Back when the OnePlus 5T was launched in November 2017, the company surprised us with its pricing. The phone was launched at the same price as the OnePlus 5, which had only been launched a few months prior. A lot of people who bought the OnePlus 5 were left feeling a bit let-down by the company, particularly because it’s likely that many of those buyers had bought their phones only weeks or days before OnePlus launched that phone’s successor.
At that time, OnePlus announced that the OnePlus 5 would be phased out, and this was construed to mean that the device would be discontinued with immediate effect. However, we did a bit of looking, and found that the OnePlus 5 is still on sale through both official online sales partner Amazon India, as well as through the company’s official online store, oneplusstore.in. Indeed, you can purchase the OnePlus 5 8GB RAM/128GB internal storage variant even today at Rs 37,999, which is the same price as it was when the phone launched. What’s more, the newer OnePlus 5T is also available at the exact same price.
This led to us raising our eyebrows for a few reasons. Why would anyone buy the OnePlus 5 now, especially when the newer OnePlus 5T is available at the same price? Although most of the specifications of the OnePlus 5T are the same as that of the OnePlus 5, the key differences in the two phones make all the difference in setting the newer device apart. You get a larger 6-inch 18:9 aspect ratio screen in a phone that is practically the same size, arguably better looks as a result of the increase in screen-to-body ratio, and face unlock. In such as case, keeping the OnePlus 5 on sale and in stock could confuse some buyers, who might purchase this device instead of the newer one and regret the purchase later.
We reached out to a OnePlus spokesperson for clarifications on this, and were able to draw some understanding into the situation. While it was construed that the smartphone would be discontinued, OnePlus has clarified that it was meant to be phased out as stocks would be sold. As is evident on seeing that you can still buy a OnePlus 5 in India, these stocks have not yet completely sold off, even though the device is out of stock in other global markets.
This brings me to one big inference – a lot of stock of the OnePlus 5 was manufactured and made available in India, and this quantity is so high that despite stopping production prior to the launch of the OnePlus 5T, these stocks are still holding even two months after the phone was supposedly discontinued. While OnePlus did not share the amount of stock still available or when it was likely to finally go out of stock, it seems that it won’t last much longer. Only the Slate Grey 8GB/128GB variant of the OnePlus 5 can be purchased today, with other color and storage options listed as ‘out of stock’. Additionally, even the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Limited Edition is already out of stock, with the OnePlus 5 having outlived it.
From our conversation with the OnePlus spokesperson, we also learned that sales of the OnePlus 5 have naturally slowed to a fraction of what it was before the launch of the OnePlus 5T. While there’s no empirical data to support this, the belief is that buyers seem to choose the OnePlus 5 for its front fingerprint sensor, which I’ll admit is a much more convenient position. Additionally, OnePlus considers the 5 and 5T to be the same series, and has assured that it will continue to treat them as the same going forward when it comes to support and software updates. In fact, the OnePlus 5 actually has an advantage over the OnePlus 5T today, in that it’s already been updated to OxygenOS 5.0.1 based on Android Oreo. The Android Oreo-based update for the OnePlus 5T is in the works, and is likely to be pushed soon.
Considering that both phones are on sale, we’d advise a bit of attention when purchasing the device. If you’re looking to buy the OnePlus 5T, make sure you check and purchase the right device, since the similar price could cause an error you might later regret. And our advice is to buy the newer OnePlus 5T, unless you know exactly what you’re doing and are choosing the OnePlus 5 for specific reasons.