OnePlus 5: Hands On Review

The OnePlus 5T may be one heck of a powerful smartphone, but owners report that it can’t handle streaming in HD on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play Movies. It’s not a hardware issue, though. 
( Sean Gallup | Getty Images )

The OnePlus 5T may have a couple of strong points such as fast-charging technology that stopped the company from adding wireless charging, powerful components on par with flagships among the current brood, and a headphone jack.

HD streaming on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video and even Google Play Movies isn’t one of them.

OnePlus 5T Streaming Issues

The problem is simple: The OnePlus 5T comes with a Widevine Level 3, meaning it can stream only in standard definition. To stream in HD, it needs to have Widevine Level 1, which most flagships have on.

Naturally, owners took things to the official OnePlus forums to spread the word.

“I would like to know why a £500 phone is not capable of fully utilising these very popular services and if there are any plans to rectify this clearly ridiculous issue. I am massively surprised this has not been brought up in reviews/not had a bigger fuss made about as this is completely unacceptable for a brand that is now well established!” the thread starter writes.

It gets worse, though. This issue isn’t limited to the OnePlus 5T but also includes the OnePlus 5 — and several other phones such as the ZTE Axon 7, for that matter.

The Verge confirmed that the OnePlus 5 is indeed incapable of streaming HD on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

A OnePlus spokesperson has told the news outlet that a fix that’ll turn on Widevine Level 1 and thus allow HD streaming is on the way, but they didn’t explain why it wasn’t included to begin with, nor did they provide an expected rollout date for it.

For the record, the OnePlus 5T can stream in a higher resolution than SD on YouTube.

OnePlus 5T: The Flagship That Can’t Stream HD

Under the hood, the OnePlus 5T boasts a Snapdragon 835 that’s married to either 6 GB or 8 GB of RAM. It sports a 6-inch display with a 1080 x 2160 resolution, delivering 401 ppi.

To put two and two together, the specs indicate that the smartphone is more than capable of streaming in HD, or in other words, hardware isn’t an issue here.

Considering that the OnePlus 5T is touted to be on par with the current flagships in town, it’s a bit perplexing to see that it doesn’t support HD streaming. More than that, it’s odd how the problem didn’t make the rounds earlier than this because it’s been around since its predecessor, the OnePlus 5, came out, after all.

At any rate, users will just have to wait for the fix to launch before they can enjoy Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Google Play Movies in higher resolutions.

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