OnePlus has emerged as a key player in the premium smartphone category and it is not by luck or chance. OnePlus has consistently given great phones and each time it has improved significantly to address user concerns and feedback. With the launch of OnePlus 7T, we feel the Chinese smartphone company is confident in its approach where it can comfortably (and confidently) stand by its every decision.
OnePlus' journey had its share of ups and downs. After a few trials and errors, OnePlus got the perfect mix for a premium smartphone loved by the masses. Never did it let go of the "Never Settle" mantra, which helped it thrive and finally deliver a smartphone as good as the 7T.
OnePlus 7T is a bi-annual upgrade to the OnePlus 7, which was launched earlier this year alongside OnePlus 7 Pro - the ultimate (most expensive) flagship it has ever released. OnePlus was clear about who the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro is targeted towards, but that line gets blurry with the 7T's release. Ideally, OnePlus 7T should sit between the 7 and 7 Pro, but after having used the flagship it's hard to decide 7T's rank in the hierarchy.
OnePlus 7T is too big of an improvement for a bi-annual upgrade to the 7, so much so that it manages to be a better choice than the 7 Pro (Review) - and that's not just keeping the price in mind.
When we looked at the OnePlus 7T's spec sheet, we were as impressed as most. But when the pricing of the handset was revealed at Rs 37,999 for the 8GB+128GB model and Rs 39,990 for 8GB+256GB model, it just seemed like a steal. There are only so many phones in the premium space that we consider are rightly priced and the 7T shares the spot with iPhone 11 and ROG Phone II.
OnePlus 7T makes it hard not to be considered while buying a new phone. It has got the power, the looks, the cameras and checks all the right boxes. Let's dive into individual features of the OnePlus 7T:
OnePlus 7T wins big here. The circular camera ring at the back might steal the limelight, but for us, it was the frosted matte finish glass that looks absolutely stunning. OnePlus has always tried to keep things simple with the design and the 7T doesn't sway from that design philosophy. The 20:9 aspect ratio is a much-needed, highly-ignored feature in smartphones and the 7T gets it.
OnePlus 7T is extremely handy and you won't have to struggle with single hand use as well. In terms of looks, it is far better looking than the OnePlus 7, which is already a good-looking device. So, OnePlus improved in areas where it didn't have to and impressed us by their surprising choice.
The gradient glacier blue looks terrific and the circular camera ring blends in the design perfectly. The right and left side have the usual buttons for volume, power and alert slider. The USB Type-C port, speaker grille and SIM card tray are found at the bottom and the rest of the handset is sealed to perfection.
The earpiece covers a larger portion of the sleek bezel on top, but its presence is barely visible. The notch on top of the display, which houses the front camera, takes away the attention, but it is no longer bothersome.
From a practice standpoint, OnePlus 7T's design is built to last and doesn't compromise usability on a day-to-day basis.
OnePlus 7T has a 90Hz display, a significant and worthy upgrade if you ask us. We loved the OnePlus 7 Pro's 90Hz smooth display and the fact that it has now come to the 7T makes us jump in excitement. Buyers won't have to shell out more for this extremely useful feature.
The 6.55-inch AMOLED display with 1000 nits peak brightness is just icing on the cake. The flat display is incredibly useful, even though some might prefer the 7 Pro's curved panel. But we rarely missed it after using the 7T. The smoothness of the 90Hz display made the overall experience with the 7T pleasant, and that's not just while playing games or watching movies, but for tasks as basic as browsing social media.
OnePlus 7T's bright and vibrant display panel is the best we've seen in its price range. You surely won't need a display better than this. Be it using outdoors or indoors, with adaptive brightness you'll have a consistent user experience.
There's an interesting Chromatic feature, which when turned on turns the display into black and white. I absolutely loved the feature while catching up on some articles or books on the go. You get Ambient display and Night mode, but the Always-on display is still missing. I could switch between 90Hz and 60Hz refresh rate, which is useful while travelling in order to preserve some battery. There's no other reason to go from 90Hz to 60Hz and we'd strongly suggest doing so if you really care about experience.
Things have gotten so much better in the camera department for OnePlus phones. Through a series of updates, OnePlus has really worked some magic into the camera performance, which was evident in the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 (to an extent). With the OnePlus 7T, the company does a fairly decent job at bringing out the best possible results.
OnePlus 7T features a triple rear camera setup with 48MP wide-angle lens, a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens and a 2X telephoto lens. There's EIS for stable videos, which made a difference. As for stills, the results were most impressive.
OnePlus 7T manages to take some really good landscape, macro and portrait shots. The HDR is quite brilliant in shots taken during the day, with vibrant, sharp and contrast colours. The shots retain highlights and shadows pretty well. The wide-angle shots lose out on some details, more during low-light. I loved the macro mode, which takes really detailed close-up shots. Basically, shots taken from the primary 48MP are the best you can get as compared to the other two lenses.
In portraits, the edge detection is improved and depth effect is more natural in the 7T. In Night mode, the results are pretty decent. They are not as great as Google, Huawei phones, but they do deliver as per expectation. I just love how far the night photography on OnePlus phones has come to reach this level and the results are quite admirable. Overall, OnePlus 7T cameras are just as good as any premium phone on many levels, which has finally been achieved after intense R&D. In this price range, it surely has to be one of the best camera phones out there, even if it loses out to the Pixel 3a by a fair margin.
As for selfies, they are still good enough to justify the price tag, but not flawless. I wish the sharpness and contrast was as good as the rear cameras, but there's only so much a 16MP shooter can do, so we won't be too hard on that. In daylight, I couldn't find reasons to complain over the selfies, but in low light, I had to struggle to get the details right. The colours are still retained to a natural form, both in the day and low light.
Now, check out some samples straight out of the camera roll:
OnePlus phones have been synonymous with performance. With the OnePlus 7T, performance is still at the core. Powered by Snapdragon 855+ chipset, 8GB RAM, UFS 3.0 storage, and Android 10-based OxygenOS 10 out-of-the-box, OnePlus 7T is one of the best performing phones out there.
On a day-to-day basis, I didn't feel the need to settle. The seamlessly integrated near-stock UI makes it a breeze to use the phone. From running multiple apps and switching back and forth between them to playing high-graphics games like PUBG Mobile and Asphalt 9, OnePlus 7T didn't break a sweat. During the review, there was a 2GB update, which streamlined things for the better and fixed some serious glitches that caused apps to freeze, screen to flicker and go unresponsive. That was so unlike OnePlus, but luckily the company addressed it quickly.
OxygenOS has always been my favourite custom UIs and the OxygenOS 10 is far refined. The gestures are smooth and responsive, Zen Mode customisations are a relief and Game Space gives that extra nudge to your games. The new gestures are a huge part of the new OS, coming straight from Android 10. I felt OnePlus should have given the option to restore to the older gestures instead of completely removing it.
There are some useful features like a screen recorder, reading mode, cloud storage and much more. The 7T also has an optical in-display fingerprint scanner and face unlock security, both of which worked flawlessly during the entire duration of the review. The audio gets better with dual stereos, which came in handy while gaming without a headset. OnePlus 7T has one of the best Wi-Fi range, Bluetooth range and browsing speeds.
OnePlus 7T is much like the OnePlus 7 Pro, but it stands down in the battery department. I absolutely loved the 7 Pro's battery life and it would have been crazy if OnePlus chose to make the 7T as good as the 7 Pro in all aspects. The charging speed is pretty much the same, it takes an hour to fully charge the phone and about 30 minutes to give you about 75 per cent juice.
The fast-charging surely makes a huge deal in the battery life experience, especially when the handset cannot last as long. OnePlus 7T will give out in about a day or sooner if your usage involves gaming and streaming videos. With my regular use, I was able to get through a full day with around 20 percent juice left. On days I choose to play games or catch up on my shows, I would need to charge the phone mid-day just so it wouldn't die on me.
The fact that there's Warp Charge 30T, things get a lot easier. Just plug the phone, play a game or watch something for a few minutes and you're good to go.
The term too good to be true doesn't hold here. OnePlus 7T is too good for its asking price. It has the best design I could ask for, cameras are really improved, the display is undoubtedly magical, fast charging is life-saving and performance is class apart. OnePlus 7T is easily one of the best sub-Rs 40,000 smartphones you can buy in India right now! It's so good, I recommend it over the OnePlus 7 Pro.