Saturday, December 9, 2017

Oneplus 5T Review: One Of The best Phone In 2017

OnePlus 5T Review

one plus 5t

Pros All-Screen Design, Brilliant AMOLED Display, Quick Face Scanning, Solid Battery Life, Fast Charging, Headphone Port, Great Fingerprint Scanner, Reading Mode

Cons No Android 8.0 Oreo At Launch, No Water Resistance, No Dual Front-Facing Speakers


OnePlus 5T is the second flagship phone OnePlus has launched this year.
The new handset is an iterative update to the OnePlus 5, which launched back in June 2017 to widespread acclaim - You can read our full OnePlus 5 review here.
These incremental, mid-cycle upgrades are becoming a pattern for the Chinese smartphone company, which last year debuted the OnePlus 3T six months after the OnePlus 3.
If the staggeringly short shelf life of the latest flagship OnePlus phone bothers fans of the brand, they aren’t showing it – with the OnePlus 5T already the company’s fastest-selling smartphone following its launch last month.
Express.co.uk has spent some time with the OnePlus 5T, checking emails, playing games and snapping some shots with the new dual-lens camera. Here is our definitive verdict on the new OnePlus 5T flagship smartphone.

Design

one plus 5t design

A lot has changed since the arrival of the OnePlus 5 back in June, namely the launch of a number of flagship handsets with expansive edge-to-edge displays, including the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, LG V30, and Apple iPhone X.
As a result, the chunky bezels that bookend the top and bottom of the OnePlus 5 have started to make the phone look older than its years.
Enter the OnePlus 5T.
To update its flagship phone to align with the latest trend, OnePlus has managed to squeeze a generous 6.01-inch AMOLED display into a physical footprint no bigger than the OnePlus 5, which had a 5.5-inch display.
However, to accommodate the almost edge-to-edge display, OnePlus has been forced to relocate the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone.
Don’t worry though – it’s still as fast and accurate as before.
Elsewhere, there’s little to distinguish the OnePlus 5T from its predecessor. 
Like the OnePlus 5, OnePlus appears to have dropped the industrial design that characterised its previous handsets, including the T-shaped antenna bands and the square camera module that appeared on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T.
Instead, the Chinese company has opted for a design that’s ludicrously similar to the iPhone 7 Plus. Make no mistake – it looks good, but then again, so did the iPhone 7 Plus.
It would have been nice to see the OnePlus design team flex their creative muscles and try something truly different and original, but hopefully, that will be reserved for the OnePlus 6 next year.
Looks aside, the anodized aluminium device feels great in the hand, thanks to the subtle curve at the back and gently-rounded corners.
OnePlus 5T is easily manageable in one hand, despite its phablet-sized display – something that can’t be said of the Apple-branded phone that inspired its design.
OnePlus’ Alert Slider – a physical switch on the side of the phone that enables phone owners to quickly toggle between Silent, Priority and All Notifications without unlocking the device – makes a very welcome return on the OnePlus 5T.
As iPhone owners will attest, flicking a physical switch on the side of a handset is faster than trawling a the settings menu, and means you can quickly swap between enabling notifications and silencing them without waking the device – or being forced to remove it from your pocket.
One minor quibble with the OnePlus 5T is the volume rocker, which sits almost flush with the side of the handset and has an icky, spongy feel to the keys. It’s not a big issue but can make it tough to know whether you’ve hit the button when holding the OnePlus 5T at certain angles.
OnePlus 5 had exactly the same problem – it’s a shame it wasn’t addressed in the minor redesign.

Display

one plus 5t Display

The headline feature of the OnePlus 5T is the lavish 6.01-inch AMOLED display, which occupies more than 80 percent of the front of the phone.
The bump from 5.5inches to 6.01-inches might sound like a minor one, but it makes a world of difference. From the moment you take the OnePlus 5T out of the box, it’s clear this is the phone that should’ve shipped six months ago.
Unlike the disastrous display on the Google Pixel 2 XL, the Samsung-made AMOLED display on the OnePlus 5T is rich in colour, pin-sharp and eye wateringly bright when it needs to be.
This is easily one of the best displays we’ve seen this year, a fact that’s only made all the more impressive given the fact it appears on one of the most reasonably-priced smartphones, too.
The AMOLED display has an 18:9 aspect ratio and 401 pixels-per-inch resolution. That’s not quite as sharp as the latest flagship from Samsung, which boasts 570 pixels-per-inch.
On paper, this might seem like a problem – in reality, it isn’t.
Web pages, apps, photographs and videos are all displayed in luscious detail.
OnePlus includes a number of calibration options, including sRGB, DCI-P3, Adaptive, and Custom Colour, which lets users set the warmth of the display.
The OnePlus 5T also ships with an in-built Reading Mode that renders the display in greyscale and increases the sharpness of text to create an almost Kindle-like effect on web pages and reading apps.
For anyone who uses their smartphone to read during the morning commute – this feature is a complete revelation. 
It’s a brilliant software addition, not to mention, a genuine differentiator amongst the crowded Android marketplace. Granted, it’s not good enough to replace your Kindle, but it does dramatically improve the experience of reading on a phone. 
Reading Mode can be toggled on and off manually within the Settings menu or can be programmed to activate automatically within select apps.

Speed, Battery Life, Performance

The OnePlus 5 was no slouch, and since the same internals and software optimisations power its successor, there are no qualms about its performance.
OnePlus 5T packs the top-of-the-line Qualcomm SoC, the SnapDragon 835, coupled with either 6GB or 8GB of RAM. 
That might sound like overkill (for comparison, 8GB of RAM is double what is in the Samsung Galaxy S8) it ensures OnePlus 5T never even breaks a sweat during day-to-day tasks.
Even resource-intensive apps and games are handled without a stutter in sight.
OnePlus 5T is available with either 64GB or 128GB of inbuilt storage, priced at £449 and £499, respectively. 
OnePlus has swapped its inbuilt memory from eMMC to UFS 2.1, which has improved load times on the OnePlus 5T, thanks to UFS’s ability to perform read and write tasks simultaneously.
As you’d expect, OxygenOS – the operating system based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat that powers OnePlus 5T – runs extremely well on this flagship hardware.
OxygenOS offers an almost pure Android 7.1.1 Nougat user experience, with OnePlus only throwing in a few tweaks here and there – most of which, are genuinely welcome additions, like Reading Mode.
Unlike stock Android, OxygenOS includes the ability to install custom icon sets from the Play Store and re-order shortcuts within the Quick Settings drop-down menu. Home Screen icons can also be resized based on your preferences.
OnePlus has also added a folder specifically designed to store private documents, pictures and videos. This is a similar feature to the secure folder Samsung introduced in its TouchWiz software last year.
Included in the File Manager app, OnePlus’ secure folder can be locked down with a fingerprint or six-digit PIN code.
On-screen gestures (which OnePlus says are one of the most popular additions to its custom Android operating system) also make a comeback. Personally, etching out a comically large S, M or W on the display to summon a specific application or system function never seemed particularity intuitive.
A more useful inclusion in OxygenOS is App Priority, which quietly preloads your most frequently-used apps in the background – ensuring they are up-to-date and ready to use whenever you need them.
With its latest iteration, OxygenOS continues to impress.
For the most part, the software additions help to provide a better Android experience – something that can’t always be said of the bloated skins rolled out by Samsung, the endless preinstalled apps included by Sony, and the UI atrocity shipped on LG smartphones.
That being said, it’s a little disappointing OnePlus did not ship its new hardware with the latest version of Android.
Android 8.0 Oreo launched in August, so it’s a little frustrating to see the OnePlus 5T launch some three months later with an outdated operating system.
Battery life on the OnePlus 5T is solid.
Despite having a bigger display to power, the new smartphone matches its predecessor and will easily power through the workday – and well into the night. 
And even when the battery does run out of juice, the included Dash Charger lets you top-up the phone with a full days’ worth of power in half an hour.

Face Unlock

The best way to unlock the OnePlus 5T is the fingerprint scanner, which is unbelievably fast and reliable.
The rear-mounted sensor is perfectly placed on the back of the phone, positioned directly beneath where your index finger naturally falls.
Thankfully, OnePlus has even solved our minor quibble with rear-mounted fingerprint scanners – that you have to resort to the PIN when it’s lying on the desk and you want to quickly check a notification without picking up the phone.
OnePlus 5T includes a new Face Unlock feature that leverages the 16MP front-facing camera to authenticate based on your looks. This is designed to quickly unlock the phone when you look at it – saving any hassle caused by the rear-mounted fingerprint scanner.
The company says it uses 100 facial identity points to improve the security of its Face Unlock system. In our testing, Face Unlock was fairly reliable.
When it works, it is extremely fast and convenient. However, there were times when it struggled, notably in low-light.

Camera

Like its predecessor, OnePlus 5T uses a dual-camera set-up.
However, the Chinese smartphone company has shaken things up a little this time around, dropping the 20-megapixel telephoto lens used on the OnePlus 5 in favour of a secondary camera, with a large f/1.7 aperture.
According to OnePlus, this is designed to improve low-light performance. However, in our tests, there wasn’t much discernible difference between the OnePlus 5. In gloomy conditions, the OnePlus 5T can’t hold a candle to the likes of the Galaxy Note 8 and iPhone X.
Fortunately, the new rig still allows OnePlus 5 to perform two-times lossless zoom, which dramatically improves the potential of your smartphone photos.
Whether you’re taking a snap at a concert or a historical monument, the ability to zoom without reducing the resulting pictures to a grainy mosaic of pixels is a brilliant feature that you’ll instantly appreciate.
Like its hardware, OnePlus appears to have looked to Cupertino for inspiration when it comes to the software that powers the camera.
The shortcut to move between 1x and 2x zoom, as well as the on-screen dial for granular adjustments, are both shamelessly lifted from the camera app in the iPhone 7 Plus. 
Likewise, OnePlus has included its own version of the Portrait mode that ships with the latest iPhone Plus model.
Dubbed Depth Effect on the OnePlus 5, this clever feature intelligently blurs the background behind a subject in a bokeh-style effect, creating a photograph that traditionally could only be achieved with a DSLR camera.
It’s an absolutely stunning effect – when it works.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen quite as often as we’d like.
The camera sometimes struggles to find the edges – especially with long hair – resulting in an unpleasant jagged effect on the subject.
The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL do a much, much better job at discerning these subtle edges.
Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the OnePlus 5 will preview the Depth Effect in real-time within the camera app, so you can gauge how the photograph is going to turn out before you hit the shutter button.
When the software manages to accurately delineate the subject from the background – it results in a jaw-dropping effect. It’s also extraordinary OnePlus has managed to replicate this level of functionality on a smartphone that retails for £270 less than its Apple counterpart.
OnePlus 5T is also capable of capturing video in 4K Ultra HD resolution, which should ensure your family home movies are future-proof. 
There’s also a 16MP front-facing camera for high-resolution selfies and video chats, which is perfectly good, but nothing to write home about.
As always, OnePlus 5T supports RAW image export, so you can easily control every aspect of post-shot edits. The Chinese company has also added a new Pro Mode to the default camera app that exposes granular controls for the ISO, shutter speed, white balance, focus and exposure.
OnePlus has redesigned its default camera app, with the main interface stripped back to the bare essentials, and additional options residing in a menu accessible via a simple one-handed swipe up from the bottom.
It’s an intuitive and elegant solution, and a breath of fresh air compared to the endless options and gimmicks that often clog-up the camera app on Android manufacturer’s smartphones.
OnePlus also includes a useful reference line in the centre of the display so you can line-up shots with precision. Pro Mode offers a staggering amount of control that should please photography buffs.

Price

Part of the appeal of OnePlus has always been its unparalleled ability to combine premium hardware, flagship specs – and price tags that made the latest devices from HTC, Samsung and Apple seem unreasonably expensive.
However, with the arrival of the OnePlus 5, the company started to distance itself from its borderline budget pricing. 
OnePlus 5T starts from £449 for 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, and tops-out at £499 for 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage.
That’s certainly pricey compared to previous efforts, like the OnePlus 2, which sold for £239 when it launched back in July 2015.
However, the latest flagship phones from rivals Samsung and Apple have also dramatically increased in price – with the Galaxy Note 8 starting from £869 SIM-free, and the all-screen iPhone X, which maxes out at £1,149.
When compared to these handsets – and the OnePlus 5T is undoubtedly good enough to warrant that comparison – the £449 SIM-free price is a steal.
Those looking to buy the latest OnePlus on the contract will have to opt for O2, which is the exclusive mobile carrier partner in the UK.

Conclusion

Even the most hardened sceptics have to admit, the OnePlus 5T is a home-run.
Those who bought the OnePlus 5 six months ago aren’t going to be pleased to hear it – but the OnePlus 5T is a phenomenal phone and a brilliant upgrade.
On paper, the addition of an edge-to-edge screen would appear to be a minor upgrade, but in your hand, the gorgeous new 6.01-inch AMOLED display makes a huge amount the difference.
Elsewhere, the OnePlus 5T is extraordinarily powerful, has a solid camera with Portrait Mode functionality, solid battery life, and a lightning-fast proprietary fast-charging system.
OxygenOS avoids the pitfalls of Huawei’s EMUI and Samsung’s TouchWiz software by offering an almost pure Android experience. However, the lack of Android 8.0 Oreo is frustrating.
OnePlus 5T stands toe-to-toe with the latest flagship smartphones in almost every conceivable way, except one – it’s not water resistant. 
That can almost be forgiven, given that the OnePlus 5T is £240 cheaper than its Samsung counterpart. But those who accidentally spill a glass of water over their brand-new OnePlus will undoubtedly still be gutted about its absence.
OnePlus 5T is easily the best smartphone the company has ever built. But more than that, it’s one of the best smartphones of the year.

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