OnePlus is back with the OnePlus 8T, its fourth release this year. “Ultra Stops At Nothing” is the tagline this time around. For a phone that brings no performance jump over its predecessor, those are bold words. Can the new 120Hz OLED display and Warp Charge 65 charging tech be enough? Find out in Android Authority’s OnePlus 8T review.

About this OnePlus 8T review: I spent a week with the OnePlus 8T as my main device. It was running Android 11 with Oxygen OS 11. The build number was 11.KB05BA. OnePlus supplied the OnePlus 8T review unit to Android Authority.

OnePlus 8T review: Who is this phone for?

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Night mode photos were rather soft due to poor focus. The OnePlus 8T managed to capture a lot of light, even in extremely challenging lighting conditions. I took these in the middle of the night and there’s still a surprising amount of detail. In areas like foliage, however, there does seem to be a lot of denoising to the point of blurring objects together. Overall, a mixed night mode experience.

The OnePlus 8T takes portraits and selfies adequately. The former have a realistic focus roll-off from the front to the back of the image. There were a few hiccups with edge-detection — particularly of my friend’s hair where the camera couldn’t work out if it was part of the foliage or not!

Selfies come out clean with minimal noise, and without overdoing the noise reduction. Similarly, my skin wasn’t smoothened out, though I did have to disable skin smoothening in the settings menu first. Selfie portrait mode photos also suffered a bit from poor edge-detection. That said, the realistic focus roll-off continues here.

The Ultra HD 60fps video footage came out very contrast-heavy. Saturation and contrast are pushed to the max. As a result, the footage isn’t particularly clean nor realistic. The image stabilization worked pretty well, though, so it’s not all bad news.

The OnePlus 8T does better than the OnePlus Nord in that it doesn’t mush out noise. It distorts far less, too. That said, I wasn’t overly impressed with the OnePlus 8T’s camera. It seems like only Google, Apple, and Samsung really know how to do camera processing at this price-point. It’s a shame because the phone feels very much like a flagship in every other regard.

Check out the full-resolution OnePlus 8T camera samples in this Google Drive folder.

OnePlus 8T specs

  OnePlus 8T
Display 6.55-inch AMOLED
2,400 x 1,080 (20:9)
120Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 865
RAM 8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1
Cameras Rear Quad Camera:
48MP, ƒ/1.7, 0.8µm, OIS, EIS
5MP macro, 3cm focal length
16MP ultrawide, ƒ/2.2, 123° FOV
2MP monochrome

Front:
16MP, ƒ/2.4, 1.0µm, EIS, fixed focus

Battery 4,500mAh
Warp Charge 65 (10V/6.5A)
No wireless charging
IP Rating None
Software Oxygen OS 11
Android 11
Dimensions and weight 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm
188g
Colors Lunar Silver
Aquamarine Green

Value for money

  • OnePlus 8T: 8GB/128GB — £549/42,999 Rs
  • OnePlus 8T: 12GB/256GB — £649/$749/45,999 Rs

At $749, the OnePlus 8T is competing with the Pixel 5, Galaxy S20 FE, and the iPhone 12, as well as some value-oriented players like Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro and the Asus ZenFone 7 Pro. This is rather stiff competition for the OnePlus 8T, especially with the price increase from OnePlus 8’s $699 price tag.

You shouldn’t really consider the OnePlus 8T as an upgrade from the OnePlus 8. At a base level, the two are very similar and unless you hate curved screens, this won’t be an upgrade. Coming from something like a OnePlus 6T however, you will notice the doubling in refresh rate and faster internals.

The OnePlus 8T sits between the more fleshed-out OnePlus 8 Pro and the cut-down OnePlus Nord. It shares the chipset, the main camera, and the display refresh rate with its bigger sibling. However, it shares the display resolution and design aesthetic with the Nord.

The OnePlus 8T entertains stiff competition, yet it doesn’t do much to stand out.

The one thing missing from the OnePlus 8T at this price is a flagship camera. From my time with it, it didn’t feel like a flagship camera experience. This lets down an otherwise very competent setup.

OnePlus 8T: The verdict

Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

OnePlus 8T is a quick, solidly-made flagship smartphone. It’s got a great display, fast charging, and brilliant software. Unfortunately, its uninspiring design and middling camera performance make it feel rather incomplete.

If you’re not too fussed about the cameras, the rest of the phone is solid. The jump in price seems to have gone towards the 120Hz display and 65W charging — both of which are valuable additions.

For many, the OnePlus Nord is going to be the better buy.

However, if you don’t desire either of those, the far cheaper OnePlus Nord is the significantly better buy. For half the price, you get a capable display, good battery life, okay camera, and solid speed.

Going forward OnePlus desperately needs to up its game when it comes to camera processing. As prices creep up, so does the stiffness of the competition. When you’re in-line with the Pixel 5 and iPhone 12, you’re going to need to try a lot harder than this.

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Author: Ryan-Thomas Shaw

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