The latest device from OnePlus, the OnePlus 7T is here and people have all sort of mixed feelings about it. And I really don’t blame them. OnePlus’s model lineup for this year has been confusing, to say the least. We got the OnePlus 7 Pro in May and it was something different from what the company made. Instead of being a mere flagship killer, it was a thoroughbred flagship designed to compete head to head against the best Apple, Samsung and Huawei could offer.
Now, 4 months later, we have the OnePlus 7T. Think of it as an incremental update to the regular OnePlus 7, a facelift if you will. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case as in some areas, the 7T seems to have superior specs than the more expensive 7 Pro that’s only a few months older. What’s going on here? Maybe we’ll better understand this by having a detailed look at the specs.
Design & Display
Starting off with the display, we have a 6.55″ 2400×1080 90Hz Fluid AMOLED panel. Like the display of the 7 Pro, this has the amazing 90Hz refresh rate but has a lower resolution (1080 compared to 1440), smaller size (6.55″ compared to 6.67″) and has a notch. And because the 7T has a notch, it also lacks the sophisticated popup selfie camera mechanism which, in its defense, wasn’t liked by people worried about reliability.
Also, like the display of the 7 Pro, this supports HDR10 and HDR10+ content, which makes the viewing experience all the more enjoyable. Some of you might also be pleased to know that the display is flat this time around and there are no curved edges. While this may seem like a step back, it will actually prevent accidental side touches.
Looking at the rest of the design, it is classic OnePlus DNA that’s visible on all the recent device from the brand. You have two panels of glass sandwiching a metal strip in between. When the OnePlus 7 came out, we complained it looked too much like the OnePlus 6T. Well, this looks just like the OnePlus 7 except for the camera module. Unlike the 7, the 7T has a triple camera setup and all three cameras are housed in a huge circular module that’s similar to the one we saw way back in the Nokia Lumia 1020.
Continuing the talk about the cameras. The 7T has three cameras consisting of a 48MP f/1.6 main shooter, a 12MP f/2.2 telephoto capable of 2x optical zoom and a 16MP f/2.2 ultrawide with 117° field of view. All cameras have autofocus (PDAF+CAF) but only the main unit is optically stabilized.
As far as the video capabilities are concerned, you do have the option to shoot 4K60fps, though at the price of optical stability. Other options include 4K30fps and 1080p30/60fps for regular videos. For slow motion, you can go as much as 720p480fps and also have 1080p240fps. Compared to the competition, the slow-mo numbers seem almost outdated, however, OnePlus says an option for 720p960fps will be available after an OTA update.
The selfie camera is a 16MP f/2.0 unit that can shoot 1080p30fps videos. In case all of this sounds familiar, then yes this is the exact same hardware that’s present in the 7 Pro. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the performance will exactly be the same. As Google Pixel has taught us, software optimization plays a huge role in overall picture quality, the camera on the 7T might actually outperform the 7 Pro.
Other modes and features include UltraShot, Nightscape, Portrait, Pro Mode, Panorama, HDR, AI Scene Detection, RAW Image.
Under the hood of the OnePlus 7T, you’ll find the latest and greatest 7nm Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 855+ CPU. Interestingly, this is the upgraded version of the Snapdragon™ 855 found in the 7 Pro and it performs better with a max clock speed of 2.96GHz compared to 2.84GHz of the 7 Pro. However, what both phones had in common was the Adreno 640 GPU.
When it comes to memory and storage, the 7T comes only in 2 configurations. You can either have 128GB/8GB or 256GB/8GB. The RAM is fixed at 8GB, which is a good move by OnePlus as 6GB was starting to become obsolete but you can’t go any higher than that. Similarly, 128GB seems to be ideal base storage as it’s not going to get filled up anytime soon. Like the 7 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10, the 7T also has faster UFS 3.0 file system.
The battery on the 7T is a 3800mAh unit, that doesn’t seem that impressive by today’s standards. In fact, even the battery of the 7 Pro was slightly better at 4000mAh. However, with a smaller display running at a lower resolution, it is expected to last longer than the 7 Pro. In case it does run out of juice, the 7T will most definitely charge faster with the upgraded Warp Charge 30T that, as the name suggests, charges at 30W.
Software & Security
The OnePlus 7T is one of the first phones, if not the first phone, to come out of the box with Android 10.0. It’s the latest Android version at the time of writing and it just came out. On top of that, like other OnePlus phones, this is running the OxygenOS 10 user interface. Now, I know this is the part where things get subjective but I believe OxygenOs is the best Android experience you can get. It’s clean, fast, simple and close to stock Android but has enough features to make it unique.
There are, however, some issues regarding the latest iteration of OxygenOS with the back button swipe gesture being inconvenient. While OnePlus will surely fix that with an update, it can be avoided if you just use the on-screen software buttons.
As far as security is concerned, you have the same in-display fingerprint scanner and RGB face scanner as login methods. Both happen to be the fastest out there and only seem to get faster with each passing phone or software update. However, they are definitely not the most secure out there so don’t count on them too much.
Price & Verdict
The OnePlus 7T starts at $599, which makes it $70 cheaper than the 7 Pro. This makes it a better value for money and, in some aspects, even better than the phone it was never intended to replace. However, that probably where we’re not thinking straight. According to most tech experts, the OnePlus 7T is for someone who is currently using a OnePlus 6T or below and looking for an upgrade.
So, if you’re using a OnePlus 7 Pro and feel cheated upon, don’t do so. The 7 Pro is a great phone and is still a beast of a device that’ll last you a year easily. While the 7T may not seem like a better value than the Redmi K20 Pro, the 90Hz AMOLED display surely does justify the additional cost.