No. Unfortunately, they did not. OnePlus did not add IP68/IP67 dust and water resistance to the 5T. Nor did they add stereo speakers. But those are fairly situational and are definitely things you can learn to live with fairly painlessly. Especially the single speaker because it’s easily one of the best sounding single speakers I’ve heard on a smartphone. It gets really loud but doesn’t distort at max volume — at least, not to my ears.
However, the most upsetting thing they left out of the list of upgrades is the battery capacity. OnePlus stubbornly stuck with a 3,300 mAh cell despite having the opportunity to give it a 300-400 mAh boost in capacity like they did with the OnePlus 3T.
Through my daily usage, the 5T pulls relatively similar numbers to the 5 despite the larger screen. I think on average I was losing at most 20 minutes of screen-on-time on my really heavy days, while lighter days were pretty similar. This meant I was getting on average close to 4 hours and 30 minutes of screen-on-time with over 12 hours of time on battery.
Still above average, but imagine how much better it could have been with a 4,000 mAh cell. Talk about missed opportunities, because I really wouldn’t have minded a slightly thicker phone if space was their issue.
I was also a little disappointed that the the unit I reviewed only came running Android Nougat out of the box. Sure, OnePlus’ skin on top of Android is one of my favourites but I would have liked to see Android Oreo on the 5T out of the box especially with the subtle notifications shade adjustments and the other under the hood goodies that come with Android 8.0.
Even into early 2018, I still think that the base OnePlus 5 is a device worth considering when you’re buying a brand new handset. On paper, it’s still a very capable device. Under the hood the handset has the same kind of capable specs its predecessor did, with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB/8GB of RAM and 64GB/128GB of internal storage.
Couple that with the improvements (screen, camera) and the fact that they retained a lot of what made the old device good (performance, headphone jack, build, stock-like OS), and you’ve got a really solid flagship smartphone experience. But the best part is that you can get all of that for a pretty killer price. The unit I reviewed will officially set you back RM2,449 for 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage, but you can easily find more affordable variants online at sites like Lazada or DirectD.
And with such good performance per ringgit, it’s kind of hard to say this is a bad buy even now. Sure, the new crop of flagship handsets are just around the corner but those phones will almost certainly be way more expensive and may only hit our shores in a couple of months.
If you’re someone who needs a new phone right now, you won’t be disappointed with the OnePlus 5T. It’s a marked improvement over the original 5 — so much so that I feel a little bad for OnePlus 5 owners — which was already an excellent smartphone and a killer value proposition. However, if you’re already on the 5 and are considering this as an upgrade option, I wouldn’t recommend it. Wait for the 6 instead.