Is the OnePlus 5T worth buying? OnePlus 5T Honest Review
It’s only been a few months since the OnePlus 5 was launched but OnePlus has already moved on to its successor, the 5T. Thankfully, the Android phone manufacturer has managed to take everything that was good about the OnePlus 5 and make it even
better. What’s more, it’s done so without raising the price.
Screen and design
The most noticeable change is the display, which at 6in is half an inch bigger than its predecessor. It’s 18:9 aspect ratio fills the chassis from edge to edge, so there’s barely any bezel at the sides and only 5mm at the top and bottom. Despite this 20% increase in screen size, the handset itself is only barely larger than the 5; there’s just a millimetre or so extra in width and height.
As with the previous model, the 5T has an AMOLED screen that delivers perfect contrast
and punchy colours, with customisation options to suit your preferences. However, it isn’t particularly bright and only managed a maximum of 420cd/m2 (candles per square metre) at maximum brightness in our tests. This is no match for the best
Samsung phones, with the Note8and Galaxy S8 peaking at above 900cd/m2 in auto-brightness mode.
The design of the 5T’s chassis is very similar to the OnePlus 5 and it’s difficult to
spot the difference unless you compare them side by side.
The corners and rear panel are similarly curved, they are of an identical thickness and, although the 5T is heavier, 162g is still impressively light for a phone with a 6in screen.
Likewise, the buttons are in the same place, including OnePlus’ handy three-position
do-not-disturb switch. The big, frame-filling display of the 5T means you lose the
capacitive keys from the bezel below the screen, but there is some compensation for that in the form of an auto-hideable soft-key button bar, which you can pin in place if you wish.
Even the camera housing remains where it was, as do the USB Type-C port on the bottom edge and the 3.5mm headphone jack (yes, the OnePlus 5T still has a headphone jack!). What the 5T doesn’t have is a microSD slot and a dust and water-resistance rating.
Almost all the 5T’s rivals now provide these features as standard, so it’s about time
OnePlus got up to speed.
Performance, battery and camera
The top-spec internal components of the 5T mean that its performance matches that of any phone you can currently buy. There’s a 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip with either 6GB or 8GB of memory and 64GB or 128GB of storage, depending on the model you choose.
In our tests, the 5T delivered very similar performance to other Snapdragon 835
handsets. The only phones that benchmark faster are the Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and
The 5T’s 3,300mAh battery is the same capacity as before and lasts ages. In our video rundown test, the phone took 20hrs 52mins to go from 100% to 0% on the battery gauge
– around the same time as the OnePlus 5, which lasted 20hrs 40mins in the same test.
That means you should be able to get two days of moderate use without needing a charger. Where the OnePlus 5T lags behind the cutting edge is that it doesn’t have the latest, fastest 4G connectivity, although you may not miss this since there are still many
areas in the UK that have yet to upgrade their networks to the new speed. It also lacks
the latest top-speed Wi-Fi hardware–in this regard, the Sony Xperia XZ Premium is
Another big change with the 5T is its dual-camera setup. Where the 5 went for wide-angle and telephoto options, the 5T’s cameras have identical focal lengths and fields of view. Instead of zooming, the secondary camera concentrates on delivering superior low-light shots.
In our tests, this worked brilliantly, producing photos that were richer in colour, if
not sharper, than the Huawei Mate 10, and not far off the standard set by the Pixel 2 XL,
which we consider to have the best phone camera to date.
The same holds true of the phone’s video capabilities. As with the 5, the 5T produces
a remarkably stable video, but it can’t quite match the detail captured by the Pixel 2 XL or
the latest Samsung phones.
OnePlus has made some welcome improvements to its OxygenOS Android launcher. The camera app has had a minor revamp that sees the various modes neatly secreted into a small pop-up drawer just next to the shutter button. The idea is to make the camera app easier to use one-handed.
There’s also a new Parallel Apps feature, which lets you open more than one instance
of certain apps, so you can be logged into two or more accounts simultaneously.
The list of supported apps includes Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tinder, Snapchat,
Pinterest, LinkedIn and Skype, with more than 20 available so far.
You can now unlock the phone with your face, too. This seems like a bit of a ‘me-too’ feature and isn’t backed up with special hardware in the manner of Apple’s face recognition but, nevertheless, it actually works very well. It unlocks the phone almost as soon as you glance at the camera, and whisks you straight to the home screen or the last app you were using, with no extra gestures required.
The only odd thing here is that OnePlus hasn’t chosen to launch the 5T with the
latest Android OS, Oreo.
However, it runs Nougat well and we don’t think you’ll have to wait long for an upgrade,
because both the OnePlus 3 and 3T have recently received Oreo and the 5 is currently
in beta testing.
OnePlus 5T Specifications
- Octa-core 2.45GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon835 processor
■ 6.01in1,080x 2,160pixels ALMOLED
■ 64GBor 128GBof storage
■ 802.11ac Wi-Fi
■ Android7.1.1 Nougat
■ 156x 75×7.3mm
OnePlus 5T is Good FOR
✓Sameoverall size as OnePlus5
OnePlus 5T is AGAINST For
✗ No microSD expansion
✗ Not waterproof
Our Final Verdict on Is the OnePlus 5T worth buying?
The OnePlus 5T is an easy product to recommend. It’s a marked improvement on
the model it replaces, with a bigger screen and a better camera that takes excellent shots in low light, while retaining the 5’s great responsiveness and battery life. Miraculously, it’s
managed all this while keeping the price of the 64GB model down to £449.
If you want water-proofing and a microSD slot to expand the storage, then the slightly smaller Samsung Galaxy S8 is a better buy at around £500.
However, it’s hard to outdo the OnePlus 5T’s value for money and we think it’s the
best mid-range phone that money can buy.
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