OnePlus 5T - The big screen, not on a big foot

With the OnePlus 5T, the Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is shaking up the market for the second time this year. Those looking for a great smartphone do not have to pay 800 euros or more. With the 5T, this now also applies to those looking for a smartphone with a large screen without borders.

OnePlus 5T

Price € 499,- / € 559,-

Colour Black

OS Android 7.1

Screen 6 inch amoled (2160 x1080)

Processor 2.45GHz octa-core (Qualcomm Snapdragon 835)

RAM 6GB / 8GB

Storage 64GB / 128GB

Battery 3,300mAh

Camera 16 and 20 megapixels (rear), 16 megapixels (front)

Connectivity 4G (LTE), Bluetooth 4.1, Wi-Fi, GPS

Format 15.6 x 7.5 x 0.7 cm

Weight 162 grams

Other Fingerprint scanner, usb-c, dualsim, fast charger, headphone port

Website //oneplus.net 9 Score 90

  • Pros
  • Price to quality ratio
  • Rapid
  • Oxygen OS
  • Build quality
  • Negatives
  • No Android 8
  • No memory card slot

Six months after the appearance of the OnePlus 5, it is the turn of the OnePlus 5T. There are no major differences between the two devices. The devices are almost the same size. This new T version, however, has a much larger screen of 6 inches (15.3 cm) instead of the 5.5 inches that the 5 had. However, the devices have remained the same size because the screen edges have been made very small and the fingerprint scanner has been placed towards the back.

The aspect ratio of the screen has also been slightly adjusted. The OnePlus 5 had an aspect ratio of 16 by 9. A standard wide aspect ratio that was used on many other screens such as TVs, smartphones, laptops, tablets and monitors. This ratio has been made a bit more elongated with the OnePlus 5T: 2 by 1, in order to fit relatively more screen into the housing. OnePlus is not the first, but follows manufacturers who came up with appealing devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6 and Huawei Mate 10 Pro. Devices that also have top specifications, just like the 5T, but are considerably more expensive.

Why 5T?

OnePlus previously used the letter T in its version number: with the OnePlus 3T. But why the T? During the introduction of the OnePlus 5T, Carl Pei, CEO of OnePlus, stated: “The T was born as a joke. A certain competitor always made an S version of its most famous smartphone. If you add one in the alphabet as OnePlus, you get to T.”

5 vs 5T

As I mentioned, differences with the OnePlus 5 are small. In addition to the screen, there are other camera sensors and the software has been slightly adjusted, so that there is, among other things, face unlocking. The OnePlus 5T also comes in two versions: 6GB ram, 64GB storage memory for 499 euros and 8GB ram and twice as much storage memory for 559 euros. The same prices that the OnePlus 5 versions had. Had, indeed. Because the OnePlus 5 is no longer available due to the arrival of the 5T.

The OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T perform almost the same.

However, if you recently bought a OnePlus 5, the introduction of the OnePlus 5T may feel like a disappointment. Are you stuck with an outdated, inferior device? Let me crush that for sure. During testing I used both devices side by side and luckily both smartphones perform almost equally. Not surprisingly, the specifications are the same. I can only imagine some disappointment if you would like such an extra large screen yourself.

The OnePlus 5T is (also) not waterproof, at least, during the announcement of the device, the company claimed that the device is waterproof, but does not have the certification to save costs. I dare not submerge the device, and you should not do that yourself. But if you fall down the OnePlus 5T, that does not have to mean the end of your device. Furthermore, the smartphone has a beautiful black metal housing. There are no other colors. There is a headphone port. As it should be, the numbers from OnePlus substantiate that. During the presentation, the CEO said that 80% of his users actually use the headphone port.

Screen

The screen of the OnePlus 5T is, as I mentioned, quite large. This is very nice, for example, when you read pieces on sites and scroll through apps. The downside, however, is that I can hardly reach the top left corner with my fingers when I hold the device with one hand. Fortunately, you don't have to be there often in Android.

The screen has a full-HD resolution (2160 by 1080). That is lower than most top smartphones. In terms of sharpness, however, you notice little of that. The image is sharp enough, only the OnePlus 5T is not really suitable for VR. I also noticed that the image is a bit too dull. Fortunately, you can improve the color reproduction in the settings. But everything still seemed a bit gray. Despite that, the image quality of the 5T is fine.

Battery life

The specifications, including the battery, have remained the same. While there is a larger screen in the OnePlus 5T. The battery life of the OnePlus 5 was mediocre to say the least, I just got to one day. I therefore feared that the larger screen also means a shorter battery life. Strangely enough, the opposite turns out to be true. The benchmark scores were higher and in practice I got a day and a half of battery life, while I have not started using smartphones differently. I couldn't quite pinpoint what it was. Better software tuning? A production error with the tested OnePlus 5? Anyway, one and a half days of battery life, that's enough. In addition, the device comes with a fast charger (Dash Charge) that charges the device extremely quickly. Within half an hour I had charged an empty battery half full. Not only does the device charge very quickly, the battery capacity is also not remarkably high at 3,300 mAh. For example, the Mate 10 Pro has a capacity of 4,000 mAh, the Asus Zenfone Zoom S even 5,000 mAh.

Specs

The OnePlus 5T comes in two versions, with the most expensive version (559 euros) offering 128 gigabytes of storage. That's enough. The cheaper version also has 64GB, which should suffice for most. However, this storage memory cannot be expanded. That is strange, because it is possible to place a second SIM card. Many devices offer the option to insert either a memory card or a SIM card. Why that is not possible with the 5T is crazy. The option to place a second SIM card makes the OnePlus 5T also very suitable for business use.

The performance of the device is unchanged, due to the combination of top specifications (a Snapdragon 835 processor and in our case 8GB ram) and a relatively clean Android.

Android Nougat

OnePlus has an active community, which is used for improvements in Android. Adjustments are minimal, so that the operating system continues to run as smoothly as possible. The phone maker has done that well. However, the OnePlus 5T still runs on Android 7, an Android version from 2016. That is a bit embarrassing. Version 8.0 (Oreo), will not be released until the first quarter of 2018.

Android 8.0 (Oreo), will not appear until the first quarter of 2018.

However, OnePlus has added things to its Android skin Oxygen OS. This skin is already known for being able to customize everything down to the smallest details. This makes Oxygen OS an example of how other manufacturers should deal with Android. Added are 'parallel apps', which makes it possible to install an app twice. That is quite handy for WhatsApp, for example, because the device also has two SIM card slots. A reading mode has also been added, extensive screenshot options and a game mode, where you will not be disturbed by notifications.

Also new is the possibility to unlock the device with your face, as Samsung and Apple also have. This form of unlocking is a lot to do, because in practice it doesn't seem very safe because it's relatively easy to deceive - and often doesn't work when it's too dark. For example, this makes Apple embarrassingly exposed because their marketers falsely sold Face ID as extremely safe. OnePlus takes a smarter approach to this. Despite the fact that the face unlock works quickly and I have not been able to unlock the device with a photo of myself, they themselves indicate that there are safer unlock methods, such as a password and PIN code. The facial recognition can also not be used for other things than unlocking the device. For banking or securing apps, you have to turn to safer alternatives. Realistic, what can be said for it.

Camera

Oneplus' marketing team hits the drum hard when it comes to the camera. The dual camera on the back may differ in terms of megapixels (20 and 16), but the sensor size and aperture are the same. As a result, the camera setup is not used for an optical zoom, as other smartphones with a dual camera often do, including the OnePlus 5, but also iPhone 7 and 8 Plus and LG's G6. The cameras have to work together better to get the best pictures.

In a way it works. Photos in dark environments show less noise than the OnePlus 5. But the OnePlus 5T is especially good at portrait photography. You don't just have to use this form of photography for people. But also if you photograph a single object. The object appears sharp and the background fades subtly.

However, there is also a downside. The panorama function of the OnePlus 5T is distressing, because the photos are not nicely pasted together. As a result, you see strange angles in the horizon, for example.

Overall, the OnePlus 5T's camera is very good. You can't find a better smartphone camera for this price. However, differences compared to the 5 are not very big, photos seem to contain a bit sharper and less noise. Because OnePlus invariably calls its devices 'flagship killers', you are inclined to compare the device with the most expensive top devices, which are often almost twice as expensive. In terms of speed, build quality and specifications, the OnePlus 5T comes along just fine. It will only have to recognize its superior in the camera area. Especially in dark environments, other 'flagships' manage to deliver photos with more color and detail.

vs flagships

Talking about getting started with other flagships. The OnePlus 5T can once again keep up with the most expensive devices, and that is an impressive positive market disruption. Devices like the Galaxy S8+ (approx. 700 euros) and Huawei Mate 10 Pro (800 euros) are comparable, with large screens and are gaining the net in terms of camera and speed. But they simply can't offer the same value for money, and have also negatively messed up Android with their skins. The same kite is expected to go for the LG V30, which will soon be in the store for about 900 euros.

Smartphones in the same price range, such as the Asus Zenfone 4 and Nokia 8, simply cannot match what the OnePlus 5T offers. It is positive that OnePlus is sticking to the prices of 499 and 559 euros. Because many competitors have increased their prices even higher in a short time, the Chinese brand stands out (as usual) with what is offered for the price tag.

Conclusion

The OnePlus 5T is basically a OnePlus 5 with a bigger screen. Other changes are minimal. You can't get a better smartphone for its price and the OnePlus 5T leaves you wondering why you have to pay so much for other top smartphones. OnePlus also shows other manufacturers how to do it with OxygenOS. It is a pity that it is still an older Android version.

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