OnePlus fixes HD streaming on 5 and 5T, but you’ll have to mail your phone in

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge
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In December, we learned that the OnePlus’s 5 and 5T phones couldn’t stream video in high-definition. The company has now fixed the problem, but there’s a catch if you want to watch Netflix or Amazon Prime: you must mail your phone back to the company to get the update installed.

The phone’s inability to stream HD footage from services like Netflix and Amazon Prime stems from the device’s lack of support for Google’s Widevine Level 1 DRM, which a number of services require to stream HD video. The phone does support Widevine Level 3, which allows for standard streaming. As Dan Seifert noted back in December, the phone’s hardware is certainly capable of supporting HD footage, and that it was an odd omission.

In a post to the company’s forums (via 9to5Google), community manager David Y explained that the devices must be mailed in because the phone must be physically hooked up to an authenticated PC at the company. He also says that the company will cover the shipping costs (but only in North America, Europe, India, and China), and that users should expect their phone back within “five working days when we receive it.” Those who want to get their phone updated should contact OnePlus’s customer support team.

While it’s good to see that the phone can be updated to live up to its potential, the steps for updating the phone are certainly inconvenient, given that consumers will be without their phone for more than a week. But, AndroidPolice points out that the update must be provided from a “trusted environment.”


This is by far the most ridiculous tech-related thing I’ve read in a while, and yet no one seems to care.

If it were Apple instead of OnePlus, this comments section would be an absolute war zone and the news would have made it to mainstream TV.

I agree. For what is a company with a loyal following from customers and tech reviewers this is rediculus and should be called for it as well.

For sure, or any company of which people had actually heard. In the scheme of things, OnePlus is pretty niche, and I suspect it will be that way for some time, as this company has a lot of issues.

OnePlus is pretty niche for the mainstream audience indeed, but not at all for anyone who follows consumer electronics. They get extensive coverage on The Verge, or any other tech site, or YouTube channel.

It’s not that no one cares, it’s that OnePlus is too small to demand the kind of attention that you think this deserves. You’re comparing one of the most profitable companies in the world to a relatively small subsidiary of Oppo.

It’s OnePlus, a small company. I am not sure how they made this mistake or were they trying to avoid playing for intellectual property. They need to get their shit together if I have to buy their next phone. I agree. They should get a little bit more heat than they are currently getting.

Don’t forget the amount of lawsuits that would have already been filed. For whatever reason it seems like OnePlus continues to get away with screwups time after time. I haven’t seen diddly about the hack on their payment page in a few weeks. I guess that’s old news even though a lot of people were affected.

There has been info on the hack recently. There is a full transparency interview out there somewhere.

Being an OP5 owner I am quite miffed. Luckily this doesn’t affect my usage as I don’t put 3rd party data hogs on my phone. If I did though… I’d have much more anxiety over this.
At the end of the day it boils down to will my next phone be a OnePlus device. And the answer to that is a resounding yes. The amount of work they put into a fast and fluid device is unparalleled. Though admittedly the Oreo update has brought it down to Pixel 2XL and iPhone 8 speeds, thanks to a few bugs. Still not as bad as Samsung.

First off I absolutely agree with you on how ridiculous this process is. I am baffled by this story and by Oneplus’ way of fixing this.

But… I don’t think it’s a fair comparison with Apple. If Apple had a similar problem and could only resolve it in a similar fashion you would at least have the option to go to an Apple store. And maybe they could even push something through iTunes on your PC.

So yes this is ridiculous and i’m with you on this, but let’s not compare the biggest tech company in the world to a small subsidiary of Oppo.

Yes of course. Apple also sell their phones for much more.

But One+’s devices are judged and rated right next to iPhones.

If it were Apple it’d be much easier, since you’d just have to go to an Apple store.

First of all, Apple would never do this in the first place.

Second of all, Apple and OnePlus are in no way comparable in scale or stature. Apple is a household name, has been around for decades and is a multi-billion dollar corporation and one of the top companies in the world. OnePlus didn’t even exist five years ago.

Have they offered any explanation as to why the phones didn’t ship with this from the start?

It is a ridiculous solution to an equally ridiculous problem. Thankfully I don’t stream video outside of some YouTube to my 5t so there’s no way I send mine back. That said the 5t is still my favorite device of the year when there were tons of options that admittedly I’ve had most of. V30, S8, Pixel 2XL etc. Good to be alive these days if you like phones.

Probably because they fear the drm decription key leaking otherwise…

Did they say if new phones will ship with the DRM from now on?

Was wondering the same thing.

People were mentioning this problem in their forums for older models as well, so I’m sure they were aware of it and just chose not to do anything until the backlash reached fever pitch.


you must mail your phone back to the company to get the update installed.

As a bonus, all the latest Chinese government spyware will also be installed, free of charge.

Uhh, I don’t use Netflix, but I’ve had absolutely no problem streaming HD video over Amazon Prime video on my op5…

Eh? Amazon doesn’t even support HD streaming on mobile except for a handful of devices (iPhones, Samsung and Sony phones). How on earth are you getting HD on your 5?

Even after being without your phone for several days you still can’t watch Netflix in HD until Netflex whitelist the OnePlus 5T in the app

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