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OnePlus 3T : an upgraded avatar with a top-notch performance | Mobilescout.com review

01 January 2017 8

OnePlus 3T, which is an upgraded version of the OnePlus 3 provides the same top-notch performance when it comes to multi-tasking or handling some complex apps. OnePlus did a few major tweaks and presented in front of you a new avatar of OnePlus 3. Those who bought the standard edition are not so happy with the company. OnePlus announced the device just after six months announcing the OnePlus 3 with the latest configurations. Those who matter even the minute things know the importance of a chipset upgrade. Considering the wrath of all their OnePlus 3 customers, the company had to take an AMA session at Reddit to tell them why this upgrade? And, believe me; the answer of the company to the most asked question was “because we can.” It was even more frustrating for all those users who were waiting to have some genuine answer from the company or should I better say sympathy or condolences.

Well, OP3 customers were looking for the answer what they really wanted but the company is following their aim and they even know that eventually everything is going to get settled down. But, OnePlus did give a sigh of relief to all its OnePlus 3 users by sharing the news that together with OnePlus 3T their six months older device will also receive the Android Nougat update. Well, it’s a win-win situation indeed. Interestingly, OnePlus did keep its promise, read on in our Software section.

Unlike other manufacturers, OnePlus thought to announce an iteration of OP3 rather than a completely new device. Speculations were hinting that it will be the OnePlus 4 that will become company's next flagship with some extra advancements, but the company took an interesting twist. Or, we should better say that the company is brewing up something more innovative inside the OnePlus 4 and this would rather disappoint those who just bought the OnePlus 3T. Well, this is just an estimation we made by referring the price graph of the OnePlus devices. Keeping these assumptions aside, we are here to let you know the OnePlus 3T better by reviewing its one unit. We are reviewing the 128GB variant of the OnePlus 3T and here you will get to know about the performance, battery life, and more.

Design and build -

After using the OnePlus 3T for a week we have observed that those with OnePlus 3 should not be disappointed. You won’t find any jaw-dropping differences that could put you in the situation of fear of missing out. One of the biggest things that OnePlus restored is the design of the OnePlus 3T. The design language is completely same as you find in the OnePlus 3. The only difference is the color variant which is now Gunmetal, not the Graphite that drapes the OnePlus 3. The Gunmetal is slightly darker than the Graphite and also looks quite cooler than the previous Graphite. The other color variant Soft Gold is the same but it arrived a little late and is now available to order.

Thickness is also same; OnePlus 3T holds the same 7.35mm thickness and holds the same weight. You can see in the image how thin is the OnePlus 3T. Made up of the aluminum alloy, the OnePlus 3T looks quite decent in hand. You will find a 16MP camera at the back with a LED flash residing beneath it. The rear camera has a small bump which isn’t good but OnePlus has made some improvements in order to protect it better. The rear camera sensor is coated with the Sapphire glass which is a great improvement. It has proved its rigidness and endurance on the Mohs scale. You can find the video where the famous YouTuber JerryRigEverything is doing a brutal test on the Sapphire glass of the OnePlus 3T’s rear camera. Indeed, the Sapphire glass has an extra level of resilience and you can very verify it by looking at this harsh test.

Going a little down, you’ll find the logo of OnePlus. Come at the edges, you can easily find the three-level Alert Slider to toggle between notifications profiles. This is one of the highlights of the OnePlus3T which is also present on the OnePlus 3. Just slide it and you’ll be able to deflect yourself from those unwanted notifications. This works according to the priority. Below this, the volume rocker can be found and at the right edge, there’s a power button.

Moving down at the bottom, you’ll find the speaker grille which can annoy you sometimes, especially when you’re playing games. These speakers get covered with hands easily while playing games. However, it’s just a nitpicker, but it can matter to most of the users. There’s also as USB-C port and a headphone jack at the bottom. All of them are placed next to each other.

Now comes the fingerprint scanner which resides in the Home button. Some like it to be placed on the Home button, however, many like it to access from the rear part of the phone. The Back and Recent keys are marked by the backlit dots. You can swap their positions in the OnePlus 3T’s settings. By default, the left capacitive key is the back key and the right one is the recent key. You can also turn on the on-screen navigation in the Settings if you want.

Display –

Once again the display of the OnePlus 3T is similar to the OnePlus 3. They both have the same display of 5.5-inch and 1920x1080 pixels resolution and uses the same Optic AMOLED technology. Viewing angles are great and brightness of the phone is also fine. It’s a great phone for outdoor use. The Auto brightness feature is also more than adequate. Colors look a little oversaturated but overall the display looks great.

The option to manually adjust the brightness of the display is always there if you don’t like the Auto brightness feature. You can tune it according to how your eyes want it. Just head to the Quick Toggle menu and do it as per your liking.

Here at the Quick Toggle Menu, you’ll find many options to adjust according to your comfort. For instance, you can turn on the Night mode which removes the blue light of the phone. Extended use of various electronic media can disrupt the sleep and lead to sleep disorders. So, it’s important to have a blue light filter that changes the color temperature at night. The color that covers the whole display of the phone is not harmful to eyes.

From the same Quick Settings, you can further make some other settings handy that you usually use. Just head to the Edit icon provided beside the Settings icon and tap on the option you want your Quick Toggle display. You can pull settings like NFC, Hotspot, VPN, Battery saver, and more from that Edit window.

Hardware and Performance –

OnePlus 3T is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor clocked at 2.35GHz. This is the same processor that also empowers the two expensive Google Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones. It is coupled with a 6GB DDR4 RAM. Thanks to such a bold configuration, the device is quite fast and does multi-tasking without any issue. Till now, we haven't found any lag. RAM management does the fantastic job; the recent apps don't refresh to start again, well, this may be an unwanted point to refer here, considering the size of the RAM of the device. The benchmark results don’t prove the ability of any gadget really. The real usage can only finalize the performance of the smartphone and did find it excellent in terms of performance. OnePlus 3T is super responsive and offers fluid experience.

Playing high-end games is a charm here. However, a few frame drops can be felt but they aren’t that visible that could hinder you from playing them. We played Asphalt 8 by keeping the graphics at higher settings and did see a few frame drops, however, it wasn’t a laggy experience at all. Also, for a few games, we did find the smartphone going at a little higher temperature but it’s not unbearable.

There is a reason why such heavy games open fast. OnePlus said that the file system algorithm has been upgraded to help the app launch speed and hence large games or apps load up faster. More review on the gaming is coming your way shortly. So, we keep it short and simple here.

Call quality of the OnePlus 3T is also superb and we haven’t seen any issue while answering to calls. The reception of the microphone is great. Talking about the speakers, they provide crisp sound, though we didn’t find the placement too accurate while playing the games. However, raising the volume of the speaker can remove this issue.

Software –

OnePlus 3T runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow OS overlaid with OnePlus’ OxygenOS. OnePlus is taking care of the requirements of the users and thus promised that it will soon update the OnePlus 3T to Android 7.0 Nougat update. OnePlus is keeping up its promise and the stable version of the Android Nougat is started for both OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T. The update was actually promised to come out at the end of 2016 and it seems like, OnePlus is giving New Year gift to all those OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T owners who were eagerly waiting. Keeping this aside, the Oxygen OS offers a cleaner look and feel of Android. There is a touch latency issue in both OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T, but the company's CEO, Carl Pei clearly mentioned that Android N update is their utmost priority.

You will find the presence of a few customizations through gestures. For instance, drawing a ‘V’ opens a flash torch, ‘O’ opens up the camera app to quickly access it, drawing a parallel line while listening to the music will pause it. The smartphone also supports the three fingers swipe for taking a screenshot.

You can also change the way you access things from Home Screen. You can customize how the Home screen looks and performs.

Like Swiping up anywhere on the Home Screen can open the search or Swiping down from anywhere opens the notification panel. Furthermore, you can change the icons and designs according to your liking. The overall experience feels like stock Android but Oxygen OS does help you to change the things only if they want.

OnePlus’ ‘Shelf’ is back which can be accessed by swiping left on the Home screen. This houses a welcome message with the current temperature of the location, memos, recent contacts, recent apps you have accessed and a management center that shows the data remaining, available storage, and battery.

Camera –

One more thing that hasn’t changed along with the design and build is the rear camera. OnePlus kept the same camera sensor, Sony IMX298 16MP at the back of OnePlus 3T as seen in OnePlus 3. However, the front camera gets a bump and now stays at 16MP. Just like the OnePlus 3, the back camera does support the Phase Detect Autofocus with optical image stabilization. The presence of the EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) which according to OnePlus is the new one (EIS 2.0) helps in shooting videos for up to 4K at 30fps. This is responsible for removing any kind of shakiness and jolts.

Accessing the camera interface is quick and easy.

Just like the OnePlus 3, it does come with the Dynamic De-Noise that further reduces noise and improves the clarity of the images. Also, OIS does help to produce those less blurry shots, though some other robust manual modes do help to control every aspect of the image. These include the Fine-tune exposure, ISO, focus, and more. In spite of all these modes, we didn’t find the OnePlus 3T doing a great job in low-light conditions. The photographs taken in the low-light can be noisier, on the other hand, I really love the daylight shots. They are crisp, brighter, and clearly show every detail. We are sharing only two samples for now and more you’ll find shortly.

The best part is OnePlus 3T supports RAW image files. So, this can be a luring point for some experts.

Talking about the front-facing camera where the company has done the biggest enhancement is quite adequate for taking selfies. Photos are sharper, but again, I didn’t like the selfies taken indoors. There is a smile detection mode that captures the picture when you smile. It also helps you to live stream in HD. The 16MP in the front is a great improvement and compared to OnePlus 3, this does give better shots. There is a slight difference in their quality but the change is quite visible.

Battery Life –

Another area where OnePlus 3T differ from the OnePlus 3 is the battery capacity. The latest OnePlus 3T holds the 3,400mAH battery over the 3,000mAh battery of the OnePlus 3. The company has done the right justice by announcing the new smartphone after six months. OnePlus 3T holds the right upgrades and some of them are indeed the needed one, for instance, the 13% increase in the battery life. Together with this, OnePlus’ exclusive Dash Charge helps to charge the device in a few minutes. OnePlus claims that the Dash Charge can charge the device to 60% in just half an hour and its claims are indeed true. OnePlus hasn’t made any exaggerated claims that might look hypothetical to you. We are completely wooed by the role of Dash Charger and it’s one of the favorite things.

Secondly, once charged fully, OnePlus 3T will run through the whole day even after the intense usage. Simple browsing, using a few chat apps, calling or a few similar small tasks don’t cut down the battery life much and you can go with the same battery in the next day too, maybe up to afternoon, if you continue to do the same things. If you’re doing intense usage, like playing high-end games, streaming YouTube, then you will find a considerable drop in the battery, though it's not that dramatic. One of the factors that keep up the good side of the battery life is the choice of the display from the company. OnePlus 3T doesn’t hold a Quad HD display and this has helped the device to offer great battery performance.

There is a considerable amount of drop in the battery life while playing high-end games since other things are also working in the background.

And, above it is the Dash Charge which works like a charm. It comes with the OnePlus Dash Charge USB Wall adapter and OnePlus USB-C cable. OnePlus explains the working behind this Dash Charge. This produces more current than other fast charging solutions at lower temperatures.

The number of performance issues occurs due to the heat generation through charging that dissipates in the phone itself. This throttles the CPU and GPU speeds. But, Dash Charge works in a different way. It shifts the power management system and heat dispersion elements to the Dash Power Adapter, hence very little heat reaches the OnePlus 3T device.

Dash Charge is a boon to OnePlus device holders. Unlike other smartphones, it doesn’t require an overnight charging. If you’re getting late for your office, you just need to plug the Dash Charge and it will charge your device while you’re doing your last minute preparation. We did write down the percentage of battery getting charged after few minutes and find that OnePlus 3T got charged to 16% in just 7 minutes. It is an amazing experience with the Dash Charge. You’ll definitely say after using this “Where have you been, Dash Charge?”

Verdict -

So, you have the OnePlus 3 device and you are angry with the company’s decision for bringing an upgraded model, and you now want to know whether you should upgrade or not. The answer to your confusion is simply no, you shouldn’t. But, if you were planning to grab the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T came in between then you should definitely go with the newest one. And, if you could increase your budget then buying the 128GB version is the right thing. And, if you have chosen the OnePlus 3T then you have made the right decision as you won’t find such a powerful device with high-end specifications at such a competitive price. To sum up, OnePlus 3T has a great performance, build quality, and improved battery. And, if you’re thinking that the price is higher then you should not neglect that these high-end additions do need some justice.

Great build qualityExcellent PerformanceImproved batteryCharging is quite fast, thanks to Dash Charge
Pictures taken in low-light aren't bestCamera Bump Without Proprietary Dash Charge, charging is quite slow
General Vote

We give OnePlus 3T this much rating, keeping aside the tiny issues, we encountered while using the camera.

OnePlus 3T in pictures
The OnePlus 3T isn't still available. To be notified when it becomse available click here.
Thanks to Naina Batra



Join our community » OnePlus 3T : an upgraded avatar with a top-notch performance | Mobilescout.com review
  • The last OnePlus flagship was so incredible that I can't wait to get my hands of the OnePlus 4. I heard it was coming out in mid 2017 and I just hope OnePlus takes care if the issues with the last phone. I'm hoping OnePlus 4 will give one hell of an competition to other flagships in the industry.
    To know more about OnePlus 4, its http://www.oneplus4update.com/ just take a look here.

      • Amazing review %u270C%u270C

          • I am a bit disappointed to know about the speaker grille. I will never like the speakers to be covered with the hands or fingers, be it playing games or listening to music. Actually, being able to hear sufficient music is the best thing to create the fun and excitment.

              • This has been a good put off. The 3400mAh battery had actually generated a lot of interest in me. But it was a damp squib when I read about this. I hope OP will either change the design or lose their customers.

                • I don't think the difference between the OP 3T and the Plus version is any significant. If you consider the design language, it looks all the same at face value. But only if you are a keen observer, will you find something new.

                    • Hahaha... It was kind of solving your puzzle when you said, there was something new to find in the Plus version. Well, I guess, it's the color profile. The gunmetal color looks awesome. And so does the soft gold.

                      • Without slightest doubt, the OnePlus 3T is one of the best devices from OP out there. And the Plus version is even better. Actually, I am waiting to pounce on the device, but still it hasn't become available in my region.

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