Together with Xiaomi and Huawei, Oneplus can definitely be seen as one of the most known China phone brands. With its new Oneplus 3T, the successful smartphone manufacturer presents an update of Oneplus 3. The launching of the new phone simultaneously means a production and sale stop of its predecessor. The innovations are manageable. The new mobile houses the slightly faster Snapdragon 821 processor, 6GB of RAM, a marginally better battery and a better front camera. This up-to-date equipment is sold for approximately 430$. We have extensively tested the Oneplus 3T. Please see our findings below.
Design and processing
At first glance, the Oneplus 3T strongly resembles its preceding model which is why any accessory from Oneplus 3 can also be used for 3T. The only new thing is the colour of the casing. Thus, the mobile appears a little darker in the gunmetal version than Oneplus 3. You can also decide on a golden version. Overall, Oneplus 3T is a premium built smartphone with top appearance and feeling. It has a weight of 158 g which makes it pleasantly light. It has an average size of 152 x 75 mm (L x W) for a 5.5-inch display. What is striking about this is that the phone is very thin, only 7.35 mm. This fact becomes especially impressive when considering that the mobile features a 3,400mAh battery. The thickness-battery relation is really remarkable and outshines competitors like Samsung or Apple. The only phone which is more compact is LeEco Le Pro 3.
While build quality is on highest level, the design is held rather plain and discreet. There are two thin plastic stripes in the metal casing which enhance the reception. In the middle of the rear case, you will find the camera and its supportive LED flash. On the front side, below the 5.5-inch display, the home button is located which cannot be mechanically used. It also serves as fingerprint sensor und fulfils its task precisely and fast. Right and left of the home button are two soft touch buttons. You can adjust their functions in the settings menu. Located on the right side of the phone, there is the SIM card slot (2x nano SIM) and the power button. On the left mobile side you can find the volume control and a slide button with which the phone can be turned to vibration mode. The USB type-C and headphone port are on the bottom side of Oneplus 3T. The top side is therefore free of any ports and holes. A multi-colour notification LED is also featured.
Order and scope of delivery
Oneplus 3T is delivered with manageable equipment. Except for the phone itself, the scope of delivery includes a charging adapter (dash charge), a USB type-C wire, a plug for the SIM slot and a pre-attached screen protector. Those who also want a protection case can order it from the manufacturer, too (price:25$). Alternatively, you can also order cheaper ones from Amazon.
Oneplus 3T houses a 5.5-inch Optic-AMOLED display, just like its older brother. The ‘Optic-AMOLED’ display is actually a Super-AMOLED display with slight manufacturer software modifications when it comes to contrast, gamma values and colour representation. The smartphone has a full-HD resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels and thus achieves a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch. Display representation is simply great. The phone features infinitely high contrast, especially making it very pleasant to read contents, which is typical for AMOLED. Display brightness is on the same level as current flagship phones with 520cd/m². Further, outdoor usage of the mobile is flawless. Colour representation is a little cold ex works. You can adjust this in the options menu. You can also adjust it to a reading mode which reduces the blue light ratio of the screen.
The touchscreen can register up to ten touching points at once. It is very suitable for those who type a lot because of its precision. SmartWake is also featured. The display is protected from scratches by Gorilla Glass 4.
Just like Xiaomi Mi5s, Mi5s Plus and LeEco Le Pro 3, Oneplus 3 is a China phone housing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 821 processor. It is currently the fastest Android processor on the market. Smartphones housing this processor have more power than for instance a Samsung Galaxy S7. Oneplus 3 has huge 6GB of RAM that tolerate multitasking almost without any limit. As a result, the Oneplus 3 is 100% a high-end performer.
The four Kyro cores of the Snapdragon 821 processor are divided into 2 clusters: one performance cluster with 2.35GHz clocking and one energy-saving cluster with 2.19GHz clocking. The arrangement is supported by an Adreno 530 GPU which clocks at 650MHz. Compared to Snapdragon 820, the 821 has a 10% increased performance, according to the manufacturer. CPU and GPU are faster by some megahertz. Qualcomm does not consider it as successor but rather as an addition to the Snapdragon 820. The 10% performance increase, compared to Snapdragon 820, is not really noticeable in practise. Subjectively speaking, I am not able to tell the difference between Oneplus 3 and Oneplus 3T when it comes to performance. The recent benchmarks, on the other hand, clearly indicate the performance increase. Oneplus 3T achieves in every category the highest rankings.
The impressively high speed is also provided by the 6GB main memory which reaches a very high pace of 18GB/s. The built-in UFS 2.0 memory also enhances the mobile’s usage by supplying a reading pace of 415MB/s and a writing pace of 180MB/s. Approximately 50GB out of the 64GB overall storage was available ex works.
Gamers will really enjoy this phone. Every current 3D game is playable in highest resolution. Even graphics-intensive games like Asphalt 8 Airborne run fluently. Heat development is also excellent, it was even slightly improved compared to its preceding model. It does not get warmer than 40°C, even under highest performance.
Android 7 on Oneplus 3T
Oneplus 3T is one of the first phones on the market which already feature Android 7. Immediately after I switched on the phone, the system updated to the newest version of Android. The standard Android interface was adjusted by the manufacturer with OxygenOS (in this test with version 4.0.2). OxygenOS is a slightly modified Android software providing some additional features. While the functionality is a bit increased, the look is mostly the same as Stock Android. The advantage resulting from this is that the system is designed very clear. It is not equipped with annoying third party software or confusing design elements.
On the start screen there is one additional page on which Widgets can be located and last-used apps and contacts are displayed. In the safety settings it is also possible to set single apps with a fingerprint lock. Most of the modifications only apply to details and offer the user more setting options than usual with Stock Android. The bottom line is that OxygenOS is a nicely clean and fast system based on Android 7.
Oneplus 3T is equipped with a 16 megapixel camera with a Sony IMX 298 sensor. The aperture amounts to f/2.0. It is also supported by an optical image stabilisation.
It features the same camera as its preceding model. Image quality is simply perfect and can easily compete with Samsung or Apple devices. Photos are very rich in details. As the camera software was improved, Oneplus 3T shots slightly better pictures than Oneplus 3. Trigger time is almost non-existent and thanks to optical image stabilisation, the pictures turn out very sharp almost every time. In daylight the camera produces nice photos with a great sharpness which are more or less on the same level as images from Xiaomi Mi5S. Oneplus 3T’s camera shows its full potential under bad light conditions, especially when activating OxygenOS HQ mode which significantly exceeds Xiaomi Mi5s’ camera.
The front camera was supposedly improved considerable compared to its preceding model. It features 16 megapixel and a Samsung 3P8SP sensor compared to the 8 megapixel Sony sensor of Oneplus 3. Image quality of the front camera is, however, only mediocre. The pictures do not have a significantly high amount of details and other than Xiaomi Mi5s or Samsung Galaxy S7, Oneplus 3T is no selfie smartphone.
While the image quality is convincing at first glance, the camera app is designed very confusingly. For example, it is quite some work until you get to the settings menu of the camera in order to adjust some functions. The only shortcuts are for flash, HDR mode and OxygenOS HQ mode. An intuitive usage is different. However, there is an option to activate a manual mode. If you switch this option on, you can adjust exposure time, focus, contrast and ISO value. Furthermore, it is very functional that the camera evaluates if it is better to take photos in HDR mode and activates it automatically.
Videos are shot in 4K resolution with 30 PS with a good quality. Slow-motion videos are also featured. Those searching for one of the best smartphone cameras on the market have clearly found one in Oneplus 3T.
Oneplus 3T supports the following frequencies:
GSM 850 MHz, GSM 900 MHz, GSM 1800 MHz, GSM 1900 MHz, UMTS 850 MHz, UMTS 900 MHz, UMTS 1700/2100 MHz, UMTS 1900 MHz, UMTS 2100 MHz, LTE 700 MHz Class 17, LTE 800 MHz, LTE 850 MHz, LTE 900 MHz, LTE 1700/2100 MHz, LTE 1800 MHz, LTE 1900 MHz, LTE 2100 MHz, LTE 2600 MHz, LTE-TDD 1900 MHz (B39), LTE-TDD 2300 MHz (B40), LTE-TDD 2500 MHz (B41), LTE-TDD 2600 MHz (B38), LTE 700 MHz (B12), LTE 2300 MHz (B30)
Oneplus 3T is a dual-SIM mobile. Two nano SIM cards can be used simultaneously. Both SIM card slots support mobile data usage. Alas, you do not have the option to expand the storage with a micro-SD. The smartphone supports every 2G, 3G and 4G (LTE) frequencies, as well as the important LTE band 20. When ordering the phone via eBay or from a Chinese online shop, Oneplus 3T comes without this feature. This is why it is really worth purchasing it directly via the manufacturer’s website. Network reception is alright and we had no problems to surf on the internet at any time. Calling quality is also nice and also possible in loud surroundings due to the noise-cancelling microphone.
Oneplus 3T supports the 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi standard and can connect to 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi networks. Reception signal is on average and is slightly exceeded by competitors like Xiaomi and LeEco. Bluetooth is available in the current 4.2 version. NFC is also supported. The smartphone’s GPS sensor is doing a great job and is perfectly suitable for pedestrian or car navigation. Glonass and BeiDou satellite signals are received. It also houses a ambient light sensor, an acceleration sensor, a proximity sensor, a gyroscope and an e-compass.
You will get a brilliant sound via the 3.5mm headphone port. Although the loudspeaker of Oneplus 3T is convincing with its high volume, the sound tends to overexposure of high sounds while basses are hardly recognizable. The mobile clearly falls behind its competition in this category.
Compared to its preceding model, Oneplus 3T’s battery capacity was improved by 400mAh. When it comes to software, the manufacturer also provides additional optimization. Battery performance is also enhanced by the Snapdragon 821 processor. When using the device three hours a day, the battery lasts two entire days. In the permanent video-watching test, Oneplus 3T achieved outstanding 13 hours of playing. Battery performance during web browsing test and PC-Mark Battery benchmark, on the other hand, were a little disappointing. Here, the mobile phone ‘only’ reached eight hours. In total, battery life of this phone is great and even extensive users will have one entire day without charging.
The manufacturer strongly advertises the Dash-Charge quick charge function. And, what can I say. There is no other phone on the market which charges as quick as Oneplus 3T. At 0% battery life, the phone reaches 60% after only 30 minutes. It is fully charged after only 70 minutes. These great values are achieved by dividing the battery into various segments which are charged simultaneously. The ampere value is at impressive 4A. Hence, the necessity of plugging-in the phone over the night is not given anymore. How long the battery can take this strain is another thing.
* Incl. VAT and, if applicable, delivery costs – subject to interim changes.