The upstart Android with iPhone flair

OnePlus’s new 5T combines smart good looks with sensational performance

OnePlus 5T, from £449
OnePlus 5T, from £449 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

I’ve become a big fan of OnePlus, the homegrown Chinese Android smartphone brand that has emerged from launch to global player in just over three years – an extraordinary achievement in a ludicrously crowded market seemingly dominated by giant players. It is a mistake to regard OnePlus’s approach as mere price play. Its phones have always been radically cheaper than its competitors’, but that’s not their main feature. For me, the big thing about this latest OnePlus, the 5T, is that it can hold its head high alongside a Samsung Galaxy, while being cooler and less flashy. Sure, you don’t quite get the Galaxy wraparound screen, but for me they stopped looking cool about a year ago.

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The 5T’s screen goes right to the edge anyway, almost, and it’s huge at just over 6in, as well as fabulously sharp and crisp. The 5T is among the fastest Android phones on the market, marginally behind the iPhone X in performance, but with a bigger screen and a thinner body – so thin and sharp, in fact, that you might find it tricky to handle without a case. The 5T also has face-recognition unlock as smooth, as far as I can tell, as Apple’s. There are so many other pluses to the 5T (dual SIM, for one), that as a sensible, top quality work tool, it’s hard to think of a reason not to favour it above most others. The fact that it’s hundreds of pounds cheaper than competitors is by the by.

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