The OnePlus 5T was launched during Thanksgiving week, a time filled with family and friends. Some of you in the US may have had the entire week off from school. If you missed the initial coverage of the OnePlus 5T, consider this a recap video to help you learn what’s so special about the device now that it has been on the market for about a week now.
OnePlus sent us the 5T in this black box. There’s a little zipper of sorts that can be pulled open to reveal what is inside. First and foremost, we have a Reviewer’s Guide. This is a guide that some companies include with review units to help reviewers like myself learn more about the device. Underneath this, we’ll see the 5T packaged away on the left and 5 different cases. You have some relatively plain, red, and black cases here, as well as some really stylish wood cases that I highly recommend you look into because the 5T is really slippery and fragile.
Now we can take a knife to the OnePlus 5T box and peel off all the plastic wrap. After sliding off the top of the box, we’ll find the 5T sitting right on top cradled with a compartment holding a Get Started Guide, a SIM card ejector tool, and a bumper case. That’s right guys. OnePlus gives you protection in the box so you don’t have to go buy a fancy case to protect this smartphone if you don’t want to. That’s really nice of them. Last but not least is a DASH super fast charging wall wart and a USB to USB-C charging cable. This charger should provide a day’s worth of power in around 30 minutes of charging time.
Finally, we can feast our eyes on the OnePlus 5T. It’s an incremental update to the OnePlus 5, hence the similar name. But it adds one really nice feature and that is a 6.01-inch display with very slim bezels. Because of this, the fingerprint scanner has been moved to the rear above the OnePlus logo. It’s in a very natural spot for my index finger. The phone itself still has a premium aluminum unibody build construction with tapered edges and thin 7.3mm thickness. It feels great in the hands but it’s very slippery. I highly recommend a skin or a case.
So let’s take a closer look at the display. OnePlus has opted in for a 6-inch AMOLED panel with a 2160x1080p resolution and an 18:9 aspect ratio. Basically, this phone still features a 1080p resolution although it does have some extra vertical pixels because of the 18:9 aspect ratio. The 1080p resolution is definitely starting to look dated but it does have a pretty good Retina placing 401ppi. The bezels aren’t the thinnest I’ve seen but they’re much thinner than the OnePlus 5. There’s just a sliver on the top and bottom. I like the look and feel of this device, what can I say?
The rear-facing fingerprint scanner works to unlock the phone quickly. OnePlus does also tout the face unlock feature that actually works surprisingly well. If you’re having problems with it, make sure you update to the latest version of OxygenOS. It fixes the setup problems that I was having. But this face unlock feature is actually rather impressive even though it only uses a front-facing camera.
The 5T is running Android Nougat but Android Oreo is on the horizon. In fact, the OnePlus 5 has an Android Oreo open beta. The software is extremely clean and it’s reminiscent of stock Android. You can swipe up to view all your applications and a swipe to the right will reveal your shelf, which is basically a dedicated section for widgets, recent applications and contacts to interact with. There’s also a neat weather widget on the homescreen. If you want even more of a stock experience though, you can always download the Google Now Launcher from the Play Store.
But because of the clean software, this phone runs extremely well. It has the highest end Snapdragon 835 chipset with up to 8GB of RAM. This is just one of the quickest phones I have ever used. I have come to that conclusion just in a matter of minutes. It’s a really fast smartphone.
The 5T has a dual camera setup. There’s a 16-megapixel main shooter and a 20-megapixel low-light shooter. Both have a wide f/1.7 aperture to allow plenty of light in. But in situations with low-light, the camera will switch to the low-light sensor. We’ll definitely test these cameras out in detail for our full review. But generally speaking, I think the camera performance is fair. But already, I can tell that it does not perform quite as well as the high-end flagship smartphones.
There continues to be a large 16-megapixel front-facing sensor. There’s a 3300mAh battery, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and bottom-facing speakers. So if you want a headphone jack, look into the OnePlus 5T. There is no wireless charging or water-resistance but this phone is only $500 off-contract. If you’re looking for a smartphone with top-of-the-line performance, premium build and display that helps align with the displays from the 2017 flagship smartphones from the giants like Apple, Samsung, and LG, then you should absolutely look into the OnePlus 5T.