OnePlus 5T review

The flagship killer returns in style

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OnePlus considers its T series handsets to be an extension and evolution of its summer releases, taking what it's already achieved and making it more relevant with a selection of significant updates.

The OnePlus 5T fulfills the brief, offering a pleasing array of upgrades that will keep fans of the brand happy without reinventing the wheel or upping the price. It's the best phone the brand has ever made, and one that can mix it with the best handsets around without looking out of place.

Watch the video below to see our final verdict on the OnePlus 5T

The increased screen size is welcome and the camera is stronger (although still not at the same level as the Galaxy S8 or Pixel 2), while any potential worries regarding battery life can be put to bed.

The inclusion of Face Unlock is nice, and it works surprisingly well, but it's also good to see OnePlus retain the fingerprint scanner and headphone jack, which will no doubt please the geekier elements of OnePlus' following.

Who's it for?

The OnePlus 5T is a fantastic option for anyone who's looking for a flagship smartphone but doesn't want to (or can't) spend the big bucks demanded by Apple, Samsung, Google and co.

While there are a few small compromises to consider – no QHD display, stereo speakers, expandable storage or standout camera – the OnePlus 5T represents some of the best value for money in the market. You won't be disappointed.

Should I buy it?

In short, absolutely. You're getting a flagship phone in the OnePlus 5T, at a price which undercuts every big name on the market. 

The compromises are small, the screen is large and the power plentiful – and with Android 8 Oreo scheduled to arrive in early 2018, things should get even better for the OnePlus 5T.

If you're in the market for a flagship phone there's plenty of choice, although most are considerably more expensive. Below we’ve highlighted some of the main rivals the OnePlus 5T is facing.

Samsung Galaxy S8

It's our best phone in the world right now, and for good reason. The Samsung Galaxy S8 pulls all the key features required of a flagship phone together into an alluring package with a dazzling display.

Compared with the OnePlus 5T it has a better screen, camera and overall design – but it does cost a little more (although recent price price drops have made it an ever more attractive option).

For those looking for the complete flagship experience, the Galaxy S8 gives it to you whereas the 5T comes up a little short – but just think of the money you’ll save if you opt for the OnePlus.

Read our in-depth review: Samsung Galaxy S8

Google Pixel 2

If smartphone photography is important to you, you'll be pleased to hear that OnePlus has improved its dual camera setup on the back of the 5T – but it’s not the best mobile snapper around.

That accolade belongs to the Google Pixel 2 (and Pixel 2 XL). While it offers just a single camera on its rear, it’s simply top-notch.

That said, the Pixel 2 is much more expensive than the 5T, so you'll need to ask yourself whether you want to part with the extra cash.

Read our in-depth review: Google Pixel 2 

Honor 9

When it comes to low-cost flagships there are two front runners: OnePlus and Honor. The Honor 9 is cheaper, and those with smaller hands may be drawn to its more compact 5.15-inch display and shiny glass body.

It looks and feels premium, although it still has chunky bezels above and below the screen, while there are dual cameras round the back and a punchier chipset and 6GB of RAM under the hood.

The Honor 9 isn't as strong as the OnePlus as a complete package, but its price means it's certainly worth considering.

Read our in-depth review: Honor 9 

First reviewed: November 2017

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.