It’s been a relatively busy year for OnePlus. The 8T marks the fourth launch from the OnePlus smartphone stable. Earlier this year we enjoyed checking out the OnePlus 8 Pro, the brand’s current flagship device that debuted along with the OnePlus 8. The 8T comes hot on the heels of the Nord, OnePlus’ play for the sub Rs 30,000 price band. We’ve always been fans of the OnePlus’ ‘T’ editions. They usually land in the last quarter of the year and come with key improvements. The OnePlus 7T was our favourite OnePlus device of 2019, with its unique rear camera module design and almost the perfect heft. Does the 8T go one up on its predecessor and is it a significant improvement over the OnePlus 8 that was somewhat overshadowed by the 8Pro?
My favourite feature of the OnePlus 8T is probably the battery and charging solution. The first thing I did after unboxing the device was to set a stopwatch to validate OnePlus’ fast charging claims. I was blown away. The 8T is bundled with a 65W Warp charger; the device went from 51 to 100% in just 20 minutes flat. You can actually power the device from 0 to 100% in just under 40 minutes. You can also use this charger to juice up other heavy duty devices like tabs or laptops. It’s not just fast charging, the 8T also delivered a better battery performance than last year’s 7T. I ended with almost 30% in the tank after a whole day that included camera usage, a bit of Asphalt 9 and catching up videos.
The OnePlus 8T is a sharp looker. We reviewed the new Aquamarine Green colour variant – it’s a happy meeting place between blue and green. While this variant is finished in a glossy tone, there’s also a more sedate Lunar Silver option with a matte finish. The 8T feels really good in your hand; it’s marginally lighter than the 7T. I used it without the silicon back cover (in the box); it’s not slippery despite the gloss and doesn’t attract smudges or fingerprints. However, there’s no distinctive design element – like the circular rear cam module of the 7T, that makes it standout in a cluttered market.
Speed, that’s the one thing we take for granted with OnePlus devices. At its heart is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor; we checked out the top-end 12GB/256GB variant. There’s also an 8GB/128GB hardware option. The 8T blazed through our Geekbench benchmark tests and gaming marathons. We would have liked to see the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor under the hood of the 8T but it’s not something we missed in our daily need for speed. It’s also great to see that the 8T is powered by the latest iteration of Android – Android 11, out of the box.
The 8T sticks with the same 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED display (1080 x 2400 pixels / 402 PPI) as the OnePlus 8. But there’s one significant difference. This display boasts of a 120Hz refresh rate that makes a noticeable difference in gaming and videos – it’s buttery smooth. While the display is a major win for the 8T, we were disappointed to see OnePlus skipping wireless charging and an IPS68 rating (for dust and water resistance) yet again for a OnePlus T device.
The OnePlus 8T features a quad rear cam with a 48MP primary lens and a 16MP ultra-wide lens. There’s also an improved Macro lens and a 2MP depth sensor. Camera performance is quite solid in optimal light while OnePlus’ proprietary Night Sight gives lowlight images a boost. There’s also a 16MP selfie shooter (similar to the OnePlus 8). Lowlight images on the selfie cam are not terrific while the lowlight images on the rear cam are also not the best in the Rs 40,000 to 50,000 segment.
The OnePlus 8T makes some key enhancements over the OnePlus 8 – a better battery performance and a brilliant display. It doesn’t disappoint on the performance front – a given for OnePlus devices. But the flagship challenger segment is a lot more competitive with multiple options for consumers in the Rs 40,000 – 50,000 price band. Can the 8T beat devices that have taken a page out of the OnePlus playbook? We’ll find out soon enough.
The OnePlus 8T Pro comes in two hardware variants – Rs 42,999 (8GB/128GB) and Rs 45,999 (12GB/256GB). It’s available in Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver.