8.0
Score

Pros

  • Fast Face Unlock Feature
  • Large Storage Capacity

Cons

  • Okay Portrait Mode
  • Weak Low Light Dual Camera Setup

Here’s a confession: I’ve never been an Android user.

I’ve used Apple’s iPhones since the first time I switched from my old LG flip phone (ahh, the good ol’ days) to the iPhone 4. But I’ve always heard the hype about Android phones and how versatile they can be. So perhaps it’s a good thing that my first foray into the Android territory came with the OnePlus 5T.

The OnePlus 5T might have been out since November 2017, but there was a recent release of the Lava Red limited edition for Valentine’s Day this year. We might not have that Lava Red version of the OnePlus 5T here with us at ShopBack, but we do have the Midnight Black 8GB RAM 128GB storage OnePlus 5T on hand.

OnePlus 5T in red box

If you’re looking for a cheaper phone that can potentially rival the likes of Samsung and Apple, we’ll be putting the OnePlus 5T to the test. Should we save on that phone purchase? Is the OnePlus 5T, Lava Red version or not, truly the smarter way to go about buying your next phone?

This review set was kindly sponsored by one of our merchants, GearBest (0.75% cashback). GearBest has been around for almost 4 years, and is an electronics reseller from China. It serves almost 200 countries and carries over 600 leading brands. So whether you’re looking for a OnePlus 5T or a Samsung S9, Gearbest has got you covered. Be sure to keep a lookout for GearBest promo codes to enjoy greater discounts!

*Note: The views and opinions expressed are my own. I might not be a tech geek, but perhaps that means that I can give a different perspective — one from the average consumer.


Style and Finish of OnePlus 5T

oneplus 5t with box
Image Credit: Leon Chan | ShopBack

There are currently 3 versions of the phone in market (4, if you count the Star Wars version of the OnePlus 5T).

  • Lava Red Version

  • Midnight Black Version

  • Sandstone White Version


Read More: Elephone U Pro Review: More Than just a Galaxy S9 Clone?

RAM, Space and Speed

  1. What is RAM and How Does It Affect Your OnePlus 5T?

To be honest a noob like me didn’t really understand what RAM is supposed to do until I had to write this article. I did some light reading on the internet (thanks Lifehacker). But even us normal people can tell that the more RAM (which means Random-Access Memory) a computer / mobile phone has, the better it runs.

This is because more RAM makes the OnePlus 5T (or any computer / mobile phone) better at multitasking and running several applications at the same time.

So if you’re like me and you don’t close your apps after using them, you’re in luck. The OnePlus 5T has a whooping 8GB of RAM so you don’t ever have to close applications ever again. (Okay, please close your apps. Don’t listen to me. No matter how much RAM you have, it’s not unlimited.)

Strangely, sometimes photos couldn’t send through Telegram. (They turned out grey when it seemed like the photos sent through.) I’m not sure why this glitch happens, but I thought it’ll be useful to point out if you use Telegram.

  1. About That Sweet 128GB Storage Space on Your OnePlus 5T

oneplus 5t back

The OnePlus 5T has 128GB of storage space — which actually comes up to 120GB in real life since the Android OS takes up space of its own. But even with 120GB, I’m feeling on top of the world. (Especially since I only have 32GB on my iPhone 7 (I know, sad life).)

So far, after this one month I’ve only used 7.73GB. That means 112.27GB of actual storage space left. That will last a long time even if you take a lot of photos and videos, and download a whole mass of apps.

  1. Speed Up Your OnePlus 5T With The Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 Processor

Qualcomm Snapdragon
Image Credit: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™

So when it comes to China phones, you usually get a cheap(er) MediaTek chip. Usually, a MediaTek chip appears in entry level phones because of its price. MediaTek chips tend not to perform as well as the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips in terms of graphics — not to mention they drain more battery life.

But with the OnePlus 5T, because it’s their flagship phone, they’re competing on another level. That means we get the better processor. Once again for us Tech noobs, Nick Stam of Nividia told the internet (thanks CNET) that a processor is basically “the brain of the smartphone”, which means that it basically runs the show.

In fact, if you googled Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 like I did, you’ll find the long list of things you can do because of the chip inside your OnePlus 5T. The processor affects anything from the kind of camera you’ll have, the quality of your display resolution, and the battery life you could have.

OnePlus 5T (Special) Features

  1. Dash Charging

dash charge oneplus 5t

The Dash Charging Feature comes in handy for someone like me. The OnePlus 5T’s battery life lasts a pretty long time (especially for someone like me who keeps watching Netflix and YouTube on her phone), but when the battery’s getting low, I can count on the handy dandy Dash Charging feature to get me back up to speed in less than an hour.

I even use the phone when I’m letting it charge, and it doesn’t overheat in my hand when I do that, which is very much appreciated.

  1. Battery Life Lasts More Than 1 Day

battery life oneplus 5t

In fact, sometimes I can even last 2 days (with lesser Netflix and YouTube watching, of course) without charging the OnePlus 5T.

  1. Face Unlock

OnePlus 5T Face Unlock

The Face Unlock feature is one I use the most daily, such that when I go back to my iPhone 7 I sometimes feel handicapped by having to type in my password.

The iPhone X’s Face ID feature needs an additional swipe up to unlock the phone, so I’m pretty in awe when the OnePlus 5T’s Face Unlock manages to unlock my phone in milliseconds. Even in the dark, the screen will brighten to detect your face as soon as you press on the lock button.

Of course, the OnePlus 5T’s Face Unlock is not as secure as Apple’s Face ID, and so you can’t use it to buy apps or anything.

However, Face Unlock is sometimes wonky — it doesn’t detect me with my spectacles on, but it still recognises me with or without makeup on.

  1. Dual Cameras — One For “Low Light”

As many reviewers have said before me, the low light feature probably isn’t all that you hoped for on the OnePlus 5T. But it can sometimes capture decent photos in low light… though it can be pretty grainy depending on the lighting conditions.

Here are some examples of the photos I’ve captured on the OnePlus 5T:

 

  1. Portrait Mode — Digitised

The portrait mode on the OnePlus 5T may not be the same as its predecessor, but it works well in separating the subject from the foreground for that “bokeh” effect.

non bokeh vs bokeh oneplus 5t

Here’s a derp photo of me, captured using the portrait mode:

oneplus 5t portrait mode
Yes, this was taken during Chinese New Year.

The only concern I have using the OnePlus 5T’s portrait mode is that sometimes the lines aren’t clearly defined so the subject (in this case, me) can look a little blurry around the edges. This is the tradeoff of the OnePlus 5T compared to the OnePlus 5, which has a dual camera setup not unlike the iPhone Plus-es, but is unfortunately discontinued.

Read More: Oppo vs Huawei vs OnePlus vs Xiaomi: which android phone is the best?

  1. Reading Mode – Black and White

oneplus 5t black and white grayscale

If you don’t have a kindle but you like reading ebooks, the OnePlus 5T can make your screen black and white. There’s even a way for you to automatically turn on reading mode when you open an app.

Turn it on by going to Display > Reading Mode > Add Apps for Reading Mode.

OnePlus 5T Reading Mode

*Life Hack: if you find that you keep checking your phone, turning your screen black and white can also help you stop checking it as often.

OnePlus 5T Specs

This section is for all you people out there who actually understand what they mean.

Specs

Dimensions

 156.1*75*7.3mm

Weight

 162 g

Operating System

OxygenOS based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat

(can be updated to Android 8.0 Oreo)

CPU

Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835

(Octa-core, 10nm, up to 2.45GHz)

GPU

Adreno 540

RAM

6/8 GB LPDDR4X

Storage

64/128 GB UFS2.1 2-LANE

Ports

USB 2.0, Type-C,

Supports USB Audio Dual nano-SIM slot,

3.5mm audio jack

Battery

3,300 mAh (non-removable),

Dash Charge (5V 4A)

The Smarter Way Verdict — Is OnePlus 5T Worth It?

oneplus 5t

If you’re looking for an affordable phone that runs fast on Android Oreo, has a decent camera to capture your memories, and a solid battery to boot, then the OnePlus 5T will be right up your alley.

After a month (plus), I still find myself reaching for the OnePlus 5T when I want to take photos or videos, or if I want to read a book on a device that’s easier to bring around than my tablet. The OnePlus 5T is a functional, well-rounded phone perfect for the average user who wants to save some cash.

Get the OnePlus 5T from GearBest (with 0.75% cashback through ShopBack)!