• Saturday, April 21, 2018

OnePlus 5T Review - A geek's dream

Introduction


What does the new OnePlus 5T bring us? We can’t wait to see, and we don’t hide it! Enjoy!

Base models on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 5 arrived in June of 2016 and 2017, and updated versions with the T suffix strike a blow to the competitors in November – this year it is no different. Let us introduce the whole new OnePlus 5T! Alright, not exactly. Let us introduce the redesigned OnePlus 5 from June, with a new display and a fingerprint scanner on the back. This seems more appropriate. Although it was unveiled in June when FullView and Infinity Display designs were in full swing, the OnePlus 5 had a classic 5.5” FullHD display with the aspect ratio of 16:9. We don’t say it looked bad, even the opposite, the build quality was excellent and it sat very nicely in the hand, but it just looked the same as the model from 2016. In November 2017, OnePlus fixes things with the 5T. Same as the predecessors, it comes in two memory setups and with a DualSIM tray. What we could find in the factory box of the OnePlus 5T was: user manuals, OnePlus stickers, a SIM tray tool, Dash Charge quick charging adapter and a red USB Type-C cable which, together with the adapter, follows the red color design of the OnePlus 5T. Headphones are still on the list of additional equipment, and if you want them, you’ll still need to visit the OnePlus store. The device is available in two color options: Midnight Black and Lava Red which is exclusively available only on the Chinese market.

Sit comfortably as we dig into more details.
 

Video review


Unboxing


Display


Looking at the physical features of the display one could argue that it is completely new display. Although it's a new panel with different shape and edge ratio what remained the same is the core of the display – Optic AMOLED matrix with up to 16 million of colors. OnePlus doesn't mind to spend some money when it comes to its displays, what is easily noticeable here as well.

New features include: display diagonal enlarged from 5.5“ to 6.01“ whereas size enlarged just a bit, FHD+ resolution (2160 x 1080) and 18:9 screen ratio (401 ppi) and DCI-P3 support for Wide Color Gamut. Body – screen ratio has been improved to amazing 80%, what is fantastic when compared to competition.



For display protection there is Corning Gorilla Glass 5 which is standard nowadays and good choice. Now, let's move to personal impressions.

Many might say that OnePlus falls behind competition, due to QHD or 4K panels they offer, but we think just the opposite. FHD+ resolution is an excellent choice for BEA5T and its amazing hardware. Combination of lower resolution display and excellent hardware will add up to its autonomy which we will discuss in the next few days.
Optic AMOLED this time blew our minds. Display is simply amazing. Color depiction is in the range of Samsung SuperAMOLED panels, with one distinction being that OnePlus 5T shows a bit more realistic colors, what is an advantage in our opinion. Black color is reproduced perfectly.

Display calibration offers several color modes:
  • Default
  • sRGB
  • DCI-P3
  • Adaptive mode
  • Custom color


When it comes to sharpness, although diagonal has been 0.5'' enlarged, number of ppi remained the same, which makes it comparable to 3, 3T and 5 models which were amazingly sharp as well. Display settings do not offer the option of reducing resolution like some Samsung models, but they do offer Reading Mode and Night Mode which will reduce eye accomodation.
In a nutshell, a great package, with settings that could be adjusted individually.

Lastly, icing on the cake is excellent wallpaper OnePlus made for BEA5T that very nicely emphasizes the advantages of Optic AMOLED panel.

Hardware and OS


Since it was released on the market in 2014, the attention has been focused on its performance and user’s impressions. When it had first appeared OnePlus brought to the market the best chipset there was – Snapdragon 801. Performance was flawless and it put OnePlus in the sole top. Trend continued in the following years installing the best that could be found on the market at the moment. Tradition has continued with 5T model, however, there were no significant changes in comparison to OnePlus 5 model. Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is the best chipset at the moment and it has been installed in 5T model as well. Chipset consists of 8-core processor with two clusters ( 4 x 2.45 GHz + 4 x 1.9 GHz ), powerful Adreno 540 graphic processor and 64/128GB of internal memory paired with 6/8GB of RAM memory.
We are using the version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory.

Applications start without a hitch, which is expected considering powerful 5T hardware. 8GB of RAM memory allows for you to keep all ongoing tasks in the background and get back at them at any time.
Moreover, even the most demanding games were no challenge for 5T, and the most popular games reach over 60 fps which is a gold standard for all gamers. Remarkable results are due to the combination of Adreno 540 and FHD+ panel resolution, which requires much less graphic power in comparison to 4K and QHD panels. Lower resolution results in better performance – simple as that!

Face Unlock functions thanks to the front camera and its speed is satisfactory, as well, though not as fast as on iPhone X, but we are overall satisfied.


Considering all of the above, and especially version with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory, BEA5T is a phenomenal featureproof smartphone. Light software without bloatware contributes to immaculate functioning, too. Oxygen OS is based on Android OS and represents OnePlus’ version of Google system. First version of Oxygen OS appeared for the first time on the first OnePlus model – OnePlus One. The attractiveness of Oxygen OS is its clean surrounding that resembles Nexus’, and later Pixel’s as well. All this plus excellent hardware that is a constant for OnePlus results in a great user’s experience. Next advantage are regular updates typical for all models. We’ve seen that first model released in the second quarter of 2014 has been updated to 6.0.1 Marshmallow version (similar to Nexus 5, plus strong developing community provides a lot of unofficial updates to newer versions, even after official ones, so we can already see Nougat and Oreo versions for the first OnePlus model.

Great performance and pretty good system settings have positioned Oxygen OS as a mature UI. OnePlus 5T appears with Oxygen OS 4.7 based on Android 7.1.1 version. 2017 is coming to an end and if we look at other manufacturers who have already installed Android 8.0 Oreo, or had models with Android 8.0 built-in even back in August and September (Sony Xperia XZ1), we find it illogical for OP to release a new flagship without latest update, while last year’s model, 3T, was updated to OxygenOS 5.0 based on Android 8.0 Oreo system. Older model with newer OS?! A little bit out of the ordinary, however, BEA5T will probably be updated to the same OxygenOS and Android version by the end of the year.

Expected novelties with OxygenOS i.e. Android 8.0 update, when it comes to design, are:
  • Added notification dots
  • New app folder design
  • Now able to upload photos directly to Shot on OnePlus

Functions added to new OxygenOS update:
  • Update to Android Oreo (8.0)
  • Added Parallel Apps
  • Added Picture in Picture
  • Added Auto-fill
  • Added Smart text selection
  • New Quick Settings design
  • Updated security patch to September

Camera


Another part that has been significantly improved when it comes to new OnePlus model are cameras.

We are talking in plural because this time, too, there is a double camera. The main difference is in second sensor which isn’t telephoto anymore. OnePlus aims to improve night capture, so it had to sacrifice telephoto sensor which had smaller shutter aperture. This time besides 16 MP sensor there is a 20 MP sensor with the same features: same shutter aperture f/1.7, same capture angle width, and although the size of the pixels has been reduced, its number has been increased.
The system is rigged so that you use most of the time 16 MP sensor, which serves primarily for low light surroundings, but when the light drops below 10 lux OnePlus 5T activates its 20 MP sensor. It functions as follows: the process connects 4 vicinal pixels into one, on 20 MP picture, and creates a 5 MP picture that is later being ‘’upscaled’’ into 20 MP picture that results in more than good pictures taken in low light surroundings. If you add to this excellent shutter aperture, quality pictures are guaranteed. Of course, double LED flash deserves to be mentioned, as well. When it comes to the quality of the pictures taken by 16 MP sensor, pictures are detailed with excellent color reproduction and only mild traces of noise detected in the background. Capture and focus speed are excellent, and auto-focus has been implemented through Phase Detection system, sharpening the image almost instantly. Optic zoom is missing this time while 2x magnifying button is still located in the same spot. It’s a digital zoom now. Other features include: Geo-tagging, Touch Focus, Face Detection, HDR ( with AUTO-mode ) and Panorama. Camera interface remained unchanged, and the layout is as follows:

Upper left corner and below:
  • DualLED mode settings
  • Image aspect ratio settings ( 4:3, 18:9, 1:1 )
  • HDR settings ( On – Off – Auto )
  • Self-Timer
Upper right corner and below
  • Gallery shortcut
  • Capture button
  • Camera orientation settings


If you swipe with your finger from right to left you will get the option to switch to another mode: Video, Photo, Portrait, Slow Motion, PRO mode, Time Lapse and Panorama.



In the same window you will get access to more detailed settings which include location tagging, watermark visibility, beauty mode switch and more.
Portrait shortcut is accessed by holding your phone horizontally and swiping upwards, and video mode by swiping downwards. Separation of the focused object from the background is quite good, although depth effect such as one on Samsung Galaxy Note8 (Samsung Galaxy Note8 Specifications) would have been even bigger hit.
PRO mode allows manual settings of all features so that with appropriate settings you can make fantastic photos and get the most of OP5T.

Video is being recorded in maximal 4K resolution at 30 fps with the implementation of electronic image stabilization (EIS) which does the trick and provides effective stabilization, lots of details and excellent color reproduction. Disadvantage, however, is the lack of the OIS, but there is EIS to replace it. Besides classical 4K recording at 30 fps there is also more fluid 1080p FullHD video recording at 60 fps that looks extraordinary and provides fluid movements and stabilized scenery. Slow motion recordings are recorded at 720p resolution at 120 fps.

‘’Wish list’’ includes, however, 4K at 60 fps that we saw on this year’s Apple smartphones.

If one would use phone without a mask and place it on the back more often, cameras might get dented after some time, which is another disadvantage of this model. However, if you do use the mask, it provides excellent protection.


Front camera was excellent on 3T model and took pictures in 16 MP resolution. Pretty much the same situation is with 5 and 5T models, with the addition of EIS and Auto-HDR mode. Results are pretty good in both high and low light surroundings due to f/2.0 shutter and software flash. There is also Auto-HDR which functions automatically, while for 1080p video recording stabilization there is EIS – the same one as on main sensor.
The disadvantage is the lack of the auto-focus, which would have significantly added to its glory and would have put OP5T in the top of selfie phones.

Connectivity


The OnePlus 5T is a complete device in the field of connectivity as well. As was the case wit every OnePlus device so far, the 5T is also a DualSIM device, and it uses NanoSIM cards. The slot is located on the right side of the deice, just above the POWER/LOCK button. In the OnePlus, the listen to their customers, and we greatly appreciate it, so the 3.5mm headphone port is still here, and it is located on the bottom side of the device, to the right of the Type-C charging and data transfer port. OTG is supported through the suitable Type-C to Type-A adapter.

When it comes to wireless connections, we have:
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • NFC
  • Bluetooth 5.0 (A2DP, LE, aptX HD)
  • DLNA
  • A-GPS (GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO)
Supported frequencies are:
  • 2G GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G UMTS: 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
  • 4G LTE: 700 / 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100 / 2300 / 2600 MHz
The 4G LTE modem supports speeds up to 600 Mbps in download and 150 Mbps in upload.
 

Battery


OnePlus 5T uses Dash Charge system that was completely developed by OnePlus and represents one of the fastest ways to charge a smartphone nowadays. OnePlus 5T charging port is USB Type-C 2.0 type. Dash Charge system specifications include 5V/4A and we’ve managed to charge our phone completely, from 0 to 100%, in 1h 10 min. – which is a remarkable result and puts it in the core top of the class when it comes to fast charging. Similar to the previous models battery is non-removable with the capacity of 3300 mAh. To increase battery life there is a Battery Saver option you can turn on manually or wait till your battery life drops below 15% or 5% when it’s activated automatically. Moreover, there is a Battery Optimization option which allows you to adjust your applications to minimum energy consumption by ending all the background processes. In the submenu, as we’ve seen it already on previous models, you can check battery status and see what apps are exactly draining the battery. To be upfront with you, fast charging is a must have for all smartphones nowadays, and new Dash Charge charging speed really does the trick, especially if you’re in a hurry and in a need of a fast charging. You need half an hour to charge battery to 50 % and with the wise use of the phone it can last for a day! Just great!

About relatively ‘’clean’’ system without background running applications that could drain the battery we’ve already talked about. Battery consumption in extreme hardware use is reasonable considering it’s a quite powerful device. Thermal throttling is absent so there’s no unnecessary waste of energy. The results we achieved with only one charge are 7h of SOT (Screen On Time) and 12h of medium to heavy usage.

 

Final words

Geek side of our mind justifies switching from 5 model, however, other side realizes that differences are minor, plus some changes were made that we didn’t like at all. Let’s start with the design, which we liked. It’s definitely been improved, and looks more modern without losing important functions. For example, fingerprint sensor’s been moved from the front to the back so the device leaves better impression when held. Display’s been improved as well. Optic AMOLED matrix is phenomenal so when it comes to resolution and image appearance we have no remarks. What comes as a biggest disadvantage, at least to us, is the removal of the telephoto sensor, which provided excellent optic zoom. In its place there’s night photo sensor now. Night photo’s been improved, however, OnePlus still falls behind competition in that field, for example, excellent Samsung models.OxygenOS is again top notch, unfortunately latest update, available on 3T, hasn’t been installed yet, so we hope it will be updated soon.

The price has gone up again. In comparison to 5, 5T is 20$ pricier. Although it offers a lot we hope OnePlus will keep the price from rising because it will lose its original objective which is high performance – low price. If you possess 5 model, especially if it’s a model with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory, maybe it would be wise to wait for the next model from OnePlus. Waterproof and stereo speakers would’ve been a good addition, which would’ve made switching from 5 to 5T more reasonable. However, if you can’t resist thin edges, modern design or simply want to try the latest gadget available – 5T won’t disappoint.

Do you like the OnePlus 5T? We’d like to see your opinion in the comment section below. If you have any ideas or you would like to see a specific device being reviewed soon, feel free to let us know here or on our Facebook page. If you liked this review, subscribe to our Youtube channel, like us on Facebook, and sit back and relax while we make more of the same for you.

OnePlus 5T Full Specifications
 

Advantages and disadvantages

Reasons for and against it

Design suitable for 2017
Excellent memory setups and amazing chipset
FHD+ display with the OpticAMOLED matrix
Removal of the telephoto lens
It runs on Android Nougat OS
The price is higher compared to the OnePlus 5
It lacks waterproofing
Headphones are still additional equipment