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Editorial: Why The OnePlus 5T Won’t Exist

Never 5eTtle

Whenever there’s a new OnePlus device coming in, the Media goes into a frenzy. We can’t complain though, it’s a fan favourite and gets everyone excited. However, more recently, rumours of a OnePlus 5T have started surfacing, as a successor to the OnePlus 5, which is hardly 5 months old. So here are some reasons (and facts) as to why I don’t think that the OnePlus 5T exists….

History lesson

Before we dive in the pool of OnePlus 5T stories, we should go back and understand why the OnePlus 3T was made, back in 2016. The OP3 was a very good phone and gave tough competition to the likes of the S7 and the G5. It was pretty much a winner for the first half of 2016. Things got even easier with the demise of the Note 7. However, towards the end of 2016, we had a new contender in the flagship space: The Google Pixel. Built with the latest Snapdragon 821, and software capabilities like no other, the Pixel was becoming the next best Android, coming in at around $800. The entry of the Pixel was a big hit to the perception of the OnePlus 3. So the OnePlus 3T was OnePlus’s answer as a Pixel-killer for just $440. It had the same specifications and improved camera optics and a 13% bigger battery, yet being almost $250 cheaper. Unsurprisingly, the 3T was a success! However, there was one small problem. OnePlus being a very fan-focussed company, the perception of its customers mattered a lot to them. After the surprise launch of the 3T, all OnePlus 3 owners felt betrayed as their device couldn’t be called the latest in just 4 months! In a bubble, the OnePlus 3T was an amazing phone, but sadly it left a bitter taste in the mouth of the OP3 users.

OnePlus 5T in 2017? No, Thanks

Fast forward 12 months, the OnePlus 5 is doing really well and is being loved by everyone. yes, there might be better phones around, like the Note 8 and the Pixel 2, but the distinction between them isn’t as easy, and they are vying for a totally different pie of the market.

If we go back, the OnePlus 3T offered the following over the OnePlus 3, with an increase of $40:

  • Snapdragon 821, instead of Snapdragon 820
  • 16MP front camera, up from 8MP
  • 3,400mAh battery, from 3,000mAh
  • A 128GB storage option (additional $40)

These made the OnePlus 3T a no-brainer over the 3. But, when you try to compare the alleged OnePlus 5T with the 5, the only major difference would be an 18:9 Display, as the industry trend for 2017 has been…. The core reason why the T series existed is absent.

  • There is no new processor in the market after the Snapdragon 835. The flagship phones that came out in the start of 2017 had the same chip, as the phones coming out this month.
  • There isn’t much room for camera improvement on the OnePlus 5, as the current crop of Dual cameras is pretty good.
  • A bigger battery seems unlikely, as a bigger (taller) display would leave lesser space inside the body for a bigger power pack.
  • Having a major change like an 18:9 Display on an incremental update phone would leave nothing to wait for, on the next flagship (OnePlus 6?). Every OnePlus flagship has had a 5.5″ 1080p display, so breaking that trend would take a lot

There’s very little the OnePlus 5 does wrong, leaving very little room for improvement on the 5T. Having a new phone would mean a diluted lineup, leading to issues with Customer service, availability of parts, and most importantly, Software updates. In return, they get very little in terms of higher sales or newer market segments. And of course, having to deal with disgruntled OP5 owners.

Oppo F5
OnePlus 5T
“OnePlus 5T”

If we take a closer look at the rumours, then the renders seem to be a morphed Oppo F5, with the fingerprint scanner moving to the back. OnePlus has done enough customer survey that they know that there is a strong preference for the scanner to be on the front.

So that’s what I had to say, based on my knowledge of the company and the industry. And, OnePlus has already closed shut down the rumours of the existence of the 5T, making this debate a lot easier….. So what do you think? Do you agree with my rationale? Let’s discuss! Share this article with those who seem to be rather worried/excited for the OnePlus 5T!

*mic drop*

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  • Joady

    Or… The 3T showed OP that you can make a lot more money by making 2 phones a year. And because of the 3T the fans won’t be so surprised this time. And I think they are quite worried about being one of the only major manufacturers without a bezelless phone out. Just a thought

    • Aakash Jhaveri

      There surely is more money, but not a good step in the long run. No company has been successful with a twice a year refresh cycle (eg: Sony Xperia) and for a company like OnePlus, earning the trust of fans is crucial. There are many steps they taking toward this that the public might not know…..
      -AJ @Jhaverinator

  • OnePlus 5 is a good phone (tho the looks could have been better if it didn’t resemble iPhone)
    OnePlus 5T is pointless and would look like a catch up company to create a replica of another company’s popular device.

    OnePlus owes a lot to its users, the community holds mostly geeks or tech-aware people who are very vocal about everything, Remember they went through hours trying to get and give the invites and being part of the company.

    OnePlus display definitely requires a big change in size, pixels and bezel size. Battery should last for 10 hrs SOT. Camera should be the best in market. Oxygen OS be refined. Security made stronger. Block personal data leakes, App siphonage, better memory management. Stereo speakers, Water proof, All these things are expected in the next launch. Not just incremental stuff.

    OnePlus should stay ahead and be the flagship killer it was.

  • AD

    I guess OnePlus has already made a good name, through quality products, features and cost. Now it should start focusing on some innovation and features release ahead of the competition. It should also include curved glasses phones with some innovation and useful apps. Although Samsung has already have lineup for this but at the price at which OnePlus can offer, might be a crowd puller. Make Oxygen OS, a bit stronger now. Is it possible to use innovative battery charging technologies which charges phones under 5 minutes. S/O/AMOLED screens and a hidden phone stand, just one strip of metal which is hidden in body and serves as a stand in either portrait mode or landscape will resolve age old users problems. I hope somebody will pay attention to it. Thanks.

    • Aakash Jhaveri

      Agreed, that OnePlus has majorly been going in the right direction. But in order to keep the prices low, they can’t really innovate or spend much on R&D. OxygenOS is great, but can definitely be a little more. Curved screens are still a nice, and are useless for most people. They want to spend wisely. I don’t see a phone stand happening any time soon, as companies move toward beautiful metal designs

      • AD

        I think you missed the latest leaks where it was confirmed that OP5T is a reality and company is working on it. Anyway those were my thoughts to make it more practical phone with useful features which I want to see, your requirement might be different and thence you can disagree. If OP really want to be in the market then they have to put efforts in R&D. Do you think without innovation and features a company can survive long in the cut throat competition? Highly impossible… and that is one of the reason why OP wanted to offer OxygenOS otherwise plain vanilla Android is good enough to offer plenty and can speed up the latest releases as well. There is a difference between practicality, innovation, and loading features. Samsung is now not finding many useful features and hence relying on new ways to lure people to buy phones. OP is also at the fag end of it where some hardware upgrades will not lure customers any more. Sensors are saturated, camera with 20MP release is saturated, Screens are saturated, metal body is in the market in almost all categories… what will company offer now? A big question with all players, which can set them apart from competition. Hard to think and this leads to put more money in innovation and R&D, if they really want to be differentiators otherwise being a copy cat and releasing a product every now and then will not match the tag what OnePlus have. Give a thought!