OnePlus 3T 16MP front camera test: we compare it against the OnePlus 3, Apple iPhone 7 Plus and LG G5
The OnePlus 3T is one of the best new phones when you start looking for phones that bring great value for the money: after all, the OnePlus 3T features the same Snapdragon 821 system chip as in the Google Pixel XL, yet costs around half its price.
If you look back in time, though, you'd see that the OnePlus 3T is a direct successor to the OnePlus 3: it looks exactly like it (save for the darker, 'gunmetal' shade), but features the newer 821 system chip and a slightly larger battery.
The last major change is in the front camera: the OnePlus 3T comes with a 16-megapixel selfie shooter, up from an 8-megapixel camera on the OnePlus 3.
A 16-megapixel camera: who needs that many megapixels?A 16-megapixel front camera is probably the most megapixels you can get from a front camera in any phone, but does it even make sense? More megapixels for the camera mean that every single pixel is usually smaller, and a smaller pixel can mean hindered performance in low light. And can you really tell the difference in good lighting?
We put the OnePlus 3T camera to the test to find out and here is a summary of its performance: the biggest change that we see is that this new front camera blurs much more of the background, which makes it easier to focus on the subject of those pictures, which is usually your own precious self. This is a good thing: it helps images be more focused. Interestingly, more megapixels somehow don't mean that images are larger: yes, in certain situations you get files that are up to twice larger, but often times the files are actually bigger on the 8-megapixel OnePlus 3. Are they sharper? We actually found that much more often a slight shake in our hand would make selfies blurry on the OnePlus 3T and in the general case the OnePlus 3 actually did a little bit better with sharpness. The other phones were not as sharp: the LG in particular, but the iPhone was also not able to resolve as much detail.
In comparison with the OnePlus 3 colors on the 3T front camera have been tweaked slightly: skin colors in particular often appear a bit paler, which we find is a bit too pale. Colors sometimes turn a bit purplish, but in the general case the OnePlus performs very well. The iPhone makes all selfies very yellow-ish, which is noticeable, while the LG often goes overboard with the contrast.
OnePlus 3T features sharp detail and camera that is not too wideA nice feature that both OnePlus phones have is face detection, but on the 3T it's improved and tracks your face better. Finally, the OnePlus 3T selfie camera is not as wide as on other phones the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, but it's not as narrow as on the iPhone either: it's somewhere in between, which is a good thing as it works well for both selfies and group pictures.
All in all, the OnePlus 3T has one of the best front cameras around, but this does not mean that it is a big improvement over the OnePlus 3: in most cases, the two give nearly identical results, and we actually found the smaller pixels on the OnePlus 3T result in blurrier pictures in low light. Take a pictures below and see for yourselves.