OnePlus 8T

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Product Description

Introduction

Launching at ???599, the OnePlus 8T is shaping up as an excellent premium mid-ranger with a slew of flagship features – a 120Hz Fluid AMOLED, the latest Snapdragon 865 chip, a promising quad-camera with improved low-light performance, stereo speakers, and probably OnePlus best achievement yet – a larger battery with blazing-fast Warp Charge at 65W.

At the company’s fall event this year, a Pro model was a notable absentee. This is because the company keeps the 8 Pro as its ongoing flagship device, and it won’t be getting a refresh until 2021.

The OnePlus 8 needed the update, so we won’t object to this strategic move. We doubt many OnePlus 8 owners are thinking of switching, but it makes the two current offerings that much more desirable for anyone in the market for a new phone.

If we compare it with the OnePlus 8, the 8T is getting a 120Hz OLED vs. 90Hz. At the same time, its main camera gets a brighter aperture for the main camera, an even wider ultra-wide lens, and an additional depth camera. Finally, you get a 4,500mAh battery with 65W charging vs. 4,300mAh and 30W charging. Okay, these are not the wildest upgrades we’ve seen, but for they are enough to make the cheaper OnePlus devices in the duo desirable again.

OnePlus 8T review

The ???600 smartphone segment is already oversaturated, and it is the place where the flagship killers come to win big or die trying. With the OnePlus being the company that coined the term, its cheaper non-Pro models are burdened with the impossible task to defend the title. As long as they don’t kill the company’s own flagship, of course.

The OnePlus 8T is the first phone to come with the OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 out of the box. Many of the recent OnePlus phones are getting the update, too, but being first is a title that only the 8T can claim.

Let’s take a closer look at the specs sheet. There aren’t many changes, but it is a flagship-like list, and we like what we are seeing.

OnePlus 8T specs:

  • Body:??160.7×74.1×8.4mm, 188g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass), glass back (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame; Colors: Aquamarine Green, Lunar Silver.

  • Display:??6.55″ Fluid AMOLED, 1080x2400px, 20:9, 402ppi; 120Hz, HDR10+, Always-on display.

  • Chipset:??Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585); Adreno 650.

  • Memory:??8GB/12GB RAM, 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage.

  • OS/Software:??Android 11, OxygenOS 11.

  • Rear camera:??Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, 1/2.0″, 0.8??m, PDAF, OIS; Ultrawide-angle: 16 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 123??, 1/3.6″, 1.0??m; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4; Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama.

  • Front camera:??16 MP, f/2.4, (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0??m; Auto-HDR.

  • Video capture:??Rear camera: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, Auto HDR, gyro-EIS; Front camera: [email protected], gyro-EIS.

  • Battery:??4500mAh; Fast charging 65W, 100% in 39 min (advertised).

  • Misc:??Fingerprint (under display, optical); stereo speakers; NFC.

The OnePlus 8T is not water-resistant, not unless you are getting the T-Mobile exclusive OnePlus 8T+ 5G model, which is the same phone but with IP68 certification. Don’t sigh just yet – the OnePlus 8T does comes with many, if not all, seals and protections the T-Mobile model has. It will most probably survive a water drop, too.

The bright red Never Settle box is already here, and the excitement is building up. The OnePlus 8T may not be among the more interesting updates this year, but c’mon – look at this sweet reviewers’ package!

OnePlus 8T review

And now that you’ve seen what we got, here is what you are getting if you choose to buy the OnePlus 8T.

Unboxing the OnePlus 8T

The OnePlus 8T comes packed in what’s already a signature long red box. Inside, you will find your new 8T, be it the glossy Aquamarine Green or the frosted Lunar Silver, and a transparent Never Settle case.

OnePlus 8T review

Digging deeper, you will also see the 65W Warp Charger and its thick and red USB-C-to-C cable. The charger also supports USB-PD, so you can use it to charge other devices such as laptops, consoles, tablets, and smartphones.

Finally, there is this paper compartment, where you’d find some paperwork and a bunch of OnePlus stickers.

Design, build, handling

The OnePlus 8T is your typical glass-sandwich smartphone, and that’s perfectly fine. A design breakthrough seems doubtful anytime soon, let alone such a thing happening on a mid-season update.

The new 8T does differ from the OnePlus 8, and the jury is still out whether it’s for the better or worse. See, the display on the 8T is flat, just like it was on the Series 7 and earlier. Don’t get this wrong – some of us are not fans of the curved screens at all – it’s just that some fans may consider this as a downgrade.

OnePlus 8T review

We’ve had our fair share of accidental touches and distorted edges, and we do welcome this move.

Then there is the aluminum frame – it feels wider now, even if this was done by merely changing the arc’s radius. It’s not iPhone 12 flat, no, but it does make for a noticeably better grip than what we experienced with the OnePlus 8.

OnePlus 8T review

The OnePlus 8T is available in two new color options – Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver. They affect the curved rear glass and the metal frame. And those two catchy names are not just for the nice ring they bring. They actually describe very well the paint job and the glass finish.

OnePlus 8T review

We have the Aquamarine Green, and well, our 8T is indeed looking like OnePlus has chopped a piece off the Indian Ocean around the Maldives. Or the Ionian Sea around the Greek Ionian islands. Or the Atlantic Ocean around the Bahamas. You get our drift. This mesmerizing bluish-green has a glossy finish, just like the ocean water’s surface.

Then there is the Lunar Silver option, which looks pretty much like the calming silver you’d see on our Moon. Here, the glass finish is frosted, making for a cold look and feel, reminiscent of the distant Space.

OnePlus 8T review

We do like when the fancy name of the color is a matching description to what you actually get in the box, and we applaud OnePlus for making the 8T exactly as described.

The font of the new 8T has the 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED screen – same size and resolution as on the OnePlus 8. It has a small round cutout for the selfie camera around the top left corner.

OnePlus 8T review

What’s new with this Fluid OLED is the increased refresh rate – it’s now 120Hz, up from 90Hz on the OnePlus 8. Touch sampling has also been enhanced. It’s currently working at 240Hz for even lower-latency responses compared to the 180Hz on the 8.

Also new to the OnePlus 8T is the option for Always-on Display. OnePlus has made some cool designs to get you started, but there are a lot of options to make it really yours.

Above the screen is one super-thin grille hiding the earpiece, which also doubles as a stereo speaker. Meanwhile, OnePlus claims it has trimmed the chin even more compared to OnePlus 8, making for an improved edge-to-edge experience.

OnePlus 8T review

There is an under-display optical fingerprint scanner, and it is probably the same sensor as on the OnePlus 8 series. It’s plenty fast, and we didn’t have any issues with its accuracy. If you smudge the screen, you may be prompted to clean it up before scanning, though.

OnePlus 8T review

The display has Gorilla Glass 5 protection – it is a flat piece of glass, just like the new flat screen, though it has the so-called 2.5D finish around the edges, and the transition towards the metal frame won’t feel sharp.

The rear Gorilla Glass 5 is properly curved around the longer sides, just like many recent phones. The only interesting thing to note here, other than the cool-looking paint, is the camera setup. It’s protruding a bit, but not as much as many of the competitors’. Wobbling on a desk is minimal.

OnePlus 8T review

There are six symmetrical pieces on the camera glass. The first column has the three snappers – ultrawide, primary, macro. The second column contains what looks like a color temperature sensor, a dual-LED flash, and a depth camera.

OnePlus 8T review

Let’s look around the frame now. No matter which color of the 8T you get, the frame will always be matte. The finish doesn’t improve the grip much – the shape does – but at least fingerprints and smudges are not sticky.

OnePlus 8T review

The left has a thin volume rocker with good tactile feedback. We would have liked it a bit larger, or maybe thicker, but it is what it is. The power key and the alert slider are on the left, and they are perfect in terms of shape and feedback.

OnePlus 8T review

The top houses a lone mic, while the bottom is rather crowded with the dual-SIM tray, the bottom mic, the USB-C port, and the other stereo speaker.

OnePlus 8T review

The OnePlus 8T is not officially water-resistant, not unless you get the T-Mobile’s exclusive OnePlus 8T+ 5G – the only model that’s IP68-rated for dust and water resistance. Still, the regular 8T seems to have similar, if not the same, rubber seals, and it should survive accidental drops in water. But neither of these 8T models is designed for underwater selfies, and water damage is not covered by the warranty. The purpose of the OnePlus 8T water protection is only against accidents and nothing else.

Handling the OnePlus 8T is a pleasant experience – it’s not an oversized phone. It has a reasonable weight and not that slippery surface. Our Aquamarine Green unit has a glossy back, and yet we felt it secure enough in one hand even without the protective case. Fingerprints do stick on the back, and yet, even after three days without a single wiping, the rear panel was barely smudgy.

OnePlus 8T review

Long story short, the OnePlus 8T has a likable look, shape, and finish. It may not be officially rated as water-resistant, but it still gives you peace of mind with its sealed ports, and that’s better than nothing.

120Hz Fluid AMOLED Display

On paper, the OnePlus 8T packs what may seem to be the same display as the OnePlus 8 – a 6.55-inch AMOLED screen (1,080 x 2,400px) protected by a Gorilla Glass 5. There is a significant difference, though.

OnePlus 8T review

First, this screen is flat and has a smaller chin because OnePlus has used a chip-on-panel display – meaning the screen controller is bent underneath the whole thing, just like on the iPhones.

OnePlus 8T review

Secondy, and perhaps most importantly, this screen now supports 120Hz refresh rate. The screen offers two options – 60Hz and 120Hz. There is no Auto or Dynamic setting. But the phone does switch the refresh rate back to 60Hz in specific scenarios even when 120Hz mode is selected. More on that in a bit.

Lastly, the touchscreen is even more responsive now with greatly reduced latency because of the 240Hz touch sampling. The OnePlus 8 touch sensors worked at 180Hz, while its screen refresh rate was capped at 90Hz.

This new Fluid AMOLED screen, as OnePlus has named it, also supports HDR10+, HDR10, and HGL content. There is support of Widevine L1 DRM, the highest level, which means you can enjoy Netflix and the likes in the highest possible quality, HDR and all.

OnePlus 8T review

Now, let’s talk about the??refresh rate.

To save power, the display will normally dial back to 60Hz after you stop touching it. It does have its quirks though. If brightness is below 50%, or you have Dark mode ON, it will always keep a 120Hz refresh rate. Yet, some apps like Google Maps, YouTube or fullscreen video playback will always run at 60Hz.

The lack of high refresh rate gaming support is something else that bothers us with recent OnePlus phones. It’s not entirely absent; OnePlus did, after all, partner with Fortnite and PUBG Mobile to enable 90Hz refresh rate in those titles only. Depending upon where you live in the world, you would find either one or both of those titles being unavailable on the Google Play Store.

Outside of those two titles, none of the games on the Play Store support high refresh rates on OnePlus phones. It’s not an issue with the games; there are a few which we know for a fact to support as high as 144Hz on phones from ASUS and other brands. The issue is that OnePlus prevents running games at anything higher than 60Hz.

Watching HDR content also brings forth one issue with the display on the OnePlus 8T, something we also observed on the OnePlus Nord, where the display area outside the video frame isn’t black as it should be but dark gray. This is noticeable when you are watching HDR content in a dark room. You can see the screen area to the left and right side of the video is noticeably gray when it should be perfectly black, considering this is an OLED panel. This issue only surfaces in HDR and not in SDR content.

And just like the Nord, the OnePlus 8T does not offer a DC dimming option.

We did??our standardized brightness test, which we use to compare displays across devices, and the OnePlus 8T maxed out at 500 nits with the manual brightness slider, but when we tested its Automatic brightness in bright daylight, it reached north of 800 nits.

That’s not near the advertised 1,100 nits, but the max brightness AMOLEDs can pump out depends on the size of the test pattern on the screen. Our test pattern takes up 75% of the screen during measurement, and this is consistent across all measurements we do. However, manufacturers are free to choose their preferred testing methodology, and OnePlus has probably tested with a much smaller test pattern. This can match the use cases where you are watching an HDR video, and only a fraction of the screen is showing white, so that’s fine.

The lowest brightness we could measure on the OnePlus 8T when showing white was 2.6 nits.

Display test

100% brightness

Black,cd/m2

White,cd/m2

Contrast ratio

OnePlus 8T

0

497

???

OnePlus 8T (Max Auto)

0

802

???

OnePlus 8 Pro

0

538

???

OnePlus 8 Pro (Max Auto)

0

888

???

OnePlus 8

0

496

???

OnePlus 8 (Max Auto)

0

803

???

OnePlus 7T

0

525

???

OnePlus 7T (Max Auto)

0

743

???

OnePlus 7T Pro

0

429

???

OnePlus 7T Pro (Max Auto)

0

596

???

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro

0.432

512

1185:1

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro (Max Auto)

0

630

???

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra

0

498

???

Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra (Max Auto)

0

811

???

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro

0

510

???

Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (Max Auto)

0

858

???

vivo X50 Pro

0

489

???

vivo X50 Pro (Max Auto)

0

503

???

vivo X50 Pro+

0

499

???

vivo X50 Pro+ (Max Auto)

0

733

???

Huawei P40 Pro

0

425

???

Huawei P40 Pro (Max Auto)

0

531

???

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G

0

504

???

Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G (Max Auto)

0

1024

???

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

0

805

???

Sony Xperia 1 II

0

333

???

Sony Xperia 1 II (Max Auto)

0

538

???

Sony Xperia 5 II

0

336

???

Sony Xperia 5 II (Max Auto)

0

532

???

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC

0.354

460

1299:1

Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC (Max Auto)

0.515

631

1225:1

One final bit of complaint with the display is the slow manual brightness adjustment. Once you adjust the brightness slider to your desired position, it takes some time before the display ramps up or down to that position. Going from the lowest brightness to the highest takes over three seconds, which is the longest we have seen on a phone. This makes it annoying to adjust brightness manually as you have to make changes and then wait for the display to finally catch up before deciding whether you want to make any further changes.

As with the OnePlus 8 series, OnePlus also claims high accuracy in??color reproduction??on the OnePlus 8T. OnePlus uses DisplayMate’s JNCD (Just Noticeable Color Difference) metric to claim a number below 0.55. We don’t use this metric for our testing as we rely on the more standardized dE2000 metric for defining color variance.

In our tests, the OnePlus 8T’s default Vivid setting has slightly cooler whites and is based on the DCI-P3 color space. This profile yielded an average deltaE of 3.0 and a maximum deltaE of 6.2. We found the Natural profile to be very color accurate: average deltaE of 2.3 and max deltaE of 3.9 in the sRGB space. Meanwhile, the Advanced DCI-P3 profile also had an average deltaE of 2.3 and max of 3.9.

Battery life

The OnePlus 8T packs a 4,500mAh battery – that’s a modest 5% or so of improvement over the OnePlus 8. However, the bigger change here is how it is charged, and we shall talk about that in the next chapter.

The OnePlus 8T did great on our battery test across all scenarios – calls, web browsing, video playback, and even standby. It scored an excellent endurance rating of 104 hours.

When compared to the OnePlus 8, the 8T clocked 2 more hours of calls, 1 hour less in browsing, and nearly 4 hours less in video playback. The standby performance remained in the same ballpark.

OnePlus 8T review

Our battery tests were automated thanks to??SmartViser, using its??viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Realme 7 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We’ve established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The??battery testing procedure??is described in detail in case you’re interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete??battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we’ve tested will compare under your own typical use.

Charging speed

The OnePlus 8T is the first OnePlus device to support 65W of charging. It comes with the new Warp Charge 65 power adapter, so you’re getting everything you need to charge the phone at its top speed right in the box.

OnePlus 8T review

The Warp Charger 65 adapter can push out up to 10V 6.5A to compatible phones. It can do this safely by having a two-cell battery built into the phone. This allows the 10V charging to be split into two 5V streams per cell, so neither cell overheats. The charger itself is also equipped with 12 thermal monitors to keep temperatures in check because all the power conversion occurs in it.

This Warp Charger 65 is also capable of fast charging USB-Power Delivery devices. In USB-PD mode, the charger can push out up to 20V/2.25A or 45W – enough to charge smartphones and tablets, as well as some laptops with USB-PD charging like the MacBooks.

OnePlus is promising a full charge for its new 8T would take 39 minutes. We got 94% from a flat in 30 minutes with this charger – pretty promising.

30min charging test (from 0%)

  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Ultra100%
  • Realme X50 Pro 5G95%
  • Oppo Find X2 Pro95%
  • OnePlus 8T94%
  • Realme 7 Pro94%
  • Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G77%
  • OnePlus 7T72%
  • OnePlus 869%
  • OnePlus 8 Pro63%
  • Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro61%
  • OnePlus 7T Pro60%
  • OnePlus Nord60%
  • vivo X50 Pro+60%
  • Oppo F17 Pro60%
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro58%
  • Poco X3 NFC

Additional Information

COLOUR

Lunar Silver, Aquamarine Green

VARAIANT

8 GB RAM + 128 GB Storage, 12 GB RAM + 256 GB Storage