When it comes to the premium smartphone segment in India, Samsung and Apple rule the roost, with Google round the corner.
Now, almost doubling its market share in the premium category — capturing 28 per cent market share in the third quarter this year — Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus has introduced its 5T flagship device.
Continuing with its precedent of introducing a “T” variant — OnePlus 5 that came five months ago became the bestseller — 5T with a few hardware changes and no change in pricing makes OnePlus 5 almost obsolete.
With 5T, the Chinese smartphone maker joins the bandwagon of bezel-less smartphones with an 18:9 aspect ratio for immersive viewing and a taller-than-wider frame.
Unlike OnePlus 3T that featured a faster processor than OnePlus 3, OnePlus 5T uses the same Snapdragon 835 chipset as its predecessor.
The device also comes with the same set of configurations and price — 6GB RAM with 64GB onboard storage and 8GB RAM with 128GB internal storage for Rs 32,999 and Rs 37,999, respectively.
Here is how the latest offering from OnePlus fared in real life.
The six-inch, full HD+ Samsung-made AMOLED display with slim bezels takes up most of the smartphone’s face. The slimmer bezels and soft navigation keys, in a footprint similar to OnePlus 5, are worth mentioning.
At 401 pixels per inch (ppi), the device may not have the highest pixel density but that does not make the screen score any less than other flagships out there thanks to the AMOLED screen. The colours were rich, punchy and sunlight legibility was great.
Unlike what some initial users of OnePlus 5 had reported, we did not find any traces of “jelly scroll effect” on this device.
OnePlus 5T sports a dual-camera set-up with a 16MP sensor (f/1.7 aperture) and a 20MP secondary sensor (f/1.7 aperture) dedicated to low-light photography.
This is a significant upgrade over the telephoto lens that we saw on OnePlus 5 as we liked the device for its better low-light capabilities.
The phone switches into the secondary sensor to capture more light and for better performance in the dark. The camera app with dual-LED flash offers Beauty, HDR and HQ shooting modes apart from Portrait, Slow Motion, Pro Mode, Time-Lapse and Panorama.
The Portrait shots with blurry backgrounds are noticeable.
The 16MP front shooter with f/2.0 aperture and screen flash clicks detailed and sharp selfies. There are HDR and a Beauty Mode on the selfie camera as well.
OnePlus joins the bandwagon of facial unlocking with this device. The front shooter analyses over 100 data points to unlock the smartphone. We found this feature to be pretty snappy, but for a few misses in low-light conditions.
The rear-mounted ceramic fingerprint scanner is quick and unlocks the phone in a jiffy.
The new 5T is almost identical to OnePlus 5, but it is slightly thicker, taller and wider than the latter.
The device runs Android 7.1.1 Nougat Operating System (OS) with OxygenOS 4.7 which can be customised without being too bulky or full of bloat.
We have particularly been a fan of OnePlus’ alert slider on the left side that effortlessly lets you choose between three notification profiles — ring, silent and do not disturb. It is helpful if somebody is switching from an iPhone.
While there is no change on the battery front when compared with OnePlus 5, the device lasted an entire day on a single charge on moderate use.
OnePlus’ “Dash Charging” feature works quickly and we managed to get almost 65 per cent juice on a single charge.
What does not work?
The 3,300mAh battery is still 100mAh lower than what we saw on OnePlus 3T.
It is a bit disappointing to see the device run Android 7 Nougat, considering Android Oreo has been around since August.
Given the price point and the fact that the device competes with the likes of Samsung Galaxy S8, LG G6, Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, we would have loved better weather-proofing.
The OnePlus 5T can withstand a few drips and splashes of water but isn’t IP rated yet.
Conclusion: The big, bright and beautiful display with seamless performance, courtesy 8GB RAM, makes the device the best flagship killer OnePlus has ever made. The device offers a great package for the price with improvements in low-light photography and, of course, the facial recognition feature.