After days of teasing, OnePlus has finally launched the Sandstone White variant of its flagship OnePlus 5T, which shouldn't surprise the folks in India as they've already witnessed the recently-launched Star Wars limited edition of the flagship.
But there's a twist. The Sandstone White OnePlus 5T isn't available in India, and is instead listed on the company's international online stores. Priced at $559 (approximately Rs 35,400) in the US (varies depending on the country), the new variant of OnePlus 5T is going on sale from January 9, 10 am ET.
Much like the Star Wars limited edition, the Sandstone White comes only in 8GB RAM and 128GB storage configuration.
In China, JD.com has listed the new variant for ¥3,499 (around Rs 34,200), but the lucky folks in OnePlus' home-country get a third option of the Lava Red edition, which has been selling like hot cakes. Given the ground-up level build of OnePlus 5T Sandstone White, it's not hard to assume a similar or even better response for the new phone.
And if you're confused between the Midnight Black and Sandstone White, here's our take on what the new variant has to offer. Given our hands-on experience with the Star Wars limited edition phone, we are in an ideal position to point out the differences.
But just before we share our inputs on the Sandstone White edition of OnePlus 5T, the company's co-founder Carl Pei gave a detailed background on how this limited-edition treatment is given to the phone.
"First, we sandblast the aluminum alloy and apply a primer for added protection. A colour temperature layer ensures the white tones are balanced and natural. Next, we apply a blend of natural minerals and white oil paint, lending the device its stunning blend of white and grey tones and the signature Sandstone feel. Finally, UV light is used to refine the texture of the phone and ensure hardness and durability," Pei wrote.
IBT's take on OnePlus Sandstone White
As for our take on the Sandstone White OnePlus 5T, it's safe to say that OnePlus paid really good attention to detail. They could've just launched a white-colour variant (like they did with Lava Red), but chose to rebuild a device that was already near-perfect.
We don't have to talk about the specs as they are unchanged in the Sandstone White edition of OnePlus 5T. But the design is another story.
The rear sandstone finish reminds us of the good-old OnePlus One days, but adds a touch of modern day art. Despite the roughness, the back cover feels smooth and offers better grip than the Midnight Black edition. There's a disruption in the symmetry of the design with a red Alert Slider, which does nothing but compliments the overall design.
The black buttons, the dual camera at the back and the OnePlus logo stand out completely in black. The fingerprint scanner has a smoother finish, which makes it easier to locate on the back. The front portion is kept black to hide the minimal bezels.
Even with all these changes, our biggest worry during our review was getting the handset dirty. Dirt and dust particles are easily accumulated on the sandstone-finish backs, and it's visible distinctively due to the white texture. But that's nothing a clean cloth or a phone cover can't get you out of.
If you ask us, you will easily fall in love with the Sandstone White OnePlus 5T if you loved the overall OnePlus 5T design. It gives OnePlus an edge over others for bringing a new material, which even it had stopped working on after moving on to aluminium. OnePlus has now brough back the sandstone finish so well that the variant in question will not feel outdated in any way.
Among all the things we mentioned about, another big reason to go for Sandstone White is the same pricing as its Midnight Black counterpart. As Pei said: "The OnePlus 5T Sandstone White is the most complex device we have ever built. Owing to its labour and time-intensive development, OnePlus 5T will be available in extremely limited quantities. So, don't miss out on this Limited Edition version of the latest OnePlus flagship." Don't — that's our call as well.