Just like last year, OnePlus went ahead and released a refresher to the OnePlus 5 with the OnePlus 5T within just five months. And while it might be really interesting to have newer, better devices from the brand we like, existing OnePlus 5 users are nothing less than shocked. OnePlus 5 is an amazing smartphone that is loaded to the teeth to slice the competition into shreds, and then OnePlus launched the fresher OnePlus 5T with a bigger screen and possibly better camera at the same price tag! This definitely puts existing OnePlus users in a tough spot.
Should existing OnePlus 5 users be happy with their purchase or actually go ahead and make the switch to the newer OnePlus 5T? We give you the answer.
Display: Bigger and more engrossing
One of the reasons why people would like to make the switch is because of the display. Not only OnePlus managed to get a bigger 6-inch full-HD panel, it did so by keeping the overall size of the device almost as same as OnePlus 5.
OP5 was already a very comfortable device to handle with its 5.5-inch display and metal clad unibody design, and with 5T retaining this quality, what this translates to is a great and handy smartphone.
The display quality is very identical to the OnePlus 5. And although the display on the 5T is slightly less sharp than the OP5, you don’t really notice the difference while consuming content or even reading. The colours and contrast still remain solid thanks to the AMOLED panel, and the display is bright enough to read under direct sunlight.
Design: Same feel with a twist
As we mentioned earlier, the 5T retains a similar design cue as the OnePlus 5, except a few changes here and there. The device is slightly less curvy than the OP 5 which gives users a better device to grip on. The camera bump at the back has risen slightly too. However, the biggest change that you’ll witness is the fingerprint scanner placement.
From the chin, it has now shifted to the back of the device, which in my opinion does feel a little convenient. The button placement and even the ports for headphone and USB Type-C remain the same. Overall the device feels really identical in the hand, and existing OnePlus 5 users should feel at home, except for the fingerprint scanner.
Performance: Exactly the same
OnePlus 5T holds a similar hardware configuration as the OnePlus 5. It is rocking Qualcomm’s flagship grade Snapdragon 835 chipset with 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. I was using the 6GB RAM variant of the OnePlus 5 and now the 5T is the 8GB variant. And while using it as my daily driver, I really don’t notice any change in performance. My OnePlus 5 was already very snappy and the 5T is definitely no exception to this. Smooth multitasking, no jitters whatsoever and the trusty OnePlus’ Oxygen OS helped in keeping things snappy and fast.
Face unlock is insanely fast, but…
One of the hottest selling points of the OnePlus 5T is the newly added face unlock feature, to imitate the $999 iPhone X, and OnePlus comes really, really close. The setup process was fast and snappy, and the device really unlocks at lightning speeds. Out of 10, it detected my face correctly 9 times. The device did such a good job, that I didn’t even bother to set up my fingerprint scanner. However, like I said, it comes really, really close to the iPhone X. It’s because, since the OnePlus 5T lacks any IR sensors, it doesn’t work really well in dark conditions. We can hope some software updates to fix this issue, but that’s somewhere it falls behind. But during the day, it works flawlessly.
Now the reason I stated but… was because this feature is soon going to hit the OnePlus 5 with a software update, so OnePlus 5 users don’t really need to feel left out for this.
Camera: It’s good, but you might miss the zoom
While the 5T might look like it has retained the dual-camera setup from the OnePlus 5, it has in fact revamped it completely. OnePlus 5 had an amazing camera setup with dual 16-megapixel sensors where one was a wide angle lens with f/1.7 aperture, and the second was a telephoto zoom lens with f/2.4 aperture.
The OnePlus 5T, on the other hand, is focusing more on low-light performance while retaining the dual-camera goodness from its predecessor. The OnePlus 5T is rocking a pair of 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel sensors where both will sport a focal length of 27mm and aperture of f/1.7. With both the lenses getting a wider aperture, the translation hints at a better low-light performance.
The camera is definitely a good shooter, and with the upgraded lens, we can see a much better dynamic range, while shooting in the day than the OnePlus 5. However, the change doesn’t feel drastic.
As of now, the low-light performance seems okay-ish too. OnePlus has acknowledged the camera bug in its forum and is working on an update to make it better.
I had gotten really used to zoom lens on the OnePlus 5, and although 5T retains a digital zoom option, the optical zoom came in really handy.
It still manages to take amazing portraits, but I miss the zoom.
Battery: Slightly less stamina, but can still Dash really fast
OnePlus 5T is packing the similar 3300mAh battery from the OnePlus 5. And the battery performance has suffered slightly, thanks to the larger 6-inch display. Don’t get me wrong, the device can still last an entire day with a few hours of more use to spare, but there is an approximately 2-3 hour difference between the two. However, it still possesses the instantaneous Dash Charging that OnePlus devices are known for, and it is as fast as OP 5.
Should Existing OnePlus 5 Users Buy The OnePlus 5T?
It all comes down to this: Should existing OnePlus 5 users buy the OnePlus 5T? We think no. OnePlus 5T might be a great new smartphone, offering an insane value-for-money proposition with its hardware and the beautiful display, but coming from an existing OnePlus 5 user, you already have all of that. Plus the OnePlus 5T doesn’t really have something amazing to offer to a seasoned OnePlus 5 user. Sure the display is bigger, but that has also taken a toll on the battery life.
The camera is good, but OP 5 wasn’t bad by any means. Plus, you’re missing out on the optical zoom on the OP 5. Also, the design isn’t very different either. And talking about face-unlock, you’re going to get it on the OnePlus 5 anyway, so you aren’t really missing out on something big.
For a new buyer, the OnePlus 5T makes a lot of sense and a phone worth buying at Rs 32,999. For less than half their price, the OnePlus 5T offers similar hardware as the Google Pixel 2 XL and comparable features to the iPhone X. But for an existing OnePlus 5 user, this just isn’t worth the upgrade.
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