Making a mark on the smartphone market is hard enough. Like its predecessors, the OnePlus 5T's spec sheet can go toe-to-toe with pricey competitors like Samsung's Galaxy S8 without delivering a knockout blow to the wallet. And while some of us may not be comfortable with a 6-month cycle, it exists just to make OnePlus take a stand for the next year. But nevertheless, this the latest flagship offered by OnePlus, carrying on the tradition of launching two phones in a year since 2015. It also uses a default theme that is a mix of sunset oranges, pinks and blues, which produce a pleasing effect that's immediately eye-catching. The back of the phone now has a 16-megapixel general-purpose shooter and a 20-MP unit that seems to use a form of pixel binning for improved low-light operation.
First things first: Given that the OnePlus 5T doesn't have capacitive buttons, you're limited to software keys. But that's the price one has to pay for an immersive display experience, at least until the concept of under-display fingerprint scanner is commercialized.
For many of us, as well-received as OnePlus phones are (and we're certainly fans of them around here), they often force us to settle in various ways.
Obviously, there's not a huge change with the design of the OnePlus 5T, which continues to employ the same design language that the series is known for.
It's also definitely a two-handed phone. The screen is now taller, which has pushed the fingerprint reader to the back. The former camera is the same one that's on the OnePlus 5 but the latter camera is different, ditching a telephoto lens for a focus on low light performance. To keep up with the frantic pace of flagship refreshes, OnePlus is updating its OnePlus 5 phone after just a third of a year.
Inside the 5T, we have the Snapdragon 835 processor (same as the 5), 6 or 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, 64 or 128GB of UFS 2.1 2-lane storage, and a 3,300 non-removable battery. Whereas the OnePlus 3T was a relatively subtle upgrade over the OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 5T makes much bolder moves.
On the software side, the OnePlus 5 comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box below OnePlus's custom OxygenOS user interface. So, is it worth upgrading to the OnePlus 5T? Regardless, the new features of Oxygen OS include Parallel Apps, which allows users to clone apps to run multiple accounts, and OnePlus Switch for easier transferring of data from previous OnePlus, Android or iOS smartphones. OnePlus has also added a Face Unlock feature to the OnePlus 5T which identifies 100 points on your face and can unlock your phone in 0.4 seconds. We'll be testing this claim during our full review, but it appears to work well on first impressions. It sticks to what works while introducing a fresh design that reignites that same enthusiasm you felt for the original.
In the UK, OnePlus is exclusively available through O2, who is accepting pre-orders on the new model from 17:15 on 16 November.
We'll give the 5T a full breakdown during our benchmarks, but first impressions are good so it looks like OnePlus has produced yet another victor.