OnePlus 3T in-depth review - Fits to a T

OnePlus slipped out the 3T recently, to much head scratching. Was this a stable-mate? Or a successor to the onePlus 3? With a fantastic new set of specs, display and camera, OnePlus have set a cat amongst pigeons with its new flagship-3T.

 OnePlus 3T Review - Fits to a T
5

Review by Sunetra Chakravati,11/28/2016 11:13:51 AM

9

out of 10

Performance

10

out of 5

Look and feel

10

out of 5

Ease of use

9

out of 5

Features

10

out of 5

Battery life

Pros:

Top line processor | fantastic looks | Good battery | latest Android | Under-£400

Cons:

Incremental changes since OnePlus 3

- By Sunetra Chakravarti

It has usually been Apple who can get away with incremental changes to their flagships. OnePlus have learn't from the master of the game. And so six months after the OnePlus 3 made waves in the mid-range market, the disruptive manufacturer is back. And the OnePlus 3T is meant to usurp the position of the OnePlus 3 and take over from it. 

We can only imagine how upset original OnePlus 3 customers must be at their 6-month old handsets being made redundant so soon after launch.

OnePlus 3T in-depth review: Look and feel

The slight curved all-metal body is still there. And you shouldn't feel too bad for confusing the OnePlus 3 with the OnePlus 3T, because we did too. Basically, what you need to remember is that the OnePlus 3T is the same phone as the OnePlus 3 with a couple of incremental changes.

 

When we reviewed the OnePlus 3, we said it looked more premium than the LG G5 and the HTC 10. And same is the case with the OnePlus 3T. At no point while using it will you be able to tell that this device is not at the same price range as an Apple iPhone 7 or a Samsung Galaxy S7. Although pricier than the OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 3T at £400 is still a beauty.  

The slider button on the left side of the OnePlus 3T is called the 'Alert Slider' and it gives the user complete control over what they want to associate it with. Use it as a quick 'silencing' tool or to fire up the camera- it is entirely upto you.

We cannot help but think that the similarities with the iPhone are too many to ignore here!

The lozenge-shaped home button also houses the fingerprint sensor and the user is further able to set up the three fuctional buttons either on the glass on the sides of the Home button or on the display.

OnePlus 3T in-depth review: Display

When the OnePlus 3 launched, the flaws on the display were evident to all. It was only by deep diving into the settings and setting up developer access to yourself you would have been able to change the display properties so as not to burn your retinas off with the saturation and brightness.

The main reason behind releasing a new flagship device within 6 months of the old one was the display colour imbalance. And although time will tell if it was a good move or bad for OnePlus, the fact that the OnePlus 3T display is crisp, sharp with good viewing angles and just the right amount of saturation means that OnePlus got this right this time around.

OnePlus 3T in-depth review: Camera

For the OnePlus 3 we said that the camera on there wasn't as good as the one on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and because nothing has changed between then and now, the camera on the OnePlus 3T is still not flagship material. 

It isn't a terrible one because it still has Sony's 16-MP sensor onboard and optical image stabiliser which leads to good photos but dont expect a lot of detail in the photos you take on the camera. 

The front-facing camera has a smile capture feature, beauty slider and an 8-MP sensor so you are sorted for selfies.

OnePlus 3T in-depth review: Battery, processor and Android 7

The battery onboard is a 3,400mAH one and is smart charge enabled. Dash charger is a boon but you have to remember to use both the power plug as well as the wire OnePlus send out in the box to make full use of it. It took us one hour to juice up the battery from 12 percent to 100 percent using the supplied charger. When idle, the phone went from 50 percent charge to 15 percent over 4 days and that is quite an achievement and testament to Doze on Android 7 working overtime to preserve battery power.

During our usual battery power versus streaming video testing, the OnePlus 3T lost just 4 percent of power when we streamed HD quality content off Youtube over 4G for 30 minutes. One of the best results we have seen since the Samsung Galaxy S7!

Geekbench 4 results were 1909 for single-core and 4211 for multi-core tests. Samsung Galaxy S7 edge had 1744 and OnePlus 3 1698, whereas multi-core results were below that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 with 5228 and above the OnePlus 3 and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge.

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While the OnePlus 3 had the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 onboard, the OnePlus 3T comes with the latest, most powerful processor there is: the Snapdragon 821 and it lives up to its name. Fast, efficient and with 6GB LPDDR4 RAM on-board, almost invincible. And it does exactly what it says on the tin: LPDDR4 translates to Low Power Double Data Random Access Memory and is used to store short-term memory from apps. This new type of memory brings with it lightening fast speeds and lower power consumption and so the winner is the consumer with this under-£400 number.

With Android 7 on-board, you get all that's present and current with Google's operating system. We have already talked about the Doze functionality which makes sure the phone goes for long periods without the need for charging a lot, there is also OnePlus's light Oxygen layer on top so there is an area christined Shelf that lists your most frequently used apps, notes, alarms and essentials. Everything about the look and feel of the phone can be customised and tailored to your likes and needs.

Should I buy the OnePlus 3T?

If you are in the market for a new smartphone then the OnePlus 3T ticks all the boxes. Its fantastic new Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, beautiful build quality, great display and camera smarts puts it at the top of the pecking order.

If, however, you are upgrading from the OnePlus 3, then we would ask you to hold off just yet. The differences between the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T are not big enough for you to upgrade just yet. Don't get us wrong, we still love both phones, just think the OnePlus 3T is not worth enough to sacrifice the OnePlus 3 for.

OnePlus 3T is a great choice if you want to try out the new Snapdragon 821 processor without having to shell out Google Pixel XL-sized big bucks.

OnePlus 3T Specifications

Also consider: Honor 8

Similar to: OnePlus 3

Killer app: Top of the line processor and RAM at mid-range pricing

O2.co.uk

Price: £399.99

Operating System: OxygenOS based on Android™ Marshmallow

Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm

Weight: 158 g

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels; 401ppi

Display: 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED

Processor: Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 821 Quad Core, Kryo™: 2x 2.35 GHz, 2x 1.6 GHz

Camera: 16-MP with OIS and laser auto-focus; 5-MP selfie camera with wide-angle lens and LED flash. 1080p video at 30fps

Memory: 64GB / 128GB(ROM) + 6GB LPDDR4 (RAM)

Battery: 3,400 mAh lithium-ion battery

Fingerprint sensor:Yes (home button)

Misc: Dash Charge (5V, 4A); USB Type-C; NFC; Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4. Gunmetal / Soft Gold