At the end of the year, OnePlus has released two smartphones in recent years. But this year we only get the OnePlus 8T. Is that something to worry about? Probably not, since the device leaves little to be desired.
The OnePlus brand is known as a prize fighter. When the brand was just launched on the market, it presented good smartphones with clean Android software for a very accessible price. Little has remained of that image in recent years. It is not the devices; they are and will remain strong, beautiful and modern, but the prices do not lie. OnePlus has gone from a kind of David to Goliath and probably thought, if you can’t beat them, join them. But the OnePlus 8T shows another side of the business.
A side that also emerged with the OnePlus Nord . That is also a very reasonable device for a soft price, but it was soon clear that a lot of concessions have been made to keep that price low. Not bad if you are not a real power user or someone who is not very demanding when it comes to gaming, for example. But if you expect just a little more for such an amount, or are willing to invest just a little more, then we have good news: go for the recently launched OnePlus 8T.
Specifications of OnePlus 8T
With the OnePlus 8T, OnePlus shows what it is good at: offering decent and modern hardware, providing pleasant working software and all for a price that is below the average of an expensive flagship. The company used to be able to bring the smartphones back to a core and build a nice experience around it. And with the OnePlus 8T, the manufacturer does that again, but not without offering something extra. In any case, we do not find really superfluous things on the device, which luckily reduces the price.
The OnePlus 8T has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor. That is not the latest processor from the shed of Qualcomm, but it is a nice way to offer fast hardware for a lower price. The processor is accompanied by the configurations 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage space or 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage space. For the lowest configuration you pay 599 euros, while the higher configuration costs 699 euros. Not expensive for high-end smartphones, if you ask us.
Other important specifications are the support for WiFi 6 (so that you can also get high download speeds with your new router), the USB-type-c port at the bottom, the stereo speakers (with support for Dolby Atmos), the NFC chip, the in-display fingerprint scanner and the battery with a capacity of 4500 mAh. These are actually two smaller batteries that work as one battery. The batteries do not support wireless charging, but you can charge super-fast with the 65-watt charger: up to one hundred percent within forty minutes.
The OnePlus 8 Pro is so far the only device that does offer wireless charging. But that device is also a lot more expensive. The regular OnePlus 8 does not and the OnePlus 8T is the successor to it. It would have been cool if the 8T could also be charged wirelessly, but this is one of those features that feels a bit gimmicky for now. Great if it’s there, but you won’t miss it if it’s missing. In addition, the 65 watt charger charges your device much faster, making it a much better addition in fact.
Nice flat screen
The large OLED screen of the OnePlus 8T has a size of 6.55 inches and a resolution of 2400 by 1080 pixels. That equates to a pixel density of about 402 pixels per inch. Everything above 400 ppi is seen as high quality, so you can expect that too. And the screen lives up to expectations. The colors are incredibly deep and beautiful and show a lot of detail. In addition, this time there is a high screen refresh of 120 Hz, so that everything moves really smoothly across the screen. It is truly a delight to the eye.
What also helps with the rendering of the colors is support for HDR10 +. This means you can watch content in high dynamic range, for example on YouTube or another video streaming service. And this is entirely a personal preference, but the screen is also nice and flat. With a predilection for high-end smartphones, OnePlus relied on the Pro models with a screen with sloping screen edges, but the OnePlus 8T does not. This means that accidental touches are no longer registered, for example.
Another thing that is very personal: the placement of the front camera. Also this time, OnePlus has, just like the OnePlus 8 Pro , chosen to process the camera in the screen. There is a holepunch camera in the top left corner. It is relatively large, so it may take up just too much space for you when you have a lot of notifications on the screen. In any case, during the daily use of the past two and a half weeks, the placement did not irritate. The device also does not compromise on the design.
Speaking of that design: it seems that OnePlus has done its best to copy Samsung. The placement of the camera module on the back is very similar to the Galaxy S20 series. If the OnePlus logo is not clearly visible, then you should look closely to see if you have an S20 or 8T in your hands. Fortunately, there is a familiar and sleek OnePlus design, with easily accessible buttons and the nice slider with which you can quickly switch your device to a silent or vibrating mode.
And those cameras, well
Let’s face it: OnePlus phones are not known for their high camera quality. The manufacturer has made significant improvements in recent years, but the cameras are not the reason to buy a OnePlus. We don’t have to be very angry about that, that’s just something you have to take into account with these phones. The setup this time is as follows:
- 48 megapixel, f / 1.7, 26 mm (wide), 1 / 2.0 ″, 0.8 µm, phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization
- 16 megapixel, f / 2.2, 14 mm, viewing angle of 123 degrees (ultrawide), 1 / 3.6 ″, 1.0 µm
- 5 megapixel, f / 2.4, (macro)
- 2 megapixels, f / 2.4, (depth)
It is not the setup. The camera module offers enough variety for different situations: whether you want to photograph a large group or a large building or just want to see something very close. It is a bit strange that we do not have a telephoto lens this time, since it was present on the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 7T, but we have now got a different lens instead. Again, just like with the flat screen and the placement of the front camera, it is up to you whether you think this is good or bad.
The main camera takes more than excellent photos. The 48 megapixel sensor combines four pixels and turns them into one pixel, so that the photos come out as a 12 megapixel variant. That is not a problem, because it gives a sharp and colorful result. The photos are very vivid, but not always true to life. It also ensures that the photos are immediately slightly edited, so that details can quickly disappear when you zoom in digitally. It does not matter whether you do this immediately or afterwards.
You can compensate for this a bit by shooting photos in 48 megapixels. The colors then become slightly less vivid, but still not equal to real life, and slightly sharper. But the differences are minimal. Compared to, for example, the OnePlus 7T, the photos have improved considerably: in color, but also in quality. The images look much sharper. Operating the macro camera without a telephoto lens can be frustrating. But when you finally have something in focus, the photo you have taken really comes out well.
Camera features that we are really less pleased about are the ultra-wide-angle lens, the selfies that come from the front camera and the photos you take with the night mode. The ultra-wide-angle lens causes images to distort on the side, while the selfie camera takes anything but flattering photos. Details are lost and the images are quite harsh. The night mode basically makes clear images in the evening, but unfortunately there is also a kind of yellow glow that detracts a lot from the quality. So there are many points for improvement.
The OnePlus 8T is one of the first smartphones of the moment that is immediately delivered with Android 11 . That version of the Android OS especially refreshes a lot of things under the hood, making the overall experience faster and more secure. There is also a new quick menu, you can take screenshots faster and smart home control is directly embedded in the system. These are no longer unique elements when other smartphones get the Android 11 upgrade, but that does not make the software any less pleasant.
Android 11 is about OxygenOS. This time it is also version 11. We have always been pleased with the almost bare Android software from OnePlus. Not only us, users worldwide therefore love to get a OnePlus device at home. Still, the manufacturer thought it was time to take a different approach. OxygenOS 11 changes a large part of the interface on the shovel. And here, too, the company looked closely at Samsung, since the new interface is very similar to the OneUI of the South Korean manufacturer.
That is something OnePlus is also aware of and a representative from the company has assured us that it is nothing short of a coincidence. This update had already been worked on for months, even before OneUI was released. According to that representative, it might be a logical conclusion to think that good software is just good software and that many teams are likely to go in the same direction, independently of each other. Do whatever you want with that information. In any case, the most important thing is: I like the interface.
The quick menu has been brought down a lot more this time, the dark mode gives you many more options for personalization, and overall the software feels cleaner and more accessible than ever before. And that without really getting in the way of the general Android experience. It is clearly different software, but the switch from one OnePlus model to another is fortunately not great (even if you were to switch from a Samsung now). Another addition is the always-on screen, which is also found on Samsung phones.
Furthermore, the device comes with all Google applications, as is the case, and some applications from OnePlus. The Netflix app is also present, because of the support for certain certificates. Don’t worry: you can remove most apps or at least disable them, so that you won’t be bothered by it. Fortunately, duplicate apps are absent this time. It is also the case that the OnePlus 8T, at the time of writing, has the security update from September. So it is nice and current, hopefully the manufacturer will keep this.
OnePlus 8T – conclusion
What you also have to take into account is the fact that no IP certificate is present this time. That is also an old trick to keep the price low. You don’t have to worry, since the phone can withstand a splash of water. But we recommend that you do not submerge it. All in all, the OnePlus 8T is, despite a few downsides, a very nice phone that offers a lot for a relatively low price. And this is how we prefer to see the manufacturer: this OnePlus is therefore highly recommended.
- 120Hz screen
- Lightning fast charging
- OnePlus as we know OnePlus
- No IP certificate
- Camera system
- No wireless charging