If I was a smartphone brand launching, bank account rattling flagship products, I’d be very concerned if not outright scared of the new OnePlus 5T.
I am still perplexed and amazed that the phone I’m holding costs half of what current flagships from other brands quote.
It’s impossibly difficult to nitpick or find a fault here. Everything from the design and build to the features, performance and OS work together to offer the slickest Android experience ever. To top that off, the battery performance is simply mind-boggling. What’s even more mind-boggling is the way it charges from nought to 100 percent in about an hour. Dash charge has truly changed the way I charge my smartphone for good. However, the good bits do not end there.
OnePlus Star Wars Edition: This must, I have.
Well, Rian Johnson might have ruined Star Wars for some - the movie was largely a fun affair for many reasons. For us here in India, OnePlus added a layer of icing we simply couldn’t refuse. To the bewilderment of eager fans, OnePlus launched a Star Wars version of the 5T, which, wait for it, will be sold only in our country.
The sorcery begins even before you touch the phone though. It is packed in one of the most amazing way we’ve come across yet. Open the Black+Red box and you are welcomed with the phone, but keep that aside for now. And read the welcome card. Now read it again. Still don’t get it? There is a neat bit of message hidden inside the text, which if you managed to crack, will lead you to a secret compartment that holds limitless Jedi power. No it doesn’t. What it does hold is a splendid Hologram kit. It takes seconds to build and when you place it on the phone (this works only on the OnePlus 5T Star Wars edition), and head to the link mentioned on the welcomed card, you will be treated to a worthwhile holographic animation from the Star Wars universe.
Coming back to the smartphone, the metal back panel is gone, replaced with a grippier alternative that feels granular and textured to the touch. It wasn’t actually carved from stone, despite what the name might suggest, but the whole process takes a heck of a lot of priming, masking and sandblasting.The red alert slider makes our jaws drop. Lovely bit of detailing.
The gorgeous white texture is inspired by the planet Crait and the red slider mimics the mineral on its surface. The phone really stands out and feels great to hold - you don’t worry about it slipping through your fingers at any moment, like you can with metal or glass handsets. The texture is wipe-clean, with the few marks we picked up in a week of testing washing away with a wet cloth.
Specs-wise, the phone is identical to the existing high-end model, meaning 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It’s priced at ₹38,999 which puts it at exactly thousand rupees more than the standard 5T. Totally worth it for a Star Wars fan. Even if you aren’t one, this device will have you salivating.
DESIGN AND BUILD: LUSCIOUS TO HOLD
The OnePlus 5T is not just another smartphone. It is a device that I would randomly pick up and look at or fiddle with because I love the way it’s built. OnePlus devices always sported top-notch build and the 5T is no different. Looking for the capacitive Home Button? It does not exist anymore. OnePlus has ditched it in favour of on-screen navigation buttons and to ensure more real estate via a gorgeous 18:9 ratio, 6.01in screen.
The anodized aluminum frame gives the phone a lovely feel and adds the necessary sturdiness. The finish oozes luxury and the button placement is spot on. Which leads me to one of the bits I've always loved on OnePlus devices, the Alert Slider, which makes it super convenient to change the modes from Silent to Vibrate to Ring.
EYE PLEASING: SUNLIGHT DISPLAY
The Optic AMOLED screen is 6.01in across, tips the ppi scale at 401, and offers a screen resolution of 1080 x 2160. It’s a super crisp display which punches out colour in eye-popping detail. Full HD videos are delivered with great contrast and the overall blacks are staggering good. The same holds true when you play the latest games. There is zero lag and it’s a visually satisfying experience.
To ensure things stay the same outdoors when the sun is out. OnePlus has injected the 5T with a special software algorithm that automatically adjusts the 6.01in 18:9 ratio AMOLED screen’s brightness in blazing sunlight, making it clearly visible as you game, access your gallery, snap a picture or record a video.
PROCESSOR PLAY: GOT GRUNT?
Both the 5T variants get the raging Snapdragon 835 processor, however, the version I received was the 8GB RAM one, which makes a mockery of compute-intensive tasks. Games blaze through effortlessly and overall, it’s a lag-free experience. You can keep a dozen apps open, get into a session of Hawk: Freedom Squadron and yet face no lag when you switch to read an email or watch a video on YouTube.
TWIN CAMERAS: CAPTURING THE LITTLE DETAILS
The 16+20MP rear cameras have stunning colour capture capabilities. I won’t call them the best cameras ever on a smartphone, but they do a stunning job of capturing colours brilliantly and exposure is handled quite well too. The new 18:9 mode lets you capture a lot more of the world you are looking at, these shots are perfect for say, your Facebook cover photo.
While the standard mode is more than enough for capturing stellar shots, sliding up and enabling the Pro Mode, reveals a plethora of options that lets you tune camera options before you snap. There is a proper pop to the images and the OnePlus 5T never overdoes the saturation, while keep exposure in perfect check.
You also get to shoot in the Portrait Mode which gives you those bokeh induced background shots, while keeping the subject in focus. It’s quite impressive the 5T manages to deal with it with authority. You might need to tap at the right places when shooting indoors in lesser lit regions, otherwise, I am pretty impressed.
FINGERPRINT SCANNER OR: FACE THE SITUATION?
The 5T supports face unlock, and it does a rather great job of it. It works superbly even with little surrounding light. More often than not I imagine it to not work when the light level goes down, but it does. It’s a quick and fluid experience. You can even use the blazing quick fingerprint sensor on the back but I will stick with Face Unlock for now.
OXYGEN OS: AIR-O-DYNAMICS
OnePlus’s Oxygen OS does a great job of offering a clean Android experience. One of the brilliant bits about it is that it’s bloat-free, yet there’s a ton of tweaking that it allows. First stop, Themes. You can choose from Default, Light and my favourite - Dark mode. The on-screen buttons might take some time to get used to if you have always favoured the hardware version but the OS overall is very flickable, lag-free.
At the time of writing this OnePlus had already released the first public beta for Oxygen OS 5 which brings Android Oreo to select devices including the 5T. That is something I am waiting for too, with bated breath as it brings a host of changes.
The OS supports something called Parallel apps, using which, you can now easily clone selected apps. While you can login to Instagram or Facebook from two different accounts on the same device, the same is not possible with say Whatsapp or Skype.
That is exactly what Parallel apps enables. Have two SIM cards (e.g. Business and Personal) and need to access Whatsapp on both numbers? Parallel apps has you covered. Head to Setting-Apps and tap on Parallel Apps to select what app you want to clone. Only a few are supported at the moment, but that should change, with more apps making it to the list in the future.
Another neat addition is the Gaming Do-not-disturb icon, which when enabled, routes calls to the speaker/blocks notifications, when you are annihilating the enemy on an alien planet. So very cool.
GOD MODE CHARGING: DASH AND GO
Another feature on the OnePlus 5T that I absolutely adore is Dash Charge. It laughs in the face of flagship phones that don’t support simple fast charging. OnePlus is one of the early adopters of fast charging and the older OnePlus 3T changed my charging habit when I had used it in the past. Similarly, with the 5T, I don’t need to keep the phone on charge overnight. Instead, I keep it for charging in the morning while biting into some bread and scrambled eggs, sip a mug of tea, read the latest news on my iPad Pro and I have enough charge to last an entire day.
When OnePlus tells you, that the 5T offers a day’s power in half an hour, it completely means it. Plugging the phone into the power slot for an hour in the morning meant that I now have to charge it the next morning. As simple as that. Brilliant job over here OnePlus.
OnePlus has packed industry leading specs into a device that costs half as much as other flagships. Specs on paper are great, but the 5T backs it up with blistering quick real world performance, a lickable AMOLED display that ensures viewing videos, surfing the web, playing games or engaging with other apps is great fun. The cameras offer brilliant colour capture and Portrait mode goes a good job too. One of the things OnePlus has always been superb with is its design and the 5T is stunning to behold with its amazing build and design. Finally, Dash Charge proves to be the icing on an already delicious cake, enabling you to be worry free as far as the battery performance is concerned. It ensures that the OnePlus 5T not only lasts an entire day, but also recharges in a flash.
This smartphone is a monumental achievement for its price. It’s hard to get everything right, however, this one manages it.
HDFC Bank Debit and credit card holders will get cashback of ₹ 1,500
Idea users will get 1008 GB of 4G data
Got the 5T already? You’re eligible to get 1 year free membership of Zomato Gold and the OnePlus care protection plan on Kotak’s 811 app
- ₹ 500 off on your next ebook from the Kindle Store
- ₹ 300 Amazon Pay Balance cashback for new Amazon Prime Customers. (Additional ₹ 250 Amazon Pay Balance if you stream on the Prime Video app)
One more thing, OnePlus introduced something called as ‘Referral Leaderboard’
Valid from November 21 to 30th
What is it?
- Referred Leaderboard allows referred OnePlus fans to avail ₹ 1000 off on accessories with the purchase of a OnePlus smartphone from oneplusstore.in
- For every referral, you can win up to 200 points which can be used on any product on the OnePlus site
- If you happen to be on the Top 100 referrals list (Revealed on November 30th), get set to win a OnePlus Travel Backpack