Hands-on and first impressions of the OnePlus 5T

While Samsung is undoubtedly the reigning champ when it comes to Android devices, OnePlus has had a strong cult following over the past few years. When the company first arrived on the scene, it promised to match the competition when it came to specifications but would also sell its handset at a much lower price. Although the price of its devices has slowly crept up with each iteration, to this day, the firm has provided an option that remains priced well under the competition, but still manages to offer specifications that are competitive.

The OnePlus 5T is the latest handset to arrive from the firm and refreshes its look by utilizing a 6.01-inch 18:9 AMOLED display. As you can imagine, it looks quite good and is a huge leap from its predecessor, the OnePlus 5, that had larger bezels on the top and bottom. The screen offers vibrant colors and the viewing angles are pretty good. With the slimming of its bezels on the front, OnePlus also had to make the decision to move the fingerprint reader from the front to the rear. Luckily, this is positioned in an optimal position and is easily accessible.

While the handset's design might not look unique, it's sleek and its curved rear, allow the phone to gently nestle into one's palm, making it comfortable to use. If there is one complaint, it's that this same sloping design on the rear makes the handset a bit slippery, so it is recommended to exercise caution or to use a case. When it comes to audio, the single bottom firing speaker can get loud, which should be appreciated by anyone that enjoys media from their phone. Again, the sloping design of the rear makes it so that your hand will most likely not cover it by accident when watching enjoying games or videos in landscape mode.

As far as battery life goes, it can easily get through a day with its 3,300mAh battery, and can even get through a second, if the conditions are right. As far as daily use goes, mainly it was texts, web browsing using Chrome, Bluetooth music streaming, YouTube, and taking pictures and videos here and there. Although it can also get to a third day, you're going to be looking at around 25 percent battery life remaining at the start of the day, and very light use during the first two days. If you are one that uses more intense apps like Snapchat, chances are, you'll be draining the battery at a much faster rate, requiring you to charge up the device after the first night.

The OnePlus 5T makes use of Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor and comes with either 6GB or 8GB RAM. The model being tested has 8GB and is quite quick in day-to-day use. The OS is also quite clean when it comes to the interface, with the firm opting to utilize Nova Launcher. Although it is running Android 7.1.1, OnePlus has promised that Android Oreo would be arriving on the handset in beta form by the end of December. When it comes to photography and videos, the handset performs pretty well during the day and looks good when it comes to night shots. You can take a look at some of the examples in the gallery down below. Although more testing will have to be done, the initial impressions of the phone's capabilities are quite positive.

So far, after a few days of use, the OnePlus 5T is a stellar product. While there are plenty of high-end devices to choose from in 2017, the 5T is one of the few that comes priced starting at under $500. But like any device, further testing will have to be done in order to truly discover whether this unit really is the best bang for the buck, while also offering up an excellent experience.

I'd like to extend a big 'Thank You' to the folks at GearBest who supplied the OnePlus 5T for this review. If you would like to purchase the 5T you can head to the OnePlus website or you can pick it up from GearBest.

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