OnePlus 5T has been launched, the company’s first smartphone to feature an 18:9 aspect ratio display and Facial recognition features that could help to compete with Apple and Samsung. OnePlus 5T can be purchased in 64GB and 128GB storage options at a price of Rs 32,999 and Rs 37,999 respectively.
The Chinese company showed off its OnePlus 5T, a refined version of the OnePlus 5, at an event in New York. The flagship phone will be available in an early access sale on Amazon India, oneplusstore.in and OnePlus experience store in Bangalore on November 21 at 4.30 pm, the company said. Meanwhile, OnePlus 5T open sale will begin on November 28 in India along with the US and European markets.
As for launch offers, OnePlus 5T users will be eligible for a complimentary 12-month accidental damage insurance by Servify on downloading the Kotak 811 savings account and activating it with an initial deposit of Rs 1,000 in the introductory period. Additionally, those who get the OnePlus 5T will get 100GB data from Idea. Moreover, HDFC Bank debit and credit cards users are eligible for a Rs 1,500 instant discount on purchase of OnePlus 5T through Amazon India till December 2017.
The new OnePlus 5T is built on the core features and experiences from the original OnePlus 5. The phone has been altered a bit with a few additional features to make the OnePlus 5T stand against the competition. A big phone is generally hard to use – especially with one hand. OnePlus 5T being a 6-inch smartphone, however, allows the display to take up most of the entire front of the phone. That results in a larger screen size without increasing the size of the phone itself.
OnePlus 5T’s display is 6-inches tall with a resolution of 2160 x 1080-pixel resolution. This one uses an optic AMOLED panel. In comparison, the OnePlus 5 featured the 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080-pixel display This also means the phone has an 18:9 aspect ratio, rather than the traditional 16:9. The 18:9 aspect ratio display is increasingly becoming used in newer smartphones including the Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8, Oppo F5, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, etc.
When the OnePlus 3T was launched last year, it saw an upgrade to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor, an improvement over the Snapdragon 820. This year, however, there’s only the Snapdragon 835. So, the OnePlus 5T has the same mobile chipset, which is already seen in the OnePlus 5, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 2. The GPU is an Adreno 540 and the device comes with either 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage or 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The smartphone has a 3,300 mAh battery that takes advantage of Dash Charge technology for faster charging, just like the OnePlus 5.
The overall design for the phone hasn’t changed much, except for the fact that it has a taller display with an unusual 18:9 aspect ratio display. Like the previous model, OnePlus 5T is made out of a metal. OnePlus has moved the fingerprint scanner on the back in order to fit as much screen into the body as possible.The smartphone has a USB type-C port along with a 3.5mm headphone jack. The audio comes from a bottom facing speaker, which means the phone still doesn’t have dual stereo speakers on board.
The main rear camera features a 16MP sensor while the secondary rear camera is using an 20MP sensor. There is dual LED flash on the back and the camera can record video at up to 4K resolution. The front camera has a 16MP resolution. Although the OnePlus 5T features the same main camera sensor that we saw on the OnePlus 5, it now features improved secondary camera shooter with a large f/1.7 aperture for superior “low light photography”, claims the company.
Essentially, the OnePlus 5T’s secondary camera merges four pixels into one, reducing noise in “low-light environments” and further enhancing image clarity. Plus, with the help of software, the company claims to improve the Portrait Mode on the OnePlus 5T that purposely blur the background to create a bokeh effect.
It will still run OxygenOS that is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. OnePlus 5T, however, gets something called Face Unlock, which is purely a software play and has nothing to do with the hardware. Face Unlock will let users to unlock the phone just by looking at the device.
OnePlus has always been known as the brand for enthusiasts and geeks. Its phones are popular in the mid-premium segment that cost less than the likes of Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S8. Despite being limited to two smartphones a year, OnePlus has successfully managed to drive its business in India, which is among the core markets. OnePlus recently saw its market share rise in the top-tier segment (priced above $400) and it has now capture 62 per cent of the market in the online segment alone in this price range in India for Q3, 2017.
The company quoted International Data Corporation’s (IDC) latest Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker 2017 Q3 report, according to which OnePlus has 28 per cent market share in the $400 mobile segment (includes offline and online as well). In comparison, OnePlus’ share was close to 12 per cent in Q1 2017. OnePlus 5 was the top selling smartphone for the brand with 24.74 per cent share.
With the OnePlus 5T, the company may have a bigger target to achieve in order to make among the top five players in India since this price segment is not main volume driver in India. OnePlus 5T will appeal to anyone looking for a Android smartphone without any compromise. Even though there are no major differences between the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T, the latter phone appears to be good fit for those who have never owned a OnePlus device before.
Disclaimer: The reporter is in New York attending the OnePlus 5T launch at the invite of OnePlus India, which is paying for travel and accommodation.