I have always loved OnePlus devices. They seem to have the users in mind at every stage of the product’s conceptualisation. And this means right up to the point where they put a price tag on the phone. This is why OnePlus has over the years managed a loyal user base that ends up being its brand ambassadors when the time comes. From its one-phone-a-year cycle, the company has of late moved to a two-phone cycle where a new series is soon followed by a T version, which brings in some upgrades to its successor. The OnePlus 5T is another such upgrade.
OnePlus 5T review
It has taken under six months for OnePlus to launch the T version of the OnePlus 5. But unlike the OnePlus 3T last year, this upgrade has some serious features in it. In fact, the phones are more or less similar inside, but the new version has one hard to miss new feature: the big, bezel-less AMOLED display. At just over 6 inches, this is the largest display ever on a OnePlus, though the phone itself is just a tad bit taller than the original version. Also, there is no place now on the front for the Home button. The fingerprint scanner has hence been moved to the back. But you might not really need to use it to unlock the phone.
OnePlus 5T specifications: 6.01 inches display with 1080 x 2160 pixels resolution at 401 ppi with 18:9 aspect ratio AMOLED | Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor at 2.45 Ghz | 6GB RAM/8GB RAM + 64GB/128GB storage |16MP+ 20MP rear camera f/1.7 aperture + 16MP front camera | 3300 mAh battery | OxygenOS with Android Nougat
OnePlus 5T price in India: Rs 32,990
OnePlus 5T: What is good?
OnePlus 5T’s bezel-less AMOLED display really shines through and makes it a very good device for reading or just consuming tons of video. It is bright when needed and you can easily read stuff in the sun. Also, the 18:9 aspect ratio gives that little bit more of real estate that makes it easier to write a quick note or edit photos you have shot on the camera. Remember, all this extra real estate has not made OnePlus 5T a larger phone, which is what most 6-inch smartphones end up becoming.
Since the phone now has an edge-to-edge display, OnePlus has gotten rid of the home button as well as the fingerprint scanner inside it. But that’s also given the company a chance to add a facial identification option upfront to unlock the screen. Now, unlike Apple, this does not used a special front camera, and is powered by software. Still, it works like a dream and unlocks the phone even before you have realised it.
It works even in low light and is hence quite impressive. I think this is the more natural way to unlock phones. Also, it is good that OnePlus is offering both the fingerprint scanner at their rear as well as the regular PIN and patterns as other options to unlock this phone.
OnePlus 5T too packs a dual camera in the back. But the new cameras are better as both now come with f/1.7, which makes the performance better in low light. I found the camera to be sprightly and fast and the results really rich. The depth mode is what sets apart this camera and adds some real character to even mundane subject, what most of us end up clicking on a daily basis. The OnePlus 5T also has one of the better zooms in the business.
Overall, performance is not an issue with this phone as it offers the best specifications possible. It can handle everything from multi-tab browsing to 4K videos. But there is nothing new here as the OnePlus 5 was equally capable. Still, I was impressed by the battery life, which will be crucial given the larger display. It lasts well over 12 hours with full usage on 4G VoLTE.
The bunch of tweaks added to the new version of Oxygen OS adds some real value to users. I liked how you could take a picture by long pressing on the fingerprint scanner in the rear panel. This is a more natural and less shaky way to take your own photos. Then there are gestures like double tap display to wake up screen, and they seem to make a lot more sense when you don’t have a Home button in the front.
OnePlus 5T: What is not that good?
In the week I used the phone, I did not find any big issues. However, there is one issue that actually put me in an embarrassing situation. While on a conference call last week, I struggled to find the mute option on the phone. After becoming a pain for others on the call, the button popped up just as I was terminating the conversation. There might be similar bugs hidden in this software as it is a new version and not really tested. Also, as with any other bezel-less phone, I urge those buying this phone to be really careful about protecting the screen.
OnePlus 5T: Should you buy?
I would say this is again among the best Android phones you can buy at the moment. In fact, there is good value for the buyers here as this phone packs much more than the earlier version but still costs the same. So you are not paying extra for the edge-to-edge screen, facial recognition or the better camera. Yes, those who bought the OnePlus 5 recently might feel a bit shortchanged, but that is how life is. Go ahead and buy the OnePlus 5T if it fits your budget and requirements.
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