OnePlus 5T, the latest model of OnePlus as of November 2017 has a lot to offer for its price range currently starting at 500 euros in Europe.
The phone comes in two hardware configurations:
- One with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage
- The other with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage
The latter version will be used in this review as reference. And also to be mentioned that those two configurations behave the same. Both having the dual camera, the Snapdragon 835 octa core processor the 6 inches AMOLED capacitive display and the dual SIM cards. During the testing of the applications by us we did not encounter any differences in performance.
After two months of constant usage these are the main points to be made:
The battery life of this phone is great for its rated capacity of 3300 mAh lasting:
- About 4 hours when using the phone intensely like playing games, making calls or live streaming
- A full day of average use while having 2-3 hours screen time: one hour YouTube of 1080p videos, one hour browsing and taking photos.
- Two full days of light use with about 3 hours of screen time doing minimal browsing, phone calls and turning off the 3g/4g when not needed.
During the 8 hours of night time the phone battery drops maximum 5% of battery capacity which proves the efficiency of the Snapdragon processor.
With this phone you forget to charge it and have less stress to manage your time in order to find a wall socket if you are not home.
Performance wise the OnePlus is fast and snappy, the applications open instantly, the phone boots in 30 seconds which compared to my old phone (Htc M8) which booted in two minutes is quite a significant difference.
Featuring the DashCharge® technology, the phone can charge at 4 Ampers at a staggering rate without heating. At the moment of this review it is the fastest smartphone charging technology.
From our tests, it can charge around 60% of its capacity in just under 30 minutes, confirming the official numbers from OnePlus website and lasting to about one day of normal use afterwards.
Coming stock with OxygenOS and Android Nougat, the phone is packed with useful features and a stock bloat free system. It comes with minimal overhead and no useless applications.
The most useful features software wise that we found in this phone are:
- Night Mode: this feature reduces the eyestrain by reducing the amount of blue light the display has and maybe helps people fall asleep faster when using this. This option is found in the top dropdown menu or via Settings > Display > Night Mode
- Reading Mode: generating instead of the vibrant color of the AMOLED display a grayscale that is more suitable for reading and makes the user less distracted when colorful ads are displayed.
- Lock Mode: This feature enables the user to add another layer of security for each application that has to be unlocked with either PIN code or fingerprint scan each time the phone is opened and the application is launched. This feature can be found via Settings > Security and Fingerprint > App Locker
- Gestures: you can associate some gestures in the form of letters with some actions when the screen is locked without opening the phone. Some actions can be: turning of flashlight, turning on camera or even open up applications. Also, you can swipe the fingerprint sensor to display the notifications. Accessing the settings for gestures is done vis Settings > Gestures
When speaking about sound we can see that OnePlus cut some corners when making it.
The sound is not as clear and loud, the audio tuner is a good feature but not good enough for a good music/movie experience. The high frequencies and low frequencies are not as distinguished when compared to a HTC One M8/M9, though, they kept the headphone jack which is a big plus on our side.
The speakers are average quality, they produce a loud enough sound but the clarity can be improved.
Note: Also, when playing a piece of music regardless if it being played on YouTube or any other audio applications when trying to increase volume the first time the call volume is increased instead of the media volume.
The vibration when being called or when receiving notifications is barely noticed, many times missing phone calls with the phone on the desk because the vibration was so low.
Even though the phone permits to control the intensity of the vibration, at the maximum level it is still less potent than other phones on the market in the same price range.
The camera app promised increased quality when taking low light photos. Promise that from our point of view did not deliver. When comparing photos with the OnePlus 5 on auto there was no difference between the shots, both of them showing about the same amount of noise.
The HDR function does not operate as good as other cameras (Google Pixel, Htc M8) underexposing most of the time.
Portrait mode is satisfactory, though in some instances it blurs in areas that should be in focus. Especially at the hair line or where there are thin foreground objects.
To be mentioned here that overall the camera is good, though it can be improved in the areas portrayed above. Also, it is well known that budget phones tend to lose quality in the camera first.
OS update: Android Oreo 8.0 with OxygenOS 5.0
Boot time has increased significantly amounting to a maximum of 30 seconds, whereas on android Nougat the boot time was around one minute.
Also, the new version will minimize the background activity of some apps in order to preserve the battery life.
When long tapping on an application icon a contextual menu appears that shows fast links for that applications. Youtube for example prompts: Trending, Subscriptions and Search functionality.
Notification dots are the feature where when tapping on the dot at the top right of the icon app a short summary of the notifications are displayed without directly accessing the application.
According to many the battery life with the Oreo update actually shortened, though from our experience the battery life actually increased with roughly 5%.
Though, there was a slight issue just after the OS was updated when the battery during the night dropped from 100% to 35% in the morning. This was solved by wiping the cache from the OS.
If you think your battery is also draining you may try our Guide to Wipe Phone Cache
As advertised on the android website, the security in the Play Store increased with Play Protect, a system that automatically scans the applications you use for malicious code and lots of other Play Store applications.
This phone has its ups and downs like any other phone but for its orice range it offers more than its competitors.
The 8GB of RAM, the Snapdragon processor, the bloatfree OS make the OnePlus 5T a worthy option to be taken into consideration when thinking of buying a new smartphone.