Not too long ago (June 2016, to be exact), OnePlus announced its latest controversial flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 3. Featuring an all-metal unibody design, some killer under-the-hood specs and a robust software experience, the OnePlus 3 quickly became one of the better phones in the $400 price range.
As with all smartphones, though, there is plenty of room for improvement, and OnePlus hopes its new flagship will appeal to those who wanted a little more out of the 3.
Enter: OnePlus 3T. With a premium aluminum design, beefed up specifications and affordable price point, the OnePlus 3T aims to be the best in the affordable flagship arena. We’ve got all the specs and details right here, so let’s see what this new device is all about.
OnePlus 3 review
OnePlus 3T design
As you may have guessed, the OnePlus 3T isn’t all that different from the company’s previous flagship, the OnePlus 3. Rather, the 3T builds off the success of the 3, offering a handful of key hardware and software updates that OnePlus says were “inspired by feedback from the active OnePlus community.”
Perhaps the biggest difference between the 3T and the 3 in terms of design is a new color option. The OnePlus 3T comes in a new Gunmetal color now, as well as a Soft Gold version that will be available shortly after launch.
Other than the new color options, there aren’t any noticeable changes in design.This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, though. The OnePlus 3 just launched back in June with a complete redesign from its predecessor, the OnePlus 2. Thus, most of the changes found in the 3T can be found in under-the-hood specifications.
OnePlus 3T specifications and features
|Display||5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display
1920 x 1080 resolution, 401ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 4
|Processor||2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821|
|Storage||64 or 128GB (Gunmetal only)
|Ports||USB 2.0, Type-C
Dual nano-SIM slot
3.5 mm audio jack
|Buttons||Capacitive hardware keys and on-screen navigation support|
|Audio||Speakers: Bottom-facing speaker
Microphones: Dual-microphone with noise cancellation
|Cameras||Rear: 16MP Sony IMX 298 sensor, 1.12μm, f/2.0 aperture, OIS, EIS, phase detection autofocus
Front: 16MP Samsung 3P8SP sensor, 1.0μm, f/2.0 aperture, fixed focus
|Sensors||Fingerprint, Hall, Accelerometor, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, Electronic Compass|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
Dash Charge (5V 4A)
|Software||OxygenOS based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow|
Soft Gold (Available shortly after launch)
|Dimensions and weight||152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35mm
The OnePlus 3T is basically a snappier, longer lasting version of the OnePlus 3, and that’s thanks to the upgraded processor and battery size. Under the hood, you’ll find Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 821 processor clocked at 2.35GHz, backed by 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM. The company says this will help improve overall performance of the device while also maintaining the power efficiency of the Snapdragon 820. As you may recall, the OnePlus 3 was more than capable of handling everyday tasks and gaming with ease. So, the addition of the 821 might not be a necessity, though it will certainly help bring the device to the next level in terms of performance.
Along with the addition of the Snapdragon 821, OnePlus has decided to include a sizeable upgrade in the battery department. The OnePlus 3T sports a non-removable 3,400mAh battery, which is a 13-percent increase from the OnePlus 3’s 3,000mAh unit. Of course, the 3T also supports OnePlus’ Dash Charge technology, which the company says will get you enough power for the day with just 30 minutes on the charger. Additionally, while the 3T’s Snapdragon 821 is clocked at a faster 2.35GHz – up from 2.2GHz on the OnePlus 3 – the company assures power consumption is “similar to or less than” the Snapdragon 820 in most use scenarios.
The OnePlus 3T's battery is 13-percent bigger than the OnePlus 3's
One of the other changes found on the OnePlus 3T is an upgraded front-facing camera sensor. While the company’s previous flagship came with an 8MP Sony IMX 179 sensor, the 3T sports a 16MP Samsung 3P8SP sensor, with a pixel size of 1.0μm and an f/2.0 aperture. OnePlus notes that when shooting in low-light scenarios, the 16MP front sensor will intelligently combine pixels to gather more light and reduce noise, which will result in clearer, more colorful photos in most conditions.
Best Android smartphone cameras
If you’ve been keeping up with the rumor mill lately, you may have gotten your hopes up that the 3T would come with an upgraded Sony IMX 395 sensor (the same one found in the OPPO R9s and R9s Plus) on the back. Unfortunately that’s not the case here, as the OnePlus 3T sports the same rear-facing camera setup found on the OnePlus 3. This means it comes with a 16MP Sony IMX 298 sensor with a pixel size of 1.12μm and an f/2.0 aperture. The company does note that the 3T features an upgraded Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) algorithm to help with video stabilization, as well as Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) to help with unwanted jolts and shakiness.
The new 16MP Samsung 3P8SP sensor should be great for selfies in low-light conditions
OnePlus has also added an improved manual mode to the camera app that will give you access to settings normally found only on DSLRs. You’ll be able to control white balance, ISO, focus, shutter speed and more. Oh, and the 3T also supports RAW image files if you’d rather control more with your post-shot editing.
If you were holding out for a Quad HD display, Android 7.0 Nougat or any other radical improvements, those unfortunately aren’t present here. The OnePlus 3T still features a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, resulting in a pixel density of 401ppi. While inclusion of a Quad HD screen would have been a nice upgrade (especially for use in VR), the 3T’s Full HD AMOLED panel will certainly help out with battery life.
This new device is also running OxygenOS, which is based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. We’ve been fans of OnePlus’ Android skin since it launched, as it brings a certain level of customization to the UI while still retaining its simplicity. With it, you’ll get customizable quick access icons in the status bar, resized app icons, a handy Ambient Display mode, custom icon pack support, Night Mode, accent colors and plenty more.
Android 7.0 Nougat review: an Android version for Android fans
It’s unfortunate that the OnePlus 3T is running an old version of Android out of the box. However, it should be noted that during the 3T launch event, OnePlus mentioned that both the OnePlus 3 and 3T will get a stable build of Android 7.0 Nougat by year’s end.
OnePlus 3T pricing and availability
The OnePlus 3T will be available from Tuesday, November 22 in the United States and Canada, and Monday, November 28 in Europe. Both 64 and 128GB models in Gunmetal will be available at OnePlus.net starting at USD $439 and USD $479, respectively. The 64GB Soft Gold edition will be available shortly after launch.
For a complete list of available countries and pricing details, head to oneplus.net/retailers.
So now that you’ve gotten a good look at OnePlus’ next big flagship, what are your thoughts? Be sure to tell us what you think in the comments below!