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OnePlus 3T Review

OnePlus 3T 9

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OnePlus 3T Review

Introduction


The OnePlus 3T comes just five months after the launch of the OnePlus 3. Why so soon?

Simple: OnePlus got the newer and more powerful Snapdragon 821 system chip and heard users' complaints about the not-so-great battery life on the OnePlus 3, and it took the opportunity to improve on these two key aspects of the experience.

Along with those improvements, it increased the price: the OnePlus 3T 64GB model costs $440, $40 more than the OnePlus 3 with the same amount of storage. There is also a new, 128 gig option for the OnePlus 3T for $480. Yes, this is slightly more expensive than before, but when you compare it to phones with similar hardware and screen size like the Google Pixel XL, the OnePlus 3T is still nearly half their price.

Specs, however, don’t tell us much about the actual experience of using the OnePlus 3T: that’s why we’ve been using the phone over the past week to tell you how good of a device it is. Join us below for the full OnePlus 3T review.

Design

Same refined, premium design as the OnePlus 3, the pre-applied screen protector is a nice touch.

OnePlus 3T Review
OnePlus 3T Review
OnePlus 3T Review
OnePlus 3T Review

In terms of its physical design, the OnePlus 3T is the exact same phone as the OnePlus 3: same form, same thickness, all to a degree that guarantees that OnePlus 3 cases fit the 3T perfectly.

There is one thing changed in the outwards appearance, though, and that is color: the new 3T features a darker, ‘gunmetal’ grey that looks great. The old light silver shade of the OnePlus 3 is no longer available. There is also a second, soft gold color option, but that one is only available on the 64GB OnePlus 3T and is in very limited supply.

Just like the OnePlus 3, the 3T comes with a pre-applied screen protector right out of the box: and just like before it’s a little too narrow, not covering the full width of the screen, and when you use it you constantly feel its sharp edge interfere with the otherwise smooth glass surface. Yes, this is a minor thing, but you can’t help but notice it. OnePlus is also selling a better, full-width $20 screen protector on its official website, and we recommend considering buying one.

Then, there is the mute switch. It’s an extremely convenient little thing that we’ve come to appreciate more and more. We wish more phones had it.

Along with the launch of the 3T, the company also brings an optional, separately purchased new case: an ebony wood option that looks great. This brings it to a total of six cases made by OnePlus itself: there’s the signature sandstone one, a bamboo one, a karbon one, as well as a few wooden cases. While they are not meant to protect from heavy drops, they do an excellent job at being light and stylish, as well as protecting from scratches.


OnePlus 3T
6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 inches
152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm
5.57 oz (158 g)

OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3
6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 inches
152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm
5.57 oz (158 g)

OnePlus 3

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
5.94 x 2.86 x 0.3 inches
150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Google Pixel XL
6.09 x 2.98 x 0.34 inches
154.72 x 75.74 x 8.6 mm
5.93 oz (168 g)

Google Pixel XL


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

Great display: you can choose between the default vivid color mode and sRGB mode, which is for those who want accurate colors.

OnePlus 3T Review

The OnePlus 3T features a 5.5-inch Super AMOLED with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels. And it looks great.

Some might be concerned about sharpness: yes, it’s not as sharp as Quad HD screens, but the difference is very hard to notice in real life, and you really have to look at the screen from very up close to notice it’s not as sharp. It’s a non-issue.

In terms of colors, the default setting of the screen is for vivid colors that pop right at you, whites are a bit on the blue side, and while technically the colors are not very well calibrated, this is the typical default AMOLED look that many users like.

Luckily, it’s not the only option: many users, including photography professionals and others who care for accurate rather than impressive color, would prefer the sRGB color standard. You can switch to it easily: go into Settings > Display > Screen Calibration, and select the sRGB option. We’ve measured the phone in this mode as well, and it is very well balanced, with very accurate colors. Try both color modes and choose the one you like more, we tend to go for sRGB.

We also find the screen is not too reflective and is comfortable and easy to read outdoors.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
OnePlus 3T 407
(Good)
3
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6851
(Excellent)
2.2
1.86
(Excellent)
3.6
(Good)
OnePlus 3 409
(Good)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
8280
(Poor)
2.08
7.42
(Average)
6.84
(Average)
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 493
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6586
(Excellent)
2.03
1.47
(Excellent)
2.62
(Good)
Google Pixel XL 433
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7337
(Good)
2.15
4.51
(Average)
3.95
(Good)
View all


42 Comments
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posted on 06 Dec 2016, 09:59 4

1. aayupanday (Posts: 580; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


How's the microphone quality while recording videos and audio???
Is it improved since the last gen devices or still muffled?

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 10:30 1

6. zeeBomb (Posts: 2242; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


Got to appreciate ONEplus with their work adding F2FS in here. 3T a great phone.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 10:05 12

2. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 396; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)


Apple and Samsung take notes. This is how it's done.

Fair price. Excellent product. Granted, awful customer support lol but I will take the compromise.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 10:21 10

5. Carlitos (Posts: 528; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Apple and SPECIALLY Samsung. Don't take notes. Continue to make excellent products at $550-750 range and continue to spend those billions they spend in R&D, which results in newer technologies and innovations.

posted on 09 Dec 2016, 01:10

35. yann (Posts: 275; Member since: 15 Jul 2010)


What is achieved by Samsung's R&D? Boom battery? OnePlus shows how quick charge can be implemented without big bang. At least that can be learn. Mute button is exellent featurr and i hope more Android OEM's to implement it.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 17:36

21. Martin_Cooper (Posts: 1557; Member since: 30 Jul 2013)


Its a great value for the first 6 months after its just not that great value. Right now where I live S7 edge with much better camera, screen, battery and water resistance is just 100eur more expensive.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 22:06 3

24. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


It definitely doesn't have a MUCH better camera. I've seen the samples side by side in several sites, not to mention my sister has one. And no way in you know where would I trade OnePlus' amazing UI for frickin TouchWiz and the lag fest that will ensue months down the line.

posted on 26 Dec 2016, 16:04

47. Tooluka (Posts: 63; Member since: 27 Nov 2014)


In my country S7 Edge 32 is 315$ more expensive than 3T 64. And S7 32 is 170$ more expensive.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 10:07 20

3. LebronJamesFanboy (Posts: 396; Member since: 23 Mar 2013)


Phonearena - This review proves your battery test sucks and is very inaccurate.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 10:15 1

4. maple_mak (Posts: 612; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


Because they only using Geekbench benchmark that count SOT(Screen on time).
That's was totally unfair.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 11:12 2

10. WPX00 (Posts: 371; Member since: 15 Aug 2015)


That was proven when the Galaxy S7 only got 6h.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 11:45 2

11. Tuxedo (Posts: 352; Member since: 19 Mar 2013)


lol - results do seem weird.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 14:28 3

16. UglyFrank (Posts: 1763; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


Exactly they say the battery is an improvement yet their test shows a reduction

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 22:30

25. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


I have the 3T 128GB version, and I wanna say their battery test isn't good at all. It seems to favor phones that throttle early and/or have low thermals. I took screen shots, so give me a moment to look at them again...

...OK, so I use a dark theme, dark browser, etc. I have mixed use between listening to music through headphones and the speaker (which is fairly loud and clear), surfing the web, playing some games (ffrk, emulators), reading documents, emails, and using the camera. Sync was always on. Wifi was on most of the time, else it was 4G. It was awake 75% of the time...100% to 20% got me over 7.5 hours of screen on time.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 10:35 5

7. zeeBomb (Posts: 2242; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


In my eyes, the OnePlus 3T is a phenomenal phone for its price. With the recent addition of F2FS storage, daily, real world usage of this phone is a snap of a finger quick! I'm surprised they didn't opt out to go for the IMX398, and the older 8mp 1.4 pixels front cam was much preferable. Al though I guess we can see that with the OnePlus 5.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 10:35

8. zeeBomb (Posts: 2242; Member since: 14 Aug 2014)


And PA...how did you do that battery test? Looks inaccurate AF lol.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 22:40

26. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


I agree. Whatever they did with the changes in the algorithm for white balance was all they needed. The imx398 would've been great, but perhaps they're saving that for the next OnePlus.

I believe Carl also said something about them not having time to go through testing and implementation of a new module.

Either way, they do amazing with this generic main camera module and their HQ mode. If you look at the camera comparisons on this site and on gsmarena, you'll see that it's pictures rival the S7 family. Samsung's algorithm over sharpens, over contrasts, and over saturates. Just look at this site's comparison...look at the asparagus for example. Look at the guy's face.

Samsung cams really don't impress me anymore. They actually did very well and looked very balanced in the past. Now, they're an over saturated, contrasty mess. Too many people drink the fanboy punch for Samsung.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 22:54

27. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


And another thing, gsmarena just reviewed an opportunity phone that uses that sensor paired with an f/1.7 aperture (but no OIS), and it matches the OnePlus 3 in lowlight more or less, but is a bit blurrier and less detIled in good lighting.

Interestingly enough, they have OnePlus 3T samples up, though the review isn't up yet. They didn't use HQ mode in dark this time, that or they tried using HDR mode for the lowlight. They don't look so great there, but I have the phone and they actually look awesome.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 22:54

28. SYSTEM_LORD (Posts: 757; Member since: 05 Oct 2015)


I mean OPPO phone

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 11:11 1

9. drew7954 (Posts: 1; Member since: 15 Dec 2015)


After having bought the Pixel XL for $770 + tax, it pains me to see almost identical specs for $330 less. Also I have half the storage, as I bought the 32gb model with the promise of "unlimited original quality" photo cloud storage. To Googles credit, this feature is incredibly easy to utilize and does free up space.

I found my self baffled at the idea that I spent $800+ on a phone when I just bought a new Gaming Console with specs that make my phone look like an "Atari" for half that cost! Ok that was rash, but my frustration still abides. All things considered, I hope the "Big Boys" do take notice! Now I realize innovation does have a cost, but we can only hope this "Pay to Play" model does not persist....!

P.S. My Pixel XL is the best phone I've ever used, Just Saying...

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 13:33 3

12. robyumzz (Posts: 8; Member since: 19 Oct 2016)


"This is an unexpected result, but it could be partly because of the newer and more powerful processor requiring more power for more intense operations"
The Snapdragon 821 is more power efficient than the 820.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 13:34

13. robyumzz (Posts: 8; Member since: 19 Oct 2016)


This is an unexpected result, but it could be partly because of the newer and more powerful processor requiring more power for more intense operations"
The Snapdragon 821 is more power efficient than the 820.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 13:39 1

14. Khyron (Posts: 162; Member since: 28 Sep 2015)


imposible to dethrone THE IPHONES in this biased site for iPhonearena
OP3 deserves at least 9.5
above the iPhone 7
and his countless Bugs

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 16:46

19. dimas (Posts: 2330; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


You're asking heaven to bow down to satan. Not gonna happen.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 13:44 4

15. bokimaricu (Posts: 59; Member since: 21 Dec 2013)


How on earth can sd card slot ommision be a con in this phone? It has 64gb and 128gb versions, cmon. Also, yeah, your battery test sucks big time.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 16:49 1

20. dimas (Posts: 2330; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


It's a con for frequent 4k recorders and hardcore media consumers. But hey, everybody have different capacity needs so still not a deal breaker for an affordable phone.

posted on 08 Dec 2016, 06:48

32. avalon2105 (Posts: 287; Member since: 12 Jul 2014)


Easy. 12 episodes of Firefly + movie Serenity wheigs just under 80GB. One music album (approx 13 songs) is arround 0,5GB. Add all other movies and tv series, all the music and pictures and apps and you will realize that even 128GB is nowhere near enough.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 16:40

17. Armeniandave (Posts: 6; Member since: 19 Jun 2016)


I bought the OnePlus 3 and then tested it for a new S7 edge. When the 3T came out I immediately ordered it. Unfortunately it had hardware issues so I had to send it back. It was super nice and fluid though. Too bad I got the bad ones!

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 16:45

18. dimas (Posts: 2330; Member since: 22 Jul 2014)


Presents camera sample, highlight the new front camera, didn't put a single selfie sample.

Gotta give it to oneplus, they're trying to outdo themselves this year. I'm quite surprised that I don't see the difference mid and low light sample. And that battery review? Nah, I still don't agree with it.

posted on 06 Dec 2016, 18:46

22. 10basetom (Posts: 9; Member since: 18 Sep 2012)


Dual SIM is both a blessing and a curse: you get two numbers, but your battery will pay a price

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OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3T

OS: Android 7.0 6.0
view full specs
Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera16 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 821, Quad-core, 2350 MHz, Kryo processor
6 GB RAM
Size6.01 x 2.94 x 0.29 inches
(152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm)
5.57 oz  (158 g)

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