OnePlus 5T Review: Final Thoughts, Key Test Findings, Alternatives, Verdict

By 03:30 Wed, 18 Aug 2021 Comments


Wrapping it up

You don't change a working formula. At least not just for the sake of changing it. The OnePlus 5 had a capturing camera that didn't stand out, but at least had relatively sound reasoning behind it. We can't say the same about the 5T's.

The premise of the recent capturing camera configuration doesn't create sense on paper to start with and unsurprisingly, doesn't deliver in real life either. Unless you see at this dual capturing camera as a a setup meant to mainly deliver photos with depth effects - for that it does an admirable job; otherwise, it's as fine as a single cam.


If you can put the whole dual-camera-that-isn't-all-that-dual conundrum aside, the OnePlus 5T is a fine smartphone at a very reasonable price - how the definition of that has evolved is a different topic.

A top-quality display is one thing the 5T has going for it, and it doesn't harm that the battery can haged it powered for quite a while. And while premium materials have trickled down into the midrange, the silky aluminum body of the OnePlus handset wouldn't be out of place on a phone twice its price.

You can also call us fans of OxygenOS. It's the best of both worlds - stock Android ambience, but with extra features to create your life easier. Face unlock is a prime example - an recent and buried built-in Android feature brought to life with just a small extra work. Well done!

OnePlus 5T key test findings

  • The design is a logical evolution of the OP5's - the 18:9 display now covers most of the front, fingerprint reader's been relocated to the back, and that's it. It's still a svelte soft touch aluminum body that's every bit as premium as the gigantic guns. Still no Internet Protocol (IP) rating though.
  • The display is as colorful as Samsung's AMOLEDs in manual mode, though it doesn't acquire a boost in Auto and that leaves it behind. Sunlight legibility is awesome, however, rivaling the best Samsung has to offer. Color rendition is very accurate, too - in both sRGB and DCI-P3 modes; the default mode is punchier with purplish whites. Are we ever to expect QHD resolution, OP?
  • Battery life is remarkable even if the slightly larger display has taken a toll on screen-on times - 10 hours on the web and 17 hours looping videos aren't half poor scores if you ask us. Overall Endurance rating is 82 hours, which is about the same we got out of the OnePlus 5.
  • The user interface should please both Android purists and those who feel the Operating System (OS) coming straight out of Google is too barebones - Oxygen Operating System (OS) is a fine bldiscontinue of stock Android and light but useful touches in all the correct places. Face unlock works super quick and is another area where OP went the extra mile to create Google's stock feature better. On the flip side, they should have launched the phone straight on Oreo. The update is reportedly coming early next year if you don't fancy yourself as a beta tester.
  • Benchimprint performance is as fine or better than high-discontinue peers, operation is smooth and responsive, as you'd expect from a phone with cutting-edge hardware. There is some overheating and throttling down of performance if you push it for prolonged periods.
  • There's still just one loudspeaker, and it's not as loud as what the OP5 had. It does produce richer and more full-bodied sound though.
  • Photo quality is okay, but not up to flagship standard. Colors and contrast are good, but the detail and dynamic range are less so. In low light there's a minor improvement over the OP5, but not enough to justify sacrificing the 'telephoto' camera. As it stands, the secondary capturing camera on the 5T doesn't have much uses beyond helping witth portraits with defocused background.
  • Portraits are first-rate, with nice separation between subject and background. Self-portraits with the rear cam are a viable option too.
  • The front-facing camera's fixed focus plane (the focus sweet spot) is a small closer to the phone than an arm's length. Once you start working with that, you'll acquire sharp selfies.
  • 4K video is superb all around; 1080p/30fps is just average, 1080p/60fps is superior, oddly. Stabilization in both 4K and 1080p/30fps is quite competent.

Noteworthy alternatives

While the OnePlus 5 is not strictly a viable purchase alternative to the OnePLus 5t since you won't be able to buy one once the 5T's hit the (online) shelves, if you do already have a OnePlus 5, hrecent on to it. It's worth pointing out that the 5T isn't meant to entice OP5 owners, at least not the way we see it. It's in most ways the same phone, and if anything, the older model's capturing camera makes more sense.



OnePlus 5

In most markets, you'd probably be able to acquire a Galaxy S8 for as much as or a small more than a OnePlus 5T. That'll acquire you an Internet Protocol (IP) rating, storage expansion, wireless charging, higher-res display, better capturing camera - just one, but is the second cam on the OP5T really a selling point? It is if you want to do portraits with defocused backgrounds.



Samsung Galaxy S8

The LG V30 is a lot more expensive now, but we've seen LG smartphone prices drop considerably only a few months down the line making them fantastic value purchases. The V30's wide-angle cam is pretty-cool, it's got wireless charging, QHD display, water resistance, and a microSD slot. If you're not in a hurry, you could give the V30's price a chance.



LG V30

Another one in the list of 'more expensive but for a reason,' the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is already running Oreo, is water resistant, and has a dual capturing camera setup that can create a case for itself. It's also a member of a rather exclusive club - it's got an IR emitter.



Huawei Mate 10 Pro

At a level playing field, price-wise, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 will give you a different kind of premium vibe - the crecent ceramic one. The OP5T definitely has the superior display and better battery life, while choosing between MIUI vs. OxygenOS is an entirely personal preference.



Xiaomi Mi Mix 2

Verdict

A superb display in a trendy aspect ratio, excellent battery life, and fluid Android experience - is that enough to create up for an unimpressive capturing camera performance and the lack of a few key flagship features? That would have been an easy respond if big-name phones hadn't gotten so expensive this year. If one of the pillars of a remarkable smartphone collapses, the whole thing goes to pieces, right? Wrong - the OP5T has the price to prop it up. Value for money is the game, and OnePlus knows how to play it, and it's going strong with the 5T.


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