Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
When OnePlus launched two high-end phones in the second quarter of 2019 we believed that this was the end of the T model… but here we are reviewing the OnePlus 7T (Check on Amazon.com).
OnePlus still tries to make good on its promise of giving us premium devices with a mid-range price. Although it may seem that this is just one more Chinese company that bets everything on price to quality ratio in order to “steal” customers from the big brands like Samsung and Apple, interestingly enough, OnePlus is the only one that manages year after year, generation after generation, to fulfill its promise of “more for less”.
OnePlus 7T – Design
The OnePlus 7T has an excellent build quality and finish. The combination of a metal frame, which fits perfectly between the two glass panels on the front and back, exudes style and solid workmanship.
It doesn’t follow the current trend of a very striking bright glass finish that shifts tones depending on how the light falls on it. Instead, it sports a more discreet design, that I personally prefer.
The OnePlus 7T has a “frosty” treatment, which grants it a very attractive matte finish, that attracts fewer fingerprints and smudges.
It also seems durable enough to withstand normal abuse without a cover. The OnePlus 7T doesn’t have an IP certification for resistance to dust and water, but it is water-resistant nonetheless.
In hand, the matte back together with the slight curvature of the glass at the edges and the small width of the device makes for a solid grip. The physical buttons play a huge role here and OnePlus correctly maintained the slider for the different sound modes, something that is much appreciated. Just below it, on the right side, we find the Power button, at just the right height, while the volume rocker is located on the left side.
At the bottom edge, we find the tray for the dual nanoSIM, one of the speakers (the other is fully integrated into the upper frame) as well as the USB-C charging port.
The feature that stands out is the rear camera module, huge, circular and protruding, but more on that later.
OnePlus 7T – Display
The OnePlus 7T has a 6.55-inch AMOLED screen with a Full HD+ resolution (1,080×2,400 pixels) and a 20:9 format. The panel is the same one we have seen on the OnePlus 7 Pro (Check on Amazon.com) and has a native frequency of 90Hz and HDR10+ support. This extra fluidity is responsible for an absolutely amazing experience. Anyway if autonomy is your top priority you can always dial it down to 60Hz, but then why bother with this phone?
The standard mode has a cold color tone. There are other three color profiles to choose from (Intense, Natural and Advanced) for brighter, more saturated and warmer colors.
The notch makes a comeback… and houses the front-facing camera (there is no motorized pop-up module). Thankfully, it is a dewdrop type notch, that doesn’t bother us much, and after a while, we stopped noticing it.
One of the pleasant surprises has to do with the sound quality, both when using headphones and especially when using the integrated speakers.
Although at first glance it seems like the OnePlus 7T is equipped with only one speaker, the one on the bottom, just to the right of the USB-C port, there is another one perfectly integrated into the upper frame. Together they manage to offer powerful volume with barely any distortion, an enveloping sensation, a wide dynamic range, and a clear sound.
If you prefer to connect your favorite headphones, via an adapter (purchased separately) or wirelessly, since there is no headphone jack, the Dolby Atmos support delivers a great audio experience.
OnePlus 7T – In-display fingerprint reader
The OnePlus 7T uses a fingerprint reader that is integrated under the screen. It is the simple optical version that works by illuminating the screen. The identification is fast and precise, almost instantaneous, and we hardly noticed any misreads even when we purposefully placed our fingertip at an angle.
You just have to keep in mind two things: placing your fingertip on the reader causes the system to flash the screen so be careful when using it in the cinema or when you don’t want someone to notice. In addition, you can only begin the identification process when the screen is active.
The other biometric unlocking system is face recognition. It works OK, it is fast and reliable in good lighting conditions but doesn’t work with poor lighting.
The OnePlus 7T comes with the latest and greatest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+, a minor revision of the high-end processor used by most premium Android devices.
This fact elevates the 7T at the top of the “food chain” when it comes to benchmarks, and grants it an even smoother user experience.
When gaming the combination of the new SoC with the 90Hz screen and the Fnatic game mode, which prioritizes gaming performance over anything else, makes this one of the best gaming smartphones of the year.
OnePlus 7T – Software
The OnePlus 7T runs Android 10 right out of the box, although hidden under the OxygenOS 10. As we said before the interface is buttery smooth and it doesn’t take much time to get used to its peculiarities.
A very interesting point here is that OxygenOS has no third-party applications, that is, it comes without any bloatware. OnePlus itself only adds a file explorer, a weather app, a note app and a link to its community.
The OnePlus 7T is equipped with a 3,800mAh battery. Considering that the whole device weighs just 190 grams and has a thickness of just 8mm, this is great.
The battery life is good but not great. The theoretical increase in battery consumption due to the increases in processing power and the 90Hz display is offset by the lower screen resolution (Full HD+ instead of Ultra HD).
It will still last you a full day with almost 9 hours of active screen time.
Special mention must go to the Warp Charge 30T quick charge technology. It promises to charge the phone from 0 to 70% in just half an hour. We put it to the test and reached 66% in half an hour (starting from 5%) and 100% in 47 minutes..
OnePlus 7T – Camera
The OnePlus 7T doesn’t go off the beaten path and adopts the same combination of cameras most premium phones have: a triple sensor with a wide-angle, an ultra-wide-angle, and a telephoto lens. Thus the versatility is granted.
In good lighting conditions, both the 48MP main camera (f1.6 and OIS) and the 16MP wide-angle lens (f2.2) perform adequately. There is no bragging but no serious miss-steps either. They both sport a fair dynamic range and good contrast. The sharpness isn’t remarkable, but these are good photos.
The new Macro mode is really interesting and lets you snap photos of an object a few centimeters away. It is definitely one of the strengths of this camera.
Portrait mode works quite well with both faces and objects. Make sure to shoot in enough light and a distance between 1.5 and 6.5 feet. It will not match the results from premium devices like the Samsung S10 (Check on Amazon.com), iPhone 11 (Check on Amazon.com), Huawei P30 Pro (Check on Amazon.com) or Pixel 4 (Check on Amazon.com) but it will do.
- Samsung Galaxy S10 review: finally complete
- Apple iPhone 11 review: redefining limits
- Huawei P30 Pro review: the TOP to beat for photos and autonomy
- Google Pixel 4 review: not just uber photography
In low light conditions, the OnePlus 7T begins to show its limits by letting noise creep in. It does have a night mode, that eliminates much of the noise, but using it is hit and miss, and you never truly know when to use it.
Everything we said so far for the photos goes also for the videos. The OnePlus 7T records good quality footage up to 4K and 60fps. But when the light goes down so does the video quality.
OnePlus 7T – Verdict
OnePlus launched three high-end terminals in less than half a year. They are quite similar but the small differences between them make this OnePlus 7T the best one yet.
We have been fascinated by the design and finish, especially considering the large battery it houses. The blazing-fast performance, buttery smooth 90Hz display and of course the implementation of OxygenOS over Android 10 make this device really special.
The camera is not on par with the competition, although most users will be very satisfied with it. The sound, was also a pleasant surprise, one that we did not expect and one that matters although most people don’t talk about it.
Last but not least the price. For (Check on Amazon.com) this is the best smartphone you can buy!