Despite already announcing two flagship smartphones earlier this year, a brand-new budget 5G handset during the summer, wireless earbuds to rival the AirPods, and a handful of new Smart TV models – the plucky Shenzhen start-up still had one more launch event up its sleeve for this year. OnePlus has just unveiled its all-new OnePlus 8T, which is a substantial upgrade over the OnePlus 8 launched in the first half of this year – at a lower price.
Starting from £549 (that’s £50 cheaper than the OnePlus 8 when it debuted back in April), OnePlus 8T packs an upgraded 120Hz high refresh-rate display, a new rear-camera design with some improved photography smarts, and some of the fastest charging speeds you can find on any smartphone. Dubbed Warp Charge 65, the new system delivers enough juice to keep your smartphone ticking along all-day after 15 minutes plugged in.
For comparison, Warp Charge 65 can now recharge the OnePlus 8T to 100 percent in the same amount of time as the previous OnePlus charging solution, known as Warp Charge 30T, could deliver half a charge. OnePlus claims its new system will ensure overnight charging is “a thing of the past”.
According to OnePlus, Tit has equipped the 8T with 12 temperature sensors as well as an extra encryption chip in the adapter and cable to make sure charging temperatures remain a comfortable level. We’ll need to get our hands on the OnePlus 8T to test these claims, but the Shenzhen-based firm is confident that you’ll be able to continue playing fast-paced games, streaming high-quality video and running two apps side-by-side without raising the temperature of the phone to the point that it’s uncomfortable to hold while charging. If it works, it’s seriously impressive stuff.
For comparison, Apple’s new iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, which were also announced during an online-only event this week, can recharge to 50 percent of its battery in 30 minutes using a 20W adapter or higher, which is sold separately.
OnePlus 8T ditches the dual-curved design found on the OnePlus 8 Pro in favour of a flat panel. It also upgrades from the 90Hz high-refresh rate seen on the OnePlus 8 in favour of a 120Hz display. For comparison, most smartphones use a 60Hz panel – which can refresh the images on-screen 60 times each second. Doubling that with a 120Hz panel means system animations, such as scrolling, appear much smoother, fast-paced games feel more frenetic, and the touchscreen will feel more responsive to your taps and swipes.
According to OnePlus, the OnePlus 8T’s 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display is the first flat 120Hz display ever to earn an A+ rating from DisplayMate. That suggests no expense has been spared when it comes to the new display.
There’s a small hole-punch in the corner of the new 6.5-inch AMOLED to house the selfie camera, which can also be used to unlock the OnePlus 8T using facial recognition – although this isn’t secure enough to be used for banking apps or contactless payments. For that, you’ll need to use the in-display optical finger scanner, which is the same technology found on the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro earlier this year.
On the back, OnePlus has redesigned the camera set-up. Gone is the vertically-aligned camera stack found on the back of the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, replaced in favour of a square of glass that resembles something more likely to be found on the back of the Samsung-branded handset.
Housed in that new square design, OnePlus has included a 48MP main camera with Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), a 16MP ultra-wide angle lens, and dedicated macro and monochrome lenses, which let smartphone owners “enjoy studio-level photography on the go,” OnePlus says.
An improved Nightscape mode, which lets OnePlus 8T owners capture details from the gloom without relying on a blinding LED flash, works with the ultra-wide lens for the first time. That means you should be able to capture skyscrapers, wide cityscapes, and huge crowds of (socially distant) friends in the evening without any issue.
OnePlus says it has also improved the video stabilisation, which means you’ll be able to run and film – and still capture footage that can be watched without provoking some serious seasickness.
OnePlus 8T is also the first OnePlus-branded smartphone with new Video Portrait mode, which produces clips with a natural bokeh effect behind your subject based on improved AI, accurately detecting and analyzing human subjects and blurring out the background. In a nutshell, it’s like the Portrait Mode already available for still images, but now for video.
Finally, there’s a glossy new Aquamarine Green finish, which is the only option for those looking to buy the top-tier variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of non-expandable storage. A Lunar Silver colour is also available for those who opt for the entry-level 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage model. Both of these are available to pre-order from 4pm today, October 14, 2020.
OnePlus 8T will be available to pick-up from store shelves in John Lewis, Amazon UK and OnePlus directly from October 20, 2020. As always, OnePlus offers trade-in value for older smartphones, including those from rival brands like Apple and Samsung, to anyone who is looking to upgrade to the latest OnePlus 8T.
OnePlus 8T starts from £549, and tops-out at £649.
The OnePlus 8T is the first handset from the Chinese brand to ship with OxygenOS 11, which is based on Android 11 and includes a number of exclusive new features. OxygenOS 11 benefits from a host of newly optimized animations and gestures, as well as numerous customisations, such as 11 new Always On Display clock options, improved one-handed gesture controls and Zen Mode 2.0 – that strips away distractions to help you work from home, or study.
“The clean look and feel empowers users to streamline day-to-day tasks, improve efficiency, and enjoy a more refined, personalized user experience,” OnePlus claims.