OnePlus 3T: Quest for perfection

Powered up OnePlus 3T Photo: By special arrangement   | Photo Credit: mail

What do you do when you release a great phone that is welcomed by loyal fans and new adopters alike? Most companies would subscribe to the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ philosophy for at least a year until the next iteration comes along. OnePlus, however, has never been much for doing things by the book, and less than three months after the launch of the acclaimed OnePlus 3, they’ve replaced it with a newer version, the 3T.

For all intents and purposes, the 3T is like the mid-cycle refresh cars get. Most of the hardware is unchanged, so let’s tackle the things that have been improved – the processor, front-facing camera, new colour and memory options and a bigger battery.

The OnePlus 3 featured a cutting-edge Snapdragon 820 chip, and the 3T has upgraded that with the new 821 as soon as it hit the market. The difference here is quite negligible in daily use, as the 820 was no slouch to begin with. The 821’s prowess in handling VR and improved camera processing would be factors that sway those looking to check all the boxes in the future-proofing checklist.

Speaking of the camera, OnePlus has updated the front camera to match the rear-facing one at 16MP, so selfie-shooters have reason to rejoice. The cameras perform much the same as they did on the outgoing 3, with good clear images in daylight and well-resolved night-time images. The colours can be a little muted out of the box, but the high-quality mode, full-fledged manual controls and the option for shooting in RAW give photographers enough headroom to get a good shot.

On the design and screen front, everything remains the same. The improved processor still drives a Full-HD AMOLED display, and the alert slider retains its place to quickly mute the phone when required. The one thing that has changed on the outside is the new gunmetal colour scheme, which we prefer to the graphite option the 3 debuted with. The new shade is darker and adds an air of classiness to an incredibly well-made device. The memory options have also received a boost, with OnePlus adding a 128GB variant to cater to even the heaviest of multimedia hoarders.

The most impressive addition the 3T boasts of, however, is the larger battery, as the company has somehow squeezed in an extra 400mAh (taking the capacity to 3,400mAH), without upsetting the dimensions of the device.

While the update is welcome, it doesn’t make the 3T an endurance champion, though it will get through a day easily. Also on hand to assist is the Dash Charging technology, which means the 3T retains its crown as the fastest-charging phone in the business.

Software-wise, things have not changed much. The light and fast Oxygen OS 3.5 on top of Android 6.0.1 runs the show, though some features from Android 7, like the quick toggles in the notification area, have been baked in. The usual long list of customisations – gestures, switching between physical and virtual keys, swapping their functions, night and dark modes, all make a comeback here, providing a hyper-personalised experience.

While OnePlus has confirmed the 3T as a replacement for the 3, in India both phones are available for purchase as of writing. And for just Rs. 2,000 more than the 3 for the 64GB version (Rs. 29,999), it is hard to not recommend the 3T for the critical upgrades it brings to the table. Was it necessary? Perhaps not. Is it worth buying? Definitely.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 3:26:34 PM |

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