This is everything you need to know about the OnePlus 5T!
OnePlus has settled into a six-month cycle for its phones: in the summer, its flagship gets a new design language and number, while in the winter that same phone gets tweaked and the letter "T" added to stand out from its predecessor. OnePlus continued this tradition in late 2017 with the OnePlus 5T replacing the OnePlus 5. This is everything you need to know about the OnePlus 5T!
Check out our reviews
We've had our hands on the OnePlus 5T since its unveiling, and we've spilled plenty of digital ink to cover it. Check out our video review above, and read our written reviews linked below:
Flagship specs for less
OnePlus's mantra has always been offering flagship-level internals coupled with minimalist software, all for significantly less than similarly-specced devices. The OnePlus 5T has all the right stuff you'd expect for late 2017: a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, a 6-inch, 18:9 screen, and a dual-camera. Check out the full spec sheet below!
|Operating system||Android 7.1 Nougat|
|Display||6-inch Optic AMOLED, 2160x1080 (18:9 aspect ratio)|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core|
Adreno 540 GPU
|Storage||64/128GB UFS 2.1|
|Rear camera 1||16MP (IMX 398), 1.12-micron pixels, f/1.7|
Dual LED flash, 4K 30 fps, 1080p 60 fps, 720p 120 fps video
|Rear camera 2||20MP (IMX 376k), 1-micron pixels, f/1.7|
|Front camera||16MP (IMX 371), 1-micron pixels, f/2.0|
1080p 30 fps video
|Security||One-touch fingerprint sensor|
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi, 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD|
USB-C (2.0), NFC
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo
|Network||3xCA, 256QAM, DL Cat 12, UL Cat 13|
FDD-LTE Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/ 19/20/25/26/28/29/30/66
TDD-LTE Band 34/38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA Band 34/39
HSPA Band 1/2/4/5/8
|Dimensions||156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm|
About those cameras…
LG has used a secondary lens for wide-angle shots, Huawei uses its second lens for black-and-white shots, while OnePlus is using the second lens in the 5T to better capture low-light shots. Really low light. Under 10 lux, which is is where most phone cameras start to struggle. The user doesn't need to do anything to change which lens is in use; the camera software will automatically pick based on the ambient light.
Unfortunately, low-light photos from the 5T aren't particularly good. Andrew noted his photos had a good bit of grain and strange artifacts from the camera software trying to smooth things out. In fact, the main camera took better low-light shots than the secondary lens. There's no OIS in either lens, which would have gone a long way towards making those low-light shots better. The OnePlus 5T takes great shots when there's ample light, but don't count on it for your concert photos.
You can unlock it with your face
Android phones have been able to unlock with the user's face since the Ice Cream Sandwich era, but the feature was never particularly consistent or secure. OnePlus has solved the first problem with the 5T, with a face unlock system that is ridiculously fast. There aren't special camera sensors like on the Galaxy Note 8 or the iPhone X, and the face unlock on the 5T isn't as secure as it is on those phones. But it can't be fooled with a photograph, which should be secure enough for most users. Even better: OnePlus has started rolling this feature out to its older devices, back to the OnePlus 3.
There's a Star Wars edition
The Force is strong with OnePlus fans, at least in India. The company released a special edition of the 5T in India for ₹38,999 ($600), and it looks gorgeous. Rather than the matte black used on most 5T's, the Star Wars edition has an all-white color scheme with a sandstone finish. Accenting the white paint job are the Star Wars and OnePlus logos, Alert Slider, power button, and volume rocker all in red.
There's also a Sandstone White version
For those of you outside India, don't fret: OnePlus now makes mostly the same device, just without the Star Wars branding. You get the same sandstone texture, the same pure white color, and the same red accents. Be careful with it though: Alex found the device got dirty after only a few days. The phone regularly picked up black and blue coloring from being in his jeans pocket. While it's not difficult to clean for now, be wary of the long-term durability of this coating. The Sandstone White OnePlus 5T is available for the same $499 that the black version is.
Oreo is here
One oddity (or maybe not) with the OnePlus 5T is that it launched with Android 7.1.1 Nougat, rather than the more recent Android 8.0 Oreo. That changed in early 2018 though: after some trialing in its Open Beta program, OnePlus has released Oreo to the stable channel of its software. Users can expect staple Oreo features such as Notification Channels, picture-in-picture support and better support for autofill applications. Additionally, OnePlus has tweaked its quick settings design, added features to the built-in gallery, launcher and other applications, and included the January 2018 security patch.
Compared to other devices
The OnePlus 5T's main selling point is its lower price for mostly the same experience compared to the big names in the Android world, and it holds up favorably. Against the Pixel 2, you get a larger screen and battery size, similar light software experience with some genuinely useful additions to vanilla Android, and (most importantly) a headphone jack. Things look even more favorable when comparing the 5T against the Pixel 2 XL, which has the same screen size and dimensions but costs $350 more. Where the 5T is lacking is water resistance — there isn't any — and the camera. Again, the 5T has a good camera, but the Pixel 2 crushes it in low-light photography. If those are important to you, it may be worth the extra money for Google's flagship.
The 5T is also a great phone for Windows 10 Mobile converts. The lighter software will be easier to adjust to than heavier versions of Android that come from Samsung and LG, OnePlus's features don't get in your way if you live in Microsoft's ecosystem, and the lower price is also welcome.
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This post was updated in March 2018 with information regarding the Oreo release for the OnePlus 5T.