Display and Design
The OnePlus 3T looks and feels like OnePlus 3. The only difference is the new ‘gun-metal grey’ color using the same robust metal build as its predecessor. The 5.5-inch AMOLED display of OnePlus3T has the same full-HD resolution and Corning Gorilla Glass4 as OnePlus3.
The rounded edges of the phone make it very comfortable to hold, button placement and tactile feedback also is very good. An alert slider on the left can be used to toggle between silent and DND modes. These modes can be customized easily but you can’t schedule DND to kick in automatically.
Pixel density is high enough to see any jaggedness around text or icons which gives sharp images and vivid colors.
With a front facing fingerprint scanner which relies on haptic feedback as opposed to a physical button, this is a phone which attracts a user the minute it is removed from the box.
The packaging box comes with a 20W power adapter, a Type-C cable, a SIM ejector and some instructions.
Hardware and Performance
The OnePlus 3T uses Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 821 chip which promises roughly 10 percent better performance in areas like processing power, power consumption, and user experience. This is slightly faster than OnePlus 3. Though this difference is not easily spotted as you can multi-task and open as many as 30 apps.
There is 6 GB of RAM with 64 GB and 128 GB – internal storage options available but better to opt for the higher variant as expandable storage via microSD card is not available.
Gaming experience is smooth, you can play many games on this device. Games lik Asphalt 8 don’t hinder the performance of this phone.
The front facing camera has been upgraded to 16 MP sensor from Samsung, with an f/2.0 aperture and fixed focus, so we have a good quality of selfies. Photos come out sharper than its predecessor while details and color reproduction also are better.
The rear camera is same as its predecessor, 16MP Sony sensor, has an f/2.0 aperture and can capture RAW images. It is phase detection auto-focus and is aided by optical image stabilization.
Images look more vibrant in normal lighting conditions, sharpness and contrast are slightly better. Low light images look pretty much same as OnePlus 3 – not much noisy and fair details are preserved.
There are some visible artifacts from JPEG compression but not noticeable till you zoom. The Auto HDR mode works well and there is a HQ mode which combines a few shots of the same frame to reduce noise – which works decently well.
There are various shooting modes like slow-motion video, time lapse, manual and panorama. There is a 1080p 60fps video mode which is good for capturing sports and action scenes. Video quality for full-HD and 4K capture is really good.
OnePlus 3T is running the latest Oxygen OS 3.5.1 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and you get a very stock Android look and feel with this OS. A lot of customizations are available to suit your needs.
Shelf is accessible by swiping to the left of the home screen which holds common information including weather info, recent contacts or used apps. You can compose memos, manage data, storage, battery life or any widget can be added there instead of taking up space on home screens.
A few customizations in Oxygen OS like built-in night mode, custom accent colors, support for third party icon packs, screen off gestures like double tap to wake or ability to launch camera by drawing C on the screen are really good.
You can now swipe down the screen with three fingers to take a screenshot or add a password or use your fingerprint to lock any application.
Based on Android Marshmallow, OnePlus 3T has updated notification shade to Android 7.0 Nougat style which comes with easy access to Quick setting with one downward swipe. Though there is no specific date when the Android 7.0 Nougat update will be available, it is slated for the end of the year.
The slight bump in the performance is complimented by a 3400 mAh non -removable battery which supports Dash Charging. In general, the phone will easily last a full working day though heavy users may have to charge the phone once or twice a day. The Dash charging works brilliantly, achieving a 45 percent charge in just 35 minutes.
Overall, OnePlus 3T is not that big upgrade to OnePlus 3 except battery capacity, better front camera and faster CPU. But it is worth the price if you want the best Android experience on a reasonable budget.