Do we have a good one for you today where we are comparing the new OnePlus 5T to the OnePlus 5 – out just five months ago. The two devices look decidedly different from one another with the OP5 having a more dated look with its larger bezels and 16:9 display ratio while the OP5T has a larger display, much smaller bezels and the newer 18:9 display ratio. The fingerprint sensor is on the front of the OP5 and on the back of the OP5T, helping to make it look sleeker. The internals are very similar, with changes made in the camera area and its software. Neither device offers any dust or water resistance and OnePlus did some ‘juggling’ in the camera area that may not make much sense – gone is the optical zoom, requiring you to use a digital zoom, which is less desirable. The pricing stayed about the same - $480/$520 to $500/$560 – so it should not be a deciding factor. However, is it worth it to upgrade if you already own the OnePlus 5 and is the OnePlus 5T a better device or what the OnePlus 5 should have been in the first place. These questions and more are what we hope to answer, Let’s take a look at what these two devices have in common and then we will look at each individual device.
The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T do have many things in common despite the difference in looks and design. Both use the Optic AMOLED display and Full HD display protected by Gorilla Glass 5. Both devices use the same Snapdragon 835 processor, an Adreno 540 GPU, and both have a base of 6GB/64GB of RAM and memory and both have an optional 8GB/128GB model – both of which is non-expandable. The camera areas both use a dual camera setup of 16MP/20MP, but the OP5T uses an aperture of f/1.7 on both lenses, but the front-facing camera (FFC) is identical on both models. The batteries are identical at 3,300mAh with OP’s exclusive Fast Charge. The OP5 and OP5T both have a ceramic fingerprint sensor – the OP5 is on the front and the OP5T is on the back. They both share Bluetooth 5.0, USB Type-C port, an Alert Slider, Face Detection, Hi-Res Audio, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and Android 7.1.1 – with an upgrade to Android 8.0 the first of the year.
Please take a careful look at the detailed specifications comparison chart below and here you will see just how these two devices stack up against one another on paper. After that, we will look at each handset in greater depth and point out some of its pros and cons. From all of this information, we will try to determine the winner based on its specs and overall execution of design and functions.
OnePlus groupies really looked forward to the OnePlus 5 upgrade from the OnePlus 3T. When finally presented with the new device back in June, it looked somewhat dated with its large bezels, Full HD resolution, and 16:9 aspect ratio. As with all OnePlus devices, the OP5 is a well-built device with an all-metal back that is nicely curved and easy to hold. The anodized aluminum really hides any fingerprints and provides a nice grip. The side bezels are small, but with its large top and bottom bezels, ceramic fingerprint sensor on the front, and camera placement on the back, it looks a little like an iPhone 7. One of the OnePlus 5’s greatest assets is the value it provides – the base 6GB/64GB model costs only $479 and even the 8GB/128GB model is only $539 – however, you will be hard-pressed to find one now that the OnePlus 5T is available.
The OnePlus 5 continues the tradition of using only a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and about 401 PPI with its 5.5-inch display. On the other hand, it does use an AMOLED display that offers a very good viewing experience. OnePlus omitted a secondary display for notifications, so you must wake up your device to view any notifications. The OnePlus 5 uses the same processor as the OP5T, and many other flagships – the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with a quad-core clocked at 1.9GHz, and another quad-core clocked at 2.45GHz. Qualcomm includes the Adreno 540 GPU for superior graphics. The device comes in two configurations – one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable memory and another with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage.
OnePlus went to the dual camera setup on the OP5 with the primary camera taking the most pictures and the secondary one is used for wide-angled shots, telephoto shots, or giving your photos that bokeh effect. The primary camera, used to take most of your photos, is a 16MP sensor manufactured by Sony with a large f/1.7 aperture that lets in more light. It also packs EIS, PDAF, a 1.6X optical zoom, and a dual-LED flash. The secondary camera uses another Sony 20MP sensor paired with a much smaller f/2.6 aperture and a telephoto lens. The OnePlus 5 comes with a large 16MP sensor for the front-facing camera with an f/2.0 aperture, EIS, and Auto-HDR. A 3,300mAh non-removable battery that includes OnePlus’ Dash Charge feature supplies power to the flagship.
OnePlus is finally on the right track as it increases its cellular connectivity with support for 34 different frequency bands – meaning it should work on your carrier. It has the newest Bluetooth 5.0 and they give you a healthy dose of RAM – no matter which model you choose – but it would be nice to have expandable memory. You will find the fast, front-mounted fingerprint scanner on the large bezel at the bottom of the OnePlus 5. The device offers support for NFC, Android Pay, includes a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, and sports a 3.5mm headphone jack. The OnePlus 5 comes with Android 7.1.1 Nougat out of the box with an OxygenOS overlay – that gives you a near pure vanilla experience. A path to an Android 8.0 Oreo is promised in the near future. The device measures 152.2 x 74.1 x 7.3mm, weighs in at 153 grams, and comes in Midnight Black or Slate Gray, starting at $479, though it’s not available for purchase directly from OnePlus any longer.
OnePlus has done it again as they continue to bring out a new device and a few months later, they slap a ‘T’ on the number and come out with an upgrade. A strange marketing technique, but I guess it works for them. OnePlus has a ‘cult-like’ following and many users were anxious for the One Plus 5 model – will they be as anxious to upgrade to this new OnePlus 5T version, especially when most of the excitement is in the design and display. The OP5T still uses the Full HD resolution and has the same pixel density, even with a larger display. It still uses the anodized aluminum body, but with the 18:9 aspect ratio, and by moving the fingerprint sensor to the back, OP was able to offer very small bezels, giving it a sexy, more modern look. It still provides great value with the 6GB/64GB model coming in at $500 and the 8GB/128GB model peaking at $560. But, is it worth the upgrade?
We thought that OnePlus might move up to a new QHD display on the OnePlus 5T, but alas, they continue to stick with the FHD resolution on the larger 6.01-inch AMOLED display. Even though OP increased the size and changed the aspect ratio to 18:9, it still maintains about 401 PPI. The OP5T did not incorporate a secondary display for notifications, so you still must wake-up the device each time you check. OP incorporated their new Sunlight Display that makes the display much easier to view in the bright sun. The new design looks modern from the front and iPhone like in the back.
The OnePlus 5T uses the same processor as the OnePlus 5, as well as other flagship devices, including the Galaxy Note 8 – the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with one quad-core cluster clocked at 1.9GHz and another quad-core clocked at 2.45GHz. This is paired up with the Adreno 540 GPU for outstanding graphics. The OP5T comes in same two configurations as the OP5 – one with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of non-expandable memory and another with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in storage.
The OnePlus 5T continues the OP5’s dual camera arrangement, but makes a few changes that we do not fully understand. It uses the same 16-megapixel primary camera and a 20-megapixel secondary camera, but rather than keeping the telephoto option on the secondary lens like the OP5, the OP5T uses it for the bokeh effect. Both use a large f/1.7 aperture for low-light shooting, PDAF, EIS, and a dual-LED flash. OP also took away the optical zoom and gave it an inferior digital zoom. Why didn’t they follow Huawei and do a monochrome lens and why give them both the same focal length? OP also tweaked the software on the camera app, but this time for the better, giving it a Pro Mode and cleaning up the menus a bit. Both devices use the same 16-megapixel FFC with an f/2.0 aperture, EIS, and auto-HDR. The OnePlus 5T is powered by a 3,300mAh battery with OP’s Dash Charge.
Because these two devices are so much alike, I will not repeat what I said about the OnePlus 5. Being available on more networks and having the most up-to-date specs should help the new OP5T sell like hotcakes – especially with the new display and reasonable pricing. It still sports a 3.5mm headphone jack and comes with a promise for a quick upgrade to Android 8.0 Oreo. The device measures 156.1 x 75 x 7.3mm and weighs in at 162 grams, and comes in Midnight Black, starting at $500, and will be available in the US starting today.
...And The Winner Is...
The Final Word
There is no secret here that the win will go to the newer OnePlus 5T, especially when you consider pricing. For a few dollars more, you get a much more modern looking device, but that is the shame of it – it looks better, but the other upgrades are small. The display is definitely the big news here, after all, the processor/GPU, memory, etc., are the same. In fact, some would say that the camera area on the OP5T is a slight downgrade – no telephoto and no optical zoom, as found on the OP5.
Since we use our displays every time we pick up our phone, this is a major improvement – a larger display, 18:9 aspect ratio, and OnePlus’ Sunlight Display that really makes a difference in viewing your OP5T outdoors in the bright sun. OnePlus is still using the metal back, so it offers no IP67 or IP68 dust and water resistance, nor wireless charging, but for the price, the OnePlus 5T is hard to resist.
If you already own an OnePlus 5, is it really worth spending another $500 to upgrade…probably not…you would be wiser to wait until the OnePlus 6. Another way to look at it is if you already spend $500 on a OP5 and another $500 on a OP5T, for that $1000, you could buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 8. True, they both use the same processor, but you get so much more on the Note 8. This is a decision only you can make based on your personal circumstances.