OnePlus 7T is the latest smartphone from OnePlus and brings a bevvy of improvements
OnePlus 7T is here. And it’s brilliant. In fact, we might even prefer it to the flagship OnePlus 7 Pro, which pushed the boundaries of what the plucky five-year-old company could achieve in terms of design and specs – beating out long-established rivals like Apple and Samsung by bringing a high-refresh rate OLED panel to a mainstream smartphone.
From the front, the OnePlus 7T looks suspiciously like its predecessor, which was only a subtle tweak on its predecessor, the OnePlus 6. All four have a notch at the top of the display to house the front-facing camera, proximity and ambient light sensors.
That notch design allows OnePlus to squeeze an expansive 6.55-inch AMOLED display into a frame that remains small enough to comfortably fit in your pocket, jacket, or bag. Make no mistake, this is not a small phone by any stretch of the imagination – but it feels noticeably more comfortable in the hand than the whopping OnePlus 7 Pro, which feels comically large.
OnePlus says it has managed to shrink the bezels around the display and reduce the size of the teardrop-style notch by an impressive 31.46 percent. It’s a welcome tweak on a fine design. Granted, the notch still isn’t the most attractive look out there, but you’ll stop noticing it almost the minute you start using the handset and it doesn’t get in the way of any system icons – something that can’t be said of the cut-out design used for the selfie camera on the Galaxy S10, and Galaxy S10 Plus.
But the biggest change to the OnePlus 7T display is that it’s now a 90Hz high refresh rate panel.
That’s a huge upgrade. OnePlus introduced the technology to its smartphone range with the OnePlus 7 Pro, which cost as much as £799 – comfortably the highest price tag ever seen on a OnePlus device, earlier this year. And now, the 90Hz screen is available on every handset in the new OnePlus range.
If you haven’t used a high refresh rate AMOLED display before, it’s great. Everything looks buttery-smooth – from scrolling through your Twitter timeline, to system animations, and playing fast-paced video games.
The front is deceptively similar to the OnePlus 7, but the rear panel is substantially changed
All of these everyday uses look a lot slicker. After picking up the OnePlus 7T, the first time you glance over at a friend’s bog-standard 60Hz smartphone screen, you’ll realise just how much you’ve grown accustomed to the high-refresh rate technology – and just how much you love it.
There’s also some other tweaks to the display: it’s now brighter and can hit a peak of 1,000nits to help with outdoor viewing, it automatically blocks 40 percent of harsh blue light in low-light conditions to avoid disturbing your circadian rhythm and help with your sleep.
None of these tweaks alone is worth an upgrade, but they all add up to a very attractive package.
But it’s on the back of the OnePlus 7T where it’s most obvious there has been some serious change. OnePlus has completely overhauled its camera system – bringing the same triple-camera combo seen on the costlier OnePlus 7 Pro to the successor to the OnePlus 7, albeit now in a Huawei-like circular array.
That means you’ll be able to shoot photos with two-times lossless optical zoom using the telephoto camera, as well as take snaps with a 117° field of view using the 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera. The primary camera is a 48-megapixel Sony sensor with f/1.6 and optical image stabilisation (OIS) to help remove any shakes in low-light images or video.
And not only will OnePlus 7T owners get a triple-camera comparable to the flagship OnePlus 7 Pro, which launched less than six months ago, but they’ll also benefit from the latest photography tech introduced by OnePlus, too.
This includes a new Macro Mode, which is designed to improve shots that are taken from as little as 2.5 centimetres from the subject. So you’ll be able to get some David Attenborough-esque shots of creepy crawlies and foliage with your new phone.
OnePlus 7T is available in Glacier Blue and Frosted Silver – two new finishes
OnePlus is also bringing a new Nightscape mode to its OnePlus 7T, which leverages the pixel-packed main sensor and the ultra-wide angle camera to gather a truckload of data in low-light conditions to try to naturally brighten your cityscapes, or shots of friends in dingy bars with shots.
As you’d expect from OnePlus, the OnePlus 7T runs the latest – and most importantly, fastest – silicon available.
The handset is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, coupled with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Unfortunately, that storage still isn’t expandable, so you’ll be reliant on cloud back-up services if you’re a little too enthusiastic with the new camera – or load-up too many Netflix downloads for a long journey.
Elsewhere, there are a number of other small improvements across the board. OnePlus has tweaked the in-display fingerprint scanner, which should now be a little faster and more accurate. The Haptic Vibration motor has been refreshed, so that notifications should be more noticeable – even when the OnePlus 7T is deep in your pocket. There’s also some new colours, dubbed Frosted Silver and Glacier Blue. The latter is a shinier version of the Nebula Blue that shipped on the OnePlus 7 Pro.
There’s enough here to justify a year-on-year upgrade to the OnePlus 7T
And finally, there’s the fast-charging. While the OnePlus 7 disappointingly didn’t even get the same Warp Charge 30 technology we’d seen on the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition last year, OnePlus has made amends with its latest handset.
OnePlus 7T has support for Warp Charge 30T, which is 18 percent faster than the already-pretty-fast fast-charging on the OnePlus 7 Pro. This new system can refill your smartphone from empty to 70 percent in half an hour. That’s faster than fast-charging on the Samsung Galaxy S10, iPhone, or Huawei Mate 30 Pro.
OnePlus says its fast-charging system is now sophisticated enough to stay cool, even when it’s charging at full speed while playing heavy-duty video games.
In fact, the only fast-charging system that still manages to beat OnePlus is Oppo’s impressive SuperVOOC system, which can top-up the handset to 100% in 35 minutes – and 40 percent in as little as 10 minutes.
OnePlus 7T ships with Android 10 out of the box, with a handful of subtle – but handy – tweaks to the system courtesy of the firm’s widely-praised OxygenOS.
OnePlus 7T is a brilliant phone… in fact, it might be our favourite handset OnePlus has ever built
With the OnePlus 7T, the Shenzhen-based company has not rested on its laurels at all (something that it could’ve been accused of doing with its predecessor). In fact, there are so many brilliant features squeezed into the OnePlus 7T that it feels like OnePlus no longer needs to have a separate Pro variant of its smartphone line-up at all.
After all, it has the triple-camera with the choice of a wide-angle, ultra-wide angle, and two-times telephoto camera, a 90Hz high refresh rate display, faster in-display fingerprint scanner, smaller notch (and no annoying wait for the unsightly pop-up mechanism to kick-in), and eye-waveringly speedy fast-charging.
By any measure, that’s a lot.
If you’re using a OnePlus handset that’s over a year-old, you’ll be surprised by just how much has changed. And even if you’re not, the 90Hz AMOLED, fast-charging boost, and camera might be worth stumping up for an upgrade anyway. Unfortunately, there’s no word on UK pricing or availability just yet. We expect that to be announced at the London event on October 10, 2019.