Hands on with the OnePlus 5T Star Wars: The Last Jedi Edition
In November, OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5T—a mid-cycle refresh to the OnePlus 5. Unlike 2016’s OnePlus 3T, the OnePlus 5T doesn’t feature a bump in the specifications as it has the same system-on-chip, RAM, and storage configurations. Instead, the OnePlus 5T is a redesign of the OnePlus 5 with a bigger and more modern 6-inch 18:9 Full HD+ (2160×1080) AMOLED display. The new phone also features a different secondary rear camera, but keeps the rest of the specifications same. It has now gone on sale in supported markets, and has broken sales records. OnePlus is looking to continue this momentum by building on the hype of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie. To that end, the company announced the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has already been released in Europe, and today is the official release date of the movie in India. OnePlus has tied the movie’s release with the release of the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition in India via Amazon and its own online store. Technically, the device is the same as the normal OnePlus 5T, with no changes in specifications. However, OnePlus has given it a brand new color: Sandstone White. It also ships with a new theme, and comes with 10 new Star Wars: The Last Jedi themed wallpapers to boot. So without any further delay, let’s take a closer look.
OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition: Hardware
The company has previously released limited edition devices in the form of the OnePlus 3T Colette Edition as well as the Midnight Black Limited Edition. OnePlus also made a Castelbajac Edition of the OnePlus 5 in extremely limited quantities. Now, OnePlus is back with another Limited Edition. This time, though, the scale of the limited edition is much bigger than limited edition devices released in the past. That’s because OnePlus has gone ahead and launched the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Limited Edition in India as well as in Finland, Sweden, and Denmark.
The OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition comes in special packaging with a relatively huge box. The box is primarily colored black with red accents. Inside, OnePlus has included a Star Wars case with the device. The case is a decent quality TPU case with a design that will be welcomed by Star Wars fans. However, it does make the device fairly bulky, which doesn’t help its ergonomics.
Moving on to the device itself, the Star Wars Edition of the OnePlus 5T comes in a Sandstone White color. OnePlus originally used Sandstone in the OnePlus One, which featured a plastic construction and came in Black and White colors. The OnePlus 2 retained the Sandstone back even as it moved to an aluminum frame. However, with the OnePlus 3, the OEM completely retired the Sandstone finish in favor of smooth anodized aluminum.
With the OnePlus 3T, OnePlus started to experiment with more colors by releasing a darker Gunmetal color along with a Soft Gold color. Later, they released a limited edition Midnight Black color which was offered as a standard color with the OnePlus 5 and is now the default color with the OnePlus 5T. One thing that these colors have in common is that they all use the sand-blasted anodized aluminum finish which is smooth and slippery, resulting in less grip. Fans of the original Sandstone finish have had to do with official cases, skins, and the like, as OnePlus seemingly moved on from the iconic sandpaper-like finish.
This changes now as Sandstone makes a comeback with the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition. The white back of the device necessitates a coating to be applied on top of the aluminum, because it’s impossible to make white anodized aluminum. Therefore, the Star Wars Edition variant feels more similar to the OnePlus One instead of the standard OnePlus 5T. Although it’s still an aluminum unibody, the cold feel of metal is suppressed, and instead we get a surface which offers a surprisingly high amount of grip.
Although users may be disappointed to hear that the Star Wars Edition of the OnePlus 5T doesn’t feel like a metal device, the good thing is that the Sandstone finish is worth the trade-off in the sand-blasted aluminum feel. For users who had to use a case with previous OnePlus devices just to get a good amount of grip, the Sandstone finish negates the need for a case in that respect. It also completely hides the antenna bands, which is a plus.
For me, personally speaking, the sandstone finish doesn’t feel like a downgrade from the smooth metal finish of current OnePlus phones. This is because grip is important—and materials like aluminium and glass aren’t known for providing it. Plastic is still the best way to go if users need a high amount of grip, and the coating applied to the OnePlus 5T’s aluminum unibody is the best of both worlds as it gives both the structural rigidity of a metal unibody construction and the grip of a plastic-feeling device.
The buttons and ports are laid in the exact same layout as on the standard variant. The front of the device is dominated by the 6-inch display which has small bezels, whereas the back contains the red Star Wars logo at the bottom. On the left hand side, we have the alert slider, which is colored in red. The volume rocker sits below the alert slider, and is colored in black.
On the right hand side, we have the SIM tray, which interestingly has a black color. The power button is also colored the same, and sits below the SIM tray. The top side of the device is completely clean, whereas the bottom features the USB Type-C port, a single speaker, the microphone, and the 3.5mm headphone jack. OnePlus has previously explained their decision to keep the headphone jack, and on this topic, we can’t agree more. For a device targeted towards enthusiasts, the 3.5mm headphone jack should be a staple, and its presence here is welcome.
According to OnePlus, the design philosophy of the Star Wars Edition can be summed up in the color scheme, which is a mixture of black, white, and red colors, which matches several elements of the Star Wars franchise. The front of the device remains black while the sides and the back switch over to the Sandstone White color. The red alert slider completes the color scheme.
OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition: Software
The design is the star of the show as a differentiating factor for the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition. However, it’s not the only thing which is different. The underlying software is still the same as the standard Midnight Black variant—OxygenOS 4.7 on top of Android 7.1 Nougat, with the promise of an Android Oreo update in early 2018. By default, though, owners of the Star Wars Edition variant will get to experience the ‘Star Wars’ software theme, which is pretty similar to the Dark theme on existing OnePlus phones. The only difference is the red accent color which permeates the user interface. OnePlus has also included ten exclusive Star Wars-themed wallpapers. You can download those wallpapers here.
OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition: Specifications
The specifications of the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition are exactly the same as the standard variant. That means it’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip, which is still Qualcomm’s flagship SoC until the Snapdragon 845 starts shipping on devices next quarter. The Kryo 280 cores are paired with the Adreno 540 GPU.
The device has a 6-inch Full HD+ (2160×1080) 18:9 AMOLED display with 403 PPI. The display has a bigger screen area than its predecessor, and is a newer panel as well. It still features a PenTile matrix, so the effective color resolution is lower than Full HD, and the subpixel density will be lower than that of RGB matrix displays. However, display sharpness is still adequate due to subpixel anti-aliasing.
The display is equipped with sRGB, DCI-P3, and Adaptive screen color modes, as well as a color temperature slider. It also has Sunlight Display for better visibility in daylight conditions. In our opinion, the display is excellent even considering the fact that it doesn’t have WQHD+ (2880×1440) resolution. The brightness is marginally higher than the display of the OnePlus 3T. Since the AMOLED display is supplied by Samsung, color shift is minor and is visible only at extreme angles. Thanks to the presence of sRGB and DCI-P3 color modes, consumers who prefer color accurate displays won’t have any problem with the display of the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition.
Moving on to the camera system, the rear camera configuration is one of the areas where the OnePlus 5T differentiates itself from its predecessor. Although the primary camera is still the same, a 16MP Sony IMX398 sensor with 1.1 micron pixels and a f/1.7 aperture, the secondary telephoto lens of the OnePlus 5 has been swapped in favor of a 20MP IMX376K sensor dedicated to low-light, with 1.0 micron pixels, f/1.7 aperture and the same 27mm field-of-view as the primary camera. This means that the secondary camera can no longer do 2x optical zoom—although it’s worth noting that even the OnePlus 5 could only do 1.6x optical zoom with the remaining zoom being achieved by digital interpolation.
The purpose of the 20MP secondary camera is interesting. It uses Intelligent Pixel technology and will only take photos if light levels are below 10 lux. The term ‘Intelligent Pixel’ refers to pixel binning, which is something we’ve seen before. It combines 4 pixels into one to achieve a brighter photograph, but if light levels are above 10 lux, the primary 16MP camera will take over. The camera UI doesn’t tell the user which camera will be used to take a particular photo, so users have only one way to know information: by checking the EXIF details of a photo.
|Dimensions||156.1mm x 75mm x 7.3mm|
|Weight||5.7 ounces (162g)|
|Software||OxygenOS 4.7 based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat (Oreo Open Beta in December 2017, OTA in Early 2018)|
|CPU||Snapdragon 835 octa-core @ 2.45GHz|
|Storage||64GB/128GB UFS 2.1 2-Lane|
|Sensors||Fingerprint, Hall, Accelerometer, G-sensor, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light Sensor, RGB, Sensor Hub|
|Ports||USB 2.0 Type-C, USB Audio Support, Dual Nano SIM slot, 3.5mm headphone jack|
|Buttons||On-screen navigation buttons, power button, volume rocker, Alert Slider|
|LTE||Supports 3xCA, 64QAM & 256QAM, DL CAT 12, UL CAT 13|
|Bands||FDD LTE Bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66|
TDD-LTE Bands: 34, 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA Bands: 34, 39
UMTS (WCDMA) Bands: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900MHz
|WiFi||MIMO 2×2, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4/5GHz|
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth 5.0 supports aptX and aptX HD|
|Positioning||GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galileo|
|Audio||Bottom-facing speaker, 3 microphones with noise cancellation, supports AANC and Dirac HD Sound|
|Display||6.01-inch 1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 aspect ratio, AMOLED, supports sRGB, DCI-P3, 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5|
The OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition is a OnePlus 5T with a new color and a new software theme. That, in itself, makes it a great device. Considering the Star Wars Edition solely on its own merits, it can be recommended to Star Wars fans as well as OnePlus fans. Even if many consumers aren’t fans of Star Wars, the device is still worth purchasing because the color scheme looks and feels great. Star Wars fans will love the Star Wars theme, wallpapers, and logo on the back, but even users who don’t will still get the benefits of a high amount of grip thanks to the Sandstone White finish.
As such, the device is a good proposition for users who simply want something different than a black slate device. The Star Wars Edition stands out with its different color scheme: white back and sides, Star Wars logo, and the prominent red alert slider. For many consumers, that’s exactly what they want.
The OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition goes on sale in India today on Amazon and the OnePlus Store.