OnePlus has one of the most unpredictable launch sequences, while most companies follow a specific timeline for their flagship launches, OnePlus just waits for a fresh model of the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon chip or for the market to sense a big shift in the design or features. While this has helped the brand stay ahead of the curve in having the latest and the greatest, it has also resulted in several fans getting annoyed by their investment going outdated in less than six months. In this case, the OnePlus 7T comes as a refresh in just four months since the launch of the OnePlus 7, not only does the OnePlus 7T comes with the newer Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset, it also picks up many of the features from the more premium OnePlus 7 Pro. The new OnePlus 7T comes with a third rear camera and a 90Hz display with a slight increase in price over the previous generation.
With the OnePlus 7, the brand broke their long-standing philosophy of launching only one phone at a time, the brand launched the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro which came for a premium, this made the OnePlus 7 look a little underwhelming compared to the Pro variant that came with a complete redesign and whole new set of features. The OnePlus 7T now bridges the gap in less than five months bringing in many features from the OnePlus 7 pro at a lower price point. We got to spend some time with the device and compare it with the previous generation OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro to understand how it stacks up with each of them.
Design and Display
While most brands are trying to get rid of the notch all together using a pop-up mechanism for the camera or by using a punch-hole design, OnePlus 7T proudly embraces the water-drop notch on the top of the display and saving the pop-up camera for its Pro models. The design isn’t very different from the previous model, it still has the long earpiece grill and retains most of the aesthetics. The screen edges more towards the borders and the bezels are pretty thin. The device does look a lot like its predecessor from the front, however, the back is a very different story. The device comes with a triple camera setup on the rear which is aligned horizontally in a row with a flash under it. This a major redesign from the previous generations and while it does look very prominent, the bump of the camera really sticks out making it stick out with an angle when rested on any flat surface.
The back panel of the OnePlus 7T is made of frosted glass and metal that sets it apart from other mid-range devices that we’ve seen in the recent past. However, due to the material of choice, the back of the device does get filled with fingerprints. The device offers good grip in the hand and offers confidence while stretching the hand to the corners of the display, ignoring the camera bump on the back, the device does offer a very premium feel. The power button and the alert slider are to the right of the device while the volume buttons are to the left. The bottom of the device only houses the USB Type-C port and the dual-SIM card tray. OnePlus does claim that the front and the back of the device are protected by Gorilla Glass but the variant of it is not mentioned, the OnePlus 7T still doesn’t come with an IP rating assuring the users of Dust and Water protection.
The OnePlus 7T comes with a 6.55-inch display with a 20:9 aspect ratio having a resolution of 1080 x 2400. The display comes with HDR10+ support and has a refresh rate of 90Hz which was only seen on the Pro variant before. OnePlus claims that the display supports P3 and sRGB color gamut’s but doesn’t shed more light on the same. The display is crisp, bright and pretty accurate offering a very good overall viewing experience. The 90Hz refresh rate makes the animations appear very smooth and enhances the gaming experience on supported games. We also tried playing a couple of HDR videos on the YouTube app and on Netflix and the difference is significant, the brightness is also automatically increased by a lot. The color reproduction is amazing and the motion is smooth, although the company claims that the notch is as much as 33% smaller than before, it is still noticeable and annoying while watching full screen stretched videos. The earpiece pairs up with the speaker at the bottom to offer a stereo listening experience, the volume does get pretty loud and offers reasonable details.
The OnePlus 7T comes with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor which is slightly faster than the Original Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset using a single 2.96GHz high-performance Kryo 485 core while retaining the other 7 cores from the original chipset. The GPU also claims about a 15 percent increase in performance due to the higher clocked Adreno 640 chipset. The device comes with 8GB of RAM and internal storage options are 128GB or 256GB which come with a meager Rs 2,000 difference in the price. The OnePlus 7T is one of the first devices in India to come with Android 10 out of the box, the device software is skinned with Oxygen OS skin and has several tweaks and improvements applied. The software comes with UI customization options including themes, dark mode, and fine-tuned notification control. There is also an option to choose between Android navigation buttons or the new Android 10 gesture scheme.
The software also comes with a Zen Mode that allows users to stay more focused, the software now also allows encryption of secure storage and run two instances of many applications. The software does come with several preloaded applications including Amazon Shopping, Kindle, Prime Video and Netflix but most of them can be removed easily. There is also a community application to participate in the discussions and the Switch application to import data from the previous phone. The OnePlus 7T feels very snappy and responsive which is an obvious result of combining the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset with a 90Hz refresh rate display. The overall experience was a complete pleasure and it didn’t keep us waiting at any point during the review.
The software itself was smooth and ran perfectly, opening heavy apps and games quickly while having no issue in multitasking. The face recognition and in-display fingerprint sensor were both easy to setup and use The Snapdragon 855+ chipset returned solid scores while running AnTuTu benchmark, we got a score of 399,412, Geekbench returned a single-core score of 777 with a multi-core score of 2724. We tried a couple of games on it, PUBG ran smoothly and the experience was immersive. We cranked up the graphics to HDR and the frame rate to the extreme but noticed no lag or frame drops in the game. With extended periods of gaming, we did notice the device gets a little warm.
The new camera setup on the OnePlus 7T is one of the major attractions, the primary sensor is a 48MP shooter with an f/1.6 aperture. The Sony IMX 586 sensor has been tried and tested consistently delivering amazing results, it comes with Hybrid Image Stabilization that combines Optical and Electronic image stabilization for the smoothest output. The secondary camera is a 117-degree wide-angle lens with a 16MP resolution, the telephoto lens offers 2x zoom and has f/2.2 aperture. The front camera is a single 16MP sensor. The application is well designed and comes with a slider allowing the switch from a wide-angle camera to the primary camera and then to the 2x telephoto lens. Holding the Dialer allows for finer adjustments. The OnePlus 7T takes pretty good shots even in the low light situations using the zoom camera as well as the main camera.
The 48MP resolution is only captured in the Pro mode of the camera, multiple modes of the camera can be revealed by sliding up on the shutter button. Surprisingly, the auto focus on the camera occasionally failed to lock focus in low light. The portrait and Super Macro modes work fine most of the times but when they don’t, the information and adjustment to be done are conveyed very vaguely. The Macro mode works on all the cameras which is a delight allowing you to get very close to the subject. The OnePlus 7T comes with a lot of versatility in framing the shots, the primary camera captures the crispest images while the telephoto camera offers amazing results in good lighting. The wide-angle lens captured soft images with a little fish-eye distortion. The primary camera captured images with good definition and the OnePlus 7T was successful in capturing fine textures without any trouble. The color reproduction was very balanced and offered natural depth even without the portrait mode in many situations.
The OnePlus 7T comes with a 100mAh increase in the battery capacity and now holds 3,800mAh, the device comes with new Warp Charge 30T included which is said to be slightly quicker than the previous generations. The charging brick is rated at 5V/6A and is expected to charge the device from a zero to 70-percent in just 30 minutes. With regular usage, the battery life was pretty good and we were easily able to pull through an entire day with about 40 percent left.
The OnePlus 7T is a solid update to the OnePlus 7, but as each time we feel like this must have been the model launched four months ago in the first place. While the OnePlus 7T does offer some worthy changes and improvements, most fans who only recently purchased a OnePlus 7 would be very disappointed. OnePlus 7T offers high-end features and great overall specifications and is also one of the first smartphones in India to come with Android 10. And Snapdragon 855+. The OnePlus 7T is priced right up against the Asus ROG Phone II which comes with very similar specifications but an even higher 120Hz display.