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The best OnePlus 8T alternatives: 5 other phones to check out before you buy

The OnePlus 8T is a solid flagship alternative, but it's not for everyone. Try these instead.

Published onJuly 22, 2021

Google Pixel 5 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs OnePlus 8T back 2
David Imel / Android Authority

The OnePlus 8T is here, marking the fifth installment in the OnePlus T-series. There’s plenty to like on paper, from high-end silicon and a 120Hz OLED display to super-fast charging and a relatively large battery. However, the OnePlus 8T isn’t the right choice for everyone. Maybe you’re looking for something a little different, or you need even more bang for your buck. If so, this is our list of the best OnePlus 8T alternatives.

The best OnePlus 8T alternatives

1. OnePlus 9

OnePlus 9 review back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • The same 120Hz capability as OnePlus 8T, with a Snapdragon 888 kick
  • No unlocked water resistance, but faster wired and wireless charging
  • Available in a variety of markets, including Europe, North America, and India

The OnePlus 9 series landed early in 2021, and it’s finally become the flagship that it set out to destroy. We could have gone for the full-strength OnePlus 9 Pro, but the OnePlus 9 is a perfect competitor to the 8T, especially with its lower price tag.

See also: OnePlus 9 review

It tops the older sibling with a Snapdragon 888 processor but matches it with a 120Hz OLED screen and a 4,500mAh battery. However, the newer OnePlus 9 also stands out with wireless charging and a revamped camera setup.

It’s worth noting that the OnePlus 9 launched at $20 less than the OnePlus 8T, yet you’re getting a better overall set of features.

2. OnePlus Nord 2

OnePlus Nord 2 5G lying on table face down
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • Offers recent OnePlus staples at a lower price
  • The first MediaTek processor in a OnePlus device
  • Available in the likes of Europe and India, but not in North America

Like the idea of the OnePlus 8T but want a slightly better price? Then you need to look at the OnePlus Nord 2. It offers the core OnePlus experience in a mid-range phone. That means a high refresh rate AMOLED screen (90Hz), 65W wired charging, Oxygen OS, and 5G capabilities.

There are several compromises to reach this lower price point, such as switching to a MediaTek processor, but otherwise, the two are very similar.

When it comes to the camera experience, it’s a clear case of quantity over quality. Aside from the 50MP main shooter, the firm chose to also offer an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP monochrome shooter to bump up the numbers. You’ve also got a 32MP selfie camera setup for crisp shots.

Still, you can do much worse than the Nord if you want a cheaper OnePlus experience, and it definitely seems greater than the sum of its parts.

3. POCO F3

POCO F3 Review Back of Phone In Hand
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • One of the more affordable Snapdragon 870 devices
  • It matches the snappy 120Hz display and no wireless charging
  • Essentially a rebranded Redmi K40

Poco’s 2021 entry offers a somewhat different experience compared to the OnePlus 8T, but it’s still worth considering if you’re on the hunt for an affordable flagship. Expect to find solid core features here, such as a Snapdragon 870 SoC, 6GB to 8GB of RAM, and 128GB to 256GB of storage.

Other noteworthy features include a 4,520mAh battery that’s slightly larger than the one that the OnePlus 8T packs, terrific build quality, and a triple rear camera setup (48MP main, 8MP ultra-wide, and 5MP telephoto macro). You’re also getting a 20MP punch-hole selfie camera too, the same as you’d find on OnePlus’s recent phones.

However, there are downsides to the POCO F3 as the software is packed with ads, and the mirror finish is just begging for fingerprints. Still, you’re getting one of the more competitive OnePlus 8T alternatives out there for around $499.

4. Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung Galaxy S21 back against wall 1
David Imel / Android Authority
  • Delivers flagship power with Qualcomm’s latest chipset
  • Premium three-camera setup highlighted by a 64MP main shooter
  • Global availability across most carriers

The latest Galaxy S21 device bucks the trend of $1,000+ pricing to deliver a flagship phone that comes in at just $799. Sacrifices have been made compared to the previous S20, such as the inclusion of a plastic back and a maximum of 8GB of RAM. But there’s still plenty left to make the Galaxy S21 one of the best OnePlus 8T alternatives around.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S21 buyer’s guide

It tops the OnePlus phone with a Snapdragon 888 chipset (or Exynos 2100 in some locales), a 4,000mAh battery, 5G, and a 120Hz FHD+ OLED screen. So, those looking for the fastest experience in terms of performance and responsiveness should be happy, while the relatively large battery should keep you going. One of the few downsides is that the 25W charging is much slower than OnePlus’s 65W solution. 

The S21 does hold several advantages over the OnePlus 8T, though, serving up a telephoto camera as part of a flexible rear camera setup. It also offers wireless charging and water resistance. If any of these features are high on your priority list when buying a phone, the Samsung device might be for you.

5. Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5 Grey Back 3
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
  • The first Pixel flagship with an ultra-wide rear camera and 5G
  • It lacks the high-end horsepower seen on the OnePlus 8T
  • Available in Australia, Europe, North America, Japan, and Taiwan (sorry, India and MEA countries)

The latest Pixel phone bucks the trend of previous Pixel flagships by offering an upper-midrange processor instead. It still brings 5G to the table, but you should expect less impressive horsepower than most 2020 high-end phones and even its predecessor.

Nevertheless, the Pixel 5 offers plenty of good anyway. There’s a 90Hz OLED screen, a dual rear camera setup (12MP main and 16MP ultra-wide), a 4,080mAh battery, IP68 water/dust resistance, and wireless charging. Additionally, the traditional Pixel strengths of great picture quality and a three-year commitment to updates should be in effect here too.

Related: Why Google chose the Snapdragon 765G for the Pixel 5

The OnePlus 8T offers a bigger battery, higher refresh rate, and faster wired charging than the Pixel 5. But those who value picture quality, updates, and flagship extras (i.e., wireless charging and water resistance) should keep an eye on the Google phone.

OnePlus 8T alternatives: honorable mentions

That’s our main list of OnePlus 8T alternatives, but two great honorable mentions are also worth considering. Check them out below.

realme X7 Pro

realme X7 Pro 5G phone and display on in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
  • High-end power, 5G, and 65W charging in one package
  • It also serves up a variety of cameras for every occasion
  • Restricted to the likes of Asia and Europe

The realme X7 Pro is one of the better-priced OnePlus 8T alternatives on the list, and it’s not sacrificing much with its $400 price tag.

You’ve got the MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ and 5G combo, a 120Hz AMOLED screen, and 65W charging for its 4,500mAh battery. The phone also serves up a versatile quad rear camera setup (64MP+8MP+2MP+2MP), as well as a 32MP wide lens in a cutout upfront. Don’t expect water resistance here, but the OnePlus 8T lacks this as well, to be fair.

Realme’s software has also come in leaps and bounds since its 2018 debut, and the realme UI skin takes plenty of cues from stock Android. Nevertheless, realme doesn’t have the best reputation for commitment to updates. So those hoping to get system updates two or three years from now might want to keep that in mind.

ASUS Zenfone 8

ASUS Zenfone 8 rear standing on tracks
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
  • One of the smallest flagship devices on the market
  • If you want the flip camera, you’ll have to get the Zenfone 8 Flip
  • Simple design with solid internals

The ASUS Zenfone 6 was one of 2019’s better affordable flagships, delivering high-end power and a big battery for just $500. The Zenfone 8 series adopts a two-tiered approach this time. The vanilla model takes a more standard flagship approach, while the Zenfone 8 Flip brings back the fancy flipping camera.

The two phones share almost nothing, save for an operating system and a few storage configurations. Otherwise, the two devices differ in display size, battery capacity, camera setups, and more. You’ll have access to 30W fast charging on both models, and the Snapdragon 888 is right at home across the Zenfone 8 lineup.

The Zenfone 8 starts at $599.99 in the US, which means it’s playing slightly above the OnePlus 8T. You’re not giving much up if you go for the Zenfone 8, as it keeps a snappy refresh rate and up to 16GB of RAM.

That’s it for our rundown of the best OnePlus 8T alternatives! Did we miss any great picks? Let us know in the comments section below. Still have your heart set on the OnePlus 8T? Grab your own below!

OnePlus 8T rear hero shot
OnePlus 8T
Better than the OnePlus 8, but still not as good as the OnePlus 8 Pro
The latest flagship from OnePlus features some relatively subtle upgrades over the OnePlus 8. However, it does feature a huge new feature: Warp Charge 65, which will allow the 8T to charge faster than any other OnePlus phone.

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