With the arrival of the 5T, OnePlus has fixed some of the biggest complaints about the 5.
While the $499 OnePlus 5 was still a good value in the face of the Galaxy S8 and LG G6, it wasn’t the unbelievable bargain the 3 and 3T were. With a recycled display, uninspired design, and dismal low-light camera performance, the OnePlus 5 felt like a phone on the edge of being obsolete.
That’s not the case with the OnePlus 5T. Right off the bat, the OnePlus 5T joins the ranks of the 18:9 OLED crowd, with a 6-inch 1080p AMOLED display, the largest ever in a OnePlus phone. The front-facing fingerprint sensor—which has been present on all OnePlus phones—has been moved to the back and the bezels have been trimmed, so it’s only slightly larger than the OnePlus 5 (156.1mm x 75mm x 7.3mm vs 154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm).
It’s still made out of aluminum, so there’s no wireless charging, and the inside specs haven’t changed—not that we’re complaining. You get a Snapdragon 835 processor, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 64GB or 128GB of storage, and a 3,300mAh battery. And it still has a headphone jack. There’s also a new face unlock biometric that uses “over 100 identifiers” for secure authentication.
The rear of the phone has the same 16MP + 20MP dual camera setup, though both lenses now have a large f/1.7 aperture, a major bump over the f/2.6 in the 5’s secondary lens. A faster aperture should bring better low-light performance, and OnePlus says the 5T will automatically switch to the secondary camera in ultra-dark conditions “for enhanced low-light photography.” It also says portrait mode has been improved as well as an improved algorithm for digital zoom.
The OnePlus 5T is still based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat, but OnePlus has added a few new tricks to OxygenOS. The most interesting is called Parallel Apps, which lets you have two copies of the same app on your phone to make signing in with multiple logins that much easier. There are also some new customization options for the home screen, as well as reading and auto night modes that were introduced with the 5.
The OnePlus 5T will be available for purchase at oneplus.net on Tuesday, November 21. It will cost $499 for 64GB and 6GB of RAM, and $559 for 128GB and 8GB of RAM.
Why this matters: OnePlus introduced the mid-cycle refresh with the 3T, but the OnePlus 5T is quite different. Where the 3T brought a better processor and battery along with some software tweaks to basically the same phone, the OnePlus 5T is a completely different animal than the phone it replaces. So now the 5 doesn’t just seem obsolete—it is obsolete. If you’ve been on the fence about buying a OnePlus 5, this will likely push you over, but those who already spent $500 on the 5 might have some complaints.