OnePlus 8T – Review


Sit this next to the OnePlus 8 Pro and you’ll notice some obvious differences. First, the screen is a nudge smaller – the 6.78″ AMOLED rounded-edge unit on the Pro (3168 x 1440 pixels @ 513 ppi and 19.8:9) has been switched for a 6.55″ AMOLED flat screen (2400 x 1080 @ 402 ppi and 20:9) but it still has that 120Hz refresh and it still has Corning Gorilla Glass. It still looks lovely too and I actually prefer the flat screen on this after coming a bit unstuck while trying to copy and paste on the curvy OnePlus 8 Pro screen edges. This screen size also suited me better for one-handed usage.

As is usual with OnePlus phones, a clear case is provided so that you can keep the phone in tip-top condition. More on this in our next story.

That screen, I should mention, has an ultra-low JNCD. This stands for “Just Noticeable Colour Difference” and, at less than 0.55, means that your videos and photos will have brilliant colour accuracy.

Next is the CPU, and on the £799 OnePlus 8 Pro you’re getting a SnapDragon 865 CPU. However, on the OnePlus 8T you get the very same processor again and – just to add to the fun – you can have an 8GB / 128GB storage 8T (£549) or a 12GB / 256GB storage 8T (£649). That’s similar to the OnePlus 8 Pro, but on the 8 Pro you’re going to be paying £899 for the 12GB / 256GB storage model.

The higher 12GB / 256GB model is only available in Aqua Marine Green and the 8GB / 128GB model only in Lunar Silver. Here’s the silver one, for reference…

The OnePlus 8T has UFS3.1 performance storage too. This really is necessary when you’ve got a 5G phone chucking big blobs of data all over the shop.

I do like the clear interface on the OnePlus handsets. Reminds me a little of Windows Phone from back in the day.

Weighing in at 188g, it’s lighter than the Pro and just a nudge heavier than the Nord, which dances quite close to the OnePlus 8T in a lot of ways.

Running on Android 11 with the OxygenOS, there’s lots of OnePlus cleverness in the software, including a separate algorithm to tell how smoothly the screen brightens and darkens on the screen slider. There’s a massive 8,192 different levels of screen brightness – so you can get it just as you want it.

The new 65W charger (on the right) compared to the existing Warp Charger (left).

Not only that, but OnePlus have ramped up their utterly-mental charging tech. Here on the OnePlus 8T you get Warp Charge 65 and the in-box charger (plus new cable) will see your battery go from flat to full in just 39 minutes.

The new Warp Charge 65 – on the right in the photos – with USB-C output

Oh wait, when I say “battery”, I should clarify – there’s actually two 2,250mAh batteries in here, creating 4,500mAh of total power. No more overnight charging – the twin-battery charging tech (pushing more than 30W into each cell) will sort your battery concerns in minutes. You can just plug it in for 15 minutes and get an entire day’s worth of power. Boom. Believe me, I’ve used this and it’s bonkers-fast.

There’s a lot of safety kit involved too – the 65W charger (10V/6.5A) itself has 12 individual thermal monitors and the USB-C to USB-C cable can charge laptops and other compatible devices too.

Charging, gaming or watching your favourite film – having a hot phone isn’t a problem. OnePlus have added a large vapour chamber with graphite and thermally conductive silicone grease to dissipate the heat. This is far, far larger than the chamber on the 8 Pro.

Head to the back of the OnePlus 8T and you’d be forgiven in thinking that there’s 6 lenses. There isn’t, but let’s have a look at the 4 that are actually cameras. First – notice how everything is in the corner now – a definite departure from the design of the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro but something we did see on the Nord. The main lens is a Sony IMX586 48 megapixel lens which will be doing most of your shots. Images we snapped on this came out very well indeed.

Next is an ultra-wide 16 megaxpixel lens – again from Sony (IMX481) – performed well and has a big 123-degree view. Here’s a look at the same shot taken on the wide-angle lens, the “normal” lens and zoomed in by 2x. More on the cameras shortly…

Wide-angle

The “normal” lens

2X Zoom

Also I should point out the dedicated monochrome lens. It’s a 2 megapixel unit and means that there’s no need to software trickery. First, select it from the filters, then take your photo..

Here is an image taken with the standard on-board graphical trick…

..whilst this one was taken with the dedicated monochrome lens…

It might only seem like a slight difference, but it does give more classical monochrome appearance – as if you’d taken the shot on a really old camera.

For your videos, an improved stabilisation system reduces the shakes and shudders, with focus tracking and low-light enhancements (something you’ll also notice on the still shots too). It’ll do super-slow-mo at 480fps (720p) or 240fps (1080p).

Above is the Sony IMX471 16 megapixel in-display selfie shooter.

There’s stacks of options in the camera too, including video portrait, nightscape, macro, panorama, smart pet capture, RAW, video nightscape, pro mode, Ultrashot HDR and a “Super Stable” mode which works with the OIS and gyroscope to give super-smooth videos. Nice.

Here’s a slow-mo video example..

…and a “super stable” video example..

There’s one slight issue with “super stable” though, and you can hopefully see this below. First, I grabbed some footage without it turned on and I could touch on the screen to do object-tracking auto-focus, plus I could zoom in and out..

Then, with “super stable” enabled, the zoom is no longer available..

This is all controlled from the simple but fully-featured camera app..

The rear camera arrangement also adds bokeh and a dual LED flash too.

The camera interface is clear, straightforward and has a range of filters and options to choose from. There’s also that Nightscape mode, although in fairness the shots taken without it turned on looked just as good..

Without Nightscape

With Nightscape

Here’s some example shots from the camera, using the macro lens for some of the up-close shots too.

There’s NFC for your contactless payments, dual-band GPS, 5G, dual-band WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.1 (with aptX support), USB-C charging (and headphones – no 3.5mm audio here), dual-stereo speakers, noise cancellation support and a dual SIM slot.

Some very good specs then, but what doesn’t it have? Well, it’s not water resistant, there’s no microSD expansion (so ensure you get the one with enough storage for you right from the get-go) and there’s no wireless charging. Apart from that though, it’s a lot for your money. A very good phone. As mentioned, OnePlus will be doing the 12GB / 256GB model in Aqua Marine Green and the 8GB / 128GB model in Lunar Silver, so if you can – get the green one and then you can show off. I should, however, also point to the OnePlus Nord as an option though – prices start at £379 if you want the 8GB / 128GB version and £469 for the 12GB / 256GB one. The processor isn’t a Snapdragon 865, but it’s well worth considering if you want something cheaper.

This OnePlus 8T will, in all honesty, replace the OnePlus 8.

The GUI of the phone is clear and crisp – as mentioned before it reminds me of the Windows Phone interface a little from back in the day.

You can of course change the appearance and layout of the home screen, lock screen, background, icons and fonts. This is just the standard “out of the box” experience but you can easily move across from your existing phone with the OnePlus Switch app, which does a rather excellent job of moving all your stuff across. It even maintains your icon / shortcut positions and all the customisations you’ve made to your phone.

 

Inside there’s a new Dark Mode which adds newly-tweaked colour tones to make everything easier to read. There’s also an Always-on display and you can turn photos into line drawings which, when you unlock, convert to the original photo. They call this “Canvas AOD” and it’s pretty cool, let me tell you. I’ll show you more on this in a separate article.

This unlock screen shows how many times you’ve used your phone

The Always-on display, which we’ll now start calling “AOD” to make it easier on my fingers, also gives you the ability to add clocks, notifications and more to the lock screen.

They’ve even added a new “Insight AOD” which lets you know how many times you’ve unlocked the phone. This will hopefully get you in the habit of using your phone a little less. Plus, with the new version of Zen Mode, you can put your phones and distractions out of sight.

To get a better idea of the user experience, here’s a YouTube video of me using the phone…

Preorder the OnePlus 8T from 4PM today on OnePlus.com or buy directly on October 20th from OnePlus, Amazon and John Lewis. £549 for the 8GB / 128GB (in silver only) and £649 for the 12GB / 256GB (green) version.

Overall

I’ve used the phone as my main handset for a week or two now. The green model I have is cheaper than the OnePlus 8 Pro but has the same CPU, the same memory, the same storage and a smaller screen which I actually found more suitable. Sure, there’s no wireless charging, no microSD and the screen is a little different, but this is – as with all the OnePlus phones – a lot of bang for your buck. A beautiful interface, a fantastic design and an attention to detail which really is lifting this company into the limelight more and more.

Full press release below…

Sit this next to the OnePlus 8 Pro and you'll notice some obvious differences. First, the screen is a nudge smaller - the 6.78" AMOLED rounded-edge unit on the Pro (3168 x 1440 pixels @ 513 ppi and 19.8:9) has been switched for a 6.55" AMOLED flat screen (2400 x 1080 @ 402 ppi and 20:9) but it still has that 120Hz refresh and it still has Corning Gorilla Glass. It still looks lovely too and I actually prefer the flat screen on this after coming a bit unstuck while trying to copy and paste on the curvy OnePlus 8 Pro screen edges. This screen size also suited me better for one-handed usage. As is usual with OnePlus phones, a clear case is provided so that you can keep the phone in tip-top condition. More on this in our next story. That screen, I should mention, has an ultra-low JNCD. This stands for "Just Noticeable Colour Difference" and, at less than 0.55, means that your videos and photos will have brilliant colour accuracy. Next is the CPU, and on the £799 OnePlus 8 Pro you're getting a SnapDragon 865 CPU. However, on the OnePlus 8T you get the very same processor again and - just to add to the fun - you can have an 8GB / 128GB storage 8T (£549) or a 12GB / 256GB storage 8T (£649). That's similar to the OnePlus 8 Pro, but on the 8 Pro you're going to be paying £899 for the 12GB / 256GB storage model. The higher 12GB / 256GB model is only available in Aqua Marine Green and the 8GB / 128GB model only in Lunar Silver. Here's the silver one, for reference... The OnePlus 8T has UFS3.1 performance storage too. This really is necessary when you've got a 5G phone chucking big blobs of data all over the shop. I do like the clear interface on the OnePlus handsets. Reminds me a little of Windows Phone from back in the day. Weighing in at 188g, it's lighter than the Pro and just a nudge heavier than the Nord, which dances quite close to the OnePlus 8T in a lot of ways. Running on Android 11 with the OxygenOS, there's lots of OnePlus cleverness in the software, including a separate algorithm to tell how smoothly the screen brightens and darkens on the screen slider. There's a massive 8,192 different levels of screen brightness - so you can get it just as you want it. The new 65W charger (on the right) compared to the existing Warp Charger (left). Not only that, but OnePlus have ramped up their utterly-mental charging tech. Here on the OnePlus 8T you get Warp Charge 65 and the in-box charger (plus new cable) will see your battery go from flat to full in just 39 minutes. The new Warp Charge 65 - on the right in the photos - with USB-C output Oh wait,…

OnePlus 8T Review

Design - 95%
User interface - 95%
Camera - 92%
Battery life - 92%
Build quality - 94%

94%

Another brilliant piece of tech from OnePlus. A Snapdragon 865, loads of RAM and storage, excellent cameras, a great screen, hugely speedy charging and a beautiful user interface.

94