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Launching at €599, the OnePlus 8T is shaping up as an excellent premium mid-ranger with a slew of flagship features – a 120Hz Fluid AMOLED, the latest Snapdragon 865 chip, a promising quad-camera with improved low-light performance, stereo speakers, and probably OnePlus best achievement yet – a larger battery with blazing-fast Warp Charge at 65W.
At the company’s fall event this year, a Pro model was a notable absentee. This is because the company keeps the 8 Pro as its ongoing flagship device, and it won’t be getting a refresh until 2021.
The OnePlus 8 needed the update, so we won’t object to this strategic move. We doubt many OnePlus 8 owners are thinking of switching, but it makes the two current offerings that much more desirable for anyone in the market for a new phone.
If we compare it with the OnePlus 8, the 8T is getting a 120Hz OLED vs. 90Hz. At the same time, its main camera gets a brighter aperture for the main camera, an even wider ultra-wide lens, and an additional depth camera. Finally, you get a 4,500mAh battery with 65W charging vs. 4,300mAh and 30W charging. Okay, these are not the wildest upgrades we’ve seen, but for they are enough to make the cheaper OnePlus devices in the duo desirable again.
The €600 smartphone segment is already oversaturated, and it is the place where the flagship killers come to win big or die trying. With the OnePlus being the company that coined the term, its cheaper non-Pro models are burdened with the impossible task to defend the title. As long as they don’t kill the company’s own flagship, of course.
The OnePlus 8T is the first phone to come with the OxygenOS 11 based on Android 11 out of the box. Many of the recent OnePlus phones are getting the update, too, but being first is a title that only the 8T can claim.
Let’s take a closer look at the specs sheet. There aren’t many changes, but it is a flagship-like list, and we like what we are seeing.
OnePlus 8T specs:
- Body: 160.7×74.1×8.4mm, 188g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass), glass back (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame; Colors: Aquamarine Green, Lunar Silver.
- Display: 6.55″ Fluid AMOLED, 1080x2400px, 20:9, 402ppi; 120Hz, HDR10+, Always-on display.
- Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 (7 nm+): Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 585 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 585 & 4×1.8 GHz Kryo 585); Adreno 650.
- Memory: 8GB/12GB RAM, 128/256GB UFS 3.1 storage.
- OS/Software: Android 11, OxygenOS 11.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, 1/2.0″, 0.8µm, PDAF, OIS; Ultrawide-angle: 16 MP, f/2.2, 14mm, 123˚, 1/3.6″, 1.0µm; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.4; Depth: 2 MP, f/2.4; Dual-LED flash, HDR, panorama.
- Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.4, (wide), 1/3.06″, 1.0µm; Auto-HDR.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, Auto HDR, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps, gyro-EIS.
- Battery: 4500mAh; Fast charging 65W, 100% in 39 min (advertised).
- Misc: Fingerprint (under display, optical); stereo speakers; NFC.
The OnePlus 8T is not water-resistant, not unless you are getting the T-Mobile exclusive OnePlus 8T+ 5G model, which is the same phone but with IP68 certification. Don’t sigh just yet – the OnePlus 8T does comes with many, if not all, seals and protections the T-Mobile model has. It will most probably survive a water drop, too.
The bright red Never Settle box is already here, and the excitement is building up. The OnePlus 8T may not be among the more interesting updates this year, but c’mon – look at this sweet reviewers’ package!
And now that you’ve seen what we got, here is what you are getting if you choose to buy the OnePlus 8T.
Unboxing the OnePlus 8T
The OnePlus 8T comes packed in what’s already a signature long red box. Inside, you will find your new 8T, be it the glossy Aquamarine Green or the frosted Lunar Silver, and a transparent Never Settle case.
Digging deeper, you will also see the 65W Warp Charger and its thick and red USB-C-to-C cable. The charger also supports USB-PD, so you can use it to charge other devices such as laptops, consoles, tablets, and smartphones.
Finally, there is this paper compartment, where you’d find some paperwork and a bunch of OnePlus stickers.
The OnePlus 8T has enough novelties to be worthy of the T insignia. We are impressed with the new 65W Warp Charge, and we love the new 120Hz screen. The Fluid AMOLED is 100% worthy of its name, and the new Oxygen 11 is truly a feast for the eyes. Once you see how smooth and fast it runs, you just can’t go back.
And that’s about it. The rest is pretty much OnePlus 8 material – same chipset, speakers, fingerprint scanner, camera. Indeed, even with the minor updates, the camera isn’t on par with the recent premium mid-rangers we’ve seen, let alone the flagship crop. It is a good setup, yes, but the quality hasn’t been improved that much since the Series 7, and the lossless zoom is probably the only thing that deserves praise.
The OnePlus 8T is a terrific deal – it is reasonably priced at €600, and there is a good chance many will choose an 8T (€600) instead of the 8 Pro (€780). But we don’t see many OnePlus 8 owners switching to the T. And that’s fine. The T series are mid-season updates that usually targets last-year buyers.
The recently launched Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is the biggest threat to the OnePlus 8T and vice versa. Both devices cost €600 and offer HRR screens, the latest Snapdragon 865 chips, UFS3.1 storage, high-end cameras, and large batteries. The Mi 10T Pro has a 144Hz display, but it’s an LCD unit. It also offers a higher-resolution main camera with 8K video capturing and better quality across the board. Meanwhile, the 8T has a 120Hz OLED and faster charging. MIUI or Oxygen? LCD or OLED? 33W or 65W? It’s up to you, but we can bet you will be happy with either.
The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is also a great alternative with an equally impressive 120Hz OLED, similar performance, and battery life. However, it is IP68-rated for dust and water resistance and offers better camera quality and a proper 3x tele camera. The FE may not be that fast to charge, but it also trumps the 8T with wireless charging and reverse charging options (both wired and wireless). The 4G Galaxy S20 FE is priced like the OnePlus 8T, while its 5G version is €100 more.
Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G • Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
The OnePlus 8T is one of these offers we usually call a smart choice. It is a premium mid-ranger at an attractive price that offers a superb pick of flagship features – the screen, the SoC, the charging. The camera may not seem like a winner – it is not disappointing, but it’s not ideal either.
OnePlus has just started offering IP68-rated designs, but this is reserved only for its Pro flagships for now. At least the 8T has some protection, which will give you some peace of mind.
Our only real issue is that OnePlus is forcing a 60fps cap on most of the games and all video players and services. Whether this is done for performance, or heat protection, or battery saving – it doesn’t matter – the user should have had more control over this high refresh rate feature.
Other than that, while not perfect, the OnePlus 8T is easily likable. It might even be love at first sight if you spent 10 minutes with its fluid Oxygen and fluid screen. We can’t recommend it to any OnePlus 8 user, but we can encourage everyone else looking for a €600 or so phone – it is definitely among our top three picks, along with the Mi 10T Pro and the Galaxy S20 FE.
- Excellent 120Hz AMOLED display
- Likable design
- Incredibly fast charging, versatile bundled fast charger
- Dependable battery life
- Flagship-grade performance
- Powerful speakers
- Versatile camera, good day and night quality
- Excellent UI performance
- No water/dust resistance rating
- No wireless charging
- Most games locked to 60Hz
- The camera processing could benefit from some improvements