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OnePlus 8T vs older OnePlus phones: Should you upgrade?

Is the OnePlus 8T a decent upgrade for existing OnePlus owners? Here's the OnePlus 8T vs older handsets.

Published onApril 10, 2021

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 8 vs OnePlus 8 Pro showing camera modules
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

At $749, the OnePlus 8T is another affordable entry in the OnePlus portfolio. Blending bleeding-edge performance, 5G, and a lower price tag than the OnePlus 8 Pro, there’s a lot to like. The phone’s a little more expensive than the company’s original value proposition but is still a steal compared to many of the pricer flagships on the market.

Here’s the OnePlus 8T vs older OnePlus handsets to help you decide if it’s worthwhile upgrading.

Our verdict: OnePlus 8T review

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 6 and older

Iteration is the name of the game: OnePlus 5, 5T, and 6 shown

If you’re still rocking an original OnePlus handset, I’m impressed. However, I would also strongly urge you to contemplate an upgrade. Smartphone hardware has moved on plenty in recent years and not just in terms of performance.

See also: OnePlus phones: A history of the company’s entire lineup so far

Customers with an OnePlus 5 or older will benefit from the faster Snapdragon 865 processor, much faster wired charging, an in-display fingerprint scanner, faster 5G data, and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate display. The OnePlus 8T is superior in every category, especially if you own a OnePlus 3 or 3T. The older quad-core processor, slower memory setups, and aging single camera are obsolete by modern standards.

However, OnePlus 5 customers may be able to make it through another year if they want to squeeze a bit more life out of their handset. The phone’s hardware has only really started to show its age this year. However, if you’re after the fastest update path to Android 11, picking up the 8T is definitely the way to go.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 6 and 6T

OnePlus 6T against tree

You might not feel such urgency to upgrade if you’re still running 2018’s OnePlus 6. The phone is only a couple of years old, after all. It’s still a perfectly serviceable smartphone with solid performance and a design that’s aged well. However, even here you should contemplate the 8T for its better cameras, 5G networking, and some newer features, such as the in-display fingerprint reader.

Read more: OnePlus 6/6T redux: Are they still worth it?

The OnePlus 6 is stuck with 20W Dash Charge and a 3,300mAh battery, compared to the 8T’s 65W charging and 4,500mAh cell. Degrading battery life might tip the scales in favor of a new purchase. But only if you can live without a headphone jack.

The OnePlus 6T is a very similar phone to the OnePlus 6, so also sits right on the fence when it comes to whether an upgrade is worthwhile. It’s probably only worth spending money on the 8T if your 6T is starting to feel a little sluggish or the battery is on the way out.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro

OnePlus 7T camera detail angle frosted silver

OnePlus’ 7 series is far from outdated, so it’s much harder to justify splashing the cash on another phone so soon. You’ll find a similar main camera, plenty of performance, and equivalent storage options to the 8T here. Although the latter comes with Android 11 out of the box.

The OnePlus 8T has a more flexible camera setup than the OnePlus 7, with main, wide, macro, and monochrome lenses, versus the 7’s main and depth sensors. 65W charging is also faster than the 20W and 30W versions on the 7 and 7 Pro. The only truly compelling reason to switch to the OnePlus 8 is if you really want to make use of 5G. Although the current state of 5G deployment probably limits its appeal at this stage.

Long-term review: One year with the OnePlus 7 Pro

That said, the OnePlus 7 Pro actually offers a few features that you won’t find in the OnePlus 8T. Despite the display’s 90Hz refresh rate, it offers a more dense QHD+ resolution that some may prefer. The OnePlus 7 Pro’s camera package also has a telephoto zoom, in addition to a wide-angle lens. So it’s arguably the more practical flexible shooter, without the more gimmicky lenses included on the OnePlus 8T.

While some may be able to convince themselves to switch from the OnePlus 7 to the 8T, the 7 Pro is very hard to justify.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro

OnePlus 7T Pro color haze blue

With a slightly speedier Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, there’s even less of a performance gap between the OnePlus 7T series and the OnePlus 8T. The range also sports an in-display fingerprint scanner, 90Hz displays, and 30W charging. That’s slightly behind but not entirely different from the OnePlus 8T’s features, and certainly not worth buying a whole new phone for.

Read more: OnePlus 7T long-term review — one year later

The biggest difference between the phones can be found in the camera setup. The 7T sports a more traditional main, telephoto, and wide-angle setup versus the 8T’s more “artsy” quad-camera setup. I’d argue that the 7T and 7T Pro offer the more useful camera packages and I wouldn’t recommend that keen photographers upgrade.

Again, the Pro model offers a few extra features, so moving to the 8T would be a downgrade in some regards. The OnePlus 7T Pro offers a QHD+ display and pop-up selfie camera that you won’t find on the 8T.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 8 vs OnePlus 8 Pro rear stacked
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

I’m going to give a simple answer here: no, don’t buy an OnePlus 8T if you have an OnePlus 8 and definitely not if you own an 8 Pro. OnePlus’ T revision only ever offers slight tweaks on the earlier model and there’s definitely nothing revolutionary about the 8T. All three also offer 5G connectivity, so you don’t need the 8T to make the most of your network.

Read more: OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 8 Pro vs OnePlus 8: What’s the difference?

The phones share a blazing-fast Snapdragon 865 processor, big batteries, UFS3.0 memory in up to 256GB configurations, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection. 65W charging is a great bonus with the 8T, but the 8 series’ 30W charging is fast enough anyway. The slight upgrade from a 90Hz to 120Hz display from the 8 to 8T is similarly nice, but far from an essential improvement. Certainly not worth paying out $749 again for so soon.

In addition, the OnePlus 8 Pro also has an IP68 dust and water resistance rating, a 120Hz display, wireless charging, and a superior camera setup. The 8T is definitely a downgrade from the 8 Pro, which remains the company’s 2020 flagship handset.

OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus Nord

OnePlus Nord OnePlus logo branding
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

At £379 / Rs. 27,999, the OnePlus Nord doesn’t fit into the same price category as the OnePlus 8T, but we’ll give it a quick mention. Given that both handsets are so new, I hope no one is contemplating a switch from the Nord to the 8T.

The Nord doesn’t have the higher-end features or performance of the OnePlus 8T, but it costs nearly half as much. This makes it the more affordable entry point into OnePlus’ 5G ecosystem. That’s right, you don’t need an 8 series OnePlus phone to use 5G.

Read more: How the price of OnePlus phones changed over the years

Perhaps a more interesting question is whether the OnePlus Nord or OnePlus 8T is the better upgrade option if you’re rocking an older OnePlus handset. Broadly speaking, the Nord is a great pick for customers on a budget, while the OnePlus 8T is for those who need flagship performance without breaking the bank.

Looking back at the OnePlus series, the OnePlus 8T offers a great upgrade point for customers with aging handsets. Its more affordable price point combined with high-end features strikes the right balance between the budget-friendly OnePlus Nord and the higher-end OnePlus 8 Pro. If you own an OnePlus 5 or older, you should definitely consider an upgrade.

Thinking of buying the OnePlus 8T? Check out the latest deals 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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