As has been the norm with OnePlus for quite a while now, the second smartphone launch of the year from the brand promises a significant upgrade. And that hasn’t changed this year either.
The OnePlus 7T brings a whole host of upgrades that completely justifies the increase in price and gets the 7T much closer to more expensive 7Pro. So without further ado, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of this powerhouse of a smartphone.
Design And Build
Instantly recognizable in its silhouette, the 7T is quintessentially OnePlus. Where it has strayed away from convention is the camera housing, taking a very Moto-ish approach.
There is not much we can say about the build that hasn’t been said already, although we will stress on how premium and well built it feels, and in no way feeling like it’s a smartphone that costs less than 40K.The frosted finish on the rear is especially beautiful and we were very pleased with the look of the blue variant that we had.
One thing to remember before going out and buying the 7T is that it’s not a compact device. You really do feel the size at first and it's probably a device you mainly use with two hands. Although it does have some of the best software optimisations, that makes it very easy to use with one hand.
A true android flagship this in terms of design and build, especially considering the price. But, of course, you didn’t need us to tell you that now did you!
Although still not in the same league as Samsung, Apple and Huawei in terms of outright resolution, the OnePlus 7T is in a league of its own when it comes to the smooooooothness. And yes we know we spelt it wrong. It’s just that smoooooooth. Let’s put it this way, the 90Hz refresh rate display is as smooth as Adele singing “hello”.
The smoothness of the display puts the already blistering performance of the 7T on a whole new level. To a point in fact where it makes using other fast phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 feel slow.
It’s also especially great to use in bright sunlight where the 1000nits of brightness really comes in handy
Software and Performance
Now we don't really need to talk about performance. I mean it's OnePlus, and we already know that no Android out there comes close to this level. But, just to show my editor that I am not being lazy, here goes… The Snapdragon 855 Plus on the OnPlus 7T is hilariously quick. Scarily quick in fact. It feels like it knows what you are going to tap and has already kept the next page in the background and is now just waiting on you to tap it so that it can display it. Add to that 8GB of RAM and nothing, I repeat, nothing phases it or causes even a hint of lag or stutter.
OnePlus, with their more recent smartphones, have been the closest when it comes to providing an iOS like UX on an Android and the 7T is the closest iteration of that, to date. May it be heavy apps, video rendering or simply a ton of apps running simultaneously in the background, the 7T handles it like a charm. The only place where the speed is not as good, is with the camera. Specifically, the part when you hit on the shutter button. It’s by no means slow. But when you are spoilt by the speed with which the rest of the tasks are taken care of, it feels chunky. And put even an older iPhone next to it and hit the shutter simultaneously, makes the OnePlus feel hilariously outmatched, with the iPhone taking the shot in less than half the time.
With software too, Oneplus devices have always had the best Android experience. Mostly stock, but with a ton of customisation options, just the way we like it.
The one tiny complaint that we have with the overall 7T package is the camera. We already mentioned that it's not as quick as you’d expect. But allegedly, OnePlus has worked hard to improve the camera performance;and to be honest, it is noticeably better than the 7. But flagship killing it is not.
The three lenses on the back are a 48MP wide-angle, 12MP telephoto featuring 2x zoom, and a 16MP ultra-wide lens. On paper, it’s certainly on par with the flagships, but things are a bit different when it comes to the real world.
For instance, colours are not particularly accurate. Good and pleasing shots certainly, but not great with colour accuracy. Sharpness, as well, takes a bit of a hit when using 2x “optical” zoom. When zoomed in, objects are decently sharp, but faces and skin tones end up being quite grainy. Which is not great.
The best mode to shoot in though was the Ultra Wide Mode. Sharp, great contrast and good saturation to boot.
Another area where it excels is with the front camera. Selfies are properly colour accurate matching skin tones well and with superb sharpness and detail. It even does portrait mode admirably well.
To be fair to OnePlus, the camera package is not bad at all for the price. Much improved in fact over previous devices. It’s just that the rest of the package is so good, that you expect the camera to be just as excellent.
So where do we stand with recommending this technical masterpiece? As a smartphone, there is probably no other handset in the same price range that's a better package than the OnePlus 7T. It can’t be beat in sheer speed, smoothness, UX, battery life and charging speeds. Where it does fall a bit short (the tiniest measurable amount that is) is the camera.
So should you buy it if your budget is below ₹40K?