Just as clockwork, September is the month where OnePlus brings out an incremental upgrade to their flagships that launched earlier in the year. And as usual, the OnePlus 7 gets the minor hardware change in the OnePlus 7T version, but it does spell a big deal this time. So what does it have to impress it’s buyer over the OnePlus 7? Read on.

Design And Build

The OnePlus 7T was launched on September 26th and this handset comes in two storage flavours –– 128GB and 256GB, which are priced pretty well, considering the upgrade it gets. To begin with, the design stays similar to the OnePlus 7 –– glass back, waterdrop notch, and the rest. But this time, the rear glass is different –– soft and silky to touch, the matte-frosted glass makes it a looker. We would advise not using the protective case if you care about style and class, and are definitely careful with your belongings. The unit we received was a beautiful Glacier Blue, while the other ones out there are dressed in frosted silver, which is another looker on its own.

Blessed with a 6.55in Fluid AMOLED display, this T version has a comfortable fit in your hands. Slippery though on the rear side, this one does not gather as much fingerprints so you won’t have to keep rubbing it to your wardrobe as often. The front has the similar waterdrop-styled notch that houses the 16MP selfie camera. 

The rear end takes a different approach and we first thought a Moto handset just showed up at our doorstep. The 7T now gets a triple camera setup back there and encased inside a circular bump that can easily help you train landing your micro drone you purchased from AliExpress. Jokes aside, the rear does look different and elegant at the same time, and a closer peep into the camera array and you will see the three cameras in a straight line with a flash just below them. Starting from the left is an ultra-wide 16MP sensor with a 117-degree viewing angle, while the centre one is the main primary 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor with OIS that all smartphone companies are putting into their shopping bags. The last one that remains is the 12MP telephoto lens with a 2X optical zoom mechanism that also helps with macro modes that can help you get up close to that blackheads on your nose.

Software and performance

The insides gets a bigger boost –– especially the engine. A Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ powerhorse, which is specially tuned for performance. Clocked at 2.96GHz and with an even more powerful 640 GPU, this SoC does matter for those who game for a living –– not literally. That marginal increment with a + sign ahead does mean a lot for gamers who cannot afford to witness any GPU lags or CPU exhaustion. Club that with a water-ooled thermal companion and your PUBG nights will end up only by lunch the next day. The OnePlus 7T comes with a maximum 8GB of RAM, enough to keep you thrilled with anything you throw at it.

To end things in the specification segment, this T variant of 2019 gets its fuel from a 3800mAh battery which gets a better boost with the next version of Warp Charge –– 30T. A blazing fast charge which puts almost 70% juice within 30 minutes. And lastly, the operating system is Android 10 right out of the box, so you are ready to freak out with everything that Google has on offer with the power of the most that Qualcomm has for you.

As for the battery, we are yet to check out the final drain values, but as for our test run, we did seem to get a good whole day of play till we ran back to that charger for just around 45 minutes and be back on the road.

 

Display

Speaking on the display, the new Fluid AMOLED with 90Hz refresh rates does look great and feel smooth. Though it still shows a 1080p resolution, but does that matter to anyone? Not unless you want something that the Samsung flagships get or OnePlus’ own 7Pro –– the 2K AMOLED. However, the lower resolution makes sense as the display gets the best of it’s performance with the lower resolution and also puts less strain on the battery. Scrolling through websites or simply sifting through social media apps won’t strain your eyes anymore. Watching a few movies on Netflix was a good experience too –– colours are vibrant and rich –– no complaints so far.

On first use, we found the phone a bit buggy –– apps would crash, and whatnot. But after a few minutes of system app updates and a restart, the phone started showing its prowess. The new OxygenOS 10.0 is buttery smooth with no complaints or stutters whatsoever. Playing around with Android 10 and OxygenOS was a learning curve on it’s own. Being an Apple user myself, I quickly got accustomed to the new gesture controls and that home bar on the bottom for all the navigation around the phone. 

Played a few games too. PUBG with max settings was as good as playing on a high-end console. Superb graphics, no lags, no heating on the rear end, nothing that felt amiss. The phone seemed built for games like PUBG Mobile, and as claimed, the hardware does justify the game’s requirements. 90Hz display refresh, HDR10 Fluid AMOLED panel, and a large 6.55in real estate to play on, the game just got me roping in my energy.

Cameras

So now that OnePlus has made a point where performance is concerned, let’s speak about the cameras now since the Chinese tech company has been talking a lot about upping the game when it comes to photography performance. With three cameras to show off it’s photography skills, OnePlus is betting on drawing in more fans. We took the phone out on a test drive and found a mixed opinion. Most places we found that the images were very sharp, vibrant and great. But there were areas where the camera stumbles with grainy images and overdoing the colours. We did find that the shutter lag was still existent even after we did send out feedback to the OnePlus Camera Engg team on our visit to Taiwan a few weeks ago. The problem still exists that the photo is captured around a second later after the shutter button is pressed. We ended up losing some good shots of fast moving objects. However, these are simply initial tests and we shall wait for the full review to finally put our verdict on the performance of the camera trio. Hopefully a few updates roll in before that and the device is tested when all is good.

Though the initial stage of the photography tests were not enough to judge the whole, we should say that OnePlus has definitely come a long way from where it left the OnePlus 7 handsets. The new sensor setup now gets the power of macro that does a nice job of getting very close to tiny subjects, while the Nightscape mode does seem to be doing a great job when the sun goes down.

Verdict

Well, our initial experience with the few-days-old baby was impressive. But this baby has a long way to go through our scrutiny. Let’s see what our team gets out of the OnePlus 7T when they push it to its limits. Hang on.