Back when OnePlus launched the 7 series back in May, there was quite a lot of difference between the two devices. The OnePlus 7 was very much a minor step up from the 6T, while the OnePlus 7 Pro got all the nice fancy features like the improved display and the pop-up camera. Five months later and the base model has caught up, taking many of the best features from the OnePlus 7 Pro – but maintaining the notched screen.
It’s not exactly the same, mind. The OnePlus 7T has a 6.55-inch display, which while .14 inches larger than the 7 is still smaller than the 7 Pro’s 6.67-inch display. It also doesn’t have the QHD resolution boost, sticking with the Full HD resolution that has served OnePlus well for the last few generations. But that screen does have the 90hz refresh rate, which means it’ll be lovely and smooth like it’s older sibling.
OnePlus has also added a 20:9 aspect ratio, which means there’s a bit more screen than the old 19:5:9, but not quite as much as Sony’s elongated 21:9. Why? It’s not clear, but whatever. It doesn’t make that much difference. OnePlus also claims the screen is now 27% brighter (reaching 1000 nits) and can filter out 40% more blue light when you switch on night mode
Once again, however, the screen itself is a fluid AMOLED display with HDR10+ support, while the notched camera has been reduced by 31.6%. And it’s flat, unlike the 7 Pro, so there are no curves messing everything up.
The 7T also comes with OnePlus’s ‘Warp Charge 30T’ that was announced earlier this week. OnePlus claims this will recharge the 3,800 mAh battery from 0 to 50 per cent in 20 minutes, 0-70 in 30 minutes, and 0-100 in an hour. That was similar to what I found with the OnePlus 7 Pro, though things slowed down after reaching the 20 minute/50 per cent mark. The Warp Charge 30T charger is the same as the regular 30 charger, so there must be some software helping out along the way.
The camera has also allegedly had an upgrade, taking the triple lens system from the OnePlus 7 Pro instead of sticking with the dual lens array from the regular 7. The upgrades are fairly minor though, with a 48MP main sensor (f/1.6, up from f/1.7), and a 16MP ultrawide angle lens (f/2.2) that’s had no physical changes. The Telephoto lens has a resolution boost up to 12MP with f/2.2 aperture, though, up from the 7 Pro’s 8MP (f/2.4). It only has a 2x optical zoom, however.
All of that is housed in a circular camera unit, which while rather large looking is still a bit more stylish than a single strip of camera lenses. Apparently this design was chosen because it frees up space for more things, so think of it as a fancy Tetris piece.
There’s still a notch which won’t appeal to full-screen screen purists
The front camera is same 16MP (f/2.0) camera seen on the OnePlus 7, with the same features like auto-HDR and EIS.
The main changes for the camera are in the software, and while OnePlus wouldn’t confirm whether they’d come to older models we all know it’s pretty much guaranteed for the 7 and 7 Pro at the very least.
In there you have a new macro-photography mode that can focus on objects as close as 2.5cm, as well as an improved portrait mode that lets you adjust two different focal lengths from the Main and telephoto lens. Nightscape mode support is also coming to the ultra wide angle lens too.
Inside the phone runs an improved Snapdragon 855+ chipset, which is slightly better than the normal 855 and promises 15% better graphical performance. Hopefully some other stuff too, because that’s a pretty rubbish upgrade by itself. There’s also a new haptic vibration motor and new screen unlock algorithms for better accuracy. The fingerprint scanner’s light has changed from green to white if anyone cares about that.
Software-wise these run Oxygen 10 (based on Android 10) right out of the box, with over 370 new optimisations and AI that learns about your app usage and displays them on the home and lockscreen to speed up your phone usage. Moving to Android 10 also means switching to Google’s navigation gestures, which is a shame because OnePlus’s were great. Swiping up from where the back button used to be took you back, but apparently that has been scrapped for better parity with Google’s swipe left or right back gesture.
Unfortunately, unlike the Android 10 beta for the 7 and 7 Pro, there doesn’t seem to be the option to customise navigation gestures at the time of writing. So if you’re used to the old back gesture you’re going to find yourself calling up Google Assistant more than you’d probably like. Zen Mode has also had some updates, because phones are bad now, letting you adjust your time from 20 minutes to 30, 40, or 60 minutes of emergency-only phone calls. But that’s it, and means it’s still a really half-arsed version of other apps that do this task with more customisation options.
As ever there’s no wireless charging, because OnePlus has used the same old ‘focussing on much better wired charging’ excuse, which is getting less and less believable an excuse with each passing launch. No microSD storage or IP ratings either, but presumably it’s still water resistant to some extent. We just don’t know how much.
OnePlus has refused to announce anything about the 7T’s UK launch until the UK event on 10th October, so we have no clue when it goes on sale or how much it will cost. Which is really fucking stupid, but here we go. Hopefully it’s not that much more expensive than the 7, but you never know these days. No word on the 7T Pro, but we guess that’ll also show up at the October event as well.
What we do know, however, is that it will be available in one model that has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Colours are silver and light blue, with the same shimmery effect as the 7 and 7 Pro. Expect a full review in the coming weeks, once we know what the price is.