OnePlus 5T Review: We Have a Winner

Posted on December 3, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Mobile, Android with 50 Comments

OnePlus 5T Review: We Have a Winner

The OnePlus 5T offers a modern design, a stunning 18:9 display, crazy-fast facial recognition, and more for about half the price of a typical smartphone flagship. What’s not to love?


It all starts with the design, as it must. But the OnePlus 5T didn’t spring out of the ether: This design—which I find to be quite attractive—was informed by its predecessors, and by various competitors.

And as its name suggests, the OnePlus 5T is an evolution of the original OnePlus 5. That is, it is basically the same device internally, but with a few important changes—the display, the fingerprint reader, and the camera system—that make this rendition all the more desirable.

But there are detractors. With its iPhone-like rear camera bump and other familiar design notes, one might argue that the OnePlus 5T is no less derivative than that of its predecessor. But I’ve never been bothered by that sort of thing, and I still argue that one of the biggest strengths of this handset maker is its ability to bring the best flagship features to customers at far more affordable prices. And that extends, as it must, to the design.

On that note, I also wrote recently that the modern smartphone form factor has standardized around a tall and thin form factor with a 6-inch display, and OnePlus delivers on this recent design style in ways that I find more pleasing and attractive than Google’s take on this with the Pixel 2 XL.

These things are subjective, of course. But the OnePlus 5T is the better-looking of the two, despite their surface similarities. It’s thinner and a bit less tall and wide, and it has a tapered back and elegant curves, which gives the OnePlus 5T a more elegant and almost feminine look. I love the way it looks.

As important, the OnePlus 5T utilizes an anodized aluminum unibody design and it feels great in the hand. So good, in fact, that I don’t want to ruin the experience with a case. Thankfully, OnePlus was kind enough to supply reviewers with a selection of cases; in swapping them out, I’ve settled on the lowest profile version.

Curiously, OnePlus offers the 5T in just a single color, Midnight Black, right now. It’s gorgeous, but a few other choices would be nice. (Since writing this, I’ve learned that other color choices will be made available.)


Anyone coming from a previous generation smartphone—OnePlus or otherwise—will immediately notice the OnePlus 5T’s stunning and tall edge-to-edge display. It’s 6-inches on the diagonal, but thanks to its 18:9 aspect ratio, it’s not unwieldy like a 6-inch display would be at 16:9.

The OnePlus 5T display is described as Full Optic AMOLED. To my eyes, it is perfectly tuned for color, meaning that it is delivers vibrant but realistic color with real whites, and not the slightly blue-tinged whites I see on the Pixel 2 XL display.

That said, some will gripe that the OnePlus 5T display offers a relatively paltry 1080p resolution, in this case, 2160 x 1080 (401 ppi), thanks to the 18:9 aspect ratio. We do live in an age of ever higher DPI smartphone displays, after all: By comparison, the Pixel 2 XL display is 2880 x 1440 (538 ppi) and the smaller (5.8-inch) Samsung Galaxy S8+ is 2960 x 1440 (570 ppi).

OnePlus says that the 1080p display was chosen to improve battery life, but I’d guess that the cost savings were enormous too. Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter in the slightest: The OnePlus 5T display is gorgeous, whether you’re reading, enjoying a video, or playing a game. Looked at side-by-side with the Pixel 2 XL, I can’t detect any major differences.

Less successfully, the OnePlus 5T’s Sunlight Display mode is supposed to automatically overcome some of the limitations of AMOLED when used outside. I’m not seeing it: The OnePlus 5T display is just as washed-out as that of the Pixel 2 XL when used outside. My iPhone 7 Plus, with its IPS LCD display, is noticeably easier to see when used outside.

Hardware and specs

The OnePlus 5T matches or exceeds the specifications that we expect from a flagship smartphone. It includes an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM, and 64 or 128 GB of internal storage, albeit with no microSD expansion capabilities.

The RAM and storage choices are tied together, as OnePlus offers two models, one with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage, and one with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. The review unit is the latter configuration, but I feel that either would be more than adequate for the two to three year lifetime of the device.

Connectivity is excellent, with broad worldwide LTE compatibility save CDMA networks like Verizon and Sprint. The device features MIMO 2×2 Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC capabilities.

One thing that is missing here is an IP rating for water resistance. I’m not personally very concerned about water, but that seems like a curious omission in a flagship-class smartphone and might worry some.

One thing that’s not missing, however, is the headphone jack: Unlike the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and X, and the Google Pixel 2 XL, the OnePlus 5T somehow manages to retain this crucial feature despite its thinness.


As is becoming increasingly common, OnePlus has outfitted the 5T with a dual rear camera system. It’s not the first time they’ve done so: The original OnePlus 5 also featured dual rear cameras too. But this version includes some major changes that OnePlus believes addresses evolving customer expectations.

From a specifications perspective, the OnePlus 5T features a 16 MP main sensor and a 20 MP secondary sensor. Both feature an f/1.7 aperture and a 27.22 mm focal length. The main sensor is identical to that from the original OnePlus 5, but that phone featured a telephoto secondary sensor.

So why the change? The new design aims to improve the camera’s performance in low-light conditions, a key strength of Google’s most recent Nexus and Pixel handsets. And it enables a dedicated Portrait Mode, as popularized by the iPhone, which combines the images from both cameras to create a nice bokeh effect in which the background is blurred, making the subject pop more.

The systems appears to work very well. The problem is that OnePlus is competing with some truly stunning smartphone cameras from Apple, Google, and Samsung. And “very well” doesn’t necessarily set it apart from some of the competition.

Photo comparison: OnePlus 5T (left) and Pixel 2 XL (right)

Put simply, the OnePlus 5T delivers excellent photos in ideal conditions, though it fails to match the stellar quality of, say, the Pixel 2 XL overall. On test shot after test shot, the OnePlus 5T photos look great until you compare them side-by-side with the same photos taken with the Pixel 2 XL. It’s particularly noticeable when you zoom into the shots.

Photo zoom comparison: OnePlus 5T (left) and Pixel 2 XL (right)

Likewise, low-light performance doesn’t match what Google accomplishes with the Pixel, though to be fair, most cameras don’t. It will be fine for most.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a very decent smartphone camera. The issue is that I’ve experienced the best the market has to offer. And OnePlus doesn’t quite reach that quality level.

That said, there are some positive points too.

Like Portrait Mode. I’ve not been a fan of software-based Portait Modes in general, because edge detection is often hit-or-miss, and I find that even single camera systems—dating back to the Lumia 1020—can deliver excellent bokeh effects with no tricks. And I don’t have a 2017-era iPhone to compare this to the best that Apple has to offer.

But the OnePlus 5T Portait Mode works great, with great edge detection. It works well across a variety of subject types, from hard-edged objects like my podcasting microphone to plants, and, of course, people. The iPhone 7 Plus, by comparison, just can’t keep up. With that device, the edges of the foreground objects always suffer from blur in one or more areas. And you need to be much further from the subject when using Portrait Mode with the iPhone.

OnePlus delivers some other interesting camera features, too. There’s a real Pro Mode that lets you micromanage the ISO, white balance, shutter speed, focus, and exposure, and you can save to RAW if you’d like. The camera can also capture video at 4K using electronic image stabilization, which helps eliminates shakiness.

I don’t usually care too much about the front-facing selfie camera other than that it exist, but the OnePlus 5T offering is solid enough with a 16 MP sensor, HDR capabilities, and a fun screen-flashing feature that substitutes for a real flash.

Put simply, the cameras in the OnePlus 5T only narrowly fall short of the very best camera experiences that are available in today’s flagships. The quality and performance should be good enough for all but the most demanding of users.


Thanks to its bigger, edge-to-edge display, the OnePlus 5T doesn’t have space for the front-facing fingerprint reader that graced previous devices. But that’s fine with me: The ceramic fingerprint reader—now ideally located on the middle back of the phone—is lightning-fast. It’s not anywhere near the camera—cough, Samsung—and your finger falls very naturally to it.

Some don’t like rear-mounted fingerprint readers, of course, and there are obvious complaints to be had about the awkwardness of unlocking a phone that is lying face-up on a table or desk. But OnePlus has an answer: You can enable an optional facial recognition feature that will unlock the phone when you turn on the display (and are looking at it).

No, it’s probably not as secure as the fingerprint reader. But it is scary-fast, and in testing it against other people in my family as a sort of parlor trick, we all came away really impressed at the accuracy and performance. Obviously, what I need to find is a doppelganger.

Unique hardware features

Like its predecessors, the OnePlus 5T includes two unique hardware features that have always differentiated OnePlus smartphones, Dash Charge fast-charging and an alert slider.

Dash Charge is interesting because there are competing pseudo-standards for fast-charging out there, but OnePlus has chosen to do its own thing. Normally, I would champion a more open approach, but Dash Charge really works, in that outperforms competing fast-charging solutions and the phone stays cool while doing so. In my tests, I was able to completely charge the device from 50 percent in about 25 minutes. OnePlus reports that a full charge will take about one hour, though I wasn’t able to test that.

The downside to any fast-charging solution, such as it is, is that you must use a proprietary charger to attain these speeds. OnePlus supplies that charger, and a color-matched USB-C cable, with the device, of course. And if you don’t have it with you, no worries: It will work normally with any USB-C charger.

The textured alert slider is so obviously wonderful and useful that I’m surprised other handset makers aren’t rushing to copy it. It’s basically a hardware front-end to the various notification modes in Android—silent, do not disturb, and ring—and you can customize each to your liking. Being able to quickly flip a switch to silence a phone, even when the display is off, and without having to dive into a settings interface somewhere, is wonderful, and an on-screen display appears so you know which setting you’ve selected. Nice.

Finally, the OnePlus 5T also includes a dual SIM slot, which lets you configure the device for two wireless carriers, or two different accounts on the same carrier, simultaneously. No, dual SIM capabilities are not unique to the OnePlus 5T, but this feature is still pretty unusual, despite its obvious usefulness. And it’s the type of thing that will put this phone over the top for some.


The OnePlus 5T runs OxygenOS, which is a pure version of Android—version 7.1.1 for now, though support for Android 8.0 Oreo arrives soon—that I find quite appealing. In fact, OxygenOS is more “pure” than the versions of Android that Google modifies for its Pixel devices. And the software and features that OnePlus does add on top of Android are usually exceptional.

From a user experience standpoint, OxygenOS is a very customizable version of Android. But there are deeper changes occurring under the hood that are potentially game changing. With 6 or 8 GB of RAM, for example, a OnePlus 5T can theoretically outperform a similar Snapdragon 835-based flagship, and I’ve not experienced any slowdowns at all. OnePlus also optimizes the OS for multitasking and app launching performance, which help feel faster too.

And OnePlus packs OxygenOS full of useful additions to Android. There’s support for both light and dark themes, and multiple font and icon styles. Virtually everything is fully customizable, too: You can opt to take full advantage of the tall, gorgeous display by auto-hiding the Android navigation bar, for example, something I wish I could do with my Pixel 2 XL.

Default icon sets

A unique OnePlus feature called Parallel Apps lets you clone social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and Twitter so that you can use them with two different accounts. It’s a feature so obvious, in retrospect, that I wonder why it’s not just part of Android.

The OnePlus 5T also offers a wide range of optional gestures you can enable, like flip to mute, double-tap to wake, and a fingerprint reader-based swipe for displaying the system notification shade. Those are all available on some other Android phones, but OnePlus also lets you define custom actions tied to drawing the letters O, V, S, M, or W on the display with your finger. For example, if you drew an “O” on-screen, you might open the front camera or the flashlight. Fun.

A Reading Mode feature works a bit like the True Tone display on my iPad Pro by sensing the lighting conditions around the device and auto-tuning the display so that the reading app you’re using is optimally configured. For example, when I use the Kindle app, the display will subtly change to almost grayscale look, which is better for reading. When you switch out of the app, the display gradually colorizes, which is a surprisingly pleasant effect itself.

Reading Mode (emulated)

A feature called Gaming Do Not Disturb can be enabled to block notifications when you’re playing a game or any arbitrary app, which is amazing. The OnePlus 5T also supports expanded screenshots, which let you capture not just what you see on-screen, but the entire display of an app that extends past the screen’s edge.

To a one, these and other OnePlus applications and features are all great value-adds, and they together form yet another major differentiator for the device. This is the exact opposite of crapware, and each is truly useful or can simply be ignored by those who are not interested.

Pricing and availability

OnePlus sells two versions of the OnePlus 5T, and you can get them in any color as long as that color is Midnight Black. Again, that will change in the future, I’m told.

Both are exceptionally affordable.

The base OnePlus 5T—with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage—costs just $499. For just $60 more, or $559, you can upgrade to a version with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Competing flagships with similar specs typically sell for $850 to $1100, roughly double the price of the OnePlus 5T.

The OnePlus 5T is available throughout North America, Europe, and Asia via the OnePlus website. The device is only sold carrier unlocked, as God intended.

Recommendations and conclusions

The OnePlus 5T is that rarest of personal technology products, something I can recommend wholeheartedly and without caveat. At roughly half the price of a Google Pixel 2 XL, the OnePlus 5T is basically a no-brainer. It is the single greatest value in smartphones, and it delivers high-end specs and a gorgeous display that both meet or exceed the standards set by the market leaders. If you are looking for a new smartphone, the OnePlus 5T should make your short list. It’s a delightful phone, and is highly recommended.



  • Unrivaled value
  • Gorgeous display
  • Flagship specs
  • Solid camera
  • Truly unique and useful hardware features
  • Truly unique and useful software
  • Dual SIMs


  • No storage expansion
  • No Verizon compatibility
  • Camera doesn’t quite match that of the market leaders


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Comments (50)

50 responses to “OnePlus 5T Review: We Have a Winner”

  1. the_sl0th

    "No, it’s probably not as secure as the fingerprint reader. But it is scary-fast, and in testing it against other people in my family as a sort of parlor trick, we all came away really impressed at the accuracy and performance. Obviously, what I need to find is a doppelganger."

    Or a selfie (which is the real issue)....

    • suavegav

      In reply to the_sl0th:

      I can confirm that a selfie taken on my OnePlus 3 unlocked the facial recognition on my OnePlus 5.. It's a handy feature, but it is not secure. At. All.

      • Angusmatheson

        That is terrible! So any picture wakes the phone. That is as bad as the original iPhones slide to unlock. Was there really a time we used no security for our smart phones!?! I can’t imagine not locking my phone now. In reply to suavegav:

  2. jlmerrill

    Just got a 5T last week. Great phone for the price. However, I am not sure I will keep it. In many ways I like my iPhone 7 better. I also have a Moto G5sPlus. If it wasn't for the camera, it would be a great bargain.

  3. ids

    Good review Paul. I dont think you ever posted a review for the original OP5, which is what I have after using Windows Phone forever. Never looked back to be honest.

    Yes the Lumia cameras were brilliant but always let down by poor software, especially on Windows Mobile 10. Do also miss the live tiles, however I'm supprised someone hasnt made a dashboard to emulate this.

    I cant justify an upgrade, but will be waiting to see what they do with the OP6/6T..... a company to watch for sure.

  4. PeteB

    Wish it worked on Verizon

  5. per

    This looks like a great phone and I would very much like to trade in my 'old' OP5.

    One problem with including the mechanical alert slider is that OP has replaced the standard Android 7.1 software feature Scheduled Do Not Disturb with it. This is a problem for me. I routinely wake up to some useless message in the middle of the night because I forgot to slide the slider manually. Could we have both, please?!

    • wright_is

      In reply to per:

      That is a good caveat, although we don't allow phones (or other electronic equipment, with the exception of the Kindle) in the bedroom, but even so, if the phone peeps or rings downstairs, it can still disturb my light sleep.

  6. Daekar

    No wireless charging? Bummer. That and waterproofing are game breakers for me.

    • Bill Russell

      In reply to Daekar:

      Having had various phones with wireless charging and it really is the one thing that I could completely do without. Its slow, only practical on the bedside table for overnight charging. Thats fine, but you will still want a normal charger around too for occasional fast top offs, and you always have to have the phone placed just right on the pad. Often it seems to somehow move even just slightly during the night resulting in partially charged phone the next morning. On phones with type C or lightning connectors there really just is such minimal additional benefit from "wireless" charging. Where are the people complaining about IR blasters almost gone - something truly useful. Also waterproof - I use in a hot tub but frankly, a ziploc bag is just fine for those infrequent activities.

  7. JBerls

    Guys, this is a GREAT phone. I'm not a HEAVY camera user, so there's that, and I accept that the Pixel 2 XL (that I'm trying to sell, anyone want to make an offer?) has a better camera, but in every other way, the Pixel 2 XL is completely outshined by a phone that costs nearly $400 less (128MB v 128MB). The OnePlus 5T works flawlessly and looks and feels much better than the Pixel.

    This was the last straw for me with the 2 XL:!msg/android-auto/MMzfS_EbBt0/b952qqsUCwAJ. That the Pixel 2 XL flat-out can't run Android Auto for all these people is absolutely absurd. Google has done an inexcusably bad job preparing this phone. Frankly, I think they let LG release it without ever looking at the thing.

    Needless to say, the 5T runs Android Auto in my car perfectly.

    • wright_is

      In reply to JBerls:

      Can you tell me, what patch stand it has? I know Oreo isn't available yet, but how well patched is it? Does it have the November 2017 Android security updates, for example?

  8. wocowboy

    I have a OnePlus 5 and the screen resolution is perfectly fine with me if it means better battery life. Samsung and others have gone completely overboard in my opinion with all those extra pixels that have to be powered but that do not produce a really noticeably better picture, for the sole reason being bragging rights for having the most pixels. It is simply not necessary, one does not need 4k on a cellphone-sized screen.

    The OnePlus 5T does not include support for T-Mobile's new 600 MHz spectrum that they will begin lighting up across the country at the end of 2017, so I consider this a minus.

    OxygenOS is great, but there is a HUGE downside, being the horrific Android fragmentation and update problem. I know Paul says it doesn't exist and is of no consequence, but I disagree totally with him on this. By releasing the 5T with the now year-old Android Nougat, OnePlus does not have to comply with the Google Treble program for regular updates that protect the privacy, identity, and security of Android users' data, and further, OnePlus says that they will not be abiding by that program at all in future. I find both of these untenable and sadly, I will not be purchasing a future OnePlus phone because of these positions. Nor any other device from an Android manufacturer that refuses to participate in the Treble program.

    I believe that updates that involve security, privacy, and identity to be extremely important and that this is Google's most important problem they have to deal with. 4 year old iPhones receive full OS updates day/date that they are released and those users get immediate protection benefits from them. Yes, those older phones might see some performance drops because those new OS versions are optimized for more current hardware, but at least they can rest assured that their security, privacy, and identity are being improved with each new version and that they actually GET those improvements on a regular basis.

    • dbonds

      In reply to wocowboy:

      Totally agree on the update concerns, and thanks for writing out this comment as it saves me from a much longer one stating the same. :-)

      I refuse to use an android phone that does not get updated on a regular basis. The 5T does look like a great device - as I've mentioned in another post, I really wish it would show up an option under Google Fi with Android One. If OnePlus is saying they won't provide updates (either via Treble or Android One), I unfortunately won't be using their devices.

  9. El Comment

    I fail to see how 18:9 is a better aspect ratio than 16:9. It has inferior resolution, and web pages look better the wider the display.

    IMO, if you can't hold a 6 inch 16:9 display, get a 5,5 inch 16:9 display instead of a 6 inch 18:9.

    Camera bump is a no-go for me as I like to work with the smartphone on a flat surface when available.

    Not being a gamer, I don't need the latest and greatest processor. A 150-200 $ smartphone suits me just fine, I'd rather invest the difference in a good computer or tablet.

  10. Waethorn

    "The OnePlus 5T runs OxygenOS, which is a pure version of Android"

    Huh??? On what planet??

    If it's not Android One, it's not updated by Google, making it not "pure".

  11. Nic

    The display comparison concerns me. Equating the AMOLED to the iPhone 7 IPS doesn't make a lot of sense, would it not be better to compare to the iPhone X screen? (although not having one of those to hand probably makes that tougher for the review I understand)

  12. RoHo

    Great review, great phone. I own a one+3T and love it. Not ready to upgrade yet as the 3T works like a charm and does all I need.

    I received the Oreo upgrade about 2 weeks ago.

    One issue after 1 year of use is I am seeing degradation of battery life but after my last Samsung it is not as bad.

    Hopefully the 6T will be out when I'm ready.

  13. melinau

    My wife is a happy OnePlus 3 owner and is impersonating Santa this year and giving me a 5T to replace my old Samsung S6, which is still a pretty good 'phone. But Samsung's OS update policy is a farce.

    It won't go in the bin. My decidedly non-techie sister will inherit it, as she usually does when I upgrade.

    Any doubts I might have had when I recommended the 3 to my better half have been removed. It has worked flawlessly, still holds a decent charge, and has been regularly updated with new Android versions. Not as quickly as Google phones, but....

  14. Skolvikings

    The no Verizon thing is disappointing.

  15. mortarm

    >...a nice bokeh effect in which the background is blurred...

    No, that's depth-of-field.

    >...capture video at 4K using electronic image stabilization.

    EIS generally sucks due to jaggies and artifacts creeping into the image. I'd be interested to know how the 5T handles this.

    >Obviously, what I need to find is a doppelganger.

    How 'bout a photo?

    >The device is only sold carrier unlocked...

    Can it be used with Project-Fi?

  16. raptor

    Paul, you forgot to mention a couple of other cons. It will probably receive only 1 OS update, it doesn't have Treble support and the monthly security updates are going to be too far and few between.

    • Bill Russell

      In reply to raptor:

      I agree that I am waiting for a full, mid end project treble phone at this point. I am in no rush though my LG G5 is just fine for a while to come.

      Practically speaking though, and this could be seen as a excuse but you don't *need* every monthly google update. They are mostly patching bugs that *should* be fixed but are either not practically exploitable or extremely unlikely to be exploited, due to other layers of security and mitigation in other ways. There's a reason they have things like SELinux and ASLR, and google play services can be on the lookout for certain things, as well as being able to update webview, a critical attack surface, something in the iOS world that requires a full OS update. Personally, I have not had a phone that has not received some patch for less than 3 years, for the most serious ones like stagefright.

      Also, again take this as an excuse if you want but major version OS upgrades are overrated, I'd rather have a reasonably patched version of the OS it came with which was more tailored to the device. 95% of the updates the user enjoys do not come in the form of a major OS update, but updates to play store up-gradable components, like apps and SDKs.

  17. skramer49

    Well written and it sounds like a great choice. But, not for someone in a large IOS family.

  18. Thisisausername

    The only thing that keeps me from getting it is Project Fi support. Did you pop your Fi voice SIM in and see if it works?

  19. nerocui

    The only thing that are keeping me away from oneplus is their slow software update and short support of their old flagship. I know Android 8.0 has been a refinement to 7.0, and with 9.0 being the one that supposed to optimize tall screen design with possibly gesture support, I don't want to stuck with oneplus for some year old OS and drooling over what other phone will be having.

    • MikeCerm

      In reply to nerocui:

      You could say the same about EVERY Android phone that isn't directly supported by Google. And yet, when it comes to actual software features like "portrait mode," split-screen multitasking, scrolling screenshots, themes, the "quickswap" feature where you can double-tap the multitasking button to switch apps, all of these things are things are features that other handset makers had years before Google. So, sure, Google phones (and ONLY Google phones) get updates quickly, but usually they're just catching up to features that other phones already have. So, what is the point of Android updates if all it gets you is features that other phones already have? (And no, security is not a feature since there's never really been any kind widespread security exploits, other than maybe Stagefright.)

      • James Wilson

        In reply to MikeCerm:

        Love your naivety. Krack is still not fixed on the majority of android phones and never will be on most.

        • Bill Russell

          In reply to James_Wilson:

          That's just nonsense that "most android phones" do not get updated in the US anyway. What do you see in the general public. iPhones and Galaxies. I don't get out too much but that's it in the typical suburbs. Galaxy is say 95% of the non iphones out there. I have owned serveral Galaxies and LG phones and they absolutely get updated every 1-3 months, for 3 years anyway, slowing down in the 3rd year to just critical things like a stagefright if any. This may be just on Tmobile but that's my experience. Android also has updatable security facing components that do not require a full OS update, such as the browser core and google services. Pretty safe to say you have WAY more to worry about than your phone being hacked even on an unpatched phone these days.

      • Tony Barrett

        In reply to MikeCerm:

        Google phones (eg Nexus) provided a native Android experience without all the extra flashy stuff you describe - which a lot of people like. With Pixel, Google added their own skin and differentiating software, but it still didn't change Android that much. Google always left it to their partners to add whatever else they wanted (eg Samsung with 'Touchwiz' and HTC 'Sense'). Google, therefore, aren't really 'catching up' to other phones as you describe, they're just giving people near native Android and regular updates, which now seems to be more common as other manufacturers slim down their skins, and with Google's project Treble, hopefully it will all get much easier for core updates to be delivered in a timely manner.

    • Davor Radman

      In reply to nerocui:

      I got the OP3 with MM, got Nougat, got 71.1, got Oreo, will most likely get 8.1 (already in beta). I'm happy with that.

      it's not all black and white as you paint it.

  20. obarthelemy

    My issue with the OP5T is that the only reason to pay these kind of prices is precisely its weak point: the camera. I think picky people on a budget would be better served by last year's Galaxy S7, LG G5/V20 or Huawei Mate 9. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is available unlocked for $500, and is probably better the the OP5T on all scores. And has an audio jack and an SD slot.

    Even the S8 is only $650 unlocked, with frequent sales.

    Anyway, for me, no SD is a dealbraker. I don't think France is particularly backwards (we have 99% pop coverage and 85% area coverage IIRC in 3G, -10% for 4G), but the places and times I get no connectivy make it vital for me to have at least 128GB, preferably 240GB, of media with me: while in transit, while hiking, when there's a storm that cuts power/telco lines... And that's when media is especially valuable, especially if there are kids around.

    I could make do with 128GB - apps, but that would mean micromanaging what gets on and off the phone's free 64GB on a regular basis, that's too much bother and time wasted. With at least 128GB free for media, I don't have to bother with what's exactly on there, I got my trusty back catalogue of favorite songs, books, series and films (incl. for kids), plus whatever new stuff I want to try out (long bus/train/plane rides are perfect for that: no distractions). All that while keeping all my apps, emails, docs... on the main storage.

  21. SvenJ

    You note that it has a headphone jack, 'despite it's thinness'. I hear that quite often and really don't believe thinness is the reason for getting rid of it. Look at Apple's iPod Nano. That is about as thin a device as you could imagine (5.4mm) and still has a headphone jack. (iPhone X is 7.7mm, iPhone 8 is 7.3mm, same as the 5T) I believe it is way more about the amount of room the traditional 3.5mm hardware takes inside the device that OEMs are trying to reclaim. I don't necessarily agree with that, but thinness isn't the issue. I imagine that the bigger devices from Apple, Samsung, etc, benefit less from reclaiming interior space than their smaller (relatively) devices, but having a headphone jack only on larger devices would probably be received as a 'premium feature' to drive sales of bigger phones.

    I've personally decided it's not a big deal. I find that given the choice I lean towards wireless audio anyway. I get that some have spent a bunch of money on a wired headset, but if you can do that, leaving a $10 'extension' on the cable shouldn't be that big a deal, and the first dongle comes with the phone. Even Paul has commented that dongles for everything isn't something new. We have dealt with these things, which used to be adapters, for keyboards(DIN to PS2 to USB), Ethernet, video, etc. for years. The Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort or HDMI cable you need to hook a Surface to a monitor is just a long 'dongle'. If someone made a long cable with lightning or USB-C on one end and 2.5 or 3.5 mm on the other to plug into your Bose or Beats, it too would just be the right cable. (sort of surprised you can't buy an accessory cable from Bose with the right connectors on it. You can buy cables from them with buttons that work with either Apple or everything else.)

    Well, in any case, the external footprint of a 3.5mm jack is no bigger than that of a lightning or USB-C or otherwise port. It's not about thinness, which shouldn't get much more ridiculous for structural reasons anyway, it's about internal real estate.

  22. dcdevito

    "What’s not to love?"

    -Infrequent (if at all) OS updates

    -Lack of Treble support

    -Terrible customer service

    -Poor cell reception in the US/lack of support for all LTE bands/Lack of Verizon support

    -Quickly degrading battery life (no doubt the result of dash charging

    -Poor camera performance

    -They spy on their users

    -GPS issues

    All OnePplus phones are great out of the box, but after 6 months they're riddled with issues and OnePlus is already onto their next "flagship" device. No thanks, I'll pass

    • JBerls

      In reply to dcdevito:

      Sorry, can't agree. I have a 3T, which I'd been very happy with. (It's one of the first in-use Android phones to get Oreo, or didn't you notice?) I received more than enough OS updates to be happy.

      I bought a 5, didn't think it was enough of an upgrade over the 3T, and OnePlus was very gracious about taking it back, no questions asked. Can't ask more than that. I went back to the 3T until I bought the Pixel 2 XL. I didn't have any of the screen problems that created such a brouhaha, but overall, the phone's just blah. Then I ran into the Android Auto/USB fiasco that is largely under the radar EXCEPT for all the users being screwed by it.

      Again, sorry, but pointing a finger at an Android phone maker about spying on users while the giant spyglass that is Google sneaks up on all of us is kinda silly.

      • dcdevito

        In reply to JBerls:

        Did you know...

        OnePlus uploads tons of user data to Singapore hourly?

        • AwkwardSwine

          In reply to dcdevito:

          You are just making stuff up now. Did Oneplus run over your dog or something?

          Battery Life? The Op3 had amazing all day battery life, and so far it looks like 5t is good for most of two days.

          • dcdevito

            In reply to AwkwardSwine:

            See for yourself


            • AwkwardSwine

              In reply to dcdevito:

              The test app is not spying, it is a local only security configuration flaw. Op acknowledged it and will fix it. As mentioned previously this puts them in good company with the likes of Apple who recently shipped a Major OS update with full Root access (local and remote) in High Sierra.

              All of these companies make mistakes. The righteous indignation should be reserved for those companies that won't respond with solutions.

    • Paul Thurrott

      In reply to dcdevito:

      Hm. I don't agree with most of this. But I'll let you know about the experience in 6 months, for sure.

    • AwkwardSwine

      In reply to dcdevito:

      I can't agree with this assessment, you sound like someone with an axes to grind. Hopefully the customer service issues have improved. The OP support forums are Very active with lots of help available from that channel.

      As for the rest, it's not justified. I've used the Op3 (2 devices) for 18 months and just got the 5t last month. The Op3 received regular major OS and security / bug fix updates all along. Even after the Op5 was released. I find they were very responsive and responsible. Yes, they had some embarrassing privacy and security configuration glitches, but they are not unique in this regard. ( looking at you Apple User=Root, PW="") OP has acted properly to acknowledge and fix these problems with OS updates.

      My two 18 months old devices still work great and have no glitches or physical damage despite rough use. They are very well built for modern smartphones. Glass backs and curved screens are weak points these phones don't have.

      Happy Customer