OnePlus 8T Review: A Great 5G Phone In Search Of A Discount

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OnePlus 8T: Notable Upgrades But No Longer A Value Leader

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Back in April, OnePlus wowed us with the $899 OnePus 8 Pro -- its first bonafide flagship. We were less enamored with the $699 OnePlus 8, which -- while still being a great phone -- cut a few too many corners (no telephoto, no wireless charging), and cost too much for an affordable flagship. Then in July, the €399 OnePlus Nord rekindled our excitement by redefining the premium mid-range handset. It just wasn’t destined for the US -- yet.

Which brings us to today’s $749 OnePlus 8T, the direct successor to the OnePlus 8. It comes with more base RAM/storage (12/256GB), a flatter 120Hz screen, a better 5MP macro, a larger 4500mAh battery, and faster 65W charging. But is all this enough when the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro (both 8/128GB) are now on sale ($599 and $799), and when Samsung’s $700 Galaxy S20 FE is pushing all the right buttons? Let’s find out in our review.

OnePlus 8T Hardware And Design

The OnePlus 8T’s design is both somewhat generic yet very OnePlus. It’s your typical glass and aluminum sandwich, with the now standard Galaxy S20-like rectangular camera pod in the top left corner. As a bonus, the 6.55-inch AMOLED display is perfectly flat this time around. But it’s that clever alert slider and striking Aquamarine Green color that scream OnePlus -- and we’re big fans. The other hue, Lunar Silver, is more subdued.

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Overall, we prefer this updated design over the OnePlus 8’s vertical camera strip in the middle and annoying “waterfall” screen. Curved edges can sometimes just get in the way, but this is of course a subjective design preference. At 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm and 188g, the 8T is a lot easier to handle than larger flagships like the OnePlus 8 Pro. In fact, it’s about the same size and weight as the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 7T. Overall, this is a sharp-looking phone that feels nice in hand.

In front, there’s a hole punch for the 16MP selfie lens, an optical in-display fingerprint sensor, and the earpiece. That black rectangular bump in the rear packs quad shooters (48MP main, 16MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, and 2MP monochrome), a dual LED flash, and a flicker sensor. Under the hood, you’ll find a 4500mAh battery (split into two identical cells) that supports 65W fast charging, but not wireless charging.

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The power/lock button and notification slider are located on the right side, and the volume rocker on the left. You’ll find the speaker, primary mic, USB Type-C port, and dual-SIM tray (no microSD here) along the bottom edge, and the secondary mic on top. While the unlocked 8T is not officially certified for water resistance, T-Mobile’s version is IP68-rated, and both models have a gasket around the SIM tray.

Check out our unboxing video before we continue with the deep dive...
 

OnePlus 8T
Specifications & Features
Processing and 5G Platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 + Snapdragon X55 5G Modem
Display 6.55" FHD+ AMOLED, 2400x1080 resolution, 120Hz, HDR 10+
Memory 8/12GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128/256GB UFS 3.1
Rear-Facing Cameras 48MP f/1.7 Main OIS, PDAF - 16MP f/2.2 123º Ultra-Wide - 5MP f/3.0 Macro - 2MP f/2.4 Monochrome
Front-Facing Cameras 16MP f/2.4
Video Recording Up to 4K @ 60fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 1080p slow-mo
Battery 4500 mAh
OS Android 11 With OxygenOS 11
Dimensions 162.8 x 75.5 x 8.4mm
Weight 188 grams
Connectivity 802.11ax Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1+LE, NFC, USB-C, LTE, 5G
Colors Aquamarine Green, Lunar Silver
Pricing Find the OnePlus 8T @ Amazon, Starting at $749

OnePlus 8T Display Quality

Other than a better design (flat vs. curved edges) and higher refresh rate (120Hz vs. 90Hz), the OnePlus 8T’s screen is pretty similar to the OnePlus 8’s. It’s a 6.55-inch FHD+ Fluid AMOLED display (2400 x 1080 pixels, 402ppi, HDR 10+) with a 20:9 aspect ratio, tiny bezels all around (chin included), and a hole punch in the top left corner for the front shooter. But there’s more to a good screen than fancy specs.

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In everyday use, those small improvements make a big difference. This is a superb display, with punchy but accurate colors, inky blacks, wide viewing angles, and plenty of brightness -- up to 1100 nits (peak). OnePlus says this screen is thinner and more power efficient than before, and while 90Hz is perfectly fine, 120Hz is still noticeably smoother. And of course, a fully flat display will always trump a “waterfall” design in our book.

Now let's discuss the cameras in detail...


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