OnePlus started with its quest to launch reasonably priced “Value for money” flagship alternatives a few years back. The One was priced at roughly around 20K back then in India and OnePlus has since been gradually increasing prices every year. The OnePlus 5T Launched late last year, had two variants competing at different budgets. The 64GB storage option, that is still in stocks, has a mid-range price and the 128GB storage option that costs 37,999 lies on the premium side of the spectrum.
We already have the confirmation that OnePlus 6 will arrive in India on May 17, and that it will be a tad costlier than the 5T. Or in other words, OnePlus will cross that threshold and complete its transformation as a premium brand with the 6 very soon.
That could result in a void in the mid-range segment, one that brands like Nokia, Samsung, and Xiaomi have already started addressing. But thankfully, the OnePlus 5T should be lingering around a little longer, at least in India.
We first reviewed the OnePlus 5T in December last year and concluded our analysis as follows:
OnePlus 5T stands at the top of our recommended list in its class. OnePlus has covered all the basics and the overall experience is very satisfying. Like other 2017 flagships, OnePlus 5T might not have managed to put all pieces of the perfect-smartphone-puzzle together, but its flaws are easily forgivable at its price.
We don’t have a perfect high-end flagship yet, but the OP 5T surely feels like a perfect phone for its price or compared to anything in and around Rs. 35,000 mark.
Since then, the handset has received more than a few updates and is now running the latest Android 8.1 Oreo-based Oxygen OS. Well, let’s discuss how OnePlus has been holding up and whether it’s still a relevant option now that we are halfway through 2018:
Design and Display
- 156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm; 162 grams
- 6-Inch,18:9 AMOLED Display, Full HD+, Gorilla Glass 5, 80% screen-to-body ratio
At this point in time, we all know what OnePlus 5T looks like, so we won’t be delving deep into that. It should suffice to say, that the phone is still fashionable by current standards. The assuring build quality, however, is worth a mention. The handset has been able to withstand rough handling (and a few drops) remarkably well. Another thing to consider should be its notch-free screen.
OnePlus fans have taken strongly to OnePlus’ decision to go with the Notch on the 6, and if you are among users who have difficulty looking past the notch, the 5T should feel more relevant.
Apart from the switch to 18:9 aspect ration, the display witnessed significant improvement with the 5T (compared to 5). Five months later, the OnePlus 5T AMOLED screen is still flagship worthy. OnePlus is still among the rare few players that offer accurately tuned color profiles, and being extremely picky about our displays, this is something we just can’t appreciate enough.
Besides, options like ambient display, night and reading mode make a world of difference.
Performance and Software
- 2.45GHz Snapdragon 835 octa-core mobile platform
- 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X RAM; 64GB/ 128GB storage
- Android 8.1 Oreo-based Oxygen OS 5.1
Performance has always been the forte of OnePlus phones. The OnePlus 5 and 5T were the snappiest phones that we experienced last year and the performance holds remarkably well. This swiftness can partly be attributed to the use of fast animations, but the powerful and quality hardware have their role in preserving the performance fluidity in the long run.
Yes, it’s true that software updates are what users ask for but at the same time, it can’t be denied that more often than not they screw more things than they fix. The 5T hasn’t had a smooth ride altogether, but OnePlus has gradually ironed out most software bugs.
It’s still one of the most consistent and dependable performers out there, class no bar. We have been rotating through other 2018 flagships meanwhile, and the OnePlus 5T is as fast as any other phone around. The Snapdragon 835 coupled with good quality and ample RAM and storage is still a covetable combination to have.
Of course, the Snapdragon 845 phones that are around the corner (including the OP 6) should be faster, but that doesn’t make OnePlus 5T performance any less gratifying. We have also noticed that the performance remains nearly identical on both 6GB RAM and 8GB RAM options, which makes the base variant an even more attractive buy.
The Oxygen OS is the right blend of stock appeal and useful extras. Apart from standard Oreo features, OnePlus 5T gets app tags for faster search in the launcher, gaming mode, and iPhone X-like navigation gestures.
The fingerprint sensor and Face Unlock are still fast and efficient, but over the period of usage, we have come to rely more on the fingerprint sensor.
Camera and Battery Life
- Rear: 16 MP (f/1.7) + 20 MP (f/1.7), EIS; 4K@ 30fps
- Front: 16MP, f/2.0; 1080p
- 3300mAh, Dash charging
The rear camera performance has gradually improved a lot over the past few months. The Lowlight performance, HDR processing, and portrait mode have significantly improved with consequent updates.
There is still a big room for improvement that OnePlus needs to address with the 6 to justify any increase in price, especially when it comes to using the extra sensor and with low light software processing. Having said that, we feel more confident now when we say that the OnePlus 5T offers one of the best cameras for its price.
The lowlight performance can’t match up to current or last years’ crop of high-end flagships but most contemporary phones around 30K don’t have much to offer on this front. Video recording is also impressive for the price.
I don’t take many selfies, so its hard to discern exactly how far the front sensor has progressed but it doesn’t feel short of what we usually see in upper mid-range devices.
Battery life continues to be one aspect where OnePlus 5T continues outperforming all other flagships. The 3300mAh battery lasts really long and the backup has successfully endured upgrade cycles. Besides, the Dash Charge still remains the fastest fast charging tech on the market.
OnePlus 5T Long Term Review: Is it still relevant?
Since this is OnePlus, we can’t expect the price to drop by much even after the 6 goes on sale, but even as is, the 64GB OnePlus 5T is an excellent mid-range option. It is freakishly fast, offers a good camera for its price, has a tasteful, well-balanced software and a long-lasting battery.
This is one of those rare few (or the only?) phones that passes on a complete experience and still feels competitively priced.
And if the price drops to somewhere around 30K, the 5T shall remain a valid recommendation for many more months. Provided that it remains in stock.
- Excellent battery backup
- Excellent performance
- Intuitive software experience
- Elegant design and solid build
- Great audio output
- No Optical Zoom
- No MicroSD card slot