OnePlus 8T Review: One of the Best Phones You Shouldn't Buy

“The OnePlus 8T is a great smartphone – great software, fast, and a decent camera. With the exception of $ 749, the competition is too tough to recommend. "

  • Super fast loading

  • One day after 15 minutes of charging

  • Clean, fast and up-to-date software

  • Attractive photos from the camera

  • No wireless charging

  • No IP water resistance

The inconspicuous OnePlus 8 has been replaced by the OnePlus 8T. Wait, you don't remember OnePlus 8? This is not surprising as the phone was a safe and sensible choice that had absolutely no standout features and made it completely memorable. The OnePlus 8T will make you forget about it too, but this time you will forget about charging as the great new feature removes the worry of having a fully charged phone every morning.

Do you think that's the whole story? This is not the case as the smartphone world surrounding the OnePlus 8 has changed a lot since April, making the life of the 8T considerably more difficult than ever.

design

The OnePlus 8T is all about change. Instead of the unusual central camera module on the back of the OnePlus 8, this time it's an offset module that makes the phone look more like the Galaxy S20. I really like the look of the OnePlus 8T and am impressed with the total lack of fingerprints on the body, which makes it look clean and new.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Like the OnePlus 8, the 8T also has a flat screen on the front with a slight curvature at the edges. The aluminum housing is very well designed and has a pronounced curvature that leads from the flat screen into the cool, matt Gorilla Glass rear. This cleanly prevents the phone from getting tired for long periods of time, as does the relatively low weight of 188 grams and the 8.4 mm thick case. It doesn't dig into the palm of your hand or have any sharp edges.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

OnePlus doesn't make too much effort with the design of the 8T. It's clean and simple, sophisticated and attractive. While I appreciate visually unusual designs like the Oppo Reno4 Pro and Vivo X50 Pro, they are a little too eager. The cool, unpretentious look of the OnePlus 8T will appeal to more people and stay fresh longer. The phone is available in two colors: the Lunar Silver shown here and a pretty Aquamarine Green.

Screen and audio

On the OnePlus 8T, you get a 6.55-inch fluid AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a resolution of 2400 x 1080 pixels, and an aspect ratio of 20: 9. It's hard to want anything else. Watch videos at 60 frames per second on YouTube and it's gorgeous, so smooth and easy on your eyes and with some stunning colors. The psychedelic colors in Iz * One & # 39; s Beware music video are hyper-realistic, and on the other hand, blacks, grays, and midtones look great too, as shown in the Audi RS7 video from Woyshnis Media.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

There are two stereo speakers with one big volume but not a lot of bass or finesse. It's better to keep the volume at a reasonable level to avoid too much harshness. Listen to WJSN Chocome's bouncing, high-pitched hmph! and it sounds much better at half volume than at three quarters of the volume. The phone also supports Dolby Atmos.

Oddly enough, even though the screen apparently has a maximum brightness of 1,100 nits, I never felt the phone's screen was that bright. It's not dark at this level, but it was rare for the auto brightness to be less than about 80% and during the day I still had the max to watch videos.

battery

The OnePlus 8T introduces Warp Charge 65T, a proprietary super-fast charging technology that means you no longer have to worry about charging your phone overnight. How? If you charge the battery to around 60% in just 15 minutes. OnePlus says this is enough juice for everyday use, right? Yes, although it depends on your definition of the time of day.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

First, the fast charge time is accurate. It only took 15 minutes for the battery on my OnePlus 8T to go from 3% to 60%. This means that if you frequently forget to charge your phone, or if you prefer to minimize the remaining time connecting and charging the phone, you can easily integrate the OnePlus 8T into your lifestyle. It takes about 40 minutes to fully charge the battery from an empty state.

While charging is quick, it is also quick to discharge. With a 60% charge, it ran from noon to 11:30 p.m. This was done with about 20 minutes of video, 15 minutes of Asphalt 9 Legends, about 45 minutes of WhatsApp video call, and then general usage. If you classify the power of a day as around 12 hours, you should get this from the OnePlus 8T, provided you handle it carefully. Energy-intensive tasks consume a lot of energy, video and games. An hour of video generally reduces battery life by 12% to 15%, which quickly affects the life of the phone if you start the day on just 60%.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Warp Charge 65T uses a special charging block and a USB Type-C cable to charge the dual-cell battery with 4,500 mAh in the phone. So you need to have it on hand. Cleverly, it charges each of the cells with 30 W, which minimizes wear and tear and keeps the heat at a reasonable level. The OnePlus 8T only gets a little warm during fast charging. The phone does not support wireless charging.

OnePlus' fast charging technology isn't the first of its kind. We've seen it on several Oppo phones and even on the budget Realme 7 Pro, but the OnePlus 8T is the first widely available phone in the US to have this kind of fast charging technology . That makes it special, and absolutely no one said that about the OnePlus 8.

camera

At first glance, the OnePlus 8T's camera is rather mundane. A well-known 48-megapixel IMX586 camera tops the list, followed by a 16-megapixel ultrawide and a 5-megapixel macro camera. It's the fourth lens that's different enough to make me sit up and take notice – it's a special monochrome lens that can be used on its own.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

The OnePlus 8T's standalone monochrome camera is mainly used to enhance color photos and also takes true black and white photos without filters to achieve the desired effect. This was something I loved about Huawei's cameras until it was removed, which pissed me off enough to write an obituary on it. Unfortunately, it's not a replacement for Huawei's monochrome camera mode as it is only 2 MP, but I like the atmospheric shots it takes.

Otherwise, the OnePlus 8T continues the improvements we saw with the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro cameras. The main and wide angle cameras take pretty, colorful, and bright photos with good dynamic range, both outside and inside. The variety of cameras makes it versatile and I had fun taking photos especially since I was confident the results would look good.

There's no optical zoom option, although the app has a 2x mode. However, the results are noisy and show no details on closer inspection. Nightscape mode now works in videos as well and continues to be a subtle but effective night mode. It integrates with a video bokeh mode to blur the background when recording videos. This is not so good and doesn't fool anyone into thinking it's a real bokeh effect. The portrait effect in still images from the selfie camera and the rear camera is much better.

Software and more

The OnePlus 8T uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor and has 8 GB or 12 GB of RAM. This is the same as the OnePlus 8. It also has 5G connectivity. However, since 5G is not available in my region, this feature could not be tested. Calls made with the OnePlus 8T sound clear, and the speaker works well for hands-free calls too.

OnePlus is one of the first manufacturers to bring out a smartphone with software based on Android 11. There are some great features too. Pressing the power button activates a shortcut screen of controls for your smart home. There's also Google Pay and a screenshot button, as well as Google's new screen recorder feature. OnePlus has improved its dark mode and developed OxygenOS 11 for one-handed use.

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

This creates more space at the top of the screen and options that move further down the screen so they're easier to find. The most obvious thing to do is to browse the top level of the Settings menu and OnePlus' own weather app. But it's not everywhere, including the OnePlus file manager app, some of the deeper settings screens, or all of the basic Android apps like the Apps Drawer.

OnePlus 8T's Insight is always displayed. Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

OxygenOS is finally seeing the introduction of an always-on screen. It seems strange that one of the best manufacturer versions of Android didn't have this simple feature, but here we are and, amazingly, it's not quite finished yet. The function that will do it differently, called canvas, will still be included in a software update. This will put an outline of your wallpaper on the lock screen for a comfortably seamless look when you lock and unlock it. You will also see a Snapchat Bitmoji that will always appear on the screen. The update will be available in November.

It is currently very similar to most of the other screens. It displays the time, battery percentage, and notification icons. Besides digital wellbeing, there is another option called Insight that can help you determine how many times you've unlocked the phone and how long you've spent on it. It's an option that is confusingly hidden under the clock style rather than the environment display setting, and it's also confusing to look at. That being said, I'm really excited to see an option in OxygenOS that always appears.

I played Asphalt 9 Legends and Hill Climb Racer with no problems. There's an improved game mode that's visually less intrusive (it pops in from a top corner of the screen and takes up almost no space), with a handy split-screen option for quickly replying to messages. Using the OnePlus 8T with OxygenOS on a daily basis has been glitch free, with bulletproof reliability and a decent speed change. It is also worth pointing out the pleasant haptic feedback.

Price and availability

The OnePlus 8T will be available from October 23rd. Pre-orders will start on October 14th in OnePlus' own online shop. Amazon will also sell the OnePlus 8T from October 23rd. The phone is priced at $ 749 for the 12GB / 256GB model, and the 8GB / 128GB model doesn't appear to be on sale in the US. For reference, the 12GB / 256GB OnePlus 8 model costs $ 800.

In the UK, the Lunar Silver OnePlus 8T will be the 8GB / 128GB phone and will cost £ 549. The 12GB / 256GB model will be available in Aquamarine Green for £ 649.

If you are looking for a OnePlus 8T Pro then don't. The OnePlus 8 Pro remains the company's best smartphone for now, and the OnePlus 8T will only replace the OnePlus 8 released in April.

Our opinion

The super-fast loading of Warp Charge 65T gives the OnePlus 8T the standout feature that the OnePlus 8 lacked, making it a better buying decision than its predecessor. In the time since this phone was sold, however, the mid-range smartphone market has shifted significantly. At $ 749, the OnePlus 8T is too expensive, and now it's a lot harder to justify paying the higher price for a top processor when cheaper phones with a high-mid processor are just as suitable for everyday use.

Is there a better alternative?

If you live in the US, yes. The smartphone world has changed significantly since April, when the OnePlus 8 was not unchallenged, but at the top of the pile. Now we have the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and the Google Pixel 5, both of which are $ 50 cheaper than the OnePlus 8T and arguably more compelling purchases.

There are also a few outliers to consider, including the LG Velvet, Motorola Edge, and Nokia 8.3. All of them are good smartphones that may not charge very quickly but still have other enticing features that range from design to stunning screens. If you're looking to save some cash, the Google Pixel 4a 5G is $ 499 and comes with great software and software. We also expect a good camera.

Then we come to OnePlus. In the UK, the OnePlus Nord is cheaper and really just as good, and the more expensive OnePlus 8 Pro has additional desirable features – water resistance and wireless charging – that make it a better deal in the long run. However, at £ 549, the OnePlus 8T 8GB / 128GB is cheaper than the 12GB / 256GB version and a worthy alternative to the phones mentioned above. It doesn't look like the cheaper phone will be sold in the US, which is unfortunate.

How long it will take?

The OnePlus 8T does not have an IP rating for water resistance, but should be splash-proof for use in the rain. It's not a sturdy phone as it is made of glass, but you get a transparent silicone case in the box. The latest version of Android is now installed, and OnePlus will be delivering critical updates over the next two years and security updates over the next three years. This, along with some care, should mean that the phone will keep you happy for two years.

Should you buy one?

No, not because it's a bad phone – it's not, it's very good. However, you can pay less for equally powerful smartphones from other well-known manufacturers.

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