[First Cut] OnePlus 7T: The OnePlus 7 Gets a Refresh (Rate)

by: - Last updated on: September 26th, 2019

We are all familiar with OnePlus’ update cycle by now. Two phones a year, Six, ugh sorry, four months apart and with tweaks and updates that make it feel more recent. The OnePlus 7T follows a similar philosophy while undergoing some substantial upgrades. There’s now an additional camera in an enclosure resembling a three-eyed alien from Neptune. The buttery smooth 90Hz panel from the 7 Pro makes its way down to the 7T (with that dewdrop notch, of course). The heart has undergone a bypass and now beats ever so slightly faster, thanks to the Snapdragon 855+. The battery has been bumped up by 100mAh and now charges faster. And it comes with Android 10 out of the box.

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New(ish) Design?

Before we speak about the phone itself, let’s take a moment to appreciate the bold design of the box the 7T comes in. Takes us back to the OnePlus One. And no, we are not complaining. It’s nice when something stands out every once in a while, and credit to OnePlus for doing exactly that. Not just the box, but the phone makes some bold design choices too. The most evident one is the circular camera module and while it does look distinct from what OnePlus has done till date, it’s not winning any beauty pageants for sure. The module also extends outward slightly more than we would want it to, so a case is always recommended.

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The back is now frosted, just like on the 7 Pro which keeps it away from fingerprints but makes it all the more slippery when held in hand. The glacier blue color we have looks attractive. OnePlus has been doing great with the paint job on all their recent smartphones. All the ports and buttons remain in the designated spots. The 7T is slightly taller this time around with the new 20:9 aspect ratio and its quite noticeable when you hold the phone. Other than that camera module, which has an uncanny resemblance to some moto phones, the 7T retains most of the design elements that have been tried and tested on OnePlus devices in the past. And it works.

Gimme that 90Hz!

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One of the biggest highlights of the OnePlus 7 Pro and one that induced a lot of attention from consumers was the ultra-smooth 90Hz display. The higher refresh rate meant that everything from launching apps to scrolling appeared to be smoother than ever. However, this premium feature was reserved only for the Pro variant with the standard OnePlus 7 only getting a 60Hz panel.

The OnePlus 7T changes that. The 6.55-inches Full-HD+ Fluid AMOLED display feels smooth as ever with the 90Hz refresh rate. The QHD+ resolution, however, is still reserved for just the Pro. As stated earlier, the display has an aspect ratio of 20:9 and still retains the dewdrop notch. The notch though is smaller than before and OnePlus claims that it takes up about 30% lesser surface area than the one on the OnePlus 7. It is also HDR 10+ compliant.

A+ Performance

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The OnePlus 7T replaces the regular Snapdragon 855 on the 7 and 7 Pro with the Plus version, which is essentially the same chip with a slightly overclocked CPU. Realistically, you won’t be seeing any differences in daily usage between the 7 Pro and the 7T. The variant sent to us has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.0 storage. Android 10 out of the box is surely a nice inclusion, which also means that the OnePlus 7T will receive Android updates for a longer duration. OxygenOS is smooth as ever, but we did encounter some bugs in our brief testing. The camera shutter wouldn’t register the touch, the call-screen appeared blank and a few other quirks which we will talk about in our review.

Triple Cameras Everywhere!

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Dual cameras are already a thing of the past. Three lenses on flagship smartphones have become a standard and there was no way OnePlus would hold back, especially since the 7 Pro already had a triple-lens setup. The OnePlus 7T retains the 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor as its primary shooter and adds two new focal lengths – a 12MP 2X telephoto lens and a 16MP ultra-wide-angle lens. Both these lenses are welcome additions especially compared to the simple depth sensor on the OnePlus 7.

While we haven’t tested the cameras extensively, we expect the performance to be similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro, meaning in most scenarios, you should be getting very good image output. The front houses a 16MP shooter which remains unchanged from the OnePlus 7. We will test and compare the cameras on the OnePlus 7T thoroughly and give you our verdict in the full review, so watch out for that.

Bigger Battery… not by much

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The OnePlus 7 had a 3700mAh battery which has now been bumped up by 100mAh to 3800 on the 7T. The bigger display and higher refresh rate nullify the extra capacity, so it would be interesting to see how long the OnePlus 7T lasts throughout the day. Instead of the 20W charger in the box, we now get a Warp Charge 30T adaptor which is claimed to charge the phone to up 70% in just half an hour. That’s brilliant if it works as advertised!

The OnePlus 7T offers slightly more than the regular ‘T’ updates we’ve seen from the brand. Is it a full-fledged next-gen product though? No. And frankly, it’s not even meant to be. The OnePlus 7T inherits some “pro” features of the OnePlus 7 Pro like the 90Hz display and triple cameras while still keeping the profile of the younger sibling, the OnePlus 7. The 7T is an attempt to bridge the gap between the more affordable OnePlus 7 and the premium OnePlus 7 Pro, and it’s expected to sit right in between those two phones at a sweet spot of about Rs.37,999. The recently launched Asus ROG Phone II might cause an upset especially given the surprising price tag, but the OnePlus community is strong and passionate about their smartphones, which should result in the OnePlus 7T being yet another successful smartphone from the house of OnePlus.

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