It's been just 5 months since OnePlus dropped its surprising OnePlus 3
: a well-polished phone with flagship-grade Snapdragon 820 system chip, a whopping 6GB of RAM and a refined design.
But - true to its slogan - it did not settle, and has now introduced the OnePlus 3T
. Why? Simple: the Snapdragon 821, the next most powerful system chip went out and OnePlus did not want to keep its consumers stuck with an older chip. It has made some other small, but welcome improvements along the way, but also hiked the prices a bit.
Don't worry, the OnePlus 3T is still our top pick in the value-for-money category. Take a look at the OnePlus 3T prices and see how they compare against two other phones with comparable specs.
Good news is that the OnePlus 3T is officially available in the United States, the UK and Europe (it's also coming to India at an undisclosed date later), and it comes with an officially warranty and support. So when can you get it?
Here is the official OnePlus 3T release date across various markets:
- November 22nd in the United States and Canada
- November 28th in the United Kingdom and Europe
- Coming later on (no release date announced) to India
In the United States, the 3T will work on AT&T and T-Mobile with full support for their 4G LTE bands. Unfortunately, the phone does not support CDMA, so it will not work on Verizon Wireless and Sprint.
OnePlus will also hold its pop-up events for the 3T in a couple of cities in Europe, and it's a holding an AMA event on Reddit on November 22nd, the date when it goes on sale. Expect Carl Pei and other top OnePlus executives to answer all the questions that build up around the OnePlus 3T then, and in the meantime feel free to check out the 7 new features of the phone over the OnePlus 3.
OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: 7 key differences
OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: 7 key differences
1. Larger battery
If there was one area, where the OnePlus 3 fell short, it would definitely be battery life. It was not bad per se, but it was decidedly average and with more intense use it was often hard to make it through a full day on a single charge. OnePlus proved to be listening to user feedback once again and addressed this without actually compromising the beautiful design of its phone.
Yes, we now have a 3,400 mAh battery on the 3T, 13% larger than the 3,000 mAh cell on the 3. Yet the thickness of the phone remains at the same 7.3mm, and we're glad that OnePlus retained that slim profile. While many cry out for maxing out battery, we feel that a large phone that the OnePlus 3T is will feel inconveniently bulky with a thicker body, and we're glad it has remained slim.
2. Faster processor
The Snapdragon 821 is the new fastest chip on Android: it comes as a slightly souped up version of the Snapdragon 820, and it's already included in phones like the Google Pixel. Technically, the 821 is a quad-core chip like the 820 with two high performance cores that now run faster (2.35 GHz vs 2.2 GHz), and two battery-savvy cores running at the same 1.6GHz speed.
If you're looking for some numbers, Qualcomm officially claims that the Snapdragon 821 delivers 10% faster boot speed, 10% faster app loads, and smoother scrolling, as well as improved web browsing performance. There is also a slight bump in GPU clock speeds, and Qualcomm also says the 821 is 5% more power efficient.
3. 128GB storage option
You have two storage versions of the OnePlus 3T: a 64GB model priced at $440 (€440), and a 128GB model that costs $480 (€480). Neither of them supports microSD cards, so the storage that you buy cannot be expanded. The type of the storage used is UFS 2.0, which is one of the fastest storage solutions on the market, and on par with other flagship phones. While 64GB should be more than enough for most users, power users - which are a key demographic for OnePlus - often require a little more and we're glad that the company now offers a 128GB model at a reasonable price.
4. Higher-res front camera
The front camera of the phone is getting a lot of use these days: yes, it's all the selfies, but also video chats, vlogging and who knows what. OnePlus bumps the resolution of the front cam on the 3T: it now uses a 16MP front camera, while the 3 had an 8MP snapper. This has the theoretical advantage of much higher detail in good light. Individual pixels, however, are smaller, which is not that great for low-light photography. Luckily, OnePlus addresses this as well with a clever pixel binning technology that unites multiple pixels when light is scarce to make the most of it. Another technical detail is that the 3T uses a Samsung (3P8SP) sensor for the front camera, not a Sony one as in the 3. We're curious to test this in real life in the near future.
5. Sapphire rear camera lens, better video stabilization
It's really amazing when a company listens to customers suggestions: we ourselves - among many others - suggested OnePlus improve video stabilization in its phones, and the 3T does just that. The main camera in the 3T has optical stabilization as in the 3, but it also features an improved electronic stabilization, EIS 2.0. It's also great that the OnePlus upgrades the regular glass cover for the rear camera of the OnePlus 3 to a sapphire lens cover on the 3T. Sapphire is much more resistant to scratches and that's key to preserving your camera.
6. Improved Oxygen OS interface
The OnePlus 3T does NOT ship with Android 7.0 Nougat yet, but OnePlus has said that it will simultaneously upgrade OnePlus 3 and 3T users to Nougat by the end of the year via a simple OTA update. What it does have is a new version of the simple yet useful Oxygen OS on top of Android: the OnePlus 3T features the 3.5.1 version of Oxygen OS. This new version allows you to freely customize quick access icons in the status bar to improve navigation; resize app icons for a cleaner and more consistent look; add password or fingerprint verification to individual apps to tighten up the security of your device; capture an expanded screenshot, so that you can scroll and capture more of your screen while you do a screen grab; it also has built-in themes, UI customizations and custom icon packs.
7. New color
Last but not least, the OnePlus 3T now comes in a darker shade of grade as its signature color: OnePlus calls this color gunmetal, and it looks stunning. There is also a soft gold version as a secondary choice, and this is the same color as on the OnePlus 3.