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Oneplus 7T Review: 90Hz and an ultrawide cam equals Bliss!

Oneplus 7T Review: 90Hz and an ultrawide cam equals Bliss!

Over the past few years, OnePlus has slowly sneaked its way into the premium segment. OnePlus smartphones are no longer flagship killers – they are premium devices that offer a refined Android experience. Earlier this year, OnePlus released two models to cater to the two different segments of the market. The OnePlus 7 took care of customers who were looking for an affordable flagship while the OnePlus 7 Pro took on the ultra-premium segment of the market.

There was a significant difference between the OnePlus 7 and the 7 Pro, especially in the camera and display department. The cheaper device missed on a 90Hz screen and premium camera features. And despite its affordable pricing, without camera features such as an ultra-wide-angle or a telephoto shooter, you couldn’t call the OnePlus 7 as a true flagship in 2019. After all, even upper mid-range devices had started to feature these special lenses.

OnePlus fixed this void with the OnePlus 7T. It borrows some of the best features of the premium OnePlus 7 Pro and brings it in a cheaper and more compact form factor. With its camera and screen upgrades, OnePlus 7T is the perfect flagship that the original OnePlus 7 tried to be.

Except for a few features such as Wireless Charging and IP rating, the OnePlus 7T comes with all the bells and whistles you would expect from a 2019 flagship. And at its price point, it’s very hard to go wrong with the device.
So let’s take a closer look at why OnePlus 7T has the potential to be one of the best flagships of 2019, even more than the OnePlus 7T Pro!

OnePlus 7T Design: A Headturner

Flash the OnePlus 7T in a crowd, and I guarantee that many will stop to notice the device. No, it won’t be because of its stunning 90Hz display. It would rather be because of its manhole-esque camera housing at the back which sticks out. It’s all black and protrudes quite significantly from the back and is definitely one of the differentiating design aspects of the 7T.

Am I a fan of this black manhole-esque camera housing?
Not really. I have seen a lot of better designs.

But given that almost every phone out there were featuring a pill-shaped camera housing, this is kind of refreshing. And the fact that the phone doesn’t wobble and stays centered when you place it on a table is an added bonus. And did I mention that the glass protecting the camera is made of sapphire glass? So you don’t really have to worry about scratches!

Same Phone but different colors.

As you can see I have got the Glacier Blue OnePlus 7T with me for review. As I mentioned in my hands-on, the colors on the phone change quite significantly under different lighting conditions. For example, under a dull yellow light or under most indoor lighting conditions, the phone will have a very dark gradient-like hue. Outdoors, the 7T shifts to a more pleasant light blue shade. It’s like having two different variants, indoors and outdoors.

The OnePlus 7T is taller and heavier than the OnePlus 7. While that might sound bad, it’s actually a good thing because you are getting a narrower form factor (20:9 vs 19.5:9) and a slightly larger battery on the new model (3800mAh vs 3700mAh).

On the left side of the phone, you have volume buttons while the power and alert slider are placed on the right. The bottom gets a bit crowded with the USB-C port, speaker, as well as the dual SIM card slot. On top, you have a single microphone.

OnePlus 7T is not IP certified. So officially, there’s no water or dust proofing, but the company says that it can take a few splashes. But I wouldn’t recommend taking that chance. Better keep it away from water and dust.

OnePlus 7T Display

You simply can’t go wrong with OnePlus 7T’s display at this price. You’ve got a beautiful 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED 1080 x 2400 pixel display with corning gorilla glass protection. The display supports HDR10+ and DCI-P3 color space to ensure you’ve got an excellent viewing experience.

But the best part of the display is the high 90Hz refresh rate! After the OnePlus 7 Pro received rave reviews for its beautiful 90Hz screen, OnePlus decided to use a similar panel with a 90Hz refresh rate for its cheaper OnePlus 7T model as well. In fact, all upcoming OnePlus flagships will feature a 90Hz display. So the display on the 7T is a treat to watch movies, play games, or even browse.

Note that unlike the Pro variant, the OnePlus 7T comes with a notch up front. It’s smaller than the OnePlus 7, but you definitely notice it if you are coming from a non-notch smartphone. However, soon your eyes will adjust to it and won’t bother your viewing experience

You’ll also notice that you no longer have an option to hide the NOTCH in the settings. And I’m not sure whether it’s coming back in a future update. I am currently waiting for an official reply from OnePlus in this regard. I will update the article once the company gets back to me.

The visibility under sunlight is pretty decent as well, all thanks to the 1000 nits bright panel. As for face unlock, it works flawlessly. While it may not be secure, it’s much faster than unlocking with the in-screen fingerprint sensor. And unlike the Pixel 4, you need at least one eye to be open in order for it to work.

As for the in-screen fingerprint sensor, it’s good enough for your daily usage. It is still far from perfect though as sometimes it takes a couple of attempts to get your fingerprint right. This is where face unlock comes to your rescue as it works flawlessly.

The OnePlus 7T comes with top of the line specifications featuring Snapdragon 855 Plus flagship processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB / 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. This is the best hardware you can get in 2019, and in real-life, it translates into a very smooth Android experience. Apps open up quickly, even graphic intensive games run without any hiccups. The OxygenOS 10 on top of Android 10 is great for every day use. The UI is fluid and quick. Even the OxygenOS gestures are better designed than stock Android gestures.

In short, the OnePlus 7T can handle everything thrown at it with ease.

Note that, like most flagship smartphones of 2019, the OnePlus 7T doesn’t have a dedicated MicroSD card slot.

OnePlus 7T Benchmarks

Benchmarks give you a fair idea of a smartphone’s hardware performance as compared to its competition. So, we make it a habit to mention some of the popular benchmark scores in our review.

OnePlus 7T Gaming

With these specs, gaming on the OnePlus 7T is a treat. Adreno 640 inside the Snapdragon 855+ is one of the best mobile GPUs in the market in 2019.

Heavy graphics-intensive games like COD runs flawlessly, and graphics are rendered very well. Given that the 7T had one of the best hardware on a smartphone, I maxed out all the graphics settings on Call Of Duty Mobile, and the phone had no issues handling them. I’ll post a dedicated gaming review article of the OnePlus 7T later but know that it can handle all Android games, graphics-intensive or not, with incredible fluidity.

OnePlus 7T Battery

The OnePlus 7T comes with a 3800mAh battery which is slightly larger than the 3700mAh one inside its predecessor. In terms of battery life, you can expect pretty similar results.

On most occasions, the OnePlus 7T will give you one-day battery life. I got an average of 4-5 hours of screen-on-time which was pretty good. This means you can watch a couple of hours of Netflix / Prime, an hour of gaming, and maybe half an hour to one hour of photography/video shooting on the phone in a day. This would still leave you with around 20% battery by nightfall.

For example, the following will give you a basic idea of how the 7T discharges under different scenarios.

1-hour Video streaming on Wi-Fi: 10-12% (5% more on data)
1-hour heavy-duty Gaming on Wi-Fi: 20% (25-30% on data)
40 minutes of camera use on data: 15%
Overnight standby (10 hours): 5%
For some, the OnePlus 7T’s battery life might fall short. Here I’m talking about heavy duty users who want hours of gaming and hours on of streaming on a single charge. But even these users are taken care of, all thanks to the extremely quick Warp Charge 30T.

You can go from 0-75% in just over 30 minutes! I was amazed by how quickly the 7T charged every single time.

If you want to know exactly how fast the Warp Charge 30T is, look below.

0-15% in 5 minutes
0 – 50% in 20 minutes
0- 75% in 35 minutes
100% in 45 minutes.
With such charging speeds, a simple 10-minute charge during the break can give you a boost of at least an hour or two of gaming or video streaming on the phone. That’s legit fast.

OnePlus 7T Camera

Over the past few years, OnePlus has made significant strides in the camera department, bringing it quite close to some of the best camera smartphones in the market today. The OnePlus 7 Pro had a pretty good camera setup, and the new OnePlus 7T builds on that excellent camera and brings it at a cheaper price point.

OnePlus 7T’s camera setup comprises of the following:

48 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1/2″, 0.8µm with PDAF and OIS
12 MP, f/2.2, 51mm (telephoto), 1.0µm with PDAF and 2x optical zoom
16 MP, f/2.2, 17mm (ultrawide) with AF (117-degree)

Like most flagships smartphones today (or rather mid-range and upwards), the OnePlus 7T takes excellent photos in daylight. One of the highlights of its camera is its color reproduction. The photos tend to be more saturated than real life but it looks amazing right out of the gallery. So, you don’t have to edit them before you post them to your social media profile.

In case you were wondering, the white balance is on-point and these flowers were indeed blue.
Another highlight of its camera is the excellent dynamic range. Dark and bright areas in the image are well balanced giving you an overall high-quality image. So you won’t lose out detail in the dark areas which helps create a well-balanced photo.

OnePlus 7T Camera Sample dynamic rangeThe 48MP primary camera is perfect for everyday photography. As mentioned above, images are colorful, detailed, and white balance is optimized on most occasions. There’s a slight difference in white balance when shifting between the two different camera modes (like between regular photo mode and portrait), but it’s nowhere as aggressive as the Huawei Mate 30 Pro 
Overall, the regular photo mode will be the perfect companion for your everyday shooting experience. But I have a feeling you will like the ultra-wide-angle lens even more than the regular mode on the Oneplus 7T’s camera. The OnePlus 7 lacked this additional lens, so it’s a significant upgrade from its predecessor.

Ultra wide-angle is always a fun lens to shoot with. You get a lot more coverage than the regular sensor and resulting images have an overall better impact. For example, take a look at this image of the pool.

The first image looks pretty good in terms of color and details. But the second one is a gem, with a much better view of the shot. Imagine, I was just as close to the pool and the scene as the first image, but my field of view expanded significantly to cover the entire circumference of the pool as well as the buildings in front.

So what’s the downside? You lose some details.

The photos are not as sharp as the regular mode, but the difference is visible only when you zoom into the shot. Let’s take a closer look at both these images.

The first image is sharper than the ultra-wide-angle shot, but the difference isn’t significant enough to avoid using the wider lens. I had a fun time playing around with both wide-angle and regular shots and I’m sure most of you would love both these lenses..

Another slight downside to the ultra-wide-angle lens is the distortion around the sides. Here’s what I mean.

If the camera is close to the subject, the wide-angle lens will have a fish eye-lens effect. The phone is unable to correct the distortion at such a close range, so it’s better to stick with the regular mode in such instances.

Another issue with the OnePlus 7T’s camera is the focus. Sometimes the phone struggles to lock into an image that’s right in front. Tap to focus doesn’t help in such instances and you might end up with a blurred shot. It only happens sometimes but I thought it’s worth pointing out here. Restarting the camera helps at times but it shouldn’t struggle with focus in the first place. Hopefully, a camera update should fix this issue.

Overall, you’ll be impressed with the Oneplus 7T’s wide-angle camera on most occasions.

Let’s talk about the new and exciting macro mode, shall we?

OnePlus 7T’s macro mode brings in new possibilities in photography. It allows you to take extremely close up shots of objects and sometimes the results are stunning. This is especially true when you are indoors and you can take your time to relax and find a good position to capture the shot. For example, here’s one an excellent macro photo from the OnePlus 7T, shot indoors.

However, things change when you are trying to get a shot outdoors. Your bare hands are not steady enough to take those extremely close up shots. I’m not sure whether others had trouble shooting macro outdoors, but more often than not, the extreme close up shots came unfocused. Here are some of my trials below. Some of the shots could have been better, right? What’s your take?

OnePlus’ portrait mode was never its best camera feature. But in the OnePlus 7T, the level of background blur is sufficient enough for the image to pop out. Edge detection is also good, at least better than what it was before. Most of the time, you’ll get pretty satisfactory results in its portrait mode. However, I have to add, again, that if you are trying to take portrait photos of an object that’s close, it sometimes struggles to focus.

Coming to low-light photography, the 7T is well-equipped to handle even extreme low-light situations. On most occasions, you won’t need the nightscape mode. This means you can get quick shots of the surrounding, even at night.

The regular mode does a fine job of controlling the exposures and churning out colorful shots at night. I was also impressed by its ability to limit the noise in the images.

But if you see that the phone is struggling to control exposure or if the surrounding is extremely dim-lit, then switch to nightscape. OnePlus’s night mode is faster that my Pixel 2 XL’s night mode and the results are somewhat similar too. So, it’s definitely a good quality night mode. The nightscape mode does well in capturing blur-free shots too, so you don’t have to worry about camera shake ruining your shots. Take a look at the nightscape mode sample below and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Note that nightscape is available in both regular and wide-angle lenses. However, you can’t zoom into an image in the night mode.

OnePlus 7T offers multiple modes in video shooting: 720p, 1080p, 4K videos at 30fps and 60fps and then there’s the special Super Steady mode (only at 1080p 30fps) that offers pretty good stabilization for your usually shaky videos. The videos come out a saturated and the details are pretty good as well. However, for the super steady mode to work well, the lighting condition should be good or else the camera might struggle with the exposure in the video.

nePlus 7T Verdict

The OnePlus 7T is a significant upgrade from the original OnePlus 7. With 90Hz display and feature-packed camera setup, the OnePlus 7T is a true all-rounder in this crowded smartphone market.

The camera is excellent on most occasions, even at night but the software could get a few tweaks to improve the experience. Given OnePlus’ track record with updates, I wouldn’t worry much about the minor issues I mentioned in the camera department. You can expect the camera to be much more refined after a couple of updates.

The phone offers an excellent display, powerful performance, a refined OS, and a good battery life with a super-fast charger. The camera is above average and with additional lenses like ultra-wide-angle, macro, and telephoto, you’ve got all the tools to take care of your photography requirements in 2020.

When you get so much for a starting price of just Rs. 37,999 (€599 in Europe | $599 in the U.S.), you can’t go wrong with your purchase. It’s a smartphone that I can recommend to anyone who wants a refined Android flagship experience, whether its a first-time user or an Android veteran.

Oneplus 7T 4G Smartphone 6.55 inch Oxygen OS Based Android 10 Snapdragon 855 Plus Octa Core 8GB RAM 256GB ROM 3800mAh Battery International Version



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