In a year where OnePlus entered so many new product categories and price segments, the OnePlus 8T was still the most awaited product from the brand. Sure, the band left no stone unturned in ensuring everyone knew about its existence. After spending some days with it, we think it deserves all the attention it got.
The most notable upgrade – and one that is sure to stick around on upcoming OnePlus flagships – is the new 65W charging. The upgraded Warp Charge makes the OnePlus 8T the fastest charging smartphone in the world. It makes up for the just-above-average battery life that comes along with the 4,500mAh pack.
Even the display gets a bump up to 120Hz while retaining the color accuracy and brightness levels one would expect from a flagship these days. The curved panel has been replaced with a flat one as some users complained about the palm-rejection issues on the OnePlus 8. While doing that, even the bezels and the chin get shaved to achieve a better viewing experience.
As a package, the OnePlus 8T is a phone that we can easily recommend to most users. If photography and battery life are higher priorities for you, check out the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro which offers the same specifications but with a more capable camera and a larger battery.
The OnePlus 8T does away with OnePlus’s signature look of a curved back and vertical cameras in favor of a design that most other brands have offered recently. The new rectangular camera island is a little too generic for my preferences. This internal shuffling made space for the inclusion of new cooling technology. It’s unclear as of now if this approach will be carried to future OnePlus phones as well, as the OnePlus 7T from a year ago remained the only one to offer a circular camera housing. Thankfully, the camera bump is almost non-existent.
The back is protected by a layer of 3D Gorilla Glass while a tinted metal frame holds everything in place. The handset measures 160.7mm x 74.1mm x 8.4mm, and weighs 188 grams, making it one of the more comfortable phones to hold and use. It’s still not a one-handed phone but gets much closer than most other flagships.
The AMOLED construction of the panel also enables more vivid visuals with high levels of contrast and perfectly inky blacks. In case you prefer a more muted or saturated look, the color profiles can also be changed. OnePlus also claims industry-leading color accuracy with a JNCD of about 0.3. Based on our testing, the color rendition did seem to be on point.
Internal specifications are one place where OnePlus has never cut corners. The 8T is no different, offering the Snapdragon 865 chipset with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and speedy UFS 3.1 storage. As expected, the phone sprints through everything thrown at it which isn’t much of a surprise.
It consistently hung on to the 120Hz output even while huggling through multiple apps, heavy web pages, or multi-tasking in general. I can not recall a single instance where it abnormally stuttered. Our testing revolved around the higher-end variant, but we expect the other variant to perform similarly.
The new Oxygen OS 11 build has been receiving a lot of flak for how different it is from the stock Android. In some ways, we agree that it is a big step away from the skin we’ve come to like, but it isn’t a particularly bad change. In fact, I’d argue that it is one of the most interesting interfaces on any smartphone.
The OnePlus 8T once again opts for the industry-standard optical in-display fingerprint scanner from Goodix and optimizes it to be the fastest of its kind. Even a quick tap was almost always enough to unlock the phone. Its positioning is also a little higher than usual, making it easier to reach.
Apart from that, we also get 2D face unlocking using the front camera. While theoretically less secure, it is blazing fast as well. It’s impossible to peek at the time or check notifications without unlocking it.
The OnePlus 8T features a 4,500mAh battery, which is bigger than the 4,300mAh battery in the OnePlus 8 (the 8 Pros is a fraction bigger at 4,510mAh), and the improvement is noticeable but not massive.
The primary camera is the same old 48MP f/1.7 Sony IMX586 sensor with OIS and EIS. The images have a ton of dynamic range and colour, but the issues start showing as soon as you zoom in. There seems to be a fair bit of processing going on, along with increased saturation. It also doesn’t shy away from raising the shadows, which often results in a contrast-less shot.
The resolution may not be the best on the market, but the OnePlus 8T has a screen that looks great thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate and strong brightness levels. It’s one of the better smartphone screens on the market, and a pleasure to use.