The OnePlus 7T is an excellent bit of hardware. The Fluid AMOLED, 90Hz screen is industry leading and a key feature we'd like to see other mobile phone makers adopt. Add to this its improved fast charging, CPU and triple-sensor rear camera and the OnePlus 7T quickly becomes a pretty alluring bit of kit.
- Super smooth Fluid AMOLED screen
- Speedy charging
- Powerful performance
- Camera still not industry leading
- Review Price: £549
- OS: OxygenOS 10 (Android 9)
- Screen: 6.55-inch, FHD+, Fluid AMOLED screen
- Processor: Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU
- Memory: 8GB RAM
- Storage: 128/256GB storage
- Triple sensor rear camera: 48-megapixel main,12-megapixel telephoto and 16-megapixel ultrawide
- From camera: 16-megapixel
- Battery: 3800mAh battery with Warp Charge 30T
Highlights include an upgraded Fluid AMOLED display, more powerful CPU, better fast charging and a new triple-sensor rear camera.
The upgrades don’t sound like much, but they add up to make the OnePlus 7T feel like a significant improvement on the original OnePlus 7. With pricing starting at £549 it’s also great value for money. Make no mistake the OnePlus 7T easily competes with top end blowers, like the Huawei P30 and Asus Zenfone 6 and is currently one of the best mid-range phones on the market.
The OnePlus 7T has a reworked Fluid AMOLED screen
Out of the box you’ll struggle to tell the OnePlus 7T from the regular OnePlus 7. It has the same OnePlus 6T inspired mixed metal and glass design, which is no bad thing. The design may not have the nifty pop-up front camera setup seen on the OnePlus 7 Pro (read our OnePlus 7T Pro review), but it still looks great and comes with a wealth of handy features.
Up front you’ll see a cool Huawei P30-style dew drop notch front camera housing. Under the display there’s also an in-screen fingerprint scanner, which works a treat, though I used the face unlock feature for most of my review. On the side there’s also a nifty quick switch that lets you switch between noise, vibrate and silent profiles on the fly.
The design looks and feels as good as it did on the OnePlus 7 and 6T and overall I have no complaints about it. The only thing I’d say is that like all glass backed phones, you’ll want to invest in a case as it won’t survive any accidental fumbles completely unscathed.
The lack of an IP water resistance rating is also a common and recurring issue with OnePlus phones, which means you’ll want to avoid the 7T having any aquatic adventures.
Under the hood things have been given more of a spruce. The biggest is the addition of the “Fluid AMOLED” screen tech seen on the OnePlus 7 Pro. Fluid AMOLED is marketing-speak for the fact the 6.55-inch AMOLED screen has a 90Hz refresh rate. Like every phone I’ve tested with a higher than 60Hz refresh rate, this is a key selling point for the 7T.
The higher refresh rate makes little things like scrolling through menus feel significantly smoother and can give you a competitive edge in competitive games, like PUBG and MOBAs. This is because by displaying more images per second, there are fewer gaps between you enacting commands and them being rendered on-screen. Most of the best phones and especially the best Android phone utilise this feature now.
The screen retains the same 2400 x 1080 resolution as the OnePlus 7, which is a slight shame, but it’s hard to hold it against the 7T given how well it performs in other areas. The screen’s 1000 nits max brightness makes it HDR ready and ensures it remains usable in everything but direct sunlight. The AMOLED panel also ensures blacks are uniformly deep, giving movies and games a wonderfully immersive feel. Colours look a little overcooked in the default Vivid setting, but it’s quick and easy to fix this in the settings.
OnePlus has also bumped the CPU up to Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU, which should offer a moderate gaming performance boost – though if we’re honest, the regular 7 is still more than powerful enough, so you probably won’t notice the difference 99% of the time.
The OnePlus 7T camera’s had a few big improvements too
The bigger change has happened round the back. Specifically, OnePlus has bumped the camera sensor count from two to three. But is now one of the best camera phones?
This means you get a triple sensor rear camera that combines the same 48-megapixel Sony sensor seen on the OnePlus 7 with a 12-megapixel telephoto and 16-megapixel ultrawide.
OnePlus has never been the best at camera tech, but I have to applaud the gradual progress its made improving it’s phones’ photography generation-to-generation. This remains the case with the OnePlus 7T which is another definite step in the right direction.
The triple sensor doesn’t match key, more expensive, rival phones such as the Huawei P30 Pro when it comes to image quality, but it’s more than good enough for most users.
The biggest improvements relate to how the camera performs in low light and when capturing macro shots.
The Nightscape mode comes installed out of the box. It lets the OnePlus 7T take noticeably better photos in low light than the original 7 did when it first launched. With a steady hand, photos taken in low light look clearer, are less noisy and generally more than good enough for Instagram.
OnePlus claims macro mode lets you shoot shots at distances of just 2.5cm. The feature works OK, and I could get usable shots at distances that rendered the Asus Zenfone 6 and Motorola One Vision’s cameras useless.
The triple sensor setup also lets you take wide angle shots, which is great for nature scenes and holiday photos.
The portrait mode is functional and good enough for social media. But if you blow up photos on a big screen you will notice blurred edges and a few anomalies.
Video recording is great thanks to the addition of optical image stabilisation (OIS) and electronic image stabilisation (EIS), though audio quality is an issue in windy areas.
My only real quibble with the OnePlus 7T’s camera is that, by default, it tries to force you to use OnePlus’ own gallery app. The app itself is fine, featuring decent auto-sort features, but I still prefer Google’s own.
This is representative of my feeling of OxygenOS 10 as a whole. While it doesn’t have much bloatware and the few features it adds are generally good, including intelligent swipe command shortcuts, I’d still have preferred a clean Android install.
You can see a selection of photos taken on the OnePlus 7T below.
OnePlus 7T offers solid battery and upgraded fast charging
The addition of OnePlus new 30T Warp Charging tech is another key difference between the 7T and 7. The tech’s a modest upgrade on the regular 30 Warp Charge solution seen on the 7 that will reportedly let the phone go from 0 to 70% charge in 30 minutes.
Testing the charger, I found it wasn’t as big a step up on the rates we recorded on the OnePlus 7 as the company claimed, however, after half an hour at the mains I regularly had over 50-60% juice, but I never once got the quoted 70%.
Outside of this the OnePlus 7T’s battery is a modest update on the regular OnePlus 7’s. The OnePlus 7T’s 3800mAh battery isn’t as big as the 4000mAh cell seen in the OnePlus 7 Pro. But the phone offers solid battery life with regular use. Using the OnePlus 7T as my main blower, with the screen set to 90Hz, I generally got a day to a day and a half’s use out of it from a single charge.
Regular use entailed listening to music on my morning and evening commute, regularly checking incoming messages and social media feeds, taking and making a few calls and the odd PUBG or Netflix session before bed.
Gaming and video put a bigger drain on the battery, especially when using the phone in its 90Hz mode. Playing demanding 3D games with the screen at 150 nits – the level most people are comfortable – the phone lost an average of between 14-18% of its charge per hour, which is a bit more than I’d like. Video playback with same screen settings led to an average discharge rate of around 7-10% per hour. This again is good, but not best in class.
Should I buy the OnePlus 7T?
The OnePlus 7T is a great phone that fixes most of the niggling flaws we found with the OnePlus 7. The upgraded camera, Fluid AMOLED screen and improved fast charging all add up to make an already good Android phone great. If you’re on the market for a reasonably priced phone with flagship features, you’ll struggle to do better than it.
The OnePlus 7T is an excellent bit of hardware. The Fluid AMOLED, 90Hz screen is industry leading and a key feature we’d like to see other mobile phone makers adopt. Add to this its improved fast charging, CPU and triple-sensor rear camera and the OnePlus 7T quickly becomes a pretty alluring bit of kit.