Over that last few years, OnePlus has earned a reputation for offering well-appointed, high-performance mobile devices that compete with other contemporary flagships, but with highly aggressive pricing. When we looked at the OnePlus 7 Pro back in June, or the OnePlus 6T before that, we declared both handsets leaders, in terms of value and performance. With the upcoming OnePlus 7T, which is due to start shipping in just a few days, OnePlus is trying to capture that status again.
Looking at the OnePlus 7T’s list of features and hardware specifications, it appears to be a premium Android phone in every sense of the word. The device is built upon Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855+ mobile platform, it features a beautiful AMOLED display with a high refresh rate, a triple-camera array with a 48MP main shooter, a diverse set of features, ultra-fast charging, and the list goes on and on. OnePlus, however, is offering up the 7T for roughly half the price of some competing flagships.
How the heck does the company do that without defying the laws of physics? Let’s find out...
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+|
|Display||6.55" FHD+ 90Hz (2400x1080 | 20:9) AMOLED Fluid Display; 402 ppi; 1000 nit, HDR10+|
|Storage||128GB UFS 3.0 2-Lan|
|Rear-Facing Cameras||(3) 48MP f/1.6 (main), 12MP f/2.2 Telephoto, 16MP f/2.2 117 Degree Ultra Wide Angle|
|Front-Facing Cameras||16MP f/2.0 Fixed Focus AF|
|Video Recording||4K at 60 fps, 1080p at 60 fps (240 fps slow motion), 720p at 30 fps (480 fps slow motion)|
|OS||Android 10 / OxygenOS|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, USB-C, LTE/LTE-A|
|Colors||Glacier Blue / Frosted Silver|
|Pricing||$599.99 -- (Shipping Oct. 18)|
The foundation of the OnePlus 7T is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform (octa-core, 7nm, up to 2.96 GHz) with Adreno 640 graphics, paired to 8GB of LPDDR4X memory and 128GB of 2-lane, UFS 3.0 solid state storage. That alone puts the OnePlus 7T in an elite class of devices, but the company also crams that hardware into a sleek 8.13mm thin, relatively light (190g) chassis, that’s available in two colors – Glacier Blue, which we’ll be showing you here, and Frosted Silver.
The backside of the OnePlus 7T’s chassis is mostly composite material, with a 3D Corning Gorilla Glass circular panel protecting the triple, rear camera array. The front of the device is basically all-screen – also protected by Gorilla Glass – with the tiniest bump-out for a front-facing 16MP selfie-cam. The screen is 6.55” of AMOLED goodness, with a native 2400x1080 resolution (402ppi), 20:9 aspect ratio, HDR10+ support, and smooth 90Hz refresh rate. In addition to offering easy adjustment for color saturation, reading, and night modes, the OnePlus 7T’s relatively high refresh rate also makes for smoother animations and video. We’re sure the powerful hardware at the heart of the device helps, but the quality of the OnePlus 7T’s display in conjunction with its 90Hz refresh rate enhances the experience in just about everything from swiping across the screen, to video playback, and gaming.
OnePlus also put some thought into other practicalities of the phone to further enhance the user experience. For example, in addition to the common power/wake button and volume rocker ubiquitous on today’s smartphones, OnePlus also incorporates a small alert slider on the right slide. That alert slider is essentially a three-way switch for quickly choosing silent, vibrate, or default ring modes. If you’ve ever fumbled with the volume rocker to silence your phone after accidentally altering the volume, you’ll quickly appreciate having a physical switch to quickly set the alert mode.
As you tour the OnePlus’ exterior, you’ll also find dual stereo speakers, which provide decent, albeit somewhat tinny audio, a USB 3.1 Type-C port, a couple of microphones, and a dual nano SIM tray. Unfortunately, you won’t find a 3.5mm audio jack or any way to expand the 7T’s storage. The rear camera array also protrudes from the back of the device, so it’s impossible to lay it down flat on a surface, unless you stick the phone in a case, which we suspect most users will do. We’ll dive deeper in the cameras on the next page.
What you don’t see when inspecting the OnePlus 7T is its in-display fingerprint sensor and array of other sensors, which include an accelerometer, compass, gyroscope, ambient light sensor, and proximity sensor. That in-display fingerprint sensor has been surprisingly accurate and fast in the week or so that we’ve been experimenting with the OnePlus 7T. Past experience with some other device has left us soured on in-display fingerprint sensors, despite the obvious aesthetic benefits, but so far we can’t complain about the OnePlus 7T’s performance in this regard. Training the sensor did take a bit of extra effort because it kept recognizing identical presses, even when we slightly moved our finger. However, capturing our print from so many angles appears to have worked well, because the fingerprint sensor hasn’t failed us at all and it responds in a fraction of a second. The phone also offers Face Unlock, which functioned as expected as well, but we instinctively tapped the display with a finger to unlock it many more times than using Face Unlock.
Obviously there’s a full complement of wireless connectivity offered by the OnePlus 7T including Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, and LTE/LTE-A. No 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) support is present, however. And before we finish talking about the physical device, we should also mention that the OnePlus 7T doesn't offer any sort of dust or water resistance. Although the company makes some thoughtful, smart additions to the 7T, like that 90Hz display and physical alert switch, some useful things like dust / water resistance, the latest Wi-Fi connectivity, a headphone jack, wireless charging, and expandable storage are notably absent.
Included with the OnePlus 7T is a simple bumper, along with a lit pack, USB-C charge / sync cable, and a “WarpCharge 30T” 6A fast charger. The OnePlus 7T is powered by a relatively large 3,800mAh battery and that can charge to 70% of its capacity in only 30 minutes. OnePlus claims the 7T features its fastest charging circuitry ever, and our experience seems to back that up. Plug this phone into the included charger and the battery meter ticks upwards a couple of times a minute.
OnePlus also offers an array of accessories for the OnePlus 7T. These cases or wireless earbuds are not part of the normal accessory bundle, but will be available alongside the device when it started shipping on the 18th. The cases fit snuggle and don’t add much bulk to the device at all and the buds sound very good. They are perhaps not quite on the same level as some of the better JBL or Jaybird buds we’ve heard, but very good nonetheless.