Having been a huge fan of Nexus phones, I was admittedly concerned when Google announced the termination of the brand. The replacement, Google’s Pixel, just never appealed to me the same way Nexus phones did. Sure Pixels have an amazing camera, but that still doesn’t justify the price for me. Quick updates have always been an advantage of the Nexus brand, and the same can be said of the Pixel, but what good is fast updates if you aren’t a fan of the software to begin with? I was falling out of love with Google’s vision of what an Android smartphone should be, but no other smartphone manufacturer made phones that interested me, except one.
One year ago on this day, I received my brand new OnePlus 5T. Even though I’d never used a smartphone from the company before, I had been following all the news and coverage surrounding OnePlus since the company’s inception, so I was confident that I would enjoy using it. Now one year later, I’m happy to see that I was right. I’m not going to do a one year review per se, but I do want to share what it’s been like to use this phone for the past year. What I’ve liked the most and what I think could've been better.
The reason why I chose Nexus phones over other phones was for the software experience. It should be no surprise then that the biggest reason why I like my OnePlus 5T, and the reason why I chose it in the first place, is the software. Many Chinese manufacturers have shown that it’s possible to make affordable smartphones with high end specs, but where most falter is in the software. OnePlus is the exception. Pretty much every review of OnePlus’ recent offerings will sing praises for the software. It’s fluid and consistently snappy, doesn’t lag down over time, it doesn’t have excessive features which clutter up the UI/UX, but it does have useful additions which enhance the Android experience. One of my favourites is the screen off gestures, which when paired with Face Unlock means I can just draw a letter on the screen while it’s off and the assigned app will open instantly. Oxygen OS is the strength of every OnePlus phone, and it can only get better.
Battery life and Dash Charge
I’m not really a power user who relies on his phone for all his online needs, so my battery life will definitely differ from those who do. Having said that, I’m very happy with the stamina of my phone. The most intensive use comes from Google Maps, as I use it between 2-3 hours a day while I drive to and from work. My phone still has enough juice for my daily usage as well, lasting me well enough into the night on most days. On weekends, my phone usually lasts about one and a half days with minimal use. And when I do need to charge my phone, Dash Charge ensures that my phone doesn’t need to stay tethered for long. All it takes is just a few minutes of charging, and I’m good to go.
Value for money
I’ve always appreciated value for money when it comes to smartphones, and using this phone for one year has proven to me that OnePlus phones provide exceptional value for money. High-end processor with a lot of RAM, one of the fastest fingerprint scanners in the industry, possibly the best Android experiences you can get, a decently sized battery with ridiculously fast charging, all for about half the price of “premium” smartphones. Some other phones may offer better value hardware wise, but for me, the software experience of Oxygen OS just takes OnePlus phones up another level.
That's not to say it's all been good. The speaker for example is quite lame. One bottom firing speaker just isn't good enough. But other than that, I don't really have any major complaints. Wireless charging and an IP rating would've been nice, but not having either of those doesn't detract from the overall experience in any way. Software updates could be a little faster too.
All in all, extremely happy with this phone. And I'm liking what I've seen from OnePlus. I usually skip a generation when buying a new phone, which means the upcoming OnePlus 7T will be on my radar.
What phone are you using and how long have you been using it? Like it? Hate it? Share your thoughts.