Speed, value, and experience have always been a key part of OnePlus’ brand ethos. Its “fast and smooth” mantra has consistently delivered one of the most streamlined experiences on Android, at a price that is accessible to almost everyone. So, when OnePlus officially arrived in the United States with T-Mobile as its launch partner, a lot of people were elated. OnePlus sold 249% more OnePlus 6Ts in the US compared to OnePlus 6 devices, and OnePlus phones became the de-facto affordable Android purchase, at least for T-Mobile customers. When the OnePlus 7 Pro launched, it still brought more value than just about any other phone on the market, but OnePlus was clearly aiming to compete in the premium sector versus dominating the mid-ranged pricing tier. The OnePlus 7T is a true return to form for the company. It offers many of the same features as the OnePlus 7 Pro for under $600, and brings the Snapdragon 855 Plus and a 90Hz display to the masses.
Historically, OnePlus has had two big product launches every year. There’s one big launch in the Spring that represents a full step, and one closer to the end of the year that improves the device with whatever new tech has come out since. The latter is the “T” variant device.
Last year’s OnePlus 6T bested the OnePlus 6 with the addition of an in-display fingerprint sensor, a bigger battery, and a smaller notch. This year’s T-variant is a much bigger leap forward. Since the OnePlus 7, the company added a bigger 90Hz display, a new triple-camera system, and the newest gaming-focused processor from Qualcomm. Effectively, this is the OnePlus 7 Pro in a different body, but it’s actually better in many ways.
The OnePlus 7T is targeted at customers who want one of the fastest devices on the market for a price that’s nearly half of its competitors. If you’ve enjoyed OnePlus devices before this, you’ll adore the 7T.
The OnePlus 7T looks similar to the OnePlus 7 on the front, but wildly different on the back. The display is slightly taller, giving it a longer 20:9 screen-to-body ratio. This extends the size of the display to 6.55 inches versus 6.41 inches on the OnePlus 7, and the change is noticeable in the hand. The phone feels a bit more candybar-shaped, and I’ve enjoyed the extra real-estate during my time with the device. The waterdrop notch on the front has been scaled down a bit. While this isn’t incredibly noticeable versus the OnePlus 7, it’s nice to see OnePlus attempting to mitigate the notch as much as possible. Many of the devices the 7T competes against have eliminated the notch altogether at this point, and I’m sure OnePlus will continue to shrink the notch in its non-Pro devices over time.
The sides of the device look practically identical to the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 6T. Volume buttons occupy the left edge, while the power button and signature notification switch are housed on the right. On the bottom, you’ll find a speaker, USB-C port, and a dual-SIM card tray.
Things start to get interesting on the back of the phone. The device is wrapped in a familiar soft-touch glass — same as the OnePlus 6T, OnePlus 7, and OnePlus 7 Pro — but housed in that glass is an all-new camera module. The module is shaped in a circular design, similar to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. This housing features nearly the same set of cameras as the OnePlus 7 Pro, but instead of a 3x telephoto camera you’ll find a 2x — without optical image stabilization. You’ll find a two-tone flash under the center lens. Unfortunately, OnePlus hasn’t officially certified the OnePlus 7T with an IP rating. This is standard fare for the company. OnePlus says it does independent water-resistance testing in order to keep costs down. Even so, you probably shouldn’t take this phone in the shower with you.
OnePlus has put a big focus on displays over the last few years, and we’re happy to say the exceptional display quality of the OnePlus 7 Pro has trickled down to the new phone. The OnePlus 7T has a wonderful display. OnePlus gave the 7T a 90Hz screen, and every time I switch back to a high refresh rate display I wonder how I ever did without one. Simply scrolling around the phone feels weird in the best way, since most displays you use on a daily basis are 50Hz or 60Hz. It’s really hard to understand the phenomenon without seeing it for yourself, so I recommend you go look at one in a carrier store.
The OnePlus 7T is equally incredible in overall display quality. We put the device through our internal testing suite, and the 7T came out besting the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus in a number of areas. Considering how much Samsung brags about the quality of its displays, this is a huge feat.
The Note 10 Plus bests the 7T in resolution, however, because OnePlus opted for a 1080p panel for this device. Resolution isn’t everything. The 7T came out ahead in every other area we tested, including color temperature, color accuracy, max brightness, and gamma accuracy. Overall, this 1080p panel looks absolutely incredible, and it is more visible outside due to its brighter lighting. This panel is also HDR10 and HDR+ compatible, meaning it can properly display content with more color and contrast information between pure black and pure white. Services such as Netflix are actively adding HDR content for consumption (the OnePlus 7T comes with Netflix pre-installed). While I’m not a fan of pre-installed third-party software of any kind, it’s clear OnePlus wants consumers to experience HDR10 content on this device. The in-display fingerprint reader in this device didn’t seem quite as fast or accurate as the OnePlus 7 Pro. I usually needed to try it a couple of times before it would unlock the device.
OnePlus’ motto has long been “fast and smooth,” and it’s no surprise this device continues that heritage. Oxygen OS is already quite minimal and streamlined, but it’s the components under the hood that really keep this thing running so quickly. The OnePlus 7T uses Qualcomm’s premier Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, which is only in a couple of devices so far. This chip is clearly focused on gaming, with a pretty significant 15% boost to the GPU over the 855. Considering OnePlus devices have long been considered undercover gaming phones, this jump makes sense. Honestly, I’m impressed OnePlus was able to offer this chip at this price point. The other hardware feature keeping the device running quickly is the UFS 3.0 storage. The company first introduced this much-faster storage option with the OnePlus 7 Pro, and it’s equally incredible that this feature has trickled down to the more affordable device so quickly.
128GB is the only storage SKU OnePlus is offering with this device in the US, but I think this will be totally fine for most users. There is, unfortunately, no microSD card expansion available in the 7T.
In benchmarks, the OnePlus 7T scores extremely well. It achieved a score of 400,713 in AnTuTu versus 369,029 on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. In 3DMark, it achieved a score of 6,163 and 5,408, respectively, in OpenGL and Vulcan. This is compared to 5,692 and 5,239 on the Note 10 Plus. In Geekbench, it nabbed 3,690 and 11,452 for the single-core and multi-core tests, respectively, versus the Note 10 Plus’ scores of 3,434 and 10,854. In Gary’s Speed Test G, the OnePlus 7 Pro finished the course in 1 minute 30 seconds, tying the Samsung Galaxy Note Plus almost exactly.
The OnePlus 7T suffers from so-so battery life. OnePlus bumped the capacity to 3,800mAh versus 3,700mAh on the OnePlus 7, but the combination of the 90Hz display and higher-energy processor make this phone deliver average battery life at best. The battery lasts about as long as the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus in our testing. Most days I was able to go from unplugging in the morning to after work no problem, but I often needed to give my phone a jump if I planned to go out for the night. If you care, I got about five hours and forty-five minutes of screen-on time by the time I reached five percent.
Fortunately, OnePlus includes a 30W charger with this device. The new Warp Charge 30T charger is also more efficient than the Warp Charge 30 charger included with the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. The company says the new charger charges 23% faster. In our independent testing, we found it charged about 12% faster. The OnePlus 7T was able to charge from 0 to 100% in 70 minutes versus 81 minutes on the OnePlus 7, though that phone does have a 100mAh smaller battery. The 7T also charged to 75% in exactly half an hour, which gives you time to freshen up before a night out.
The Warp Charge 30T charger performs power management in the brick itself, which is meant to keep the device cool while charging, and it works fairly well. You can definitely feel the phone heat up, but it’s not bad at all; it stays much cooler than the OnePlus 7 Pro while charging.