OnePlus 7T: 3 months in, should you buy it?

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
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It’s now been 3 months since OnePlus released the 7T in the middle of October, and throughout most of this time, it has been my go-to phone that replaced an iPhone 11 Pro that I was using for a few weeks before that. While the OnePlus 7T has disappointed me on a couple of occasions when I found features I needed missing, I am happy to say that most of the time I have been more than satisfied with the OnePlus 7T and it has my solid thumbs up.

So what’s so great about it and what are the issues you will bump into? Let’s jump right into it.

Perfect size and attention to detail

The bigger OnePlus 7T Pro feels too big and its curved screen results in mistaken taps

The first thing I’d like to talk about is just the size of this device: it has a tiny bezel and it’s not too wide, which makes it very comfortable to operate with one hand and carry in a pocket, and this is the principal reason why I went for the 7T over the Pro version which just feels a lot bigger and bulkier, and is a bit of a hassle to carry in a pocket. This is also the main reason why I prefer the OnePlus 7T over the iPhone 11, which is much wider and a pain to use with one hand.

Since phones are becoming so gigantic these days and that’s a problem for my use, I also appreciate the Protective Case series made by OnePlus that are not too big, yet provide a good amount of protection. The Karbon one that I am using saved the phone from doom after a 5-foot drop on a concrete floor. It also keeps the buttons exposed and that’s another great thing as the physical keys on the 7T are so well made and so satisfyingly clicky. And yes, you also have easy access to the 3-way mute switch that is such an ingenious feature. Swipe it up for silent mode, middle for vibrate and down for ring, easy and super convenient.

Another convenience over the 7T Pro is having a flat screen. I have found that while a flat-screen phone might not look as flashy, using it is actually a better experience since you have far less accidental taps.

That fingerprint scanner

Wicked fast, yet still not quite as convenient as Face ID

Next up, the optical fingerprint scanner on this phone is fast and works with nearly perfect precision, but coming from Face ID I have to admit that it does feel more effortless and joyful, plus it doesn’t blind you at night as optical finger scanners do. One other convenience that I did miss was the raise to wake function, which is so convenient, while on this phone, you have to press the power button on the side to see your lockscreen.

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It might seem like I am complaining about minor things, but those are the things you notice and remember after using the phone for a few months, and ultimately those are things that do matter in the long run.

90-Hertz Magic

It's a subtle thing that you DO notice

What also matters is that the OnePlus 7T is absolutely killing it in terms of speed and performance. The 90-hertz refresh rate is something I can only compare to a turbine in a car. You can have a regular engine, but a turbo-powered one will have that extra push and you will enjoy it a lot more.

I flirted with the thought of switching to a Galaxy S10 a few weeks into my living with the OnePlus 7T, but it was hard to go back to a 60-hertz screen and an interface that felt a bit stuttery and definitely not as wicked fast. The Galaxy was the first phone I picked, but I also tried using the iPhone 11 Pro, the phone with the fastest chip on the market right now, but because it lacks a 90-hertz display it feels surprisingly lacking in zippiness when you switch from the OnePlus.

So why did I even think about switching away from the OnePlus? If I had to summarize it in three words those would: camera, camera, camera.


The one area I wish OnePlus was better

OnePlus has gotten almost all of the pieces to the smartphone puzzle except that one. Skin tones appear terribly orange-y, images often lack color and vibrancy, and it’s just a hit or miss experience. For video, the camera also crops in significantly. And in low light, the OnePlus is not quite on par with the very best cameraphones out there.

And while I realize that the camera doesn’t matter to me most of the time with my 9 to 5 office routine, the moment I start packing for a trip I start having second thoughts and thinking about switching to a different phone so I can get the best pictures.

Incredibly fast charging speeds

I have forgotten about charging my phone overnight

But as much as I lament not having the stellar camera available on iPhones, Galaxies and Pixels, I am also reminded how much slower those phones are in terms of charging speeds. The latest Galaxy Note 10+ might recharge in about an hour, but not if you are using it while it’s on the charger, then it takes much, much longer. With conventional phones I have to remember to charge my phone at night, every night. With the OnePlus 7T I NEVER charge the phone at night. I simply don’t have to. A quick 20 or 30-minute top up is all I need to get through another day, and this has been a relief for me.

Finally, in terms of battery life, the OnePlus 7T has been good. It will last me through a day and a bit more on a single charge. It’s not quite as long-lasting as an iPhone 11 Pro Max that can last me two days easily, but it’s definitely good enough so I would not complain about it too.

Final words

An amazing phone that I can easily recommend to everyone

At the end of the day, it’s time for more travel soon, so I might be switching away from the OnePlus 7T, but it will certainly remain in my luggage as a solid backup phone that I can always go back to. It’s rare to find a phone that fits you nearly perfectly, but the OnePlus 7T is pretty much that, except the camera.

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