After series of rumours, speculations and leaks, OnePlus finally took the wraps off its mid-cycle flagship upgrade OnePlus 5T on November 16. In India, the event was live-streamed from New York at select PVR theaters in Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. The late-night launch was followed by a quick hands-on experience on the new OnePlus 5T.
We briefly spent time with the OnePlus 5T to test the new features that came with it. From its design to minor camera tweaks, the OnePlus 5T seemed to impress many. But OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei's announcement of the OnePlus 5T price really left with people while they were eagerly checking out the new phone, which is priced same as the OnePlus 5.
For those who missed it, OnePlus 5T comes in two variants – 6GB RAM + 64GB storage and 8GB RAM + 128GB storage – for Rs. 32,999 and Rs. 37,999, respectively. The handset will go on sale on November 21 and in India it'll be available exclusively via Amazon India.
But the question is should you buy OnePlus 5T? We try to answer that with our quick review of the new flagship by the self-proclaimed "flagship killer."
Design & Display
The biggest overhaul in the OnePlus 5T is its design. The immersive full view display measuring 6 inches diagonally puts OnePlus at par with other 18:9 aspect ratio smartphones in the market. During our brief test, the display resolution at Full HD+ seemed natural, bright and vibrant. Watching movies and playing games on that massive display is every smartphone user's dream.
Turning to the rear, we have the metallic unibody finish, which is identical to the OnePlus 5. The dual rear camera setup takes its usual spot, but there is an addition of a fingerprint scanner, which is seamlessly flat on the surface.
Our only concern with the OnePlus 5T is its fingerprint scanner. It's not going to be easy locating the scanner as compared to the one we've used in the OnePlus 5. But that's the price one has to pay for an immersive display experience, at least until the concept of under-display fingerprint scanner is commercialized.
OnePlus is trying to make up for the relocation by offering an alternate unlocking solution using facial recognition technology. But it doesn't truly replace the fingerprint sensor's effectiveness. But we have to give credit where its due, OnePlus 5T facial recognition is fast – at least from what we know from the launch event.
OnePlus 5T hasn't got a major improvement in this segment, but the secondary 20MP lens in the rear-facing dual camera has been upgraded with a larger f/1.7 aperture for much-refined images, especially in Portrait. We couldn't fetch any samples shot on OnePlus 5T, but we'll be sharing unedited images when we review the sample.
OnePlus 5T comes with Intelligent Pixel Technology, which basically combines four pixels into one so users get a detailed image even in low light condition. We're quite keen to test this particular feature. It will be interesting to see how it stands against Pixel 2's low-light capability, even though it seems like a tough fight.
UI, performance and more
OnePlus has taken this opportunity to make some tweaks to the interface. OnePlus 5T's OxygenOS 4.7.0 works flawlessly. We did not have the chance to test the UI under pressure, but it worked without any glitches or lags during our test run. In fact, apps launched more smoothly than on OnePlus 5.
The camera interface has also been tweaked to allow more gesture-based operations than visible menus on the screen. For instance, swiping down on the camera UI brings up the basic settings such as flash, aspect ratio, timer and HDR.
The fluidic response of the OnePlus 5T makes it one of the most usable smartphones. But there's major credits for the Snpadragon 835 chipset and 6GB or 8GB RAM. OnePlus 5 was one of the best performing smartphones we tested, and there's no doubt the OnePlus 5T is going to be any different on that front.
OnePlus 5T also comes with Dash Charge technology, powering the same 3,300mAh battery. We'll be testing it during our review. Stay tuned.