“Should I upgrade?”
That is the question that comes to many a gadget lover’s minds when a new version of a product they possess hits the market. The temptation to move to the latest (and allegedly) greatest in town is tempered with that to stay with something that has served one well. And that can particularly be the case when what one already has is not too long in the tooth. So you can imagine the quandary many OnePlus fans with the OnePlus 3T find themselves in – to update to the new OnePlus 5 or stay with the tried and tested and not so old OnePlus 3T, is the question that confronts them. Well, you could check our reviews of the products to get a better idea of where they stand (OnePlus 3T Review and OnePlus 5 Review), or if you are looking for a quicker solution, cast an eye on the arguments for and against an upgrade to the OnePlus 5.
The case for upgrading to the OnePlus 5:
No, we are not fans of the “Dual Cameras, Clearer Photos” line, but there is no doubting that the 20- and 16-megapixel camera combo on the back of the OnePlus 5 is capable of doling out some great photography. The dual cameras might err on the side of oversaturation at times, and the absence of optical image stabilisation can make low light photography and capturing fast-moving objects a bit of a challenge occasionally, but when on song, the cameras on the OnePlus 5 are capable of going toe-to-toe with the best out there (and we mean the best). So if photography is important to you, and you are patient enough, the OnePlus 5 is a gimme for anyone with a OnePlus 3T.
It is a different design from its predecessors, and while some are moaning about its similarity to phone-y fruit from Cupertino and from a company that formerly employed both the co-founders of OnePlus, there is no doubting that the OnePlus 5 cuts a pretty figure. It is slightly longer than the OnePlus 3T, but is way more curve-y, and is also less wide and thinner. The combination of glass metal is eye catching, so what if people might mistake it occasionally for another device? Do you like your phones thin and with smooth edges? Get the OnePlus 5.
The specs & performance
If you are a spec sheet freak and crave speedy performance, then the OnePlus 5 is an absolute gimme for anyone who owns a OnePlus 3T. The newest OnePlus comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and unlike the OnePlus 3T, which had 6 GB RAM across all variants, comes with a 8 GB variant too. And if precedents are anything to go by, while both devices run Oxygen OS, the OnePlus 5 will get updates slightly earlier than its predecessor. And guess what? The OnePlus 5 feels a lot smoother thanks to the increased touch sensitivity. Round that off with better sound on loudspeaker and headphones, and the OnePlus 5 has a clear edge on hardware and software…need we say more?
The case to stay with the 3T:
Yes, we know that we said that the design was also someone a reason to go for the OnePlus 5, but do note, that we said that only if you like curvey, slim phones. The OnePlus 5 is a looker but it can be slippery and can also be confused with (er) some other devices. On the other hand, there is a pleasant solidity and heft about the OnePlus 3T, and notwithstanding a design that seems inspired from the HTC stable, it is kind of difficult to imagine someone mistaking it for another device. It sticking out in a crowd with your OnePlus is important, resist the temptation to upgrade and stay with the OnePlus 3T.
Yes, yes, we are well aware that we had given the spec sheet as a reason to upgrade to the OnePlus 5, but unless you are an absolute benchmark and spec sheet freak, the fact is that the OnePlus 3T still commands specs that would be the envy of most devices out there, and is just as smooth an operator. The Snapdragon 821 chip is a great performer and paired with 6 GB RAM; it can deliver a terrific performance. And well, the OnePlus 3T comes with a similar full HD AMOLED display as the OnePlus 5, so that is another edge gone. And while we did not see a major difference in battery life between the two models, some people might feel more assured by the slightly larger 3400 mAh battery in the OnePlus 3T as compared to the 3300 mAh one on the OnePlus 5 (and it has Dash Charge as well). Yes, the sound quality is a tad lower than on the OnePlus 5, but it is not on deal-breaking dimensions. And hey, while the OnePlus 5 sports those incredibly promising dual cameras, the single shooter on the OnePlus 3T has something they both lack – optical image stabilization. It might be a tad slower and might not always deliver as much detail and as stunning colors, but the 16.0-megapixel shooter on the 3T is no mug, and certainly not a deal-breaker. Take it from us; the 3T remains a very well specced phone by most standards even now.
If you like snapping pictures of other beings and objects, updating to the OnePlus 5 is a no-brainer. But ah, if you are more prone to photographic suicide (shooting yourself can be called that) and are a selfie addict, then we see no reason to ask you to move to the 5. Both the 3T and the 5 have largely identical 16.0-megapixel front-facing shooters. In fact, the 16.0-megapixel selfie snapper was the reason why many upgraded from the 3 to the 3T in the first place. Love selfies? Stay with the 3T.
Final call: Should you upgrade from OnePlus 3T to OnePlus 5?
We may sound like parrots, but we really think it all depends on what you really value. In terms of general overall performance, we think the OnePlus 3T remains a formidable proposition (we called the OnePlus 3 the phone that haunts all new flagships, and the OnePlus 3T is an actual improved version of it), but a slimmer and sleeker (if familiar) design, a more promising camera, smoother UI and a better spec sheet matter, then the OnePlus 5 becomes well nigh irresistible. If those factors do not really come into the picture to a massive extent, then staying with the OnePlus 3T is by no means an unwise decision. In fact, we would go so far as to say that in some regards, the OnePlus 3T is one of the devices the OnePlus 5 might even have to contend with in the coming days. But that is another story. Literally, Wait for it.