Last week when I unboxed the OnePlus 5T, I mentioned that my review of this phone would sort of be a Q and A style video where I answer some of the questions you guys still had about the device. I picked questions that were asked a few different times as a lot of you guys were curious about the same stuff, but if you want to know anything else about this phone that maybe I didn’t answer, feel free to leave a comment down below of course and I’ll be more than happy to talk about anything you want to know.
The first question that was asked quite a bit was hows the display. So as you guys know, the biggest physical change with the OnePlus 5T from the OnePlus 5 that was released only a few months ago is that bigger 6 inch screen and at first glance it really looks good. It’s an AMOLED panel, and the colors I’d say look very accurate with maybe a bit more saturation that makes everything pop, and while the screen is bigger it’s still comes in at just 2160 by 1080 resolution, but I’m not going to say that that resolution is a negative thing at all, it’s not pushing the limits on screen technology here but 401 pixels per inch is more than dense enough to not really notice any significant difference in resolution at least from a normal viewing angle. And I still think most importantly the cost benefit of having a 1080p display really just makes sense.
And I know this is kind of a dumb thing to mention but just in case anyone has a bad taste in their mouth still from the Pixel 2 screen problems, the 5T display doesn’t have any blue shift issues or a weird yellow tint or anything at least until you get to a very very extreme angle but no one looks at their phone like that, so I guess what I’m trying to say is there are no issues with this display whatsoever, everything is great.
The bigger display of course means that the bezels and edges of the 5t have shrunk quite a bit , especially towards the top and bottom and that gives this phone the uncommon but still kind of common 18:9 aspect ratio. Again, OnePlus didn’t do anything drastic like add a curved edge, this certainly isn’t a bezel-less phone but it shed unnecessary millimeters and overall everything looks a lot more modern compared to what we saw on the OnePlus 5.
The next most common questions that were asked all had to do with the cameras, especially in low light, and this was kind of tricky. So OnePlus did change the rear camera setup, but I think there’s some debate as to whether or not they really upgraded anything. The 5T drops the secondary telephoto lens that we saw on the 5 in exchange for a secondary standard 20mp lens in addition to the primarily 16mp. So you get seemingly regular old 16 and a 20mp lenses both at an f1.7 aperature, but OnePlus said that the new secondary lens’s primary objective was to improve low light capabilities. So in low light, theoretically the secondary lens should take over and be doing all the work in reducing noise and producing a better image overall. OnePlus has a more elaborate explanation on how this all works on their website, but in my testing I guess I just didn’t see any drastic quality improvement in low light pictures, and I couldn’t tell one way or another if the main lens was working or if the secondary lens took over. Pictures in general still looked fine, but there just wasn’t anything definitive that convinced me the secondary lens was making a noticeable difference.
And since they dropped the telephoto lens, the 5T now relies on software for portrait mode pictures like the Pixel 2. And obviously Google does this really well, but OnePlus I think still has a little work to do, up close especially around my ears and hair things are pretty blurry and soft but the backdrop blur in this example at least I think is pretty even.
Another common question I got asked was what would make the phone particularly epic, what is it missing that should be added to complete the package. One thing that immediately stands out is no water resistance, this phone doesn’t have an IP rating of any sort which all phones seem to have now, so I think this is something OnePlus should definitely add. You could also make a two-fold argument on the design, for one I think a glass back would be nice in order to add wireless charging which I know isn’t necessary for everyone, but again I think it might end up completing the package here, but also this curvy aluminum design has been recycled and resembles a few other devices, so OnePlus is definitely due for a design overhaul. I’d also argue that the single downward speaker on this phone is good but not great, some dual front facing speakers would be a nice addition but maybe just improving that external audio in general could be a good objective. And I guess you could argue that it might be time for OnePlus go beyond the 1080 display, but like I mentioned I don’t consider that a necessity just yet since the price point is still pretty good.
And that sort of leads me to the next question, why choose the 5T over anything else right now, even some of the more expensive flagships? Well one reason right off the bat is Dash Charging, the 5T charges faster than any other smartphone on the market, you can get a full charge in almost an hour and that’s the sort of convenience you can’t buy with anything else. Dash Charging is propriety so you need OnePlus or OPPO branded cables and power bricks but either way it’s a standout feature on this phone for sure. You also get a headphone jack on the 5T which now as weird as it seems, is a bonus, it’s like a surprise feature, there’s no dongles or adapters or anything, and for some people that’s a huge plus. The price is also a huge factor for this phone. At $499, you’re coming in at basically half price from any flagship device and you’re still getting all the top internal specs, the best processor, 6GB of RAM, a near stock android experience, it’s still a really really good value even with some of the limitations I mentioned earlier. And what also separates this device from some others are the couple ways to unlock the phone. You get a lightning fast rear finger print sensor around back that’s in the perfect spot, but OnePlus added face Unlock and we can sit here and debate security vs convenience, there’s not a whole lot of tech behind oneplus’s face Unlock and I did a separate video explaining all this the sort of lack of security, but it is crazy fast and easily the most convenient way to unlock any smartphone. Yes, it has limitations, yes it’s not the most secure, but you get some unique customization options which I don’t get on other devices and personally the level of convenience here is just way ahead of anything else.
The last big question everyone wanted to know of course is if the phone is worth it and there’s sort of 2 directions to go with that. If you don’t currently have a new smartphone and spending $800 or more on something is not a possibility, the 5T i think is the best mid-range option, it’s a very complete device with flagship specs and some standout unique features, and I don’t think anyone would be disappointed with it. If you have the OnePlus 5, there’s really no reason to upgrade to the 5T, I think it would be a sidestep if anything it’s not a major necessary upgrade with lots of new features and you should just wait a while for OnePlus’s next big phone.