OnePlus 5T UK Review: The Samsung Galaxy S8 rival

OnePlus 5T UK Review: The Samsung Galaxy S8 rival

OnePlus is adding an ultra-wide low-bezel screen to its one smartphone model, which does not come a surprise.

The OnePlus 5T flagship model is also keeping the price much lower than it's main rivals, OnePlus’ phones have always been good value. As oppossed to Apple’s move to a £1,000 price point with the iPhone X and Samsung’s £870 Samsung Galaxy Note 8.


Key specifications - OnePlus 5T Review

  • 6in, 1,080 x 1,920 AMOLED display with Corning Gorilla Glass 5
  • 75 x 156 x 7.3mm, 162g
  • 2.45GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 SoC with Adreno 540 graphics
  • 6/8GB RAM; 64/128GB UFS 2.1 storage
  • 3,300mAh battery
  • Dual rear cameras: 16MP, f/1.7; 20MP, f/1.7
  • Front camera: 16MP, f/2
  • Price: 6GB/64GB, £468; 8GB/128GB, £499


Key features and first impressions - OnePlus 5T Review

The OnePlus 5T’s display uses AMOLED technology, measures 6" across the diagonal and has a resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 with a pixel density of 401ppi. The display is sharp and clear, and OnePlus’ background stands out a mile.

Like other manufacturers, OnePlus has chosen to slightly round off the corners of its display. It stretches almost, to the edges on the left and right, leaving just over half a centimetre of bezel above and below the screen.

It’s quite a dramatic change over the OnePlus 5, but OnePlus has kept the changes to a minimum elsewhere, physically at least. Spin the phone around in your hand with the display off and, initially, you might struggle to tell the difference between old and new. The profile of the rounded corners and rear-panel curves is near-identical to the old phone, and OnePlus has even shaped and placed the plastic antenna bands in exactly the same way.

Practically speaking, the OnePlus 5T might as well be the same phone, with all the buttons and switches in the same place. Even the new dual camera is in exactly the same place, although the surrounding housing for it is now flared slightly and sticks out a fraction more.

Look at the rear of the phone and you’ll see the phone’s other main visual change: due to that edge-to-edge screen on the front, there’s no room left for the fingerprint reader below the screen. It’s now circular and has moved to the rear.

The knock-on effect of this move is that the phone no longer has capacitive buttons for home and recent apps on the front of the phone below the screen. The good news is that, although you now have to use soft keys instead, you can hide them at the tap of a button, so you don't waste even a fraction of the OnePlus 5T's glorious 6" display.

Two niggles still remain, that is the lack of microSD expansion and of dust and water resistance, the latter of which is disappointing considering most rivals have at least IP67 protection.

OnePlus 5T Snapdragon 835 6” Dual SIM Smartphone 6+64GB Midnight Black £468.00 (Check current price at Amazon

Performance and camera - OnePlus 5T Review

Its has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB or 8GB of RAM and 64GB or 128GB of storage and first impressions are that it’s at least as speedy as the OnePlus 5.

The battery is the same size as before, too, at 3,300mAh, and Dash Charge is still in place, with OnePlus promising “enough power for the day” with half an hour of charging. That’s great news and, if the new phone delivers in the same way as the old one, it’ll be one of the best

Then we get to the camera, instead of offering a telephoto option for the second camera like last time, OnePlus is focusing this time on low-light photography. There’s a 16-megapixel main camera with an aperture of f/1.7 as before, but the secondary camera is now a 20-megapixel unit with the same aperture and focal length. This should make for even more effective portrait shots than on the previous model.

In low lighting, the OnePlus 5T will switch to the secondary camera, which can also combine four pixels into one to produce cleaner images in low light. A nice idea, but a bit of strange, especially considering the secondary sensor – at least from a hardware standpoint – should actually be worse in low light than the main one.


Software updates - OnePlus 5T Review

The software is still Android 7.1 with OnePlus' "Oxygen OS." OnePlus takes one of the best approaches to Android: minimal tweaks to the existing UI, with added features and apps. I don't think some of the changes are necessary (is recolouring the calculator a must), but it doesn't clash with the design used in Google and third-party apps, which is great. OxygenOS also has a brand-new feature that OnePlus is calling Parallel Apps, which allows it to generate two instances of popular apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Skype so you can run them with two accounts at the same time.

OnePlus 5T Snapdragon 835 6” Dual SIM Smartphone 6+64GB Midnight Black £468.00 (Check current price at Amazon)

Verdict - OnePlus 5T Review

With the 5T's modernized design, OnePlus seems to be offering the same specs and design as it's competitiors, but much cheaper. The Oneplus 5T looks like a real winner.

Samsung Galaxy S9
Also see: Samsung Galaxy S9 UK Review: A serious step up


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