The "1-Minute" Review
- No 3.5mm-to-USB adapter
- No wireless charging
- Average camera
- No IP rating
OnePlus has built a solid reputation for building “flagship killers” at affordable prices. Their latest release -- the OnePlus 7T -- is a mid-year refresh to their popular OnePlus 7. But a lot has changed in the mobile market in the past year. Does the refresh do enough to keep OnePlus’ streak of popular releases near the top of the charts?
Featuring a standard glass and aluminum chassis with matte rear coating, the phone’s appearance and comfort in the hand pleased reviewers. Many also loved the two-tone blue finish with its shifting colors depending on how you look at the phone.
Otherwise, the design is fairly standard with a long, thin frame and a flat display. The only point of note is a lack of IP certification. So if you get the phone wet you’re doing so at your own risk.
GSM Arena was generally pleased with the phone’s design, saying, “Aside from ... top heaviness that may prove annoying from time to time, the ergonomics of the 7T are just right. It's a joy to handle and use.”
Around front, you’re greeted by a 6.55-inch 90Hz AMOLED display which takes up most of the front of the phone. Running at 1080-by-2040 pixels, the phone packs in the pixels for plenty of detail. It also includes an in-display fingerprint scanner and HDR10+ support -- features often reserved for phones twice the price.
The star of the show here is the 90Hz refresh rate. Review after review raved about how responsive and fluid the phone feels. The screen itself isn’t bad either receiving great marks for brightness, contrast, color reproduction, and outdoor viewing.
Bezels on the front of the phone are minimal. Reviewers also had no problems with accidental touches while handling the phone. Love it or hate it, you’ll find the front-facing camera housed in a teardrop near the top of the display. However, most reviewers found the notch smaller than most and didn’t mind it.
The display also houses an in-screen fingerprint scanner. While reviews note that set up is a little different from the standard fingerprint scanners found around the bezels or on the back of many competing phones, they found performance excellent with high accuracy and snappy response times.
GSM Arena echoes many other reviews for the phone’s display, saying, “OnePlus already made some of the fastest and smoothest phones out there, even at 60Hz, but with 90Hz that's just taken to an entirely new level.”
Powering the phone, you’ll find one of the fastest processors of 2019 -- a 2.96Ghz octa-core Snapdragon 855+. Paired with 8GB of RAM, the phone had no trouble playing the latest graphically demanding games or jumping back and forth between apps according to multiple reviews.
The only issue noted by reviewers was the phone’s tendency to clear memory aggressively. Sometimes apps seemed to close out when left in the background a bit too often. Still, these settings are customizable, so finding the ideal balance for you is a matter of diving into the menus.
Android Guys sum up performance well, saying, “You should have zero questions around daily performance if you’re considering spending your hard-earned cash on the OnePlus 7T.”
The OnePlus 7T ships with the latest version of Android (10) running the OxygenOS skin. While most third-party skins are a point of contention for reviewers, there was little bad to say about OxygenOS.
It features a mostly stock appearance with added functionality -- such as visual customizations, advanced gesture support, and refinements to common tasks such as notification clearing. Better still, you can disable nearly every option in the settings. Don’t like something? Just turn it off and you’re good to go.
GSM Arena says, “... The beauty of OxygenOS is that it doesn't feel bloated at all, even with all of these features packed in. The additions themselves all feel like they may be reasonably useful to someone, and not just like gimmicks thrown together to create an endless Settings menu.”
The phone offers 128GB or 256GB of internal storage. It’s the faster UFS 3.0 format so apps load nice and quick and file transfers are snappy too. However, since there is no microSD support, you’ll want to be sure to pick a model with enough storage for your needs.
While not exactly bad, camera performance was the weakest part of most OnePlus 7T reviews. The phone includes a triple rear camera with a 48MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, and a 16MP ultra-wide lens with a 117-degree field-of-view. Around front, you’ll find a 16MP selfie shooter.
All the lens options provide great flexibility in taking shots, but many reviews found the camera experience lacked the refinement of high-end phones from bigger names. You can still capture good shots -- even in low light -- but you need to be more careful about it.
What Hi-Fi was pleased with the camera’s performance, saying, “In daylight or well-lit conditions ... the 7T holds a candle to the best phones around, largely on par with the Pixel 3a XL, capable of producing bright, detail-packed photos that you won’t feel the need to tinker much with.”
If you’re looking for a phone that will last all day, reviews indicate that the 3800mAh battery in the OnePlus 7T is up to the task. While the phone doesn’t include wireless charging, the proprietary USB Type C 30w fast charging -- dubbed WarpCharging by OnePlus -- can bring the phone from dead to 70% in roughly 30 minutes according to multiple reviews.
If you’re ever caught with a low battery, you shouldn’t need to wait long to top things off.
G Style Magazine praises the charging speeds saying, “Nothing I have used charges faster than OnePlus phones. The 7T managed to get me from 5% to 100% in about an hour to charge its 3800mAh battery.”
The phone features a standard audio configuration for the latest phones -- stereo speakers but no 3.5mm headphone jack. OnePlus also does not include a 3.5mm-to-USB adapter. So if you want to hook up your favorite headphones, you’ll want to factor the cost of an adapter.
What Hi-Fi notes, “Ultimately, it sounds perfectly fine for a mid-market smartphone, although those wanting to use their phone as a hi-res streaming source playing, say, Tidal Masters streams may want to look into investing in a portable DAC.”
Overall, reviewers loved the phone. There are a few compromises to be found -- no IP rating, average camera performance, and no wireless charging -- but most found the compromises well worth the price.
Android Guys praised the phone, saying, “The OnePlus 7T marks a new device that may blur that line of the premium flagship even more.”
What Hi-Fi loved the phone as well, calling it “the best value Android phone on the market.”
Business Insider states, “... For an all-around reliable performer at a reasonable price, the OnePlus 7T is the way to go.”
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