OnePlus has been doing very well in the Indian Market. Thanks to its philosophy of bringing quality hardware and software at much lower price, it has been successful in capturing a large chunk of the Premium segment in the past few quarters. A major contributor of this growth was the OnePlus 5, which hit the right spot at the right time. Now just after 4 months of the launch of OnePlus 5, OnePlus has launched the OnePlus 5T. OnePlus 5T can be considered as a more refined OnePlus 5, with its bigger display, a new rear camera and a bunch of new additions to the software make it more desirable.
We have been using the OnePlus 5T for a week now and so far we have been loving it. The device is very snappy and that 18:9 is just cherry on top. We will be making a 2 Part review: 1st one that you are reading now will cover the Design and Software aspect, while the 2nd Part will cover the Camera, Performance and the final verdict.
So let’s dive in.
Right of the box, the OnePlus 5T screams premium. OnePlus has nailed the packing this time as well. As soon as you open the box, you are greeted with Full screened device up front, while the familiar 2 tone red and white cable and charger combo underneath. OnePlus has also included a silicon case in the packaging.
Coming to the design, the OnePlus 5T is similar in terms of the overall footprint to its predecessor, but with a few additions. The all new 6 inch display covers quite a lot of the front of the device. Because of this the fingerprint reader has been moved to the back, which had to be done considering the display.
The camera bump on the back is more pronounced now and edges of the camera housing have been rounded off. The housing is similar to that of the OnePlus 5, the same aluminium alloy shell with a soft touch finish. The antenna lines run in a similar manner to that of OnePlus 5. The power, volume button and notification switch provide a good amount of tactile feedback and clicky feel.
The OnePlus 5T packs in a 3300 mAh battery, the same one that powers the OnePlus 5. The phone is available in 2 configurations 6/64 GB and 8/128 GB coupled with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835. The amount of processing power and RAM this phone has is enough to run through anything you throw at it.
One of the biggest selling points of the OnePlus 5T is the full screen display.
The OnePlus 5T uses a 6 inch 1080p Optic AMOLED panel which is sourced from Samsung. The viewing angles are great, so is the color reproduction due to it being an AMOLED panel. The lowest brightness that you can achieve on the OnePlus 5T is 21 nits which is quite low, paired with the night mode it is very easy on the eyes. This display gets up to 441 nits, which is not that bright considering other flagships.
If you’re pleased with the default color mode, OnePlus is providing a variety of options to tweak the color and warmth of the display to your liking. The only gripe we have is with the lack of Always On Display, which could have been easily added considering it’s an AMOLED display.
Apart from the Ambient Display, OnePlus has also added a reading mode to 5T. It makes the display black and white, which makes for a comfortable reading of websites, ebooks and other content.
The OxygenOS experience remains the same at that of OnePlus 5. You get a clean user interface and smooth performance that is comparable to the stock Android but with a few additions done to it by OnePlus. It would’ve been great to see OnePlus 5T launch with Android Oreo out of the box, but we’ll have to wait for couple of months to taste the new flavour. OnePlus has just released the first public Oreo beta and promises to release the same for 5T before the end of this year.
While the overall experience is similar to what you’d get on the OnePlus 5, with a few additions.
One of the such feature is the Face Unlock. Face Unlock as the name suggests allows you to unlock your device just by looking at it and boy it is crazy fast. For it OnePlus is relying on the 16 MP front camera. According to OnePlus it uses more than 100 data points to identify your face. During our testing we tried to fool the system by using a printed photo but weren’t successful. The system isn’t that secure as a fingerprint sensor but is an added bonus to the existing security methods.
Another new feature that made it’s way to the 5T is the Parallel Apps. Now this feature allows you to clone the apps and run two separate instances of it simultaneously. Not all apps support this, you can find the apps that are supported going into the settings app (Settings > Apps > Parallel Apps).
Since the fingerprint sensor was moved to the back, it has acquired some new gestures to take advantage of its placement. You can swipe down on the sensor to open the notification panel. There’s also a feature that lets to click a photo when you long press on the sensor.
There are a bunch of gestures that were passed down to 5T, like you can flip the device to mute incoming calls, swipe anywhere on the screen with 3 fingers to take a screenshot, double tap to wake up the screen and more.
OnePlus has kept simple and elegant with the launcher, though it doesn’t provide you with a host of customization like any other 3rd party launcher does but tries to keep up. The Shelf is a good place to get the important apps and info that you’d need plus its also allows you to stash widgets that you won’t like on the homescreens.
The Dark and light mode can completely change the look of the interface, while the small changes to the accent colours gives the users a personalised experience.
We didn’t encounter any serious issues with the OxygenOS apart from 1 or 2 force close on some apps.
Overall OxygenOs is a delight to use, has an edge over other skins due to its simplicity.
So far we have liked the OnePlus 5T, the Face Unlock is amazingly fast. The phone is a perfect combo of Hardware and Software.
Look out for our in depth Performance and Camera review coming shortly.