As the Tech inside the phones that are coming out these days seems to plateau it makes sense that the designers and manufacturers of the mobile phone should turn their heads to the exterior to make phones that you’re going to want to keep in your pocket for the next two years. For the last number of years cases, I’ve really helped folks keep their phones from becoming stale and old in their eyes.
OnePlus have relaunched their fan favourite 5T, with the latest software, based on Android Oreo, OxygenOS version 5.0.2. To celebrate OnePlus have packaged the offering in a gorgeous Lava red surround and limited numbers are out there. There is one here too. Syncing the launch with Valentine’s Day seems to be a clever move.
At £499 directly from OnePlus, you get quite a bit of stuffing for your money too.
Inside the box if the standard collection of items and a couple of nice surprises. A USB type-C cable and a Dash charging plug, alongside some documentation. A SIM card ejector tool is neatly placed into the packaging and a transparent case is also included! Those who have attended the OnePlus barbecue before may say this is not a first, however, I am embarrassed to say I am a OnePlus newbie and the case makes me a little giddy. Topping it off with a screen protector that is already attached, you are ready for action on day one.
Looking around the device on the right side of the screen is the Dual Nano SIM card tray and the power button.
To the bottom is a 3.5mm headphone connector, the USB Type-C charging port and the loudspeaker.
To the right is a mechanical slider which allows you to side the phone with different sound states. Do Not Disturb, Silent and Ringer on are all attainable from the slider much like we had on the older iPhone Palm handsets. This is located above the volume rocker.
The top is clean without interruption.
On the back is the fingerprint scanner, relocated from the front on the original OnePlus 5. Above this is the dual camera sensor array, a 16-megapixel main sensor accompanied by a 20-megapixel sensor with a f/1.7 aperture.
On the front, we have a massive screen, one of the main reasons the fingerprint sensor was relocated to the back. Touching it out with Gorilla Glass 5, a 6.01-inch 1080p panel dazzles the user as colours are popping. This is a Full HD screen it should be noted and this does place less strain on the processor and is a welcome change from the typical QHD venture.
The OnePlus runs OxygenOS and this is a hard sell to anyone. I tried to explain to my wife why his is special and failed miserably. Whilst it looks and feels like stock Android, it isn’t. Yes, it has Google Play and maps and doesn’t have Apple stuffs. There is customisation aplenty.
The phone has it’s own version of facial recognition, ignoring Google’s attempt. Once set up the implementation appears to the flawless. Most of the time you wouldn’t even know it has happened unless it is very dark. Even at a funny angle the phone finds you and unlocks.
Then you have the backup fingerprint scanner if there is the occasion that it doesn’t work, unlike some phones.
Doing away with Google’s Now or Tap or whatever it happens to be called now, OnePlus has a Never Settle screen built into it’s launcher that provides the user with relevant contacts, apps, data usage and the phone’s battery life instead of new articles you didn’t ask for, directions to your old place of work you left 8 months ago and a weather forecast for a capital city you visited once last year. The shelf is more focused on the user using the phone as a phone and not trying to assist the user in their daily life, somewhat refreshing.
Under the hood, the OnePlus 5T the ever-reliable Snapdragon 835 chipset backed by a massive 6GB of RAM. This is a perfect combination to keep everything stable and speedy. The phone never feels like it is slowing down when challenged with the latest gaming or playing back high-quality media.
Storage is a premium, and 128gb non-expandable is what we get. Certainly, 128gb might be a lot, however, over two years there might be the need to push things to the cloud or backup elsewhere.
A 3300mAh battery keeps this going for the entire day and despite the FHD screen being larger than most keep the processor from guzzling much juice.
Even if you were to push the 5T to the edge all day, the Dash Charge system brags it will fully charge the battery in under an hour. This is not the Quick charge standard we see used by other manufacturers, this is a system exclusive to OnePlus so the user will not be able to avail of other Qualcomm Quick Charge plugs out there.
OnePlus 5T is everything the average user is going to need to produce impressive images. Certainly, the superuser might nitpick at some of the options here however for a mid-range phone, the focus speed, detail, colour, and contrast are superb.
A zoom function on a phone’s camera is rarely a cause for applause however the OnePlus 5T produces a fairly acceptable zoom feature.
Capturing fast action can also be a hit or miss on a phone camera, however, the OnePlus 5T manages to keep rapid movement clear and sharp.
Even Low-level lighting works well with the assistance of the lower aperture and shutter speed the OnePlus 5T takes good images in low light conditions.
All in the OnePlus 5T is a success. Certainly, there are problems like the lack of Optimal Image Stabilisation on the camera, no wireless charging or waterproofing are concessions, however, the price helps the user overlook these. They also give OnePlus somewhere to go with the OnePlus 6 due later this year.
The OnePlus 5T is a terrific phone with a lot to recommend. The Lava Red colouring makes for a powerful selling point as this colouring will keep the phone looking desirable long after purchase.