After months of leaks and rumors, the OnePlus 5 is finally official, and we really do love this latest flagship phone that combines high-end hardware features with a relatively low price point. However, it was just seven months ago that the same company launched the OnePlus 3T, and that phone is still a solid choice for anyone looking for a new handset. So how does the new OnePlus flagship compete against its immediate predecessor? Is it worth it for OnePlus 3T owners to upgrade to the OnePlus 5? That’s just what we will try to answer in this quick.

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Design

Both the OnePlus 5 and 3T feature a full metal unibody construction and some design and hardware elements remain the same between both phones. The OnePlus 5 retains the popular Alert Slider found on other OnePlus devices, and the fingerprint sensor remains on the front. Moving around to the back, you’ll notice the OnePlus 5 is a bit cleaner than its predecessor, with the antenna lines that blend in and the camera, now of the dual-sensor variety, moved to the top-left corner.

Before we go any further, we will admit that the OnePlus 5 looks very much like the iPhone 7 Plus in terms of its design. It is also practically identical to the recently announced OPPO R11. Some of you may feel that OnePlus should have used some more inspiration when it comes to the look of their new phone. However, there’s no denying that the OnePlus 5 is still a sleek smartphone that looks and feel great in the hand. That is also the case with the earlier OnePlus 3T.

In terms of size and handling, the OnePlus 5 is only a hair shorter, thinner, and narrower than the 3T, and the handling experience is pretty much the same with both. In short, if you like the look and feel of the OnePlus 3T, you should be happy with the new OnePlus 5.

Hardware

Both the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 5 come with the same 5.5-inch AMOLED display with a 1080p Full HD resolution and the more standard 16:9 aspect ratio. OnePlus has yet to make the jump to a Quad HD display for its phones, but unless you want to view some VR content, the Full HD screen for the OnePlus 5 should be more than acceptable.

The OnePlus 3T shipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, which at the time was the fastest chip you could get in a phone. The new OnePlus 5 is even faster, with the new Snapdragon 835 chip, which is the same found in the US versions of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus and the HTC U11.

Also read: OnePlus 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S8: quick look

The OnePlus 3T came with 6 GB of RAM,which is still more than what you can get from most current flagship smartphones. The standard OnePlus 5 can be bought with either 6 or 8 GB of RAM, and either with 64 GB or 128 GB of onboard storage, compared to just 64 GB for the OnePlus 3T. The OnePlus 5 has plenty of memory and storage for most users, although it does not have the option to add more storage due to the lack of a microSD card slot. 

The OnePlus 3T launched with a 3,400 mAh battery, but thanks in part to its thinner design, the OnePlus 5 comes with a slightly smaller 3,300 mAh battery. However, the phone is supposed to last up to 20 percent longer on a single charge compared to its predecessor, thanks to the more power-efficient Snapdragon 835 chip. Both phones also feature the super fast Dash Charge technology. The OnePlus 5 can charge over 50 percent of its battery in about 30 minutes, and can reach its full capacity in less than 90 minutes. 

Camera

Perhaps the biggest difference between the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 5 is with their rear cameras. The 16 MP rear camera of the OnePlus 3T proved to be a very good and reliable shooter, but the company decided to take the big leap by putting in a dual lens setup on the OnePlus 5, with 16 and 20 MP sensors. Both phones come with the same 16 MP front-facing shooter that will help you capture some high-quality selfies.

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Software

On the software front, both the OnePlus 3T and the OnePlus 5 feature the same software package with the latest version of the company’s own OxygenOS, which is based on Android 7.1.1 Nougat. There are a few new software features that owners can check out on the OnePlus 5. They included a Reading Mode that uses gray-scale mapping and the blue light filter to provide an excellent reading experience on its display. It also includes an automatic night mode, expanded screenshots, a do not disturb mode while gaming, and more.

Specs

 OnePlus 5OnePlus 3T
Display5.5-inch AMOLED
1920 x 1080 resolution
401 ppi
16:9 aspect ratio
5.5-inch AMOLED
1920 x 1080 resolution
401 ppi
16:9 aspect ratio
Processor2.45 GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 mobile platform2.35 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821
RAM6/8 GB
LPDDR4
6 GB
LPDDR4
Storage64/128 GB
UFS 2.1
64/128 GB
UFS 2.0
MicroSDNoNo
CamerasRear camera
Main: 16 MP Sony IMX 398 sensor, 1.12 μm, ƒ/1.7 aperture, EIS, dual LED flash
Telephoto: 20 MP Sony IMX 350 sensor, 1.0 μm, ƒ/2.6 aperture

Front: 16 MP Sony IMX 371 sensor, 1.0 μm, ƒ/2.0 aperture, EIS
Rear: 16 MP Sony IMX 298 sensor, 1.12 μm, ƒ/2.0 aperture, OIS, EIS, dual LED flash

Front: 16 MP Samsung 3P8SP sensor, 1.0 μm, ƒ/2.0 aperture, EIS
Battery3,300 mAh
Non-removable
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
3,400 mAh
Non-removable
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
Water resistanceNoNo
SoftwareAndroid 7.1.1 Nougat
OxygenOS
Android 7.1.1 Nougat
OxygenOS
Dimensions and weight154.2 x 74.1 x 7.25 mm
153 g
152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm
158 g

Pricing

As we have mentioned before, the OnePlus 5 has a starting price of $479 for the 64 GB version, and $539 for the 128 GB edition. That’s a bit higher than the starting price of the OnePlus 3T at $439. However, we still feel that the OnePlus 5 gives customers a lot for the money, especially compared to its current, and higher-priced, rivals.

Conclusion

The OnePlus 5 is not a massive upgrade compared to the OnePlus 3T, and it also comes with a higher price. However, the faster processor, the more efficient battery, and especially the upgrade to the dual rear camera setup makes up for the lack of upgrades in some of the phone’s other features. If you are looking to upgrade from the OnePlus 3T to the OnePlus 5, we think you will be happy with the result.

We want to know your opinion on the OnePlus 3T compared to the OnePlus 5. Do you think 3T owners should upgrade to the 5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!


Want to learn more about the OnePlus 5? Check out our full review!

John Callaham
John was a newspaper reporter before becoming a technology and video/PC gaming writer in 2000. He lives in Greer, SC with his wife and five cats.