OnePlus 5T Review

By 03:19 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


The OnePlus 5T is the mid-season substitute to the company's flagship (and, as of late, only) smartphone. The T doesn't bring radical changes - on the contrary; it's a minor update to assist the 5 stay in fashion and, as a side effect, why not spark up buzz correct in time for holiday shopping.

The most significant and readily visible alteration is the classy screen - it's now a trendy, tall, 18:9 6-incher. It's not state-of-the-art in terms of resolution, but OnePlus has always insisted anything beyond FullHD is overkill. Well, this one is, but just on the long discontinue - 2,160x1,080 is all the pixels you're getting.

No, in fact, you're getting more pixels, some 52 million of them, spread over three cameras. The one on the front remains unchanged at 16MP, f/2.0, and so does the 'primary' unit on the back - another 16MP, this one with a wider aperture f/1.7 lens.

But the 'secondary' cam on the back is new, sort of - 20MP like on the previous model, but now with a different, f/1.7 aperture lens. 'They made a telephoto lens that bright?', you ask. No, they didn't - the secondary cam has the same 27mm equivalent focal length as the primary one - the aim is to improve lowlight photography, but portraits with blurred backgrounds are a go, too, fret not.

The rest of the OnePlus 5T is very much the same as the OnePlus 5, which isn't really a poor thing. For the most part. These in-between OnePlus models - we can't create up dad-joke-grade number puns when there are letters in the name. Cheers, OnePlus, for sparing us the embarrassment with the 5T.

OnePlus 5T at a glance:

  • Body: Anodized aluminum body, 2.5D Gorilla Glass 5 display glass. Midnight Black and Slate Gray color schemes.
  • Display: 6.01" AMOLED, 2,160x1,080px resolution, 401ppi; sRGB/DCI-P3 color space support.
  • Rear cameras: Main camera: Sony IMX398 sensor, 16MP, 1.12µm pixel size, f/1.7 aperture, dual pixel phase detection autofocus, EIS; multi-shot noise reduction; 2160p/30fps video recording. Secondary camera: Sony IMX376K sensor, 20MP, 1.0µm pixel size, f/1.7 aperture.
  • Front camera: Sony IMX371 sensor, 16MP, 1.0µm pixel size, f/2.0 aperture; 1080p/30fps video recording.
  • OS/Software: Android 7.1.1 Nougat; OxygenOS custom overlay.
  • Chipset: elegant Qualcomm Snapdragon 835: octa-core Central Processing Units (CPU) (Kryo 280, 4x2.45Giga Hertz (GHz) + 4x1.9GHz), Adreno 540 GPU.
  • Memory: 6/8GB of LPDDR4X RAM; 64/128GB UFS 2.1 storage.
  • Battery: 3,300mAh Li-Po (sealed); Dash Charge proprietary quick charging (5V/4A).
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM; 3-Band carrier aggregation, LTE Cat.12/13 (600Mbps/150Mbps); Universal Serial Bus (USB) Type-C (v2.0); Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) a/b/g/n/ac; GPS, GLONASS, Beidou, Galileo; NFC; Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Misc: Rear-mounted fingerprint reader; single speaker on the bottom; 3.5mm jack; tri-position Alert Slider.

Main shortcomings

  • No advertised increased water or dust resistance
  • No microSD slot
  • No stereo speakers
  • The telephoto capturing camera is gone for no immediately apparent reason
  • Launching this time of the year, the OnePlus 5T should have been running Oreo out-of-the-box

We had a few criticisms for the 1+5, and these still stand accurate for the 5T as well. There's still no dust and water resistance when pretty much every flagship on the market now carries an IP67 or IP68 rating.

Stereo speakers aren't as common, but we're seeing steps in that direction. Not from OnePlus with the 5T, though. Storage expansion isn't something OnePlus is a fan of either, only fitting a microSD slot on the X a few years ago. Again, none on the 5T.

OnePlus 5T press images

It's more than a small disappointing to see the 5T launch on Nougat - Oreo has been out for a while, and with OnePlus's near-stock software we just assumed that it would boot Android 8.0 from day one. We assumed wrong.

The final red flag is the camera. Why swap out the telephoto shooter (which, admittedly, it barely was) for a second wide-angle cam that's got the same field of view as the primary one? We'll be investigating what exactly is happening under the hood, but not before the usual unboxing and a see at the hardware. Let's acquire going.



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