With the 7T, OnePlus presents a completely revamped "small" flagship killer model. Instead of equipping the OnePlus 7 with an updated CPU, new colors and the old design, which is only a few months old, the Chinese company is giving the T model a new form factor, a new design and the camera setup from the Pro version. You can find out whether the extensive update has led to a successful smartphone in this OnePlus 7T review.
- Oxygen OS based on Android 10
- Nice 90 Hertz AMOLED display
- Fast Face Unlock
- Fast fingerprint sensor
- Improved camera
- Price-to-performance ratio
- Design of the camera unit
- No expandable storage
The price remains a mystery
Unlike in spring, OnePlus does not send the 7T and 7T Pro into the race as a tandem, but presents the smaller T-model a full two weeks before the presentation of the Pro version. OnePlus deliberately chose India as its country of introduction, as it is very well positioned in the premium segment of this market. But whether the price of the OnePlus 7T will be as attractive as that of the previous versions remains to be seen. Officially the prices will be announced at the event on October 10 in London.
The OnePlus 7T is available in two different colors. Derived from the Nebula Blue of the OnePlus 7 Pro, the OnePlus 7T also comes in a matte blue, except that the Glacier Blue of the OnePlus 7T is lighter than the Nebula Blue of the Pro version. As a color alternative there is also a silver version that bears the name Frosted Silver.
Both color versions will be available in two memory sizes. But you only have to decide if you need 128 or 256 GB of internal storage. The RAM for both is fixed at 8GB.
Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder
When it comes to design, Pete Lau has already revealed many things and beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. OnePlus has combined the triple camera and the double LED flash in a large circular module. Whether OnePlus with this design was inspired by the look of a real camera, similar to Huawei with the Mate 30 Pro, is not known. Even though I personally am not a fan of this big black hole on the back, it has a practical side effect: the OnePlus 7T does not tilt so easily when lying on a table.
But it's not just the back that has been completely redesigned, OnePlus also gives the 7T a new form factor. Instead of the previous 19.5:9 format, the OnePlus 7T is in a 20:9 format stretches upwards further. The advantage here is that it becomes handier even with a smartphone case around it. The dewdrop-shaped notch has also become slimmer. According to OnePlus, the notch on the OnePlus 7T is almost 32 percent smaller than that in the OnePlus 7.
It is not mentioned that OnePlus has reduced the size of the notification switch. For old-established OnePlus fans, this is certainly not a shortcoming, only those who enter the OnePlus world fresh could be bothered by the smaller button. If I could wish for one thing for OnePlus in terms of aesthetics in the future, it would be a matt aluminum frame that picks up on the color gradient of the glass back.
The Pro-Display goes into the OnePlus 7T
In addition to the new design, OnePlus also gives the small 7T an improved display. Although the small OnePlus does not require an edge display, the smartphone is equipped with the Fluid AMOLED panel of the OnePlus 7 Pro, developed in cooperation with Samsung. In plain language, this means that the OnePlus 7T is also capable of displaying content at up to 90 Hertz. You won't see the difference right away, but over time the very fluid display makes you find displays with a low refresh rate unbearable.
Although the 6.55-inch display has a maximum resolution of only 2,400 x 1,080 pixels, i.e. FullHD+, this is actually sufficient for the size. More would be nicer, but let's wait and see what the OnePlus 7T Pro has in store for us. Overall, the display of the OnePlus 7T can be described as a very successful update.
Fingerprint sensor or facial recognition?
Anyone who has ever used the OnePlus 7 Pro for a long time will certainly have gotten used the fingerprint sensor to unlock the smartphone. The reason being that the popup selfie camera slowed down the process of face recognition. With the OnePlus 7T, face recognition is back on the table again, as the permanently integrated camera in the notch is virtually always ready. The OnePlus 7T almost always unlocked during my Face Unlock test before I could even place my thumb on the sensor.
Android 10 with a nice slice of OnePlus
For the new OnePlus 7T series there is also a major software update. OxygenOS makes the jump from version 9 to 10, to match the latest Android version. Besides the new features in Android 10, OnePlus' OxygenOS offers some improvements of its own, some of which are even better than the Android 10 features Google has in mind.
OnePlus points out that it is the first manufacturer to deliver a smartphone with Android 10 and all Google services and apps out of the box. It's a slap in the face to Huawei, whose recently introduced Mate 30 series without Google services, and also to Google, whose Pixel 4 series with Android 10 will be presented next month.
First of all, we should mention the more complex and flexible gesture control of OxygenOS. Introduced in OxygenOS 9, OnePlus extends the one-dimensional gesture control with a second one. The back gesture can now be carried out from the left or right to the centre of the screen by swiping sideways. As an additional option to scroll through the open apps more easily, a navigation bar can be displayed at the bottom edge. Depending on the swipe direction you can switch between the apps in the Task Switcher.
All in all, OnePlus also cleaned up the UI. The many optical adjustments can now be summarized in a clear submenu of the settings. Jumping back and forth in different areas is, therefore, a thing of the past.
The further improvements and changes to OxygenOS based on Android 10 we have summarized for you in a separate article. But experience has shown that OnePlus will continue to work on further software improvements after the launch of OnePlus 7T and will be updating you as soon as they roll out.
Small performance upgrade
In the tech world, what OnePlus hardware does when switching to the T-model is called a speed or spec bump. With such a speed bump, slightly stronger CPUs, GPUs and other internal chips are usually exchanged for fresher and better ones. In the case of the OnePlus 7T, the manufacturer will replace the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with the Snapdragon 855+. Like its predecessor, the 855+ is an octa-core processor with the difference that the maximum clock rate has been increased to 2.96 GHz. There is also more RAM, because there is now 8GB in this instead of the 6GB in the OnePlus 7. However, the GPU in the form of the Adreno 640 and the internal storage, which still starts at 128GB, remain unchanged. There is no possibility of storage expansion via MicroSD cards.
The OnePlus 7 was already a very good smartphone in terms of pure performance, but the OnePlus 7T was supposed to add a little something to it. You can see the benchmark comparison table between the two OnePlus and Galaxy smartphones below.
OnePlus 7T benchmark results comparison
|Samsung Galaxy Grade 10||OnePlus 7 Pro||OnePlus 7T|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1||4.905||5.374||6.020|
|3D Mark Sling Shot Volcano||4.146||4.758||5.245|
|3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0||4.872||6.958||6.649|
|3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0||53.189||65.808||72.408|
|Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi)||704 / 2.283||733 / 2.748||786 / 2.825|
From the bare numbers alone, the OnePlus 7T beats not only the OnePlus 7 Pro but also the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and its new Exynos 9825 SoC. Only in the performance of its internal storage does the OnePlus 7T lags slightly behind the other smartphones.
Less noise for calls and gamers
Far too often the audio side of a smartphone is neglected. That's probably why we hardly use our smartphones for calls anymore but send text messages instead. For frequent callers, OnePlus has been integrating noise suppression into the system for some time now. For the 7T series, however, there is now an extension of the function. Now gamers who communicate with their fellow players via voice chat during a longer gaming session should also benefit from the noise suppression.
When consuming music and video content, OnePlus relies on stereo loudspeakers for the 7T as well. These are pleasantly loud, but typically struggle with bass, like a lot of smartphones. Headphones can be connected via Bluetooth (5.0) or USB-C, as before. There is still no dongle with a 3.5mm jack connection in the box.
More sensors + improved software = good photos and videos?
When you look at the current smartphones in a very simple way, there is only a limited selection if you are only looking for outstanding photos and videos. These include Huawei's P30 Pro, Samsung's Galaxy S10 and Note 10, Google's Pixel 4 and the Apple iPhone 11 Pro. Even with these smartphones, the quality differences during the day are no longer so easy for a normal user to recognize. Only at night and the corresponding night mode do the differences become greater.
The OnePlus 7T cannot penetrate this array of top camera smartphones, but that doesn't mean it has a bad camera. Compared to the OnePlus 7, the T model now has a third camera to cover the ultrawide-angle range. In addition, the telephoto sensor is new and now offers a physical resolution of 13 megapixels, but is cropped to 12 megapixels in the 2x optical zoom range. This results in the following camera setup:
- 48-megapixel wide-angle camera with Sony IMX586 Sensor, Quad Bayer Mask, f/1.6, OIS and EIS
- 12-megapixel telephoto camera with f/2.2 and 2x optical zoom
- 16-megapixel ultrawide-angle camera with an aperture angle of 117 degrees and f/2.2
- 16-megapixel front camera with Sony IMX471, fixed focal length, EIS and f/2.0
The OnePlus 7T records videos at a maximum resolution of 4K at 60 or 30 fps. Super slow motion in HD at up to 960 fps or 240 fps in Full HD is possible. So far there are hardly any differences between this and the OnePlus 7 Pro. OnePlus brings the really interesting changes in the form of software.
Improved Portrait and Night modes
Until now, OnePlus has mostly used the telephoto camera for portraits. Starting with the OnePlus 7T, and for most other OnePlus models after the update to Oxygen OS 10, the camera takes portraits with either the telephoto or the main camera.
The camera of the OnePlus 7T also becomes more flexible in Night Mode , as the manufacturer extends the special mode to a second camera. Night Mode can now also be used with the ultrawide-angle camera. The quality of the OnePlus Night Mode has improved considerably compared to previous years. Provided you have a steady hand, you can now take really good night shots with the OnePlus 7T. In a direct comparison with the Pixel 4, which is closer to reality, the OnePlus 7T can keep up quite well.
Super Macro and Super Stabilization
For more creative freedom, OnePlus adds a function called Super Macro to photoshoots. If you activate this feature in the camera app, you can still take sharp pictures of objects at a distance of 2.5 cm. The disadvantage of such close objects is that they are often darkened by the mobile phone. In such situations, we recommend using the telephoto mode. Often you get similarly good results. Super Macro is an interesting feature, but to take really good pictures in the macro area, you need a very steady hand.
Speaking of having a steady hand, with Super Stabilisation OnePlus goes practically into the field of action cameras. This makes Full HD video recordings even more stable and blur-free. In theory, Super Stabilization sounds very good, but there is a small problem: A constant noise is noticeable and also a kind of "pulsing" from sharp to muddied representation with very detailed objects. But the stabilization works very well.
Overall, the OnePlus 7T is definitely recommended as a camera smartphone. The weaknesses in the low-light range can be eliminated very well with the night mode. On the video side, the new Super Stabilization is quite useful, but one notices that OnePlus still has to work on the algorithm so that the "flickering" and the noise in the moving image is minimized.
Optimized for fast charging
The OnePlus 7T battery is a 3,800 mAh. Certainly, this capacity in times of smartphone batteries with over 4,000 mAh ensures it is not trumping its friends. OnePlus has focused more on optimizing charging speed by improving the charging algorithm and reducing internal resistance. The result is called OnePlus Warp Charge 30T. The advantage of Warp Charge 30T is that it is still compatible with WarpCharge 30 power supplies, but the correspondingly equipped smartphone charges a little bit faster. Expressed in bare numbers: the OnePlus 7T charges from 0 to 100 percent within 52 minutes and 20 seconds. For comparison, the OnePlus 6T McLaren with a 3,700 mAh battery was equipped with WarpCharge 30 and took 59 minutes for a full charge.
Warp Charge 30T vs. Warp Charge 30 vs. OnePlus Charger on OnePlus 7T
|Warp Charge 30T||Warp Charge 30 (OnePlus 6T)||OnePlus Charger|
|0||0 %||0||0 %||0||0 %|
The speed is fast, but the OnePlus charging technology sits in the power supply unit to protect the smartphone. This means that the smartphone remains cool and usable even during charging. With smartphones, where the charging electronics are built into the smartphone, this is often not possible. But there is also a disadvantage: if you always want to use Warp Charge 30T with your OnePlus 7T, you have to carry a power supply with you.
OnePlus 7T technical specifications
|Dimensions:||160.94 x 74.44 x 8.13 mm|
|Battery size:||3800 mAh|
|Screen size:||6.55 in|
|Screen:||2400 x 1080 pixels (402 ppi)|
|Front camera:||16 megapixels|
|Rear camera:||48 megapixels|
|Android version:||10 - Q|
|User interface:||Oxygen OS|
|Internal storage:||128 GB|
|Removable storage:||Not available|
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855|
|Number of cores:||8|
|Max. clock speed:||2.96 GHz|
|Connectivity:||HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0|
A successful update
Technically, the OnePlus 7T is a very good smartphone. Once again, OnePlus has installed components such as a processor, display, and memory that are absolutely top of the range for a smartphone. Despite the third camera and the improved camera app, the photo quality is a little behind Huawei's P30 Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S10.
These top smartphones in particular, which have already been on the market for half a year and now cost between $600 and $700 on the open market, could hurt the OnePlus 7T the most at first glance. But OnePlus has one unbeatable advantage: Oxygen OS. By restricting itself to a few products a year, the Chinese manufacturer can better adapt its interpretation of Android for smartphones, fix bugs and, over time, continually improve the product with new features. The finely tuned package of hardware and software is what makes the OnePlus 7T so recommendable - not a single feature set.