OnePlus recently presented its newest model, the 5T. A continuation of the OnePlus phone series with improvements that as we saw in our first look did very good to the phone and it fitted within what was expected: 18:9 screen, a design very similar and very few changes in a phone that in its 5th version (no “t” behind), had already done well in previous reviews.
What looked simply like a small set of changes is actually a revelation that the 5T is the real flagship from OnePlus and that the earlier model was a really premature version, this was confirmed with the news that the OnePlus 5 ceased production to focus on the 5T
Design: the fair changes if something functions
The chinese fabricator proved last year that he could make good designs of metallic bodies with the OnePlus 3T. With the model 5 they were reaffirmed and they got an excellent balance between material, form, size and curves. It’s a nice device in hand, with curves that facilitate the grip and as a bonus barely slips from the hand. A difficult balance and a pleasant alternative now that the crystal bodies have returned with strength this year.
Oneplus 5T continues to maintain the same distribution of buttons in the frames and its characteristic tab on the left side to change the different sound modes: normal, silent and do not disturb. The changes in the design can be found in the front and rear end parts.
Una posición que genera división de opiniones entre quienes lo consideran la mejor opción o quienes lo prefieren delante. Como veremos más adelante, OnePlus lo tiene todo pensado. in the frontal area we have a screen, of which we will speak of later, that grows in size to become 6 inches and obtain a better ratio of the screen versus the total size. In the rear, consequence to that advanaging of the screen space, we are found with the fingerprint scanner. A position that generates division of opinions within who considers it the best option and who prefers it in the front. Like we will see later, OnePlus has thought of everything.
Design evaluation: excellent. OnePlus has culminated a heap good ideas in the body design hits. Not only have they thought in the aesthetics but in the functionality as well. Few changes were needed due to already having the formula for making it well for the OnePlus 5 plainly.
OnePlus wanted to keep up with one of the trends in smartphones in 2017. We’re clearly talking about the ultra-panoramic screens that go for a more reduced frame to make it seem vesselless. With the OnePlus 5 they didn’t quite make it but 5 months after we got the 5T.
We have an OLED panel where we have a little bit more of resolution (2160 versus 1980) but didn’t have an update to a new higher resolution format. This allows it to keep costs lower and to have a competitive pricing. Also, the jelly effect that many feared isn’t present again in this iteration of the OnePlus.
The panel does it job very well: good vision angle, very bright and takes advantage of the OLED, it’s able to deliver notifications with the screen still locked as well as different visualization modes. It also has a calibration mode that allows us to set the screens settings to our liking.
They did a wonderful job with choosing this screen but as always, you have to make sacrifices, especially with technology. The OnePlus 5T’s screen is superb but has small faults in color and matrix that, to this day, are very hard to avoid.
Performance and battery:
Again, very few changes. OnePlus managed to combine performance and autonomy to make a fluid experience, let’s talk about OxygenOS. This proposal comes back again, in this case, with Snapdragon 835, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The devices performance was perfect in all kinds of situations In the synthetic tests, benchmark, the scores are good but, more importantly, in the daily, that’s when you can really see that it can compete with other flagship phones.
We said before that OnePlus could have tried a little bit harder with resolution and go for a better density. They could have but leaving everything in Full HD makes the autonomy better. The screen is bigger but not having to render as much information makes the Snapdragon 835 and the GPU not work as much and keep battery usage low.
This means that you can have a day of full use and don’t have to charge it. In the case that you need to, thanks to the fast charge you can charge about half the battery in half an hour, also the phone doesn’t heat up when it’s charging. Perfect for that little push just to get through the day.
OxygenOS and facial recognition
Oxygen combines well the look of pure Android with little touches that give personality to the OnePlus 5T. Few interferences, a promise of authenticity and a lot more options that target the experienced users more than the beginners.
The ability to clone some apps like Instagram, Twitter or Facebook to carry two different accounts is a great touch. Being able to take extended screenshots, and the calibration for the screen also add a lot to the OS. You have to spend some time to learn the different settings and options but it’s definitely worth it.
Another big feature is: facial recognition. Samsung has their iris recognition in the Note 8 and Apple has FaceID, OnePlus wanted to step up to the task. It’s still unclear what technology is behind this feature but every sign points to it being Google’s API and not one created by themselves.
This security feature goes really well with the fingerprint reader. It’s really fast and cannot be fooled by a photo or a video. The tech behind it is not as complex as Apple’s FaceID but it’s enough to give us an easy and fast security measure. Still, if you don’t like it the fingerprint sensor is there as well.
They joined the double camera wagon, the portrait mode wagon, but they had a chip on their shoulder from the OnePlus 5: In low light situations the quality was reduced and the lack of optical stabilization made looking for good recording conditions a must, also you had to have a steady hand to take good quality pictures, at least to the extent that is expected from a phone like this.
OnePlus 5T comes with small changes in the sensors that improve what the last model lacked but it’s still far from the best smartphone cameras on the market. The portrait mode, that used to be in beta testing, is still giving mediocre results with little consistency even though its core development is supposed to be complete. It works but it is still a long way for it to reach the best smartphone cameras in the market.
Furthermore, they are still using an app for the camera that works very well, offers a completely manual mode to harvest its capacity to the fullest. Let’s hope that for next year they try to implement a better camera since they do everything else really well.
The OnePlus 5 cease of production is meant to let OnePlus focus on the 5T. Far from it being bad news, they are actually good and sincerely, refreshing. It shows us that: OnePlus doesn’t have the capacity or interest to maintain to products on the market, giving them the time to focus on their one flagship phone instead of having multiple products saturating the market and affecting each other’s sales.
It also proves that the model that we saw earlier was a really premature version of the final product that we know have, a true flagship model for OnePlus. If OnePlus decided to release two models at once, they should go the Samsung way and offer two different models that have the best hardware available but have different approaches to them.
OnePlus had another year of renewals every six months. Few changes, two excellent products but only one remains: the OnePlus 5T.
Carl Pei’s company offered more of the same and chose not to look for another approach. A stroll by the factory only to polish small details. They knew they had a good product and that they didn’t need much else. OnePlus 5T is a superb terminal, highly recommendable that has shown that its maker will have to rethink his strategy well for next year