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OnePlus 5T Camera Review: Best snapper at this price point?

The OnePlus 5 already served up a great dual-lens smartphone snapper for under £500 earlier in 2017, yet the new OnePlus 5T improves on that camera tech, with a boost to low light functionality. We’ve been testing the OnePlus 5T’s optics to see how it performs for everyday photos and home movies.

While this handset rocks the same primary 16-megapixel f/1.7 aperture Sony IMX398 lens as the OnePlus 5, the new model replaces the old secondary lens with a 20-megapixel f/1.7 aperture Sony IMX376K snapper. This is more capable at sucking in light when conditions are dim, for theoretically improved night shots.

Best smartphone cameras of 2017

How to buy the OnePlus 5T

OnePlus 5T camera review: App and features

As far as the camera app itself goes, nothing has really changed. Launch it with a tap of the app icon or a double-prod of the phone’s power button and you’re straight into the auto mode, to take snaps with just a poke. This includes built-in HDR, for those tricky high-contrast moments.

Flick your finger up the OnePlus 5T’s screen and you’re straight into video mode, ready to record up to 4K resolution footage. You can also flick down to enter the depth mode, which uses the dual lens setup to add a blurry bokeh-style effect to your photo’s background.

That’s not the limit of the phone’s bonus camera modes, thankfully. If you swipe left you’ll open up a new menu, which offers up timelapse and slow motion video recording. There’s also a Portrait Mode, which combines that depth mode effect with a beautify feature to iron out those wrinkles. And any confident photographers will appreciate the Pro mode, which allows you to manually tweak the settings for precise results. This even dishes up a spirit level, for perfectly straight shots.

OnePlus 5T camera review: Photo quality

We couldn’t help but be impressed by the OnePlus 5T’s photo capture, which rivals even premium-priced handsets.

No matter the conditions that you’re shooting in, chances are you’ll end up with a good-looking snap. The auto mode adapts with ease, even when lighting conditions are less than ideal. The built-in HDR mode certainly helps, without adding too much lag to the shutter action, so strong contrast doesn’t result in oversaturated, blown-out photos.

With that bokeh effect in the depth mode you can capture some really stunning up-close shots, worthy of a DSLR camera. Detail levels certainly impress too, no matter how close you get to your subject. Even when blow right up, your shots will look crisp and clean.

The OnePlus 5T’s camera isn’t quite infallible, however. Moving subjects can pose a problem if you’re not shooting in good light or within a few feet. You’ll want to stand back a bit if you’re trying to grab snaps of your dogs, cats or toddlers.

So what about those night shots, the area where the OnePlus 5T is supposed to really improve over the OnePlus 5? Well, this handset once again impresses with its low light capture, those lenses sucking in plenty of light to capture more detail than rivals. It’s still not quite up to the levels of the Huawei Mate 10 Pro or Samsung’s premium smartphones, but you’ll struggle to find better results around this price point.

Night scenes look very similar on the OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 5, but when you try capturing close-up subjects, this new handset is a clear improvement. Detail levels are better and colours really shine, as you can see in our comparisons below.

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5T

OnePlus 5

OnePlus 5T

Check out some more of our OnePlus 5T camera photo samples below.

OnePlus 5T camera review: Video quality

Previous OnePlus cameras have been dependable when it comes to video capture, although image stabilisation has always been a bit of an afterthought, added in a post-launch update.

Thankfully there’s no such issue with the OnePlus 5T. Shoot Full HD or 4K footage at 30 frames-per-second and the worst of your movements are cancelled out. There is a slightly distracting shimmering effect when walking at pace and recording at the same time, although that’s nothing compared with the shake-fest from most mobiles at Ultra HD settings.

Switch to Full HD at 60 frames-per-second and things are a bit more shaky, so you’re best off staying as still as possible when shooting. However, the results are pleasingly smooth at that frame rate, for a more natural vibe.

Whichever resolution you shoot at, you can expect solid results from the OnePlus 5T. The lens adapts to changing conditions in a flash, while capturing plenty of detail and accurate colours.

Check out our OnePlus 5T camera video samples below.

OnePlus 5T camera review: Selfie camera

Around the front of the OnePlus 5T is the same 16-megapixel f/2.0 aperture snapper found on the OnePlus 5. This comes with identical features too, including smile detection and a beauty mode to make you look super-glam, darling.

Selfie shots look natural across a range of conditions, even with artificial lighting. Night shots aren’t bad either, although you’ll find that high dynamic range is a problem, with lighter areas really blown out. You’ll want to stay still too, or you’ll come out a bit blurry.

You can also shoot up to Full HD video if you want to vlog about your awesome life.

You can bag the OnePlus 5T exclusively from O2 here in the UK, from £38 per month on contract or £449 without contract. Check out the O2 OnePlus 5T page for details and to grab yours now.


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