Now that we know everything about the OnePlus 5T, it’s time to dissect what it does best and what it lacks.
It was only last June when the OnePlus 5 was launched, but like the OnePlus 3T unveiling this time last year, the company believes that a six-month release cycle helps them keep up with the big boys.
We’re not complaining; if not for the 5T, the regular OnePlus 5 would seem like a bland 2017 flagship for the company, especially now that so many of these near-borderless smartphones are already available.
And yet, half a year might not have been enough for the OnePlus 5T to reach its full potential. These are what we believe are the best and worst of the phone that “never settles.”
Good: Taller AMOLED display
No doubt, the biggest change from the OnePlus 5 is the switch to an 18:9 screen ratio, making the AMOLED panel look taller while trimming down the top and bottom bezels.
With so many similar designs in the market now, it doesn’t feel that special anymore, but the original OnePlus 5 is already a fantastic phone and improving on its design is an instant plus.
Bad: Still no water resistance
Chinese smartphone manufacturers are notorious for excluding true water and dust resistance from their major phones, but Huawei finally made strides with their Mate 10 Pro and its IP67 rating.
OnePlus wasn’t as bold with the 5T, and that’s disappointing for a phone that apparently never settles. Maybe the brand is saving this feature for the OnePlus 6 next year?
Good: Smarter dual-camera system
The biggest weakness of the OnePlus 5 was its sub-par dual-camera setup. While the optical zoom was nice, it didn’t add to the overall image quality, and you were better off moving closer to the subject instead.
It’s a breath of fresh air to see OnePlus see the shortcoming and go for a more refined implementation. The OnePlus 5T’s secondary rear camera chooses a brighter f/1.7 aperture and pixel-combining tech over optical zoom, making it ideal for low-light photography.
Bad: No wireless charging again
Although there’s nothing wrong with a solid metal build, the material prevents a phone from having wireless charging. That’s been the case for OnePlus phones since the beginning.
And while it’s not a deal-breaker to miss out on wireless charging, seeing the Galaxy Note 8 and new iPhones support a single standard should signal all other manufacturers to follow suit. At least we have Dash Charge to keep us happy.
Good: Same performance-to-price ratio
We can blame Samsung and Apple for this year’s drastic price hikes, but every other brand — except Xiaomi — is at fault for conforming to the new premium pricing standards.
It’s a fact that the OnePlus 5T is the company’s most expensive handset yet, but the jump in price is relatively minor considering how much better the display and cameras are.
Bad: No Android Oreo!
This has to be the worst crime of them all: The OnePlus 5T is shipping with Android 7.1.1 Nougat instead of Oreo, which has been available since August — it’s been three months already!
OnePlus promises the update will come by the end of December, but that’s only for the beta version. By the time the final build begins rolling out, we’ll already be talking about Android P.
Good: Audio port wasn’t removed
One trend OnePlus didn’t follow was the removal of the audio port, and that’s great news for everyone. No need to carry around an adapter, and you can charge the 5T while listening to music.
This may be the last major flagship smartphone we see this year. Has OnePlus done enough to once again secure its place as the go-to practical choice? We’ll have to wait for the holiday shopping season to begin before finding out.