details were quite sharp; however, the shots taken in the indoor environment were softer, especially when there was artificial lightening. One of the sample images is given below depicting the image quality of OnePlus 5T camera.
Even when there is dual camera system on the back, the portrait shots in case of OnePlus 5T will not appear as most reliable. You will need to be careful about the distance, as it will only work when the object is placed away from the camera at a particular distance. However, in this regard, you will also need to ensure that there is sufficient lighting in the scene.
Similarly, after having experienced it first hand about how the Google Pixel 2 XL was able to provide the wonderful portrait shorts through just one camera, the dual camera system installed in OnePlus 5T is not much convincing. The performance in this case is just a toss-up, as only sometimes it recognizes and separates the elements of the background from that of the subject. In other occasions, there is poor job done in it, which is certainly worse in case of low-light conditions. One of the portrait samples is given below.
OnePlus 5T camera will be able to shoot the videos of 720p at 30 FPS. It will also be capable to shoot the 1080p videos at both 60 as well as 30 FPS, and will also be able to shoot the 4K videos at 30 FPS. Still, the video capturing performance in this phone is not going to impress us the most anyway. It might be considered good in many of the occasions, but in many situations, it is going to be noisy and grainy even when the videos are made in certain ideal situations. Then there is a jello effect, which is disturbing by the way, which is introduced by the algorithms involving image stabilization.
It has been mentioned above that OnePlus 5T is going to feature the display with 18:9 aspect ratio, which will make this phone ideal for watching high-quality movie and TV videos. Majority of the YouTube videos are actually shot in the aspect ratio of 16:9. Hence, if you select the filling out of the entire screen through pinch zooming, then you will be efficiently cropping out the wider portion of the frame. Another noteworthy thing is that OnePlus 5T will not offer any sort of HDR video support, which is often found in many other phones.
Moreover, in case of music, we must appreciate the efforts of OnePlus through realizing the significance of headphone jack and thereby retaining in 5T. It will hence be convenient for us to connect the headphones with the phone without worrying about the adapter or any other sort of support.
Additionally, another good thing is that OnePlus 5T will come in single-speaker mode, which is placed right next to the USB Type-C port, and which will provide the best audio result. The output in this case will also be very powerful and will be able to provide the rich experience.
Although there are not any glaring issues found, the phone does well in call quality aspect. The only issue in it is the relatively muffled toned videos, which are heard via earphones. It is not bad anyway, but it will lag clarity and depth. Fortunately, it will do the smoother sailing for the speakerphone’s performance. There were no issues reported in the voice understanding, even when there was a noisy environment.
It was thought earlier that OnePlus 5T will come with larger battery capacity, but it will only feature 3300mAh battery, which was also featured in the previous OnePlus 5. It does not feel as a negative thing yet, especially when we see that the performance is above-average. Even when it will not be a record breaker, it has been found that it will continue to work smoothly without turning off even when the user has passed onto the second day.
Our tests showed that 58% battery will be charged in just 30 minutes, while the full charge was done in 93 minutes in total, which is a respectable score by the way.
On the whole, we did not find any sort of groundbreaking thing in case of OnePlus 5T. Instead, many trends found in the phone were already there in the other competing smartphones. Still, OnePlus 5T is one of the most amazing smartphones released in the year 2017. Moreover, the good thing about it is the price, as OnePlus 5T price in Pakistan is Rs. 52,600.
Also considering the other flagship phones having been sold at the price tag of over $1000, it is good point that OnePlus flagship phone will be sold only for around $500. Therefore, we can say that OnePlus will remarkably defy the trend and will match its competitors in almost all the departments except the price.
As a matter of fact, apart from our impression of OnePlus 5T being a low-cost phone, it is surely true that this phone is a winner which is able to topple the high-end smartphones quite easily. Moreover, if you have willingness to spend additional money on smartphone having same specs but higher price, then you may go for LG V30, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and Google Pixel 2 XL. But still, the latter choices give lot more features as compared to that of OnePlus 5T. What you will see as the main deficiency in case of OnePlus 5T however, will be the camera performance, wireless charging absence and water resistance absence. Otherwise, it would be a great choice.
Based on this review, MPC rating for OnePlus 5T will be 9/10.