As this is essentially an updated version of the OnePlus 5, there are not too many changes to note. However, the biggest change is one which marks the start of a new chapter in OnePlus smartphone design – the inclusion of an all-screen approach to the front panel.
Design & Display
New OnePlus 5T is only slightly taller than the OnePlus 5, however it fits a full 6-inch OLED display in roughly the same footprint as the earlier 5.5-inch device. OnePlus has also reworked its dual-camera system, making the secondary camera a dedicated low-light shooter, and it’s refined the already polished and appealing design of the 5 to a perfect finish.
Since the biggest change in the 5T is the display, let’s get right into it. With a new 18:9 aspect ratio and a slightly weird resolution of 1080 x 2160, the 5T is at once alien and familiar.
Its pixel density of 401 ppi is ample to ensure clean, sharp images, and on first look you might not even be able to tell it’s an OLED display, owing to OnePlus’ hard work on tuning color rendering. There’s a broad set of color calibration options, including sRGB, so most people’s tastes should be sated by this screen.
Fingerprint Sensor & Face-Unlock
Yes, the fingerprint sensor is now on the rear rather than the front, but it’s still every bit as fast as it’s always been, and OnePlus has added a new face-unlocking feature for those moments when you want to access the phone while it’s sitting on a surface.
Shifting the fingerprint sensor to the rear might not be everyone’s favorite change, and OnePlus does say it tested some ultra-slim fingerprint scanners for the front, but it’s a good alteration, in my opinion. The reader is exactly in the central position it ought to be, and you easily find it with the forefinger of either hand.
OnePlus has used ceramic to cover the the fingerprint scanner, which was meticulously color-matched with the anodized aluminum of the phone’s rear shell. An important point: the OnePlus 5T will only be available in black, at least at launch.
The face unlock simply uses the front-facing camera, it’s nowhere near as complicated as Apple’s Face ID, but it still works with surprising accuracy and speed.
OnePlus 5T is loaded with a 3,300mAh battery, which should last “a day at least” for “an average user”, says OnePlus. We were impressed with the stamina of the OnePlus 5, which also uses a 3,300mAh battery, so things look promising for the 5T.
It comes with Dash Charge functionality too, which lets you charge the phone back up incredibly quickly.
Instead of using the traditional combo of a wide and telephoto lens — as the company did in the OnePlus 5 — the new phone comes equipped with a second “low-light camera.” Both the main sensor, which remains unchanged from the OnePlus 5, and the new one have lenses with an f/1.7 aperture on them, so plenty of light can get in when you tap the shutter.
OnePlus says that in scenarios of very low light, the 5T will automatically switch to its secondary, which is supposedly better suited for those shots. I can’t say I fully understand how it’s better for low light, as the new sensor has 1μm pixels (whereas the main camera has larger 1.12μm pixels) and a somewhat excessive 20-megapixel resolution, but the proof will be in the testing.
OnePlus is bringing back its portrait mode from the 5, which will hopefully have undergone plenty of improvement in the time since the earlier phone’s release in the summer.
Performance, Specification & Price
On the software front, OnePlus disappoints by not managing to ship with Android 8 Oreo. You’ll get Android 7.1 Nougat at release, with the company making the standard promise to update your device as soon as possible.
One intriguing new addition with the 5T are so-called parallel apps, which will allow you to clone an app and run multiple instances of it: most useful for social apps like WhatsApp or Twitter where you want to be able to access multiple accounts at once.
As to the 5T’s spec sheet, The Snapdragon 835 processor with Adreno 540 graphics makes a return, and so do the two storage and RAM options: you can pick between 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage or 8GB of RAM with 128GB of space.
Regardless of which RAM and storage option selected, both come powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC, both make use of the company’s own Dash Charge fast charging solution, both sport a 3,300 mAh battery, USB Type-C connectivity, and both will come running on Android 7.1 (Nougat) at launch.
Although OnePlus has stated it will begin rolling out an update to Android 8.0 (Oreo) in December as part of a beta program. No microSD memory expansion on board, but you get two nano-SIM slots, Bluetooth 5 support, which is augmented with AptX HD support for some measure of future-proofing with respect to future wireless audio devices. That being said, the OnePlus 5T still has a headphone jack.
The OnePlus 5T will be on sale in Europe, India, and the United States starting on November 21st, priced at €499, ₹32,999, and $499, respectively, for the 64GB model. 128GB will push those prices up to €559, ₹37,999, and $559. Are you going to get one? Let us know in comments…