The sun was poking through the clouds on a cold, windy day in New York last week, but there were dozens of fans and enthusiasts lined up outside Villain, a converted warehouse in Brooklyn, to get a chance to meet the OnePlus 5T.
Once inside, fans mingled with tech press and YouTubers, drinking coffee and opening the sweet swag bags they got with the purchase of each ticket.
Then came the main event. The lights went down and members of the OnePlus team came on stage, first to talk about the past — including some mistakes and lessons along the way — and about the future. One big part of the future is the way OnePlus works with its community of closed and open beta testers to make its phones as great and intuitive as they can be. Another is, when designing phones, to give users the best technologies as soon as they are available.
Hence, the OnePlus 5T. Made out of a beautiful piece of machined aluminum, the OnePlus 5T has a gorgeous 6-inch Optic AMOLED display with an expanded 18:9 (or 2:1) aspect ratio. The screen is vibrant and lush, with incredible color detail — way better than some of the other 6-inch screens out there right now 😉.
To accommodate that bigger display, OnePlus moved the fingerprint sensor to the back, which is totally fine because it's still super fast and incredibly reliable. And to add to the fun, OnePlus added Face Unlock, an awesome alternative to the fingerprint that just works — you turn on the power button and look at the screen and you're in! It takes roughly 0.4 seconds to get into the phone; it's so fast you can barely see it working.
Of course, the OnePlus 5T doesn't skimp on any other features, especially given its $499 price point. You get the latest Snapdragon 835 processor, up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (for an extra $60), a huge 3300mAh battery and Dash Charge to give it half a day's use in just 30 minutes, as well as features we shouldn't have to point out but will like a headphone jack and an awesome speaker.
Then there's the all-new dual camera setup, which continues OnePlus's legacy of amazing photo and video quality with a new 20MP secondary sensor tuned for low light. You'll have to see it to believe it, but this thing will make sure your food shots are superb even with the lights off.
Here's the thing, though: these are all just words on paper until you get to see them in person. Which is why OnePlus invited a couple hundred of its closest friends to the launch event to try out everything that the 5T can do, from Face Unlock and Gaming DND Mode.
The features were displayed at four stations around the room, with neon lights decorated to look like -- what else -- a phone. It was pretty rad. But the stations weren't just there for show and tell; after a few minutes, OnePlus started giving away free phones to participants, which is super cool. Everyone else who attended also got $40 off the cost of the OnePlus 5T!
All in all, there was a lot to like about the awesome OnePlus 5T event. Few companies make their executives available to chat with fans and press in the same room, but Carl Pei, Co-founder of OnePlus, and Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus, are so approachable that it's not a big deal.
For OnePlus's first live event, it's pretty safe to say it was a big success, mainly because it brought fans together with their tech heroes in one place. The phone is great, but it's the people surrounding it -- the community -- that make OnePlus such an important company in the tech space today.
The OnePlus 5T is available today, November 21, at oneplus.net/5t starting at $499. If you're thinking of waiting, don't — there are a bunch of special offers available for the launch!
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