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OnePlus 8T Review: Iterative Effort

We review the OnePlus 8T!

Verdict: There’s not a lot of change for the OnePlus 8T VS the flagship launched a few months ago. The improvements here are very minimal VS the OnePlus 8, and there’s no clear performance jump this time around. It’s still a great budget flagship in its own right but there’s plenty of other choices floating around at its price range that threaten its existence in the market.

The OnePlus 8T is priced at Php 29,990 for the 8GB/128GB variant exclusively through Digital Walker.

Pros

  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Additional camera
  • 65W fast charging capabilities
  • Powerful processor, 5G capability

Cons

  • Design is a little bland
  • There isn’t a lot of changes VS the OP8

OnePlus has been extremely busy throughout 2020, and despite all the craziness that’s currently happening the brand has still stuck to its bi-yearly release schedule for its flagship and found time to release mid-range phones as well. The OnePlus 8T is the second flagship release for the brand this year, but unlike previous years the new phone feels incredibly iterative this time around, sporting very small improvements over the original 2020 flagship.

Design

Despite being a flagship “T” model in the range, the OnePlus 8T looks, and feels, very much like OnePlus’ mid-range offering, the Nord. The curved glass on the rear, the re-positioned camera module as well as the flat screen make the flagship phone feel more in line with the brand’s mid-range offering, which may or may not be to people’s liking.

There’s a power button on the right side of the phone, alongside the notification slider that has become the hallmark of OnePlus’ devices. On the left sits the volume rocker. The bottom of the phone has the USB Type-C connector, as well as the speaker grille and the microSIM tray.

Overall the design isn’t too bad, but I’ve come to expect more from OnePlus, especially for its flagship phone. That being said build quality is bang on, and the phone feels incredibly premium thanks to its glass back and aluminum frame.

One thing that’s a downgrade from the OnePlus 8 to the 8T is its IP rating. Simply put, the OnePlus 8T doesn’t have any, despite the OnePlus 8 having that certification for carrier models.

Display

The OP 8T has a similar 6.55-inch 1080 x 2400 AMOLED panel on the OP 8, with a slight difference: the 8T’s panel has a 120Hz refresh rate, while the regular OP8 only runs at 90Hz.

Is it a huge difference? Not really. The smoothness jump from 90Hz to 120Hz isn’t as big or noticeable compared to 60Hz to 90Hz.

As for the quality of the actual display, it’s pretty good. Colors look vibrant and there’s plenty of detail here, and it’s incredibly bright to boot.

Camera

The OP8T now has a larger camera bump than the OP8 to accommodate an extra lens, arranged in a rectangular module on the upper left side of the phone’s rear.

The OP 8T has a 48-megapixel f/1.7 main shooter with optical image stabilization (OIS), along with a 16-megapixel f/2.2 ultra-wide camera, a 5-megapixel macro 2-megapixel monochrome sensor.

The bigger aperture opening allows the OP8T to gather more light in low-light situations, which means better shots in dark and dim environs overall.

As for overall image quality, the OP 8T takes really good shots, though it’s not quite at the level of flagships of Huawei or Samsung.

Performance and battery

Things have largely remained unchanged with the OP8 and the OP8T when it comes to performance. The OP8T comes armed with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor, paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.

The SD 865 is as good as they come when it comes to performance and day-to-day tasks, and it’s capable of running most Android games at the highest detail settings without any issues. The phone is also 5G capable, which is fast becoming an important factor for people shopping for a phone nowadays.

Probably the biggest concern you’ll have is storage – the OP8T only has 128GB of storage available, which is half of what other phones in the same price range offer.

You won’t ever want for power with the OP8T, though you might start hurting for storage if you’re the sort that downloads a lot of things to your phone.

As far as battery goes the OP8T gets a 4,500mAh cell, which is pretty big, despite not hitting that magical 5000mAh number that other flagships tout.

Realistically you’re going to be getting around a day and a half worth of use with the phone before you’ll need to top up.

One nice thing that the OP8T has that the OP8 doesn’t is its fast charging speeds of 65W, leagues ahead of the 30W capabilities of the OP8. Unfortunately, though neither phone supports wireless charging, though for most people that’s really not a factor.

The phone also comes with the latest version of Android, AKA Android 11, out of the box, as well as OxygenOS 11 baked in. I really have no complaints about the UI of OnePlus here – it’s clean, fast, and uncluttered – something that many people will appreciate.

Wrap-up and verdict:

The OnePlus 8T is a very respectable flagship phone, though it doesn’t really offer you anything that you haven’t seen before.

Many of the changes on the OP8T are iterative, and there’s little reason for owners of the OP8, or even the OP7T, to consider upgrading to it.

It’s also facing competition in the face of Xiaomi’s Mi 10T, as well as Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE, both of which will be giving it a hard time on the shelves.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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