OnePlus has been quite busy this year. The company went from launching two flagships a year, to four smartphones in the same time frame. The OnePlus 7T essentially replaces the OnePlus 7, and as such, brings in most of the features that were introduced in the more expensive OnePlus 7 Pro, but at a much lower price. That’s reason enough to anger people who put in money to buy the OnePlus 7, but that’s just how fast the industry moves these days. How good is the OnePlus 7T? We put the phone through our wringer of a test process to see how it held up —
All OnePlus smartphones that launched in the past few years set a benchmark in speed. The OnePlus 7T is no different. Combined with OnePlus’ penchant for using the best possible hardware in its devices and fast, unobstrusive, minimalist software, the OnePlus 7T is easily one of the fastest smartphones I have used. It takes less than 30 seconds to boot up, an instant to unlock and a few seconds to launch any app installed in the phone. All that is possible primarily because of the Snapdragon 855+ SoC that powers the smartphone, along with 8GB RAM and up to 256GB UFS 3.0 storage. Quite expectedly, the benchmark results were one of the highest we have seen. These charts will drive that point home further —
On AnTuTu, only the Realme X2 Pro is better than the OnePlus 7T. Even the iPhone 11 achieved scores that aren’t as impressive as the OnePlus 7T. On Geekbench 5 CPU, the OnePlus 7T scored higher than most Android smartphones but less than the new iPhones, while on 3DMark Slingshot, the OnePlus 7T scored the highest among all smartphones. These results may not give you a complete picture, but they’re pretty good indicators of how good the OnePlus 7T performs.
But, if you don’t want to go by the benchmark numbers, that’s fine. How about gaming? We played multiple rounds of PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty: Mobile, and recorded the stats using GameBench. The OnePlus 7T ran all the games we tested at peak frame rates with nearly 100 percent stability. PUBG Mobile and Call of Duty: Mobile both ran at 60 FPS with 100 percent stability while Asphalt 9 clocked in 30 FPS with around 85 percent stability. These numbers are super impressive, and shows that you don’t need a gaming phone to get the best mobile gaming experience. The OnePlus 7T will do just fine.
Needless to say, apps other than games run just as smoothly on the OnePlus 7T. Be it shooting 4K videos from the camera, editing the same video, browsing social media and the like were all handled without a hitch. I could easily copy text from WhatsApp, switch to Facebook and post the text along with a photo, all under a minute. There’s no waiting time to get things done. It’s that fast. Enhancing the experience is the 90Hz refresh rate that the OnePlus 7T comes with. While the higher refresh rate is not applicable in many apps and games, it transforms the way you experience the UI.
The OnePlus 7T is one of the few smartphones that comes with Android 10, out of the box. Apart from the Pixel phones, the OnePlus 7T was one of the first to come with the latest update. OxygenOS is perhaps the most optimised custom skin on an Android smartphone so far. It’s primed for productivity, delivering all that you need, right at your fingertips. The gesture navigation works consistently well, and thankfully enough, OnePlus has adjusted the aggressive RAM management which now allows apps to remain open in the background for longer, and despite that, there’s always around 2GB of RAM kept free.
The OnePlus 7T comes with a 3800mAh battery that tops up using a Warp Charge 30T charger that delivers 30W of power to the battery. Despite not being a 4000mAh unit, the battery life is enough to last you a day, even with heavy usage. I used the phone as a daily driver for a month and used it to record footage at events, take photos and write articles, along with browsing social media and playing a lot of Call of Duty: Mobile. Despite all that, the phone easily managed to last till I got back home and plugged it in.
In our tests, the OnePlus 7T lasted 753 minutes on the PCMark Work 2.0 battery test. The battery drained by 4 percent after 15 minutes of PUBG Mobile and by 5 percent after 30 minutes of streaming Big Bang Theory on Netflix. These are impressive numbers, bolstered primarily by Android 10’s power saving features along with OnePlus’ own efficiency measures.
The OnePlus 7T comes with a triple camera setup at the back. That’s a major upgrade over the OnePlus 7 that only had a 48MP primary camera and a depth sensor for company. This time, each of the three lenses are made for different uses, ensuring higher versatility in shooting. There is the 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor, along with a 12MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, and a 16MP wide-angle camera with 120-degree wide field of view. There’s also a macro mode that makes use of the ultra-wide lens to go really close to the subject. Here’s how the camera performs —
Like we noted in a previous comparison, the image quality from the 48MP primary lens is nearly identical to that of the OnePlus 7. The details, dynamic range, and even the colours are largely similar. Only, the HDR algorithm on the OnePlus 7T is slightly improved to get some more details out of shadows.
Low light is where we saw the most improvement. The nightscape alogrithm has been further improved to capture more light, improve the sharpness and details to the point that now it’s possible to read text off far away places. However, if you zoom in, the details will quickly become muddier, just like a painting.
Portraits and Selfies
The OnePlus 7T relies on the telephoto lens to capture depth data and does a fairly good job at capturing portraits from both the front and rear camera. Details other than the face come out better on the OnePlus 7T as compared to the OnePlus 7.
Design and Display
While OnePlus is not the only OEM making value flagships anymore, the company still gets the credit for making the best looking ones. The OnePlus 7T faces stiff competition from the likes of the Realme X2 Pro, Redmi K20 Pro and the like, but between all of them, the OnePlus 7T looks premium and manages to stand out from the crowd. It’s also comfortable to hold, particularly for its slim profile. The 7T relies on a circular camera module that juts out of the body a little, and rocks the same frosted glass finish that came with the OnePlus 7 Pro. Both sides are reinforced with Gorilla Glass 5 and a sturdy aluminum frame holds them all together. But what’s missing are water resistance claims and wireless charging. While the former is crucial for using the phone for long periods of time, the latter is still a novelty and frankly, I don’t really miss it all that much, coming from the Galaxy Note 10+.
The 6.55-inch display of the OnePlus 7T is another right decision by the company. After debuting the 90Hz refresh rate in the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company quickly trickled it down to the OnePlus 7T. In fact, going forward, all OnePlus devices will come with 90Hz refresh rate, at the very least. The higher refresh rate, as we mentioned before, doesn’t come into play all that much during gaming or watching a movie, but it greatly enhances the experience of using the phone, making it feel a lot faster. Apart from that, there’s HDR10+ support that extends to all major streaming platforms. And the display is bright enough to deliver an impressive movie watching experience.
We clocked an impressive 736 lux in peak brightness and 7 lux minimum brightness. The latter is still on the higher side, and is evident while using the phone in the bed.
The OnePlus 7T is one of the best smartphones to own in 2019. The phone is essentially a stellar showcase of all that’s good in the smartphone industry. The latest processor, the fastest storage, a bright and fast display, and a premium design. Save for the cameras, which still needs some improvement, this is as good a flagship as any. Best of all, OnePlus manages to deliver all this at an affordable price that’s quite close to the OnePlus 7. If you are on the lookout for a phone that won’t let you down, this is one to get.