OnePlus has been on a launch spree since the 5T was unveiled back in November 2017. They have been trying to retain the momentum in the market with special edition version of their flagship offerings. The 5T in its two-months run already has had three special editions, out of which two made it to the Indian shores. We got a chance to play around with the 5T Star Wars Edition that marked the return of OnePlus’ signature Sandstone finish while celebrating the latest Star Wars flick. Now, the company has followed it up with a special edition Lava Red 5T that has just been put on the shelf. Therefore, we decided to see if the 2018 edition of the 5T has anything more on the cards rather than simply a fresh coat of paint.
Since the 5T rolled out of OnePlus’ factories in November, we were wooed by the Midnight Black variant’s matte finish. The Lava Red edition is pretty similar to the Midnight Black’s finish, albeit with a red-coloured rear panel. The red isn’t exactly bright red though — we felt that the Lava Red shade has a maroon-like tint. It’s far from the shade of red that Apple used in their Product Red editions of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The antenna lines also adorn a faded shade of red to match the rear panel while distinctly standing out to retain prominence. The alert slider and the volume/power buttons are also painted in a matching shade of red.
Despite painted with a subtle shade of red instead of a bright ‘look-at-me’ red shade, the Lava Red 5T manages to gel well with your attire anywhere anytime. The combination of a black front panel and a ‘maroon-ish’ red rear panel makes the Lava Red 5T a highly desirable smartphone.
Also read: OnePlus 5T Star Wars edition review
Move past the refreshed exteriors and you will find the same tasty recipe that made up the original 5T. The Lava Red 5T comes with a 6.01-inch AMOLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio and an 80 per cent screen-to-body ratio. As with the original 5T, you will get to experience a finely tuned viewing experience. The display renders pictures with good contrasts and high brightness levels, although eager eyes will notice a slightly bluish colour tint. Overall, the picture quality on the 5T’s display is finely tuned for all kinds of users with different preferences.
Inside the highly attractive body lies a tried-and-tested specifications combo — a Snapdragon 835 chipset paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of onboard storage (the Lava Red is only available in the top-spec variant). It is still running on Android Nougat 7.1.1 based Oxygen OS 4.7.6, which is a shame considering most renowned OEMs are releasing new devices with Android Oreo 8.0 onboard. However, OnePlus assures that Android Oreo will be rolled out to the 5T very soon, thus making it a good deal in comparison to some of the latest affordable flagships.
As in typical OnePlus fashion, the performance is blisteringly fast — from switching between multiple apps to playing resource-intensive games. Oxygen OS offers a balanced experience between a stock Android UI and a custom UI. Oxygen OS may not boast of AI features like other custom UIs of today but it offers OnePlus’ popular Face Unlock feature, which is one of the fastest facial recognition systems we have seen around. The latest update to Oxygen OS has made it possible for Face Unlock to work even in low-lit scenarios.
Also read: OnePlus 5T Face Unlock vs competition
As for the cameras, the 16MP + 20MP dual rear camera setup takes good photographs and with the latest software update, we experienced slightly better colours and clear distinction between foreground and background in the portrait mode.
The 3300mAh battery manages to last almost a day but it recharges itself very quickly — thanks to the Dash Charging technology exclusive to OnePlus smartphones.
The OnePlus 5T was already a great performance-oriented smartphone from day 1 and with the Lava Red edition, OnePlus has managed to make it even more desirable than before. Couple that with timely Oxygen OS updates and you get a smartphone that is a joy to use. The OnePlus 5T Lava Red is priced at Rs 37,999 with 8GB RAM and 128GB of onboard storage, making it a compelling flagship smartphone deal.