The OnePlus has been making quite big ripples in the mid-range smartphone market. They have quality devices loaded with features and on top of that the build quality of OnePlus phones has been excellent. In recent times this has proven to be recipe for success, and this is the only way to compete in the budget smartphone market. Today we have done a review on the OnePlus 3T which has been regarded as a Flagship Killer.
OnePlus is a company that is known to come out with a single quality smartphone each year but this changed in 2016. The OnePlus 3 was launched early in 2016 and 6 months after that, the company came out with the OnePlus 3T.
As you might have guessed with the name, the 3T is basically a more spec’d up or a more souped up version of the OnePlus 3 giving it a slight edge against the competition.
We are in 2017 now and a lot more flagships have hit the market like the LG G6 and the Samsung S8 which is yet to be launched, the 3T still remains one of the best options providing the most bang for your buck. So how exactly does the OnePlus 3T compares to all the other wonderful devices on the market. Let us find out.
In the design department, almost all the OnePlus devices look more or less the same. The 3T is no exception, it looks exactly like its older half having the same full metal unibody construction with slightly rounded corners and a curved back.
Though the phone is made entirely of metal, it still feels surprisingly light and because the back is curved, it feels much more thinner than it is. It also provides a comfortable in hand experience.
Having a 5.5 inch display, it is really comfortable to hold in your hand for longer periods of time. It’s not very tall or wide and compares to the Samsung Galaxy S7 in size.
Looking at the device you would not be able to distinguish it from the OnePlus 3 as the 3T logo is nowhere to be found on the phone. The only way you can know that this is the newer version is by the color. The 3T is still available in the same gold variant but the distinguishable color is gunmetal instead of silver. The latter comes with 64 and 128 GB variants but the gold comes with only 64 GB of on-board storage. Which is still enough for most users.
There is no doubt that the OnePlus is known for its build quality and the 3T is no exception. This is a premium well made device and very well put together. Now coming around to the buttons, the power button is located on the right and the volume rocker is on the left. Just above the volume button, you will find a very handy notification slider, which lets you toggle between silent, do no disturb and full volume. All the buttons are well made, and are easy to press.
The headphone jack is on the bottom along with the USB Type-C port and a speaker unit. On the front of the device you will find the home button which has a built-in fingerprint scanner and capacitive buttons on either side. You can flip the capacitive buttons if you like.
Things remain unchanged here, the 3T sports the same 5.5 inch AMOLED panel with a 1080p resolution. The colors pop, they are rich and vibrant with a good amount of contrast as expected with any AMOLED screen. But it doesn’t end here, if you are not a fan of such vibrancy, you can easily control the color levels by switching to a sRGB more in the display settings. So that is good as it gives the user more control. Also built into the Oxygen OS is an optional dark mode which takes advantage of the deep inky blacks.
You will not find brightness an issue here. The device gets bright and allows for comfortable outdoor viewing. If you are thinking that it’s only a 1080p panel and it won’t get as sharp than you are wrong. To the naked eye there isn’t any visible difference and OnePlus did the right thing by opting for 1080p to conserve the battery life.
Performance and Hardware
Outside there isn’t much difference between the OnePlus 3 and the 3T but inside the hood, the real differences are to be found. It comes with a Qualcomm 821 processor clocked at 2.35 GHz. The RAM stays the same with the 3T offering 6GB of RAM.
With such high specs, it should not be a surprise that the performance with this device is absolutely top notch. The fast chip and big RAM coupled with a lower resolution display is a winning package. It flies between windows, the touch is snappy and excellent, and the device can also easily handle graphic-intensive games pretty easily.
The large RAM is also a contributing factor to the great performance of the device. You can have more apps running in the background without an issue and it is one of the smoothest Android experiences I have used.
This device is offered in 64GB and 128GB respectively but of course storage is your concern then you should definitely opt for the higher variant as expandable storage through SD card is not available.
Getting the 128GB variant will that you can also enjoy the new gunmetal color which looks great by the way.
Now coming on to the fingerprint scanner which is integrated into the home button like the Samsung Galaxy S devices. It works pretty well and unlocks the phone fairly quickly but it can sometimes annoy you with the accuracy. But putting the accuracy issue aside, the sensor is very reliable and Oneplus offers you to add a variety of long press and double tap functions to the home button and the capacitive keys.
One of the most useful upgrades of the Oneplus 3T has over the Oneplus 3 is the higher battery capacity. With the new device coming with a 3400 mAH while the older version had a 3000 mAH battery. This means that you can get a little more juice out of your device and the higher battery coupled with the Oneplus’ Dash Charge technology, you can get your phone quickly back up to a full charge and use if for much longer.
The company claims that you can get a full day of battery with just a half hour charge but I still think this a stretch. However in my case, charging the device half an hour gets it to up about 60%, which is really impressive.
There has also been a little improvement in the camera department this time around as well but the change is more focused on the selfie camera which is now a 16MP unit unlike the 8MP found in OnePlus 3. The rest of the camera tech is the same with the rear camera being a 16MP shooter with f/2.0 aperture, OIS and phase detection autofocus.
Not only that but even the front facing camera comes with an aperture of f/2.0 which really helps in low-light conditions. Overall you will have a more sharper experience with the megapixel bump and the quality of the picture will be much higher.
The camera app is pretty similar to Google Camera with many of the same modes including slow mo, panorama and timelapse. But the plus point here is that there is a manual mode available with a plethora of options to tweak.
The camera is definitely up to the mark when it comes to quality as the photos are clear, crisp and well detailed. The color reproduction is good and you get nice natural looking colors.
The HDR also does what it does the best and corrects if the shot is overexposed and also does a great job of pulling extra details from highlights and shadows. With the help of the HQ mode low-light shots also turn out to be good. Overall it is a reliable unit and gets the job done perfectly.
The OnePlus 3T comes with android 6.0 Marshmallow which is running the latest Oxygen OS 3.5.1 skin on top of it though it is easily upgradable to Android Nougat. The company seems to have taken care of balancing the stock Android look and feel with numerous customizations that add to the experience.
It is a great phone at this price range and it giving a lot of other flagships a tough time just because they offer a lot of great things in such a low price.