The OnePlus 5T is a fantastic value for Android fans not looking to spend close to a grand on a smartphone. The fact that this device improved in comparison to its predecessor, the OnePlus 5, without much of a price increase makes it even more attractive.
However, there is one downside and that is these devices do not support the correct DRM level for HD playback on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Google Play Movies.
The limitation was reported in a thread on the OnePlus forums showing no Widevine Level 1 DRM support on the 5T. It currently supports Widevine Level 3 which can only process streams in standard definition.
The company has stated a future update will be released to enable Widevine Level 1 support for the 5T, but they declined to explain why this feature was not included initially. OnePlus also declined to comment on when users can expect to see this update hit their devices.
The OnePlus 5T is more than capable of handling HD video streams since it's equipped with a 6-inch 1080p display and a Snapdragon 835 processor with 6GB of RAM. The Verge tested Netflix and Amazon Prime running on the 5T and reported pixilation while viewing streams set at the highest possible quality via Wi-Fi.
It's worth noting this issue is not exclusive to OnePlus devices. ZTE's Axon 7 also only supports Widevine Level 3, in comparison to most flagship Android devices that can run Google's Widevine DRM at level 1.
2018 is right around the corner, so it's hard to excuse a smartphone being shipped without HD video support right out the box, regardless of the price point. Hopefully, OnePlus is swift in releasing an update to bring the 5 and 5T into the modern viewing era.
What do you think? Is this an honest mistake by OnePlus, or should HD streaming support be standard like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on today's smartphones?