OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 5: Only incremental goodness

The fact that the OnePlus 3T is an impressive handset needs no reiteration. So, instead of focusing on the already-celebrated merits of the 3T, I wrote an Amazon review mainly addressing the question that has been bothering OnePlus 3T users of late: whether an upgrade to the “5” is justifiable.

I bought the OnePlus 3T a month ago, knowing fully well that the launch of the OnePlus 5 was just around the corner. Even then, ever since OnePlus released the “5”, I have been tempted to upgrade. Still, nothing short of a shut-up-and-take-my-money value proposition could have convinced me to shell out ₹38K more of my hard-earned money on this shiny new toy.

While the OnePlus 5 specs are undeniably unmatched, a couple of visits to the OnePlus Experience Zone in Noida convinced me that the overall package is only an incremental improvement over the 3T. In many cases, the difference isn’t discernible even on close scrutiny. On the looks front, the OnePlus 5 seems to have taken a step back with only two drab colors available.

While the jury is still out, I did observe the rear dual-camera on the 5 click some excellent portraits with nicely-defined bokeh. However, OnePlus’ algorithm seems to fail to recognize more than one human subject, bringing only the closest one into focus. There is no front dual-camera anyway, so selfies, which is how most portrait photos happen these days, won’t have the depth effect. In fact, I compared the front cameras of the 5 and the 3T side-by-side and could observe no appreciable difference.

The shape and color of the 5 was the real deal-breaker for me. Depending on the version of the 5 that you choose—6 GB/64 GB or 8 GB/128 GB—you have only one of the two colors available. The two “grayish” colors, on their own, are not sufficiently differentiated.

I have no direct data about the battery life of the 5 available, but the 3T works like a charm on that front too. Even upon very active use—9 to 12 hours of screen uptime—the 3T’s battery lasts me more than a full day (24 hours). Efficient in every sense of the word!

Upon great deliberation, then, I have decided to stick to the 3T and give the 5 a miss, at least for now. Maybe, I’ll wait and watch if the 5T is in the works. Alternatively, if the 5 becomes available in some tempting colors (think red!), I might just reconsider my stand. Even then, the lack of an impressive value proposition for upgrade may just tilt the scales to the detriment of the 5 once again.

MY VERDICT: NO. There are no pressing reasons for OnePlus 3T users to upgrade to the OnePlus 5.

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