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OnePlus 3T Review

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It’s not even 6 months since the launch of OnePlus 3, the Chinese manufacturer has announced OnePlus 3T, so-called ‘an upgraded OnePlus 3’. OnePlus 3 is no doubt the perfect smartphone of the year for its price but it is now evolved into OnePlus 3T. The three major segments where you can see the differences are the CPU, battery, and front camera, while the rest of the stuff remains to be same. Check out our OnePlus 3T review to know more.

What’s in the Box?

  • OnePlus 3T with built-in battery
  • Dash USB Cable (Type-C)
  • Dash Charger (5V, 4A)
  • Screen Protector (Pre-applied)
  • SIM Tray Ejector
  • Quick Start Guide and Safety Information
  • OnePlus Brand Decals
  • ₹300 Voucher (redeems at oneplus.net/in)

OnePlus 3T Specifications

  • Model: OnePlus A3003
  • Display: 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED Display (1920 x 1080 pixels resolution | 401 ppi pixel density) protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 4
  • Software: OxygenOS 3.1.2 based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • Fingerprint Scanner: Yes, at the Home button
  • CPU: Up to 2.35 GHz quad-core Kyro processor, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (MSM8996 Pro) SoC
  • GPU: Adreno 530 (653 MHz)
  • Memory: 6 GB LPDDR4
  • Storage: 128 GB UFS 2.0 internal storage, No MicroSD slot
  • Main Camera: 16 MP (Sony IMX298) autofocus camera, f/2.0 aperture, OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) support, LED flash, RAW support, 4K Video @30fps
  • Front Camera: 16 MP (Samsung 3P8SP), f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus, EIS, 1080p video @30fps
  • Connectivity: 1x USB Type-C 1.0, 3.5 mm audio jack, NFC, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS
  • Cellular: 4G LTE support, Dual nano-SIM cards (GSM + GSM)
  • Battery: 3,400 mAh (non-removable)
  • Power Adapter: Dash Charger (Output 5V, 4A)
  • Dimensions: 152.7 mm x 74.7 mm x 7.4 mm
  • Weight: 158 grams
  • Colors: Gunmetal, Soft Gold
  • Price: ₹34,999 (128 GB) | ₹29,999 (64 GB)
  • Warranty: 1 Year Warranty

Design and Build

OnePlus 3T is a high-end smartphone much like OnePlus 3 but slightly better in terms of hardware. Both the phones look identical, in fact, the design is overall the same. Nothing has changed at all in the design segment. It is purely OnePlus 3 from the exterior. However, OnePlus 3T now comes in a new Gunmetal color.

But what does the ‘T’ stand for in the name? Just because a few upgrades are made internally and look exactly the same as OnePlus 3? Perhaps, they have to put the T to differentiate from each other, Anyways.

OnePlus 3T Shares Same Exteriors
New Color Gunmetal
OnePlus 3T (Left), OnePlus 3 (Right)

OnePlus 3 now comes in a 128 GB variant, the battery has now grown to 3,400 mAh and the front camera is now 16 MP employing Samsung 3P8SP sensor. It is surprising for us to know that OnePlus has managed to fit a larger battery in the same shell. The rear 16 MP camera is already used from its predecessor. No change in the rear camera.

The fingerprint scanner is embedded on the home button just like OnePlus 3. The scanner is able to lock individual apps using your fingerprint scanner.

OnePlus still chooses not to offer a MicroSD slot for storage expansion. I have 128 GB variant and it looks like there is no need for a MicroSD card. It supports dual nano SIM cards with 4G and VoLTEsupport.

Display

The 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display is the same display OnePlus 3 offers. OnePlus 3T didn’t make changes in the display. The OLED display shows images crisp and rich in colors. The display has a very high brightness and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (401 ppi). Since the display is shared, nothing much to talk about here.

With its AMOLED display, it is able to use the Google’s Ambient display, similar to Motorola’s Moto Display and Samsung’s Always On Display. It also gives you a Night mode that reduces eye strain while you are using the phone at night.

Ambient Display

Software and User Interface

OnePlus 3T still runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow based OxygenOS 3.1.2. We got a couple of updates that fixed some bugs in the software as you can see in the screenshot. It is expected that OnePlus 3T might receive an update of Android 7 Nougat in future.

There aren’t many changes in the software. OxygenOS features a stock user interface. Only minor changes are made, the rest is same. Swiping from the top gives you the access to the quick shortcuts. These can be customized from the navigation panel.

The fingerprint scanner on the OnePlus 3T is fast and effective. It doesn’t work with wet fingers.

The software features app locker i.e. it allows you to lock apps individually with your fingerprints.

Hardware, Performance, and Gaming

With its high-end SoC, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 (MSM8996 Pro) on OnePlus 3T is a margin ahead from its predecessor OnePlus 3. OnePlus 3T is now as fast as Google Pixel leaving behind the LG G5 and Xiaomi Mi 5 in terms of performance. However, in everyday life, you won’t get anything noticed in the performance area, and in the end, it feels like it’s performing like OnePlus 3. Not a huge difference.

OnePlus 3T is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 821 SoC (MSM8996 Pro) clocked at 2.35 GHz and Adreno 530 graphics processing unit. The Adreno 530 GPU is now clocked at 652 MHz which was previously 624 MHz on OnePlus 3. So, fundamentally, the clock speed is tweaked to gain slightly higher performance.

The 6 GB LPDDR4 RAM ensures that it’ll not only run future games and heavy apps multitasking but also ensures that any upcoming software upgrades will utilize the memory. OnePlus 3T is backed with the future-proof hardware.

Its UFS 2.0 storage is almost faster than any other smartphone in this range. The performance of the onboard storage is comparable to desktop SSDs. You can see the upcoming storage benchmarks below.

OnePlus 3T Is Made For Gaming

Benchmark results are groundbreaking. We benchmarked OnePlus 3T with AnTuTu, Geekbench 4, and Quadrant.

AnTuTu Benchmark

  • 160,433 points

Geekbench 4

  • 1,876 points (single-core CPU)
  • 4,156 points (multi-core CPU)
  • 7,391 points (GPU)

Quadrant Standard Edition

  • 47,740 points

The results are shocking even better than OnePlus 3. The numbers directly show that OnePlus 3T falls right into the flagship category where it competes with the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5. Snapdragon 821 is also seen in the Google’s Pixel smartphone and the performance could be very similar to it.

The powerful CPU, combined with 6 GB RAM and Adreno 530, the result is the perfect gaming madness machine for gamers out there. OnePlus 3T not only runs all Android games smoothly, but it also lets you enjoy any upcoming games in the future without any lags. According to the benchmarks, 3T is one of the fastest smartphones one can get at present. We tried to run games like Dead Trigger 2, Real Racing 3, Ace of Arenas, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and FIFA 16 Soccer and they all ran fine without any lags. Only one criticism is the placement of the loudspeaker. While playing games in the landscape mode, your hands can easily conceal the loudspeakers stopping any sounds.

Games Tested on OnePlus 3:

  • Real Racing 3
  • Ace of Arenas
  • Dead Trigger 2
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us
  • FIFA 16 Soccer
Real Racing 3

The temperatures remain under 40 degrees on load. You may feel warm on the back side of the metallic body, but the heat emissions are on the safe side.

Storage and Connectivity

OnePlus 3T now comes in two storage variants – 64 GB and 128 GB storage on board. The negative side is it cannot be expanded with MicroSD. But, I believe 64 GB or 128 GB is enough for storing your photos and videos. OnePlus 3T also supports OTG storage.

Supports OTG Storage

We also benchmarked its UFS 2.0 storage, and here are the results.

A1 SD Bench

  • 417.35 MB/s (Read)
  • 167.67 MB/s (Write)

AndroBench

  • 420.62 MB/s (Sequential Read)
  • 165.73 MB/s (Sequential Write)
  • 113.59 MB/s (Random Read)
  • 72.81 MB/s (Random Write)
AndroBench (Left), A1 SD Bench (Right)

OnePlus 3T supports GPS, GLONASS, and BeiDou. We tested the GPS module on OnePlus 3T and it locates the area, both indoors and outdoors, with an accuracy of just a few meters. See the screenshot below. The GPS positioning is reliable in practice.

GPS Test

Cameras

If we talk about the cameras, OnePlus 3T shares the same camera with OnePlus 3. So, the rear camera is 16 MP (Sony IMX298) while the front camera is now 16 MP as opposed to the 8 MP Sony camera on OnePlus 3. The front 16 MP camera which employs Samsung 3P8SP sensor is an upgrade.

OnePlus 3 Camera Specifications

  • Camera: 16 MP PDAF, f/2.0 aperture, single LED flash
  • Camera Sensor: Sony Exmor IMX298
  • Optical Image Stabilization (OIS): Yes
  • Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS): Yes
  • Features: Geo-tagging, Tap to Focus, HDR, Manual, Panorama, Slow Motion, Time Lapse, Burst Shot
  • Video Recording: Up to 4K video recording, 2160p@30 FPS, Slow Motion 720p@120 FPS, HDR Support
  • Front Camera: 16 MP, fixed focus, f/2.0 aperture
  • Front Camera Sensor: Samsung 3P8SP
  • Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS): Yes
  • Video Recording: Up to 1080p video @30fps

With new camera software, the user interface is identical. The camera also quality remains the same, we already shared our views in the OnePlus 3 review about the rear camera. However, the quality of the video recordings has now improved a little bit.

What else has changed in the camera division is the outer housing of the rear camera. It is now covered with a sapphire lens.

OnePlus 3T Camera Interface

OnePlus 3T Camera Samples

Even with the new camera sensor and the higher number of mega pixels, the picture quality seems to be identical, only some color and contrast differences are there. The impressive megapixel number may sound impressive, but the quality, however, doesn’t look like it has improved as compared to OnePlus 3. The image output has somewhat higher contrast and deep colors now with higher resolution. Honor 8’s front facing camera (8 MP) easily outperformns the OnePlus 3T in front camera.

Call Quality and Audio

OnePlus 3T shares the voice quality and the loudspeakers. The call quality leaves a nice impression. The volumes are loud enough for calls even in noisy areas. OnePlus 3T ensures a good call quality even in noisy environments.

On the other hand, the loudspeakers are loud just like OnePlus 3 though not the best in its class. On using 3.5 mm headphones delivers a good sound quality, just that OnePlus 3T doesn’t come with a bundled headset, so you have to use your own headphones. I have used my Razer Kraken headphones on OnePlus 3T.

Battery Runtime

With its upgraded CPU, OnePlus 3T consumes slightly more battery as compared to OnePlus 3. Now having a bigger battery, OnePlus 3T’s battery runs a tad better than OnePlus 3. However, this isn’t the best battery backup for a flagship smartphone, I remember HUAWEI P9 was one of the flagships with the best battery life.

Fortunately, OnePlus 3T lasts longer than OnePlus 3 itself. The battery runs quite well on below average use. On moderate use, the battery lasts around a day and a half which isn’t surprising but, for a flagship, it may. I kept dual SIM and 4G data on. The results may differ (probably better) when used on a single SIM and mobile data turned off. Nevertheless, it’s Dash charger will quickly charge the battery.

Standby
Heavy Usage (Dual SIM & 4G)
Above Moderate Usage

Here are the battery test results which will guide you how much battery is consumed by the apps.

OnePlus 3T Battery Test Results

Apps/GamesBattery usedRuntimeBrightnessWireless
1080p Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
4K Video2%20 minutesAutoOff (Wi-Fi, GPS, Data)
YouTube (1080p) - Wi-Fi3%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi, 4G Data)
YouTube (1080p) - 4G4%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)
Dead Trigger 27%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Real Racing 38%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Ace of Arenas6%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Music (Offline)2%1 HourAutoOn (3G Data)
Music Streaming - SoundCloud4%30 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3G Data)
Facebook4%20 minutesAutoOn (Wi-Fi)
Instagram3%20 minutesAutoOn (4G Data)

OnePlus 3T also supports Dash charging meaning it can charge quickly with the provided Dash charger. The Dash Charger is same 5V and 4A output. Like OnePlus 3, it also takes around 60 – 70 minutes to completely charge the battery.

Dash Charge Takes An Hour

Pricing and Variants

OnePlus 3T comes in 2 color variants and 2 storage variants. The price of OnePlus 3T is ₹29,999 for 64 GB model and ₹34,999 for 128 GB model. It is exclusively available on Amazon Store.

  • OnePlus 3T (Gunmetal)
  • OnePlus 3T (Soft Gold)

Verdict – Final Thoughts

Is OnePlus 3T worthwhile? It’s better than its predecessor OnePlus 3 and if you don’t own a OnePlus 3 yet and planning to buy a phone under ₹30,000 then you can surely consider this. But if you have bought OnePlus 3, you do not need to buy 3T for this small upgrade.

Competitors

Strength

  • Slim Design, Strong Metallic Chassis
  • High-End Performance
  • Lots of RAM and Storage
  • Faster Storage Performance
  • Very Good Camera
  • Dash Charge – High-Speed Charging
  • Good AMOLED display

Weakness

  • Average Battery Life
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