Instead of the OnePlus 4, we got the OnePlus 3T as the next addition to the awesome lineup of smartphones from OnePlus. The renowned smartphone maker has made some much-needed upgrades to the already spectacular OnePlus 3, with an upgrade in its speed, battery life and camera, making it one of the most formidable smartphones of 2017. For US$525.99, the OnePlus 3T is a device that scores highly as an affordable and value-for-money flagship that threatens to undermine the top players like Samsung and Apple.
The OnePlus 3T looks similar to the original OnePlus 3. Its design isn’t something that has changed because the upgrade is mainly to its hardware. It sports the same curved matte metallic rear with rounded edges and a glossy 5.5” screen. The camera on the rear is slightly popped-out and protruding off the back of the smartphone. On the front, you have a capacitive home button that holds your fingerprint sensor as well.
The OnePlus 3T is sized pretty appropriately, it isn’t too large despite having a 5.5” screen due to its slim bezels. It’s not the most compact smartphone out there, but it certainly easy to navigate single-handedly. Its weight is also fairly average for a 5.5” device, coming in at 158g.
Like most latest-gen flagships, the OnePlus 3T uses a USB Type C port, which supports Dash-Charging, a form of fast-charge that is unique to the OnePlus 3T. It also holds a 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom edge, beside the speaker grilles on the device.
The OnePlus 3T has a 5.5-inch AMOLED screen with a Full-HD (1920×1080) resolution and a pixel density of 401ppi. Its colour reproduction is done accurately and they do appear to “pop” like OnePlus claims it to, perhaps due to the powerful contrast found on the AMOLED screen.
Maximum brightness was found to be 439 nits at full blast. This isn’t exactly very bright since there are phones with much brighter displays, but it suffices in most instances.
The OnePlus 3T’s strongest suit is its processor and RAM. It is so incredibly fast it outperforms devices that are a few hundred dollars above its price.
It holds a Snapdragon 821 processor, which is the latest processor available in the market and it is combined with 6GB worth of RAM, that no other smartphone in the market can outmatch. Using it for daily productivity purposes proved to be a walk in the park and even when running several intensive applications such as Photoshop, PicsArt, Word, Excel and Chrome, the device showed absolutely no signs of slowing down.
Using AnTuTu’s benchmarks gave the OnePlus 3T a score of 158,361, that is more than 10% faster than the Samsung’s S7 Edge which had a score of 134,599.
Gaming performance on the OnePlus 3T is also spectacular. It scored 2439 on the 3DMark graphics benchmark test, which is 300% higher than devices like Lenovo’s Tango-enabled Phab 2 Pro.
I absolutely loved the OnePlus 3T because of its near stock Android build. It isn’t true stock Android like the Moto Z, but the OxygenOS installed on the OnePlus 3 is minimalistic and yet aesthetically-pleasing. Everything runs really smoothly and intuitively without the unnecessary fluff.
The dashboard you have when you swipe right on the home screen is also nice to use, allowing you to easily set and view memos, review your calendar and access recently-used applications.
The rear camera on the OnePlus 3T hasn’t changed from the original OnePlus 3. It is not the best camera in the market with the slew of dual-camera smartphones we find on sale now, but it is without a doubt, a reliable and consistent shooter. You will find the Sony IMX298 sensor on your OnePlus 3T, which is not the highest-end sensor, but is commonly found in pretty decent smartphone cameras such as the Oppo R9 and R9s. The sensor has a 1.12 µm pixel size and an aperture of f/2.0. The pixel size is pretty good for capturing light but the aperture seems to be quite average.
Despite having the same hardware, the software in the camera did receive some new factory tuning. As such, the in-camera sharpening is more obvious now and you have less noise in your shots.
Compared to the OnePlus 3, the 3T has better contrast and slightly better edge-to-edge sharpness. HQ mode allowed for in-processing too so that finer and more crisp details could be captured too.
The auto-HDR mode on the OnePlus 3T is also really useful and it helps to evenly balance out the brightness in photos, which is most useful actually in the dark or low-light conditions.
Unlike the rear camera, the OnePlus 3T decided to upgrade and double the resolution of the original OnePlus 3, from 8MP to 16MP.
Video was also superb with 4K resolution support, which the state-of-the-art Snapdragon 821 had plenty of horsepower delivering.
The OnePlus 3T received a battery life from its predecessor, now sporting a 3,400mAh battery. This is remarkable not because of the battery size or life, but because the additional battery capacity doesn’t even add on any additional size or weight on the smartphone. It managed to last over 12 hours with continuous usage throughout the day for daily productivity and texting purposes, which is absolutely lovely. What’s even more impressive is Dash-Charging, that allows for 20W of power to be shuttled into the OnePlus 3T, recharging the battery in around an hour from a dead battery.
The OnePlus 3T is a spectacular smartphone and at its price point, it’s hard to find anything else in the market that can beat its power and user-friendliness. I absolutely loved its battery life and fast-charging capabilities. Its unparalleled speed is just so lovely, especially when coupled with the beautiful OxygenOS skin on the OnePlus 3T. There is no other phone I would recommend more than the OnePlus 3T at this price.
Purchase it here.