OnePlus‘ decision to launch the T phones was a peculiar one but one I think many were glad they did. It gave the company a chance to address some of the shortcomings of their first flagship earlier in the year and who doesn’t like it when companies fix their mistakes? The 3T, for example, famously added 400 mAh of much-needed battery capacity and improved one of the 3‘s biggest weaknesses.
This year, the company is releasing the OnePlus 5T. The question is: What are they fixing this time?
I mean, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it: That screen. I was a little disappointed that there was no 18:9 aspect ratio display on the OnePlus 5 and the company has quickly rectified that with the 5T. This device has a large 6.01-inch 18:9 Optic AMOLED display that pushes a Full HD+ resolution of 2160×1080 pixels. With the added horizontal pixels, the handset maintains its pixel density of 401 ppi.
But making the screen taller and trimming the bezels almost all the way off wasn’t the only thing they did. OnePlus also developed their own Sunlight Display technology that can intelligently adjust the contrast to make it more visible under harsh light.
Despite the gains in diagonal screen size, the handset’s body remains nearly identical, the biggest difference being that the screen-to-body ratio of the 5T is now 80.5%.
With all that screen though, the was no longer space to put a fingerprint scanner in front. So, the company moved it to the back of this all-metal smartphone.
To help alleviate the inconvenience of not being able to unlock the phone from the front, OnePlus included a Face Unlock feature that can recognise 100 different facial identifiers and will even recognise you if you’re wearing something like a scarf or making a really dumb face.
If the display was the most noticeable radical change OnePlus made to the 5T, the brand new dual-camera system at the back is probably the least noticeable one because the module looks nearly identical.
However, the changes are pretty big. Gone is the wide plus short telephoto camera combination and in its place you’ll find a 16MP (Sony IMX398) + 20MP (IMX 376K) unit instead. Both of these sensors come with f/1.7 aperture lenses that are of the same focal length of 27.22mm (equivalent). Despite the identical focal length, OnePlus 5T retains portrait mode with the biggest difference being that you can now capture a wider field of view.
Unfortunately, there’s still no optical image stabilisation (OIS) present on either sensor, though the company has said that they’ve vastly improved the electronic image stabilisation (EIS) technology for smoother videos. It’ll even work at 4K resolution now.
The lack of OIS always hurt the OnePlus 5 so the company’s is trying to fix that with something called Intelligent Pixel Technology. With this tech, when ambient light drops to 10 lux, the phone switches to its secondary camera and that combines 4 of its 1.0 micron pixels into one so that it can capture more light.
Besides that, OnePlus kept a lot of what we liked with the original 5. It’s still got top-of-the-line specs with a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB/8GB of RAM, 64GB/128GB of storage, Dash Charge fast-charging, and 16MP selfie camera. Oh, and I’m happy to report that OnePlus 5T still has a 3.5mm headphone jack
It’s got Bluetooth 5.0, support for 802.11ac WiFi and NFC. OnePlus 5T will come running Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box, but with an improved Oxygen OS that has support for stuff like Parallel Apps.
I won’t deny that those are some nice improvements but there are still some big things that are missing from this handset. There is no IP67/IP68 water resistance, for example, and there’s also no stereo (or even earpiece stereo) speaker setup. But, perhaps most disappointing of all is that they didn’t give the battery a bump in capacity like they did on the 3T. Instead, we’re stuck with the same 3,300 mAh cell.
Sure, the OnePlus 5 had slightly above average battery life but imagine what it could do with something like a 3,500 mAh or 4,000 mAh cell instead.
However, it does retail at an attractive price of USD499 (around RM2,079) for the 64GB variant and USD559 (around RM2,330) for the 128GB variant. It’ll be available in North America, Europe and India from the 21st of November onwards.
What do you guys think of the OnePlus 5T? Let me know in the comments below.