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OnePlus 5T review: Because OnePlus couldn’t settle with just OnePlus 5

Featuring an 18:9 bezel-less display, OnePlus 5T scores high on design and performance. Here is a detailed review.

tech Updated: Nov 28, 2017 09:33 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
OnePlus 5T,One Plus 5T,One
OnePlus 5T: Is it the best value for money smartphone?(OnePlus)

OnePlus has travelled a long from way from just being an enthusiasts-only brand to the top selling brand in the premium segment in India. The company debuted in India almost three years ago with “the flagship killer” moniker – a direct dig at then premium smartphones that were simply too expensive.

The idea was very simple – to deliver a phone that has premium smartphone-like specifications and features and price that’s almost half of that the premium phones. The strategy has clearly worked for the company.

With its latest OnePlus 5T, the company is banking on its tried and tested formula to work. But this is certainly not negative for a company that has 62.2% market share in the premium smartphone market. The erstwhile ‘flagship killer’ OnePlus 5 was the highest-selling phone in the third quarter of this year, according to the latest report by research firm IDC.

That said, OnePlus’ emphasis on launching a ‘T’-version of its flagship phone in smaller span of time has received a mixed response. For instance, my former colleague was little baffled that the company had launched the last year’s OnePlus 3T had minor upgrades, though enough to make his OnePlus 3 obsolete soon enough.

With OnePlus 5T, the company has made it clear that the T series is going to stay. I’ve been using OnePlus 5T as my primary smartphone for approximately two weeks. The smartphone may be an incremental upgrade over OnePlus 5, but as a standalone phone, it’s quite impressive.

We have talked about the design and overall form-factor of OnePlus 5T in lenth in our detailed first impressions. If you are too lazy to click the hyperlink, let us briefly explain what’s changed. OnePlus 5T comes with an 18:9 full-screen 6.01-inch full HD+ full Optic AMOLED display.

The key thing to note is that the screen has been crammed into almost same dimensions as OnePlus 5. The new phone, however, is marginally taller, thicker and heavier than the predecessor. The inclusion of an 18:9 display brings OnePlus on par with the hot trend of bezel-less phones and in our opinion, the company has done good job at it. OnePlus 5T display isn’t mind-blowing like iPhone X or Note 8, but looking at the price point, it’s fairly close.

ONEPLUS 5T: SPECIFICATIONS
  • 6.01-inch 18:9 Display with 1080 x 2160 pixels resolution
  • Snapdragon 835 processor + 6GB/8GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB built-in storage
  • 16+20 MP Dual Rear Camera
  • 16MP Front Camera
  • 3300 mAh battery

While the improvement in design is certainly a welcome addition, OnePlus 5T doesn’t disappoint with its performance either. The smartphone handles almost everything with ease. And, I have thrown at it almost everything – prolonged sessions of multimedia streaming, playing graphic-intensive games such as Marvel: Clash of Champions, South Park: Phone Destroyer, and run a number of apps without killing anyone of them in the background.

That said, I am skeptical about OnePlus’ custom OxygenOS, which isn’t completely glitch-free. Except for one occasion I didn’t come across any noticeable lag during my usage. That one occasion wherein the phone stopped recognising my passcode to unlock the device got fixed with a simple turn on/off.

The near-excellent performance is complemented by a great battery life. The smartphone can easily see a day on medium to heavy usage on single charge. Light users can easily draw juice for more than 24 hours. OnePlus’ propriety fast charging technology “Dash Charging” is pretty good as well. It will fully charge your phone in less than 40 minutes (of course, if you use the original bundled charger).

ONEPLUS 5T: Price
  • Rs 32,999 for 6GB RAM + 64 GB storage variant
  • Rs 37,999 for 8GB RAM + 128GB storage variant

Another major upgrade that OnePlus 5T brings is photography. The smartphone camera thrives when there’s abundant ambient light but don’t expect Galaxy Note 8 or iPhone X photo quality from the phone. It takes good photos for its price point. OnePlus 5T isn’t really the phone I’d recommend for low-light photography. However, this could be temporary as the company’s next major update to the phone focuses on selfies and low-light photography. As far as selfies go, OnePlus 5T is fine. I have used better selfie phones, but looking at the overall proposition, we can easily ignore this element.

OnePlus also features an iPhone X-like facial recognition technology for biometric authentication. As mentioned in our first impressions, the facial recognition works well and is quite fast .

Verdict

All said and done, OnePlus 5T is a value for money smartphone. We are not sure if it’s still aiming to sink the flagships, but as a standalone smartphone, it’s quite good and worth considering under Rs 40,000. A combination of contemporary design and trusted performance really works in favour of OnePlus 5T.

First Published: Nov 28, 2017 09:32 IST