OnePlus 3T Review
Update: The OnePlus 3T is no longer available in the UK.
The release of the OnePlus 3T is here and is claiming to stay true to the OnePlus Never Settle approach – but does it?
OnePlus 3T: An overview
This model retails at £399 for the 64GB version or £439 for the larger 128GB version; the OnePlus 3T is very much the same as the previous OnePlus 3 except for some very welcome upgrades. OnePlus have made a few changes such as a faster processor, better battery capacity and an improved camera. The affordability is not as good as the previous phone, but it is sure to be expected with such upgrades being carried out to make the 3T what it is.
The phone runs Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow which is also overlaid with the OnePlus’ OxygenOS skin. The brand has promised the Android 7.0 Nougat update should be available soon for use too.
A quad-core 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 powers the OnePlus 3T; the same chip that you find in the Google Pixel. With 6GB of DDR4 RAM, it is impressive when it comes to performance.
The smartphone has a 5.5 inch Super AMOLED 1080p display, 6GB of Dual Channel DDR4 RAM and options of either 64gb or 128GB of storage. It runs Android 6.0.1 with Oxygen UI and has 16-megapixel front and back camera.
The rear-facing camera is a Sony IMX 298 16 megapixel sensor with 1.12-micron size pixels with a F/2.0 aperture lens that supports Phase Detect Autofocus with optical image stabilisation. New features include electronic image stabilisation for shooting video.
The Auto HDR makes a return and there is no shutter lag; the camera is very responsive.
The front-facing camera now uses a 16 megapixel Samsung 3P8SP sensor and a F/2.0 aperture lens; perfectly adequate for selfies. The photos are sharper than what you achieve from most other front-facing cameras, and it even has smile detection. There is also the possibility to save your images as RAW files – perfect for the more serious photographer.
Battery wise, the battery has been upgraded from the OnePlus 3 to 3,4000mAh from the 3,000mAh from the previous OnePlus 3 handset. Even with intense usage, it is possible for the battery to last a day at least comfortably – streaming Spotify or Netflix, messaging and other app activity still left with some charge at the end of the day.
Dash Charge is its own quick charging technology; topping up using a non Dash can be a little slow. A Dash charging block is included in the block and it is claimed that a 30 minute blast of this charge will give a full day of use.
The phone comes with some pre-installed media – the typical Google offerings such as Play Music or Google Play Movies. OnePlus have also included their own (simpler) music player app too should you prefer to use that instead. You can also take advantage of the file explorer app to easily locate files transferred to the handset.
With a 5.5 inch display which displays 1080p, this is pretty much identical to the OnePlus 3’s screen. They both have the same resolution and use the same technology. The black levels are great thanks to the Optic AMOLED technology, and the display and viewing angles are also great.
Using the same technology as the OnePlus 3 has allowed this phone to keep the same slim profile and bright display and Full HD resolution. Videos, images and texts are all clear and smooth.
The brightness adjustment is also good – some phones can kick in even when the light levels haven’t changed, but this phone is perhaps a little more reserved than those. With an option to turn on night mode to make the display less harsh on the eyes and also the possibility to turn on Ambient Display for low power, the display is very impressive.
The phone itself has a great build quality with a fairly decent camera and improved battery life on previous models. It performs excellently. The one slight problem is having to use the Dash charge or charging is slow, but this isn’t too problematic. The camera itself protrudes ever so slightly but is nowhere near as pronounced as other phones and sapphire glass coats the sensor.
The OnePlus 3T is 7.4mm in thickness and has been created from a single slab of aluminium alloy. The phone comes with a speaker grille, USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of it so you can use wired headphones – great to see one despite Apple removing their jacks from the iPhone 7.
There are two colour options to choose from – the new Gunmetal finish or a Soft Gold. However, if you are opting for the 128GB storage capacity, it is only available in Gunmetal which has taken the place of the previous Graphite finish. The Gunmetal is a slightly darker grey than the silver graphite finish. The phone feels and looks premium.
The left edge holds a three-level Alert Slider so you can toggle between notification profiles, with a volume rocker below. The power button is of course on the opposite side. There is a responsive front fingerprint sensor which also doubles as the Home button. The Back and Recent keys surround this and are only marked by a backlit dot. They can swap positions if you so wish in the phone’s settings.
The phone can even support dual SIMS if they are required but the second SIM slot does not also double as a microSD slot, unlike other phones. It means there is no potential for expandable storage.