On 2020, October 16, the OnePlus released the OnePlus 8T which is the company’s third flagship smartphone and comes without a Pro version, which is a surprising change. As the OnePlus 8 Pro provides all the requisite ‘Pro’ functionality, including wireless charging and IP certification, OnePlus decided there was no need for a Pro model this time. So, we’ve got the OnePlus 8T that lies between the two flagships of the past. It comes with a few features that are absent from the OnePlus 8, but with the 8 Pro, you still skip a few features. The effect is a phone that does nothing more and nothing less, only what you need.
A 120Hz Fluid AMOLED, 48MP quad sensors, the Snapdragon 865 chipset, and a 4,500mAh battery are all endorsed by the OnePlus 8T. The latest Warp Charge 65 fast charging solution is the spotlight feature. The smartphone misses out on wireless charging and IP ranking, but it hopes to deliver plenty of everything else to warrant its price tag.
Price and availablity
- OnePlus 8T 5G price in India is ₹ 38,999 (Lunar Silver, 8GB RAM, 128GB Storage)
- OnePlus 8T 5G price in India is ₹ 41,999 (12GB RAM, 256GB Storage)
- OnePlus 8T 5G in USA is $ 589.99 (128GB 8GB RAM International Version – Aquamarine Green)
- OnePlus 8T 5G in EUROPE is € 570.44 (128GB, 8GB RAM, Dual SIM, Lunar Silver)
- OnePlus 8T 5G in UK is £ 503.49 (12GB RAM 256GB Storage SIM-Free Smartphone with Quad Camera, 65W Warp Charge and Dual SIM – Aquamarine Green – 2 Year Warranty)
OnePlus has taken a few artistic liberties over the years that have been controversial when it comes to its T series of phones. Since that was all the theme in 2019, the OnePlus 7T last year came with an unsightly circular rear camera module. The square and rectangular rear camera designs that have been used on any other handset, including some Samsung phones, were discussed this year. So, from the rear, the OnePlus 8T has a rather Samsung Galaxy-like look with a rectangular camera module housing four sensors for the camera. It looks better than the OnePlus 7T, but it looks common as well. It’s a stable build to go for and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it also means not wanting a special look to be delivered by the OnePlus 8T. The OnePlus 8T is marginally heavier at 188 grams than the OnePlus 8, but it feels great on the side. The phone comes with a new Aquamarine Green shade, which, depending on the orientation of the phone under the light, gives green and blue hues. OnePlus says that diffuse reflection is used for the new colorway, which is a type of light refraction that provides a gleaming surface. This means that the shiny rear panel does not look so polished and does not document fingerprints or smudges. We’re unsure on whether we like the hue or not after a week of using the OnePlus 8T. The phone is also available in the color choice of Lunar Silver and presumably has a more glamorous appearance.
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A 6.55-inch FHD+ (2,400 x 1,080) Fluid AMOLED monitor with a refresh rate of 120Hz is provided by the OnePlus 8T, which is an improvement to the 90Hz display on the OnePlus 8. The higher refresh rate ensures a better scrolling experience when surfing through the UI, and fewer experiences with stutters. The bezels around the monitor, especially the chin, are thin, which OnePlus says is made possible by implementing a solution for the chip-on-panel. With a 2.5D glass on top, the phone provides a flat view. With a peak luminosity of 1100 nits, the show supports HDR10+. Overall, with a vivid and lively screen, you get an A+ show here. The punchy black colors on the screen appear as deep as you can expect from an AMOLED screen. It’s a perfect show on OTT sites like Netflix, Twitter, and Amazon Prime Video to stream videos. With strong color replication, the material looks crisp and informative. We were unable to view HDR content on Netflix while the phone supports HDR10+, which is possible because the streaming giant hasn’t yet allowed the OnePlus 8T functionality.
The primary camera on the OnePlus 8T can capture images in daylight with good detail, brightness, and dynamic range, however, depending on the scene, colors often appear oversaturated. When catching items like flowers or vegetables, the AI appears to raise colors. The primary camera has fast autofocus and can take sharp close-up images without the macro mode having to be used. For taking large shots, the 16MP wide-angle lens is helpful, but pictures, especially around the edges, will lack detail and sharpness. Compared to a 2MP lens, the 5MP macro lens undoubtedly provides greater data. Although images seem plain enough, relative to taking a normal close-up with the primary lens, colors look washed out and much less appealing. Over the years, OnePlus has upgraded its low-light algorithm and we believe that the OnePlus 8T does a strong nighttime photography job, while our experience has been inconsistent. The Nightscape mode does a decent job of increasing colors, maintaining information, and decreasing noise, but at times we found flare problems and underexposure. The 16MP front-facing camera with good color reproduction will take better selfies in daylight. However, in certain conditions, we found over-sharpening of facial features and blown-out details. The selfie bokeh mode was satisfactory as well. Thanks to OIS and EIS help, you will be able to catch steady handheld videos with the primary cameras. In standard and cinema mode, you can film up to 4K resolution at 60 fps, which records in the 21:9 wide-screen ratio. To get a better idea about the OnePlus 8T’s camera output, you can read our in-depth camera analysis.
OnePlus 8T ships with a range of new features, some of which have been somewhat controversial, with the current OxygenOS 11 built on Android 11. The all-new one-handed UI, which has been synonymous with One UI, is the greatest visual update. The new interface effectively moves the actionable options to the lower half of the screen so that they can be accessed with one hand. On One UI, we enjoyed this and we don’t especially mind seeing it on OxygenOS here, but at best, the job looks half-baked. Beyond the first tab, many stock applications do not provide the ease of a one-handed gesture, so one always needs to use both hands to execute tasksFinally, OxygenOS 11 carries the Always-on Show functionality with it. It took a long time for the company to add this, but here it is and there are a few cool clock faces to pick from. We found the Always-on Monitor, however, a little boring, making it difficult to read the screen, particularly if you’re sitting outside and want to quickly look at the screen of the phone to check your updates. A new OnePlus Sans font that is supported by default is also introduced in OxygenOS 11. The latest font looks much less audacious than the Roboto font, and is not the simplest one to look at android 11 brings a redesigned notification shade, which now shows various categories with priority for conversations. You will see messages and texts from WhatsApp etc. under the title of Conversation. Other alerts are placed in a separate category. We thought it would take a while to get used to this new design and it would not be easy to find specific notifications. When in use, the music controls also take up a chunk of the notification shade and we found that even when you have closed the music player, it remains. To iron out some problems, the software on the OnePlus 8T needs a couple more updates. The system UI has crashed a few times during our use, requiring us to reboot the device. That said, OxygenOS 11 is still in line with the company’s philosophy of offering on top of Android a ‘lightweight’ skin. Bloatware is kept to a minimum and very few apps are preloaded. However, it is impossible to uninstall some of the pre-loaded apps, such as Netflix.
Instead of the 865+ SoC, the OnePlus 8T uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 chipset, which is a surprising option, as many would have expected from the newer processor. The company said that the output gap between the two SoCs was very slight, but it also seems that the company was able to invest more time tuning the Snapdragon 865 chipset. As planned, the phone nails synthetic benchmarks, so let’s go directly into real-world results. The OnePlus 8T breezes over everything when it comes to day-to-day use. Opening windows, flipping between apps, and more are lightning easy. Thanks to the 120Hz refresh rate, animations were rapid and everything felt smooth. Scrolling through social networking applications like Twitter and Instagram felt seamless and, aside from some OxygenOS 11-related glitches, we didn’t find any latency. Rather than hardware, the few app and device failures we encountered were software-related. You can easily multitask on the OnePlus 8T with up to 12GB of RAM. However, owing to active RAM control, the phone continues to kill off background applications very easily, so heavy apps like games do not remain open for long in the background.
Oneplus 8T benchmark
Battery life and charging
There is a 4,500mAh battery on the OnePlus 8T, which is 200mAh heavier than the battery on the OnePlus 8. Due to the 120Hz refresh rate and Always-on Display, which are battery drainers, a slightly larger battery is necessary on the OnePlus 8T. You can stretch the battery life a little longer with these features disabled, but not significantly longer. If you’re using both 120Hz and Always-on Display, the handset won’t last longer than a single day. A fully charged phone in the morning would drop to about 15 to 20 percent by night on most days, requiring a fast charge before sleeping or the next morning. In general use, we were able to get about 5 hours of screen time that included a couple of hours of video streaming, WhatsApp, and surfing on social media. The all-new Warp Charge 65 rapid charging solution is arguably the best improvement to the OnePlus 8T. Finally, OnePlus stepped on from fast-charging with 30W and catching up with the market, which was about time. For a while now, brands such as OPPO and Realme have been selling 65W fast charging phones and the feature has hit phones priced as low as Rs 14,9999. (Realme Narzo 20 Pro). With the assistance of twin-battery charging technology, the OnePlus 8T can be charged about twice as quickly as its predecessor. In 40 minutes, the 4,500mAh battery can completely charge from zero to 100 percent. As it can juice up the handset in no time, the 65W quick charging solution is handy. The fact that the OnePlus 8T only lasts a whole day makes you forget. In about 20 minutes, you can connect the phone to the 65W charging brick that comes in the package and juice up the unit to 50 percent, which is good for half a day.
To explain the update from the OnePlus 8, the OnePlus 8T has just the right amount of flagship capabilities. The 120Hz monitor and 65W quick charging are the highlight features, which make it very appealing for its price point. The phone accurately slots between the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, and with what it does, we agree it is a better buy than the OnePlus 8. The phone is up against the new Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro and the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Along with a nice display, the Galaxy S20 FE promises a more advanced user interface, but the Exynos 990 SoC does not run as well and only supports 25 W fast charging. A fascinating competitor will be the Mi 10T Pro as it provides a refresh rate of 144Hz, a 108MP sensor, and fast charging of 33W.
With the OnePlus 8T, the OnePlus has played it safe, as it comes with a tried and proven architecture and specifications. Apart from the 65W fast-charging support, it does not deliver something significantly fresh or special, which could disappoint certain consumers. While the efficiency is top-notch, in the coming weeks, we believe the cameras and software require some changes by upgrades. That said, without the Pro pricing, the OnePlus 8T is similar to a Pro-grade OnePlus handset, making it a simple recommendation in this price category.