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

OnePlus 8T: Software, Pricing, And Review Summary

OnePlus 8T Software And User Experience

Based on early beta reports, we were a little trepidatious about OxygenOS 11. See, OnePlus was rumored to be making significant changes away from stock Android. We’re glad to report that all is well in OxygenOS land. The new design is fresh, refined, and snappy, and OxygenOS 11 sticks close to stock Android 11. Some aspects recall Samsung’s One UI, and the default red and white color scheme is easy to change.

In all, OxygenOS 11 delivers a wonderful user experience. We’ll spare you the details on existing features -- you can read our OnePlus Nord review for that -- but let’s focus on some of the new additions. The big news is that OxygenOS 11 finally gains an always-on display -- complete with themes, like Insight (well being), Canvas (portrait sketches of loved ones), and Bitmoji (in partnership with SnapChat).

OnePlus 8T 15

Other improvements consist of better one-handed control throughout the UI, automatic document straightening in the camera and gallery apps, and speech-to-text conversion in the notes app (English and Mandarin Chinese only for now). Zen Mode 2.0 -- which encourages you to minimize distractions by temporarily disabling your phone -- now lets you invite a group of friends, so you can stay focused together.

As you’d expect, the unlocked OnePlus 8T is pleasantly free of pre-installed apps and other crud. Netflix is the only third-party bundled app, but we’ll give it a pass since it’s a very popular service. There’s also Google’s ubiquitous app suite and OnePlus’ helpful collection of apps -- same old, really. Obviously, T-Mobile’s model is likely to include a significant amount of bloatware, so caveat emptor.

OnePlus 8T Pricing And Competition

In the US, the OnePlus 8T (12/256GB) will be available for $749 starting October 23 (pre-orders today) from OnePlus and Amazon in Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver. The 8T is also coming to T-Mobile (single SIM configuration) -- pricing and availability TBD. Canadian buyers will be able to purchase the 8T (12/256GB) for $1099 CAD beginning October 23 from OnePlus in Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver.

Interestingly, the 8T’s main competition comes from the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, which are currently on sale for $599 and $799, respectively (8/128GB). Frankly, we’re not sure the 8T is worth the $150 premium over OnePlus 8, even with the extra RAM and storage. Of course, the elephant in the room is Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE, which features similar specs but includes a telephoto camera and wireless charging for just $700 (6/128GB).

OnePlus 8T Review Summary

Overall, the OnePlus 8T is a really great 5G phone. It’s easy to be charmed by the gorgeous 120Hz display, competent main shooter, nice stereo speakers, outstanding performance, solid battery life, and excellent user experience -- not to mention the clean design. Unfortunately, $749 is a lot of money for a handset that lacks a telephoto camera and wireless charging -- especially in these difficult economic times.

With the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro now being discounted ($599/$799) and Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE shipping widely ($700), the 8T’s value proposition drops even further. We know OnePlus can do better -- the lovely OnePlus Nord is basically a OnePlus 8 with a Snapdragon 765G for €399. As such, it’s disappointing to see the company miss the mark on the 8T’s price, and we can only hope for future deal pricing to improve this picture. In addition, hopefully the rumored OnePlus Nord (US edition) puts the “plus” back into OnePlus.
approved hh

  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Fantastic performance
  • Decent battery life
  • Fast 65W charging
  • Delightful user experience
  • Almost stock Android
  • Too expensive
  • No telephoto camera
  • No wireless charging
  • No headphone jack

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