Phones

OnePlus 8T hands-on: is there a spot for a T-series within the OnePlus vary?

Image: OnePlus

Last week an unexpected package arrived in the form of a Lunar Silver OnePlus 8T verification kit and I installed my Google Fi SIM card to test it out. Given that the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro were released six months ago with high-end specs, I didn’t think there would be room for a T version in 2020.

It turns out that the OnePlus 8T has made some improvements that make it a pretty compelling 5G smartphone for the starting price of $ 749. Some of the improvements that make the OnePlus 8T better than the OnePlus 8 for me include increasing the OnePlus 8’s refresh rate to 120Hz, integrating a flat display instead of a curved-edge display, and slightly increasing the battery capacity with Mit der Warp Charge 65, an improved 5MP macro camera and a special monochrome camera, the charging capacity has been significantly improved.

Also: OnePlus 8T review: fast screen, fast charging

Before we dive deeper into these changes, let’s take a look at how the OnePlus 8T fares against the other two 2020 OnePlus phones. All three phones use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and support 5G networks. Android 11 is now also available for all three phones.

The OnePlus Nord mid-range phone wasn’t released in the US so I have no experience with it and am not including it in these high-end phones here.

characteristic OnePlus 8T OnePlus 8 OnePlus 8 Pro
display 6.55 inches, 2400 x 1080, 120 Hz 6.55 inches, 2400 x 1080, 90 Hz 6.78 inches, 3168 x 1440, 120 Hz
RAM type LPDDR4X LPDDR4X LPDDR5
Internal storage type UFS 3.1 UFS 3.0 UFS 3.0
Battery capacity 4500 mAh 4300 mAh 4510 mAh
Rear view camera (main camera) 48 MP, ƒ / 1.7, 0.8 µm 48 MP, ƒ / 1.78, 0.8 µm 48 MP, ƒ / 1.78, 1.12 µm
Rear view camera (ultra wide) 16MP 123 degrees 16MP 116 degrees 48MP 119.7 degrees
Rear view camera (macro) 5MP 2MP None, 5MP color filters
Rear view camera (fourth) 2MP monochrome None 8MP 3x Tele
Wireless charging No No Yes
Current price (12 GB / 256 GB) $ 749 $ 699 $ 899

The OnePlus 8 Pro is clearly the best of the three phones. With the same 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage, it costs $ 150 to $ 200 more. However, you can also find a color variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage for a budget price of $ 799. However, if you don’t want a curved display, the 8T is a better option.

Also: OnePlus 8 Review: Least expensive 5G phone with flagship specs and minimal compromises

Flat screen

Samsung is known to use curved displays that don’t have side bezels, while Apple, Google, and LG usually have flat panel displays. While the curved glass displays look great and efforts have been made to reduce accidental screen squeezes, I am perfectly happy to use flat panel displays that have no activation, glare, or increased risk of breakage if dropped.

The OnePlus 8T offers OnePlus fans a flat screen the same size as the OnePlus 8. The AMOLED screen looks amazing. Another benefit of a flat panel display is that screen protectors are easier to find and install.

Sometimes I hold my phone in one hand and use it with the same hand. This is much easier with a flat panel display that allows my thumb to be extended further across the display without accidental activation.

Battery capacity and charging

The OnePlus 8T has a little more capacity than the OnePlus 8 and roughly corresponds to the OnePlus 8 Pro. When 120 Hz is enabled, the battery consumption will be higher, so the capacity is reasonable for this phone.

OnePlus states that Warp Charge 65 is not just an iteration of its fast charging technology. It takes advantage of its dual battery configuration and can reportedly charge the 4500 mAh battery in 39 minutes, bringing it to 58% capacity in just 15 minutes.

When a charger can provide that available capacity in just minutes, the ability to charge wirelessly or even last a full day without wires is less of a concern. That said, I was able to get through a full day with the OnePlus 8T with pretty heavy 5G usage all day.

You can also use the Warp Charge 65 power adapter that came with the OnePlus 8T (how about this Apple?) To charge other USB-C devices. This includes other phones, tablets, headsets, laptops, and more.

Macro and black and white camera

Macro photography is a great way to get creative and explore the fine details of the world around us. I like the macro lenses that can be found on some phones today, and I was pleased that OnePlus improved the resolution of the 8T’s macro lens. I plan to spend more time in the coming weeks capturing flowers, bugs, and other subjects with this phone.

One of the things I loved about Huawei phones was the dedicated monochrome camera. While you can apply monofilters to most smartphone cameras these days, elements seem to burst more with a dedicated mono camera. Digital Trends’ Andy Boxall has an excellent article about his monochrome experience and I look forward to using this lens more on the OnePlus 8T.

Accessing the black and white camera is a bit of an adventure on the OnePlus 8T, and I’d love to see a software update that offers a single keyboard shortcut for the camera surface. To use the monochrome lens, start the camera, make sure the photo mode is on, tap the filter icon, swipe all the way to the right, and in the end you will find a filter called Mono.

Different experiences

OnePlus makes some of the most beautiful phones I’ve ever seen, and most of their brilliant phones have a matte glass on the back so fingerprints won’t appear. The Lunar Silver I tested is subtle yet very professional.

OnePlus also moved the camera module to the side of the phone after its designs had central cameras for years. I like the placement of the cameras when I hold the phone in landscape orientation to capture still images and video content. It’s also a little more typical of the camera placement we see from Samsung, Apple, Google, and others.

While testing 5G on the new Apple iPhone 12, I had a T-Mobile SIM card in the OnePlus 8T. Once again, OnePlus is performing extremely well with its cellular reception strength while showing solid 5G performance.

A beautiful, solid phone, the OnePlus 8T is one of the best 5G flagship phones available right now at $ 749. With such outstanding performance in key areas, it is getting really difficult to pay $ 1,000 or more for a smartphone today, and if I wasn’t writing about phones here on ZDNet, a OnePlus phone would be high on my list as the primary phone every day Driver.

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