OnePlus unveiled the second flagship smartphone for 2017, OnePlus 5T few weeks ago. I have been using this phone for over 3 weeks now and the experience has been super awesome. Let us demystify what makes this phone a worthy phone to recommend anyone. Keeping it simple, it isn’t just the hardware.
Hardware, Look and Feel:
The build quality is solid and the phone looks premium. Weighing 162 grams and at 7.3 mm thickness, its one of the thinnest flagships available currently in the market. Make no mistake in underestimating the build quality of the phone. Its strong and durable in every aspect, be it the keys, glass, finger print scanner or the entire construction in whole.
The Dual-SIM tray & power keys are located on the right, while the alert slider & volume rocker are placed on the left. Top stays flat and the bottom houses the speaker grill, type-c port and the 3.5 mm audio jack. The Alert Slider from the earlier OnePlus phones retains on this as well. This helps in toggling between silent, priority and all notifications with the reach of a button and is unique to the OnePlus phones.
The finger print sensor is now available on the rear side of the phone. The Sensor is blazingly fast unlocking the device in 0.2 seconds from sleep and accurate most of the times. It’s a true 360 degree sensor in a way that it works perfect when pressing from any direction.
The face unlock is the fastest way to get into your phone. Trust me, Its crazy fast. I like the way, how it takes you right into the homescreen. Although unlike FaceID, this is more a convenience feature than an advanced security one.
The OnePlus 5T sensor does not wake the screen up with incorrect inputs. The sensor just vibrates the phone when finger print is not recognised and wakes up only when there is a match. This is a good use case since there will be multiple instances you ending up touching the sensor by mistake while holding the phone.
Primary camera is located on the top left of the back with a slight protrusion which according to us is not the best in design and may not be for everyone’s liking. With a phone case, this protrusion should not be too annoying. OnePlus has released a variety of cases for this device which are available on Amazon.in
The OnePlus 5T runs on top of the line Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor running at 2.35GHz, a slightly bigger 3,400mAh battery, and the 16MP front-facing camera.
The device comes with impressive hardware specs like 64/128GB storage (based on UFS 2.0 technology), 6/8 GB of LPDDR4 RAM, Dash Charge, Type-C port, Bluetooth 5. The device also supports NFC.
“Currently this is the one among the very few smartphones available in India with a mammoth 8 GB of RAM. While this may sound an overkill by today’s standards, we appreciate this move from OnePlus since this makes the phone future proof. Also this combination of RAM and processing power makes the phone a very smooth device. UI is snappy, and even 4K video editing works very slick.”
The OnePlus 5T sports a 18:9 resolution Optic AMOLED display protected by a 2.5D curved gorilla glass 5 from Corning. Offers a resolution of 1080 x 2160 pixels. With a pixel density of 401 PPI, the display is crisp & vivid with deeper blacks and brighter whites.
Outdoor visibility is excellent with the Adaptive brightness coming to play and automatically optimising the screen brightness level based on available light conditions. There is a night mode when enabled filters out harmful blue light emission from the screen and reduces eye strain in the dark. Additional display features include a color balancing slider to choose between warmer and cooler color temperatures according to the user preference.
Software, User Experience:
OnePlus 5T comes with the latest edition of Oxygen OS which is based on Android Nougat. The Oreo update is scheduled to arrive soon. Oxygen OS is a clean, light, bloat-free OS supporting UI customisation, gesture support etc.
A lot of bugs from the earlier editions has been addressed on this and the OS feels super smooth next to Pixel. There is option to enable software navigation buttons and they can even be customized for performing different actions based on user preference. For users who don’t prefer the white theme, there is a dark theme that can be customized with an accent colour.
Screen-Off Gesture support include features like double tap to wake screen, drawing a circle to launch camera, drawing a V for flashlight, two finger swipe downwards to play/pause music, </> for previous/next track navigation and all of them worked flawlessly during our testing. Unfortunately, these are the only options which have been available since OnePlus One. We wished if there were more options or custom gestures.
With Oxygen OS, the same phone can be used by multiple users. New users can be added to the system and each user will have their dedicated space comprising of apps, wallpapers, layout etc. Also, features guest mode which is a nifty feature when enabled hides all photos, call history, messages etc.
Powered by the Adreno 540 GPU, gaming performance is excellent and there are no frame drops while playing graphics intensive games. Call quality is good and the Built-in speaker is loud and clear.
For the primary camera, the OnePlus 5G uses Dual: 16 MP (f/1.7, 27mm, 1/2.8″, 1.12 µm, gyro EIS) + 20 MP (f/1.7, 27mm, 1/2.8″, 1 µm). The front camera is an 16MP shooter with 1.4 µm pixels and f/2.0 aperture.
Camera interface is simple and includes features like Auto HDR, a robust manual mode, Panorama and support for RAW images. Thanks to PDAF, the primary camera is quick to focus and shoots good pictures in both outdoor and artificial lighting conditions with very little noise. Occasionally, there are some focus stacking issues when the subject you click is busy.
The OnePlus 5T has an EIS built-in which makes the videos more stable. The camera software has improved over the years with better stabilisation algorithms now. Video recording features include support for time lapse, slow motion (720p at 120fps) and 4K video (30fps). Recorded audio from video footage could have been louder.
Coming to the front camera, it can shoot up to 1080P video at 30fps. We personally liked the Smile Capture feature for selfies which triggers a 3 sec timer shot when you smile. The circle gesture for launching camera from sleep mode worked flawlessly every time.
Have a look at some of the camera samples below. I will add more samples in future.
The OnePlus 5T features a 3400mAh non-removable battery with an impressive proprietary quick charge technology which the company calls Dash Charge. While keeping the phone cooler, Dash Charge replenishes more than 60% of the battery within half-an-hour. This is made possible by leveraging a large electric current (5V 4A) for stable, consistent charging speeds and shifting the power management system from phone to the Dash Charge adapter.
While this setup helps in maintaining lower temperatures during charging, it brings another great advantage. There won’t be any CPU throttling issues and hence the charging speed won’t get affected by intensive phone usage in parallel like streaming video or playing heavy games.
During our battery charge test, the OnePlus 5T managed to stay cool throughout the time. While reaching 96% in under an hour, the phone managed to charge the battery to 100% in little over an hour which is incredible.
The only downside we see with the dash charge technology is the limitation of relying on the dash charge adapter for faster charging. In other words, when using a 3rd party Type-C fast charging adapter, the OnePlus 5T will charge in regular charging speeds and won’t get charged quickly.
Power management options include a battery saver feature that can be trigged automatically when battery reaches a percentage level. However the battery saver settings cannot be customized.
Pros and Cons, Value for Money:
Great Display, Impeccable Finger Print Sensor, A very good Front & Rear Camera along with the 8 GB RAM definitely makes it worth the buy. The dash charge is worth a mention. The form factor is compact and comfortable to use. The performance is top-notch, and the phone gives a very premium feel; certainly making it the Flagship.
Do let us know your thoughts and questions if any. Thanks for reading.