OnePlus has revealed the company’s seventh smartphone in the shape of OnePlus 5T, which follows a mere six months after the successful release of OnePlus 5. As with the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, OnePlus is using the “T” letter to indicate that their follow-up is a minor, less substantial upgrade over the previous iteration that changed whole numbers. However, it is a flagship grade device, one that OnePlus says brings “A New View.”
The phone was unveiled during an unprecedented “live” event held in Brooklyn, New York, as confirmed, signaling a movement away from online launch events. OnePlus 5T, in many aspects, is similar to the OnePlus 5. But the new model continues to be sold under OnePlus’ “Never Settle” mantra. Underneath the hood is where you’ll mind most of the changes, including new high-end hardware internals and futuristic features. But otherwise, most else has remained the same and lines up with what we learned from all the company’s Twitter teasers over recent weeks.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the OnePlus 5T’s spec sheet.
- Screen: 6-inch, Full HD 18:9 Optic AMOLED Display (1,080 x 2,160p) with Gorilla Glass 5
- Dimensions: 156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm
- Weight: 162g
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
- RAM: 6GB or 8GB LPDDR4X
- Storage: 64GB, 128GB
- Expandable: no
- Graphics: Adreno 540
- Cameras: 20MP + 16MP dual combo rear-facing both with f/1.7, 16MP front-facing with f/2.0
- Software: OxygenOS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, Google Assistant
- Sensors: Fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
- Water and dust resistance: None
- Battery: 3,300mAh capacity (non-removable)
- Charging: Dash Charge (wired via USB Type-C)
- Colors: Midnight Black
- Other notable specs: Bluetooth 5.0, dual band 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, GPS, NFC, LTE, dual SIM, active noise cancellation, alert slider
- Headphone jack: yes
Along with the device itself, OnePlus also revealed the price: the OnePlus 5T will start at $499, including a Dash Charger in the box. This is very competitive in an industry where most flagship Android smartphones now retail for over, or close to, $1,000 USD. So props go to OnePlus for sticking to its pricing strategy! OnePlus will also, as they usually do, sell a range of in-house accessories for the OnePlus 5T including cases from Otterbox, style covers, backpacks, and additional chargers.
As with the OnePlus 5, OnePlus is taking no chances with the RAM of the new model: 6GB is an already generous RAM allowance, and the higher storage model comes with 8GB of RAM, which should really allow the Snapdragon 835 chipset plenty of memory headroom to work with. Likewise, OnePlus is sticking with a Full HD display, rather than bumping the resolution up to QHD. This should keep the device performing strongly, with prolonged battery life as an added bonus, but does mean that the smartphone will lack in its ability to provide a superb virtual reality experience when paired with a headset.
The OnePlus 5T has been designed and programmed to withstand time. The design is no longer this phone’s weakness and has not been compromised in any way. While the back has remained generally the same since OnePlus 5 with a premium build made of aluminum, the front flanks super slim bezels with rounded sides, a curved 18:9 display panel, and chosen software keys instead of capacitive ones. For the first time in several years, OnePlus has upped the display size, from 5.5-inches to 6-inches, though you won’t realize it much since the phone’s overall footprint is features nearly the same dimensions as OnePlus 5 thanks to a higher screen-to-body ratio. OnePlus also noted that this display panel has a ‘Sunlight’ feature that “adapts automatically to harsh light” to provide a better viewing experience in accordance to surrounding conditions.
OnePlus has also reworked the phone’s software, which remains a version of OxygenOS (the latest). OxygenOS is an interesting Android-based platform that over the years has evolved with its own identity. The software has a reputation for being fast and fluid, with minimal overlay containing only useful features. Despite this, OnePlus hasn’t been the best when it comes to providing timely Android system updates. Let’s hope those who just bought a OnePlus 5 don’t lose support, as was kind of the case with the OnePlus 3 once OnePlus 3T came out, though OnePlus refuses to admit it. For more on updates, follow our weekly Droid Updates Series.
OxygenOS retains the same benefits of the OnePlus 5, including App Priority to enhance performance, Reading Mode to reduce eye strain and Expanded Screenshots, for sharing those extra-long screenshots. OnePlus has worked hard to improve the software of the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T is set to benefit from added efforts. One addittion being, Face Unlock, a new feature said to use 100 identifiers for secure unlocking.
Despite its low price in comparison to competing models, OnePlus 5 had a fantastic camera, which benefited from a dual rear lens made with help from Sony. That camera is back with OnePlus 5T with an addittion 16MP rear lens that “merges four pixels into one” to reduce noise and enhance clarity. OnePlus has also touched on camera features with this model, including Portrait Mode, which now works better and is more fun to play around with.
OnePlus’ improvements from the OnePlus 5 to the OnePlus 5T appear more concerned with following an industry trend rather than creating a new one. The changed aspect ratio display and relocation of the fingerprint sensor to the rear of the device, mirror what we’ve seen from some other manufacturers, such as Samsung, but OnePlus has managed this well and retained a more affordable price tag. With the OnePlus 5 still one of 2017’s better flagship devices – despite many in the industry criticizing the company and device for niggling imperfections and privacy concerns – it remains to be seen if the OnePlus 5T will be a creditable improvement, or a different flavored smartphone, made to resonate as more “trendy” with customers. Either way, we’ll save our final impressions for once we put the new phone through our paces.
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