At this time of the year, OEMs are usually busy in flooding the mark with their flagship smartphones to woo more customers. While some go for performance, others opt for camera or design as their phone’s USP. OnePlus has been in people’s good books for offering high-end phones at affordable prices.
While people had some reservations about the OnePlus 7, for it featured only a few incremental updates over the OnePlus 6T, things are different with the OnePlus 7T – it offers the stand-out features of the OnePlus 7 Pro at a relatively reasonable price. In a nutshell, then, the OnePlus 7T is a product of a marriage between the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro.
The basic design of the OnePlus 7T remains the same as that of the OnePlus 7, however, the former comes with three cameras stacked inside a circular module at the rear. The phone sports a 6.55-inch AMOLED panel with a waterdrop notch and a 90Hz refresh rate.
The multi-layer fine-matte-glass design on the back makes the phone quite slippery, but thanks to the handset’s tall design, there’s enough grip, when you hold it in your hand. But the tall display design could be a little uncomfortable for those with small hands, for reaching the top of the device to pull down the Shortcuts Menu can require a bit of effort. But given the quality of the display, there is not much to complain.
OnePlus smartphones have a reputation for delivering the best performance amongst all Android devices, and the OnePlus 7T is no exception. In fact, it’s the fastest phone we’ve ever used. Period! As mentioned, the display has 90Hz refresh rate, which automatically makes navigation and scrolling considerably smooth. The whopping 8GB RAM and UFS 3.0 storage add to the quickness with which apps open and allow for quick switches between apps.
The phone has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, which is claimed to deliver 15 per cent better performance than the Snapdragon 855. However, the Snapdragon 855 is already a fast processor and, to be frank, in real-world usage, there’s hardly any difference between the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7T in terms of performance.
The phone comes with a Game Mode, which lets us choose the apps that we want to access while playing a game. Those who don’t want to be disturbed with notifications and calls can activate Fnatic Mode. It not only hides all the notifications but also gives a performance boost to the phone.
To test the limits of the phone, we played three games on it – PUBG Mobile, Asphalt 9, and Call of Duty. First, we tested PUBG Mobile, with 12 apps running in the background and Call of Duty on download. We played the game on the maximum graphics settings available, and it didn’t stutter once. We’d like to mention that as soon as we started the game, the Gaming Mode was automatically on, but we did have the option to quickly change it to Fnatic Mode.
The graphics settings were set to the highest while playing Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty. Both games ran super smooth without any random crashes or frame rate issues.
The OnePlus 7T also has a dual-speaker setup to provide surround sound. You can choose one of the three scenario-based enhancements. The first is Dynamic, which optimises the sound on the basis of the content playing on the screen. The second one is Movie, which optimises the sound for a movie in a way that the background score doesn’t subdue the clarity of dialogues. The third is Music, which allows you to enjoy the subtle nuances and the punch in the music you are listening to.
The camera setup of the OnePlus 7T is one of its biggest highlights and a welcome change from the OnePlus 7. Photography aficionados, however, will be a little disappointed with the overall camera performance. When compared with the likes of Pixel 3, we didn’t find its images to be as impressive as they were claimed to be.
The performance is as good as any other triple camera setup, but you will always have this nagging feeling that there is something missing in images captured by the 7T. We tested the camera in moderately-lit conditions and low light conditions using Nightscape mode. We even checked Portrait mode and worked with it in well-lit conditions.
On a sunny day, the 7T’s camera doesn’t offer much room for criticism. Quick focus and well-lit image with good contrast are some of the positive points of the camera. The colours are punchy and close to what is seen with naked eyes. In well-lit conditions (indoors), the photos are clear, but there is a slight loss in contrast. Moreover, if you aren’t satisfied with the result, users can use Pro mode to transform the image to your liking.
In moderately-lit conditions, the 7T captures acceptable images at best. You can literally see noise in the images. Also, there is a loss in the overall quality of a photograph. What’s noteworthy is that in moderately-lit conditions, the shutter is not fast, which essentially means that the phone takes a little time to capture the image. A slight movement, and the clarity is gone. If clicked with caution, the photos come out to be sharp – you can read texts in the background, and the colours are a bit darker than what is seen with naked eyes.
If you use Nightscape in moderately-lit conditions, you’ll get up to par images. However, taking images in very dark conditions is tricky. First, it takes a lot of time for the phone to capture an image, which means a tripod is the best way to get the maximum clarity. When captured, photos look dramatic, however, there is a huge loss of quality. You can see different shades of green, but images are smudged. Here, the performance of the Galaxy Note 10+ is better than that of the OnePlus 7T and the Google Pixel 3.
As far as the Portrait Mode is concerned, it works for both humans and other objects. You will have a little problem capturing images of flowers or other objects with bokeh effect, however, it works perfectly for human subjects. The edges are clean, but we felt that the intensity or the amount of blur is a little lesser than the competition. The selfie camera’s performance is good – its images are full of details. Details like facial hair and skin texture can be clearly seen. In Portrait Mode, the selfie camera underperforms, it even blurs out the contours of a subject.
Given the flagship hardware, decent design, stunning display, and clean Android interface, the OnePlus 7T is the best deal you can get at a price of Rs 37,999. On top of that, you also get regular security and OS updates. Barring its camera performance, the phone is an ultimate powerhouse and a true flagship killer.
Pros: Performance, display quality, battery