The one smartphone that’s got everything right, from the metal premium slim design, the sheer power to run any apps and games, simply the best camera on back and front, and a wide range of 4G VoLTE connectivity. That was our OnePlus 3, the poor man’s flagship device. You may have gone through our extensive review on OnePlus 3, which we have put through every possible daily usage scenario. Beating our expectation it scored all the way up to 9 in datareign gadget score.
So, now what’s left to improve on this already impressive device? OnePlus the young Chinese mobile vendor has launched the next iteration within six months of OnePlus 3 launch. The all-new OnePlus 3T, (where the T stands ahead of S, the Apple iPhone’s famous ’S’) improving on what’s already been a marvelled android smartphone.
Keeping the same classic metal unibody design, the OnePlus 3T (OP3T) got improvement under the hood. It’s now powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor that’s clocked at 2.35 GHz. The front camera now being upgraded from 8-megapixel shooter to 16-megapixel camera with Samsung 3P8SP sensor. You also got a higher storage variant at 128GB in addition to the 64GB storage variant. For those who were complaining about the battery life, the OP3T now packs a bigger 3,400 mAh battery that also comes with Dash Charger. The Graphite colour got retired and we got an all-new Gunmetal colour that’s darker, along with the Soft Gold option.
With the upgrade, we also got a small bump in price. The OnePlus 3T now comes with a price tag of Rs 29,999 for the 64GB storage variant. For bigger 128GB storage variant the price will go up to Rs 34,999. The mobile is available to purchase exclusively via Amazon India
There are other small upgrades on the GPU and also an unofficial support for Snapdragon VR SDK that can power the DayDream platform. We will get to all that in this OnePlus 3T review. Do note that this won’t be as in-depth as on our previous OnePlus 3 review, as there is only a marginal improvement altogether.
Build and Design
If you look on the front, side and on the back, you can’t find any new changes. Well, the OnePlus 3T has the same metal unibody build with a space-grade aluminium alloy that gets gently curved on the sides. The front is almost covered with the beautiful 5.5-inch display which uses 2.5D curved glass around the edges leaving a very thin bezel to see. Below the display, we got the fingerprint sensor that has a ceramic finish.
On the back, OnePlus 3T got the camera module with its LED flash unit placed just below. This time OnePlus has covered the camera lens with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. On the left side first, we got the alert slider that you can use to quickly set – all notifications, priority notifications and silent mode. Below that we got the volume rocker. On the right side, we have the power button and below it, we got the dual nano SIM slot.
Coming to the bottom porting we got the 3.5mm audio jack, USB Type-C charging/ data transfer port and speaker grille. The top part is perfectly smooth and clean with no holes or buttons. As for metal colour, the OnePlus 3T now comes with Gunmetal variant that a bit darker to Graphite. We also got the Soft Gold colour which is only available in 64GB storage variant.
- Premium metal finish and curvy edges. Lot’s more comfortable to hold in one hand.
- Weights still at 158g (even with the bump in the battery).
For those health conscious people, the OnePlus 3T comes with an SAR Values of 0.784W/kg(1g) on near the ear and 0.581W/kg(1g) on the worn on the body. That’s an improvement when compared to OnePlus 3’s 0.995W/kg(1g) on head SAR and 0.645W/kg(1g) on body SAR.
With the upgrade, OnePlus has not made any changes to its gorgeous 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED full HD display. The custom engineered AMOLED display offers bright whites, fairly well-balanced colours, almost perfect viewing angle and minimal over saturation. If you still need to tune the colours, the OxygenOS comes with sRGB mode selection. You can choose the different colour modes right from the display settings.
The display uses dual-polarized layer which offers great screen visibility under bright sunlight. The night mode, allows the mobile to cut down the blue light emitted from the display and gives you a warmer display, reducing eyestrain.
- Full HD AMOLED display.
- sRGB mode for accurate colours.
- Dual-polarized layer for greater visibility over direct sunlight.
- Perfect viewing angle.
Lastly, to protect the display from scratches the mobile comes with Corning Gorilla Glass 4. So, overall OnePlus 3T has a great display that produces gorgeous colours and takes only a fraction of the power consumption.
Hardware and Performance
Now, here we get a performance upgrade. The OnePlus 3T is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor clocked at dual 2.35 GHz and dual 1.6 GHz speeds. This is just a minor upgrade over the Snapdragon 820 found inside OnePlus 3. The processor is coupled with 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. For storage, the mobile carries up to 128GB internal storage that’s based on UFS 2.0 technology offering faster data transfer. The mobile got a small improvement in read and write speed compared to OnePlus 3.
This combination increases performance without sacrificing too much on battery power. It can be felt when you use the mobile for hours playing graphics intense games, multitask between different apps, browsing, chatting and still you are left with day long battery to use. With a generous amount of memory, faster processor and plenty of storage everything works incredibly fluid. No lags and absolute zero frame drops while playing games.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 quad-core processor with Adreno 530 GPU
- 6GB RAM
- OxygenOS based Android 7.0 Nougat
- 64GB/128GB internal storage (UFS 2.0)
- dual nano SIM (4G+ 4G)
- 4G LTE (FDD-LTE Bands 1/3/5/7/8/20 and TDD-LTE Bands 38/40)
- VoLTE, 3G, 2G, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, USB Type-C port
- 3,400 mAh battery (non-removable) with Dash Charge (5V 4A)
The fingerprint scanner in up front embedded on the home button. As advertised you can unlock the device instantly within 0.2 seconds. As the device actively learns and progressively improves on your fingerprint scan, it will become more accurate time-by-time.
Testing out OnePlus 3T on various benchmarks. AnTuTu benchmark gives a score of 15317, whereas in Geekbench the phone in single-core marked a score of 1825 and on multi-core, the device hit a score of 4177. On CF benchmark (Chainfire), the smartphone hit an overall score of 51,262.
Connectivity and Audio
The OnePlus 3T support dual nano SIM cards with both supporting 4G LTE networks. The device comes with high-speed 4G LTE network that almost covers all Indian 4G bands (band 3, band 5 and band 40) and supports VoLTE for HD voice calling. Along with this the mobile support 3G and 2G networks. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC and USB Type-C port.
- 4G VoLTE support for HD voice and video calls. While using the mobile on Reliance Jio network we got exceptionally high call quality and great network performance.
- Supports dual SIM.
- Excellent network reception.
As OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 3T comes with one speaker at the bottom. The sounds are sharp and clear, but a little bit on the lower side. The sound isn’t too audible when you’re out on the street or in a crowded place.
Camera and Photography
One of the biggest change on OnePlus 3T comes as a bump in the front-facing camera. The mobile now got a 16-megapixel front camera with Samsung 3P8SP Sensor. It features f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus and can shoot 1080p video at 30fps. The selfies using the front camera looks exceptionally good during good lighting condition and got lots of details. Under the low light condition, there’s a bit of visible noise which is still manageable with various photo editing apps.
The rear camera stays the same with 16-megapixel featuring Sony IMX 298 Sensor, f/2.0 aperture and supports PDAF. As in our previews review, the camera does capture great sort of details with pretty accurate natural colour and just right saturation. Outdoor shots are up to par, while indoor shots are average. On low-light condition, the camera struggles a bit. Using Dynamic De-noise feature during low-light condition can help to reduce noise and improve clarity.
- 16MP rear camera with Sony IMX 298 Sensor
- 16MP front camera with Samsung 3P8SP Sensor
- Better quality images with Auto HDR mode.
- Supports Electronic (EIS) and Optical (OIS) stabilization.
- Supports RAW image files.
Just like any professional DSLR you can dig into the manual mode and fine-tune exposure, ISO, focus and shutter speed. It can also save the image in RAW format. The camera can capture 4K videos, as well as time-lapse and slow-motion videos.
While we are writing this review, OnePlus 3T has moved out of the Android Marshmallow OS and got upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat. The Oxygen OS (4.0.2) almost keeps the stock experience of Android but brings all the goodness of Nougat with it.
There is hardly any bloatware that’s fill up your memory. The OS is fast and extremely smooth thanks to the massive 6GB of RAM. The OS comes with certain useful features like ‘Gesture’ which lets you do certain specific tasks like double tap to wake, drawing an ‘O’ shape on the screen open ups the camera and so on. There is a custom screen on the left of your main home screen called ‘Shelf’, where you can stack widgets for quick access.
OnePlus 3T also got a boost in its battery capacity, from 3,000 mAh in OnePlus 3 to now a 3,400 mAh battery. Coupled with Dash Charger, you can easily fill up around 60 percent of battery in just 30 minutes charging.
With the latest Android 7.0 Nougat update and bigger 3,400 mAh battery, I almost got around one full day of battery life on my moderate/heavy usage. My usage includes four-six hours of Internet browsing, emails and watching videos, two-three hours of listening to music and almost one-hour of gaming. If you are using the OnePlus 3T at a moderate rate, with active 4G or WiFi internet then it can easily last for around 30 to 36 hours.
First of all, if you own a OnePlus 3 then you won’t need to upgrade as its only a minor upgrade in the hardware. There isn’t much performance boost as you except. The Oxygen OS updates are same for both devices, so you never need to feel like left behind.
For those who are looking to buy a new smartphone especially a flagship powerful device, then definitely OnePlus 3T is on the list. It packs the best and fastest processor, lots of memory to use up, best-in-class front and back cameras, high-quality build and non-bloated android software.
At the current price of Rs 29,999 OnePlus 3T 64GB variant got practically everything you want from a high-end device like Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S7 or even Apple iPhone 7. I would strongly suggest to fully ignore the OnePlus 3 and spend an extra Rs 2000 on OnePlus 3T, as it totally worth it. If you are looking for some extra storage, as OnePlus 3T lacks the expandable storage option, then you can go for the OnePlus 3T 128GB variant. But that’s for an extra Rs 5000 talking the whole price to Rs 34,999.
From an unknown Chinese mobile vendor to now a youngsters dream company OnePlus has changed how we Indians perceive flagship high-end device. Offering right value for money and a premium overall experience, OnePlus 3T has set a standard for itself. It’s the flagship smartphone that deserves the money you spent on it.