Just three years old, this Chinese upstart changed the definition of flagship smartphone. Challenging the traditional practices of inexpensive smartphones being nowhere close to top of the line offerings, OnePlus wooed consumers with its very first smartphone, the OnePlus One.
The company did stumble a bit with the successor (OnePlus 2) but returned with a bang with the OnePlus 3. Barely six months after the launch of the OnePlus 3, the company has now launched OnePlus 3T, leaving consumers confused about this mid-year upgrade. But is this a genuine effort to further master an already perfect smartphone or just a hyped product? We aren't treating it as a traditional review for various reasons.
While the looks, design, OS, 6GB RAM and even the rear camera continue to be the same, it still has some incremental upgrades. Let's first look at what's new and then we will talk about our overall experience.
OnePlus's product lineup is pretty neat and simple. With just a handful of devices in its kitty till date, the company has been focusing more on offering high-end specifications and performance at half the price of the competition.
The OnePlus 3 was powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor with was blazing fast and offered superb performance. But then the flagships such as the Google Pixel or even the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (although discontinued due to exploding issues) came out with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor and OnePlus followed the suit by adding the same processor to its OnePlus 3T.
It is still ahead of the curve as it is paired with 6GB of RAM. But does it offer any incremental performance update? Well, there isn't any visible difference in launching apps or browsing but as soon as we played a few heavy graphic games, we could notice the difference. Multitasking was much smooth. Most importantly, it doesn't overheat even after long hours of usage.
It is not just the processor but the battery has also received an upgrade. The battery has been increased from the 3000 mAh on OnePlus 3 to 3400mAh on OnePlus 3T. It also supports Dash Charge and as per the company claims, it is capable of charging 60 per cent battery in 30 minutes. And it lived up to the claims as our completely drained device charged close to 54 per cent in the time mentioned above. Even with heavy usage, a full charge lasted me over a day and a half.
The rear camera continues to have the same lens and is now covered with a more durable sapphire glass. There is also an updated Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) algorithm and updated software that enhances colour tones of the image captured. Front facing camera has been bumped up from 8MP to 16MP. This is a welcome edition for selfie addicts. The images captured from the front facing camera are better than the predecessor.
...and the rest
OnePlus 3 is a metal clad device with premium feel. It continues to have a 5.5inch full HD Optic AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 4 protection. Within the display setting is screen calibration allowing to switch to sRGB mode or even customize the display from warm to cold tone. The display is good to look at with rich colours, crisp text, wide viewing angles and great sunlight legibility.
Along with the regular buttons, there is a notification toggle on the left panel that switches between ring, do not disturb and silent. This comes really handy to use while stepping into meetings. USB Type C port along with audio jack and speaker grill is at the bottom. The fingerprint scanner bundled into the home button below the display is quick to unlock the device.
It is comfortable to grip with a single hand. The OnePlus 3T is 7.4mm thick and weighs 158 grams. The only thing missing is water resistance (may be we are asking a bit too much at this price). My review unit had 128GB of internal storage of which 113 GB was user accessible. It runs on Oxygen OS 3.5.4 based on Android 6.0 and the UI is pretty neat. Shortcuts and widgets can be added to the homescreen and all the apps are neatly placed in the app tray.
OnePlus is exclusively available on Amazon India and hence, a few Amazon apps come preinstalled on this device. The list includes Amazon Kindle and Amazon Shop, which can be uninstalled.
Bag it or Junk it: OnePlus 3T is undoubtedly the best flagship smartphone at its price. It offers performance and battery improvements over the OnePlus 3.
Price: Rs 34,999 for 128GB and Rs 29,999 for 64GB
Plus: Performance, battery
Minus: Not water resistant