OnePlus 5T review
Ultra-slim bezels improve on an already winning formula
As we've already seen with Apple's iPhone X, and Samsung's Galaxy S8 before it, ultra-slim bezels are this year's standout design craze. It's seemingly the only way that a smartphone is able to truly stand out in the market. The latest to embrace this trend is OnePlus with its 5T smartphone, an updated version of the excellent OnePlus 5, which was released back in June.
The ultra-slim bezel design has so far generally featured on higher-end devices, which unsurprisingly have had premium price tags slapped onto them. However, OnePlus, true to its reputation for quality at a budget price, is offering that same design experience at a much more affordable 449. Not only that, you're getting performance to rival the Galaxy S8, with a battery that lasts twice as long.
The standout feature of the 5T is its screen. It's a 6in, 1,080 x 2,160 AMOLED display with a pixel density of 401ppi, which, at least on face value, is beautifully sharp and vibrant. It also uses a default theme that is a mix of sunset oranges, pinks and blues, which produce a pleasing effect that's immediately eye-catching. The effect covers almost the entirety of the front face of the phone, as the display stretches almost entirely to the left and right edges while leaving only half a centimetre of bezel at the top and bottom.
The panel is equally impressive from a technical perspective. It managed to hit 98.4% coverage of the sRGB colour space, which makes it incredibly accurate and a joy to watch video or look at images on. Sadly, its 420cd/m2 maximum brightness isn't quite as impressive as other devices. It's more than capable of handling bright conditions however - especially with it glare-beating polarised layer.
Aside from the screen, the 5T essentially uses the same chassis as the OnePlus 5, only with its physical home button snipped off. The 5T is fractionally taller and wider than the 5, but it features the same rounded edges and same button placements as its younger sibling.
The changes are even more discrete on the back of the device, as the camera, flash, the OnePlus logo, and even the antenna bands are identically placed to those on the OnePlus 5, although the dual camera housing does stick out slightly further. The only obvious difference is the presence of a circular fingerprint scanner just above the OnePlus logo, which was evicted from the front of the phone when OnePlus ditched the physical home button.
OnePlus has also decided to keep the headphone port once again. With the use of USB-C for charging the phone, the temptation is to follow the likes of Apple and ditch the headphone port for an all-in-one slot, yet it's nice to see that giving customers more options is still something OnePlus believes in, at least for this generation.
It's also worth mentioning that OnePlus has opted for a Midnight Black colour for the 5T. Apparently, the back panel of the phone undergoes two lots of sandblasting before receiving an anti-fingerprint layer. Whatever OnePlus had done to create the finish, we wholeheartedly approve of it - the smoothed surface on the back of the phone is a joy to hold, and that anti-fingerprint layer works like a charm.
The only disappointment is the lack of any microSD expansion slots, a hangover from the OnePlus 5 that continues to irritate.
Hardware & Performance
Internally, the OnePlus 5T is essentially the same as the 5. It features the popular Snapdragon 835 processor, found on most of today's market-leading phones, backed up by 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage - although there is a model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage available.
Given that there have been relatively few hardware changes in the 5T, it's unsurprising that it's almost identical to the OnePlus 5 in terms of performance and battery life. That is to say you once again get solid performance with one of the best batteries available on the market.
In our single and multi core benchmark tests the OnePlus 5T performed as well as expected for a Snapdragon 835, with scores of 1903 and 6658 respectively. There's almost an imperceptible difference between other leading phones using the Snapdragon 835.
However, when it comes to the battery, it destroys the competition. It uses the same 3,300mAh battery with 'Dash Charge' support as the OnePlus 5, and promises "enough power for the day". In our benchmark tests, the 5T managed to last 20hrs 52mins - longer than the already impressive score of the OnePlus 5. Translating to nearly a full day between charges, the OnePlus 5T lasted almost twice as long as the HTC U11, and considerably longer than the Galaxy S8.