OnePlus released a new flagship smartphone riding on the 8 series with improvements and at a more attractive pricing. Two variants of the OnePlus 8T (KB2003) are available in Singapore at launch. Lunar Silver retails at S$899 (8/128GB), Aquamarine Green at S$1099 (12/256GB). It supports the new 65W Warp Charge, 120Hz fluid AMOLED display, Quad Camera System, Android 11, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 supporting 5G network.
I reviewed both the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro back in April and I loved the 8 Pro with its flagship specs while the OnePlus 8 has some feature compromises even though both runs on the same Snapdragon 865 processor. The OnePlus 8T is basically a significant upgrade from the OnePlus 8 at similar price points. In fact, the 8/128GB variant of the OnePlus 8T is S$100 lower than the OnePlus 8 at launch.
Difference between OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8
- Design: Glass back vs. frosted back
- Display: 120Hz vs. 90 Hz
- Camera: OnePlus 8T has 4 cameras – 16MP UWA (123-degree), 48MP Standard (Sony IMX586), 5MP Macro Lens, 2MP Monochrome Lens. OnePlus 8 has 3 cameras – 16MP UWA (116-degree), 48MP Standard (Sony IMX586), 2MP Macro Lens.
- Battery: 4500mAh on the 8T vs. 4300mAh
- Charging: Warp Charge 65 (65W) vs. Warp Charge 30T (30W)
- Launch Price: S$899 vs. $998 (8/128GB)
- AnTuTu Benchmark: 584,889 vs. 580,147
The OnePlus 8 Pro remains an attractive consideration with larger screen, higher resolution display, optical zoom lens, adaptive display features.
Indeed, the price of a smartphone running on Snapdragon 865 with 5G network is not as exorbitant as the start of the year. While there are many other brands that boast low price points with SDM865 processor, Oxygen UI on the OnePlus offers good customisation options while retaining the stock Android elements. With the new OxygenOS 11 UI based on Android 11, there are some improvements, like supporting Always On Display (AOD), on top of the usual personalisation, offering best of both worlds. I always love the OnePlus Sans font which makes text small and neat, the ability to tweak the accent colours and system icon shapes, as well as long-press actions on the navigation bar.
The display spec is also impressive, with A+ rating from DisplayMate, HDR 10+ and SGS certification, 1,100 nits and 8,192 levels of automatic brightness, 120 Hz refresh rate delivers gaming accuracy. And with Gaming mode automatically enabled – with an optional “Fnatic mode” – there will be dedicated processing power to improve performance and remove distractions from incoming notifications.
Warp Charge 65
For the longest time (pun intended), charging smartphones would take hours, but with the current aggressive developments from various mobile makers, it looks like in no time (pun intended again), we will not even need to worry about battery issues if all it takes is less than 60 minutes to fully charge the phone. Indeed, it was quite mind-blowing to see the battery percentage go from 10% to 50% after a shower.
The included 65W charger is so powerful, it can even charge laptops supporting Power Delivery (PD) like Macbooks, so it’s a very useful premium charger to own without having to buy separately.
The 4 cameras on the OnePlus 8T is an ultra wide-angle, standard wide angle, macro, and monochrome. No telephoto lens. It has become rather popular for smartphone makers to throw in dedicated lenses for macro and monochrome. Many other smartphone brands support macro on their main cameras without separate lenses, and they deliver the full resolution. On the OnePlus 8T, the macro sensor is upgraded from 2MP to 5MP, but the resolution detail is poor compared to the main lenses. In the below photo, the flower veins cannot be seen.
The monochrome sensor definitely improves the image contrast compared to the other simulated black-and-white filters but it only works when you select the Mono Filter option, and I doubt it would be regularly used.
Moving on to the main set of cameras, the sensors are similar to the OnePlus 8, so that image quality is similar. OnePlus continues to be aggressive in the red contrasts and exposure. Here are some images compared to Google Pixel 4 XL.
Evidently, the yellow is tamed on the OnePlus 8T compared to Pixel 4 XL. This following image is shot under warm artificial light from the ceiling with diffused window sunlight from the right, and the white balance and colour on the Pixel 4 XL is more accurate.
If you are looking for accurate colour reproduction, the OnePlus 8T might not be your choice, but in general, images shot with it looks vibrant and sufficiently defined.
While the highlights are often blown out, there is exposure adjustment options to tone it down. You might also want to apply some of the filters to get the style you want.
Shooting video uncovers a few limitations. For instance, video cannot be shot in ultra wide angle, the Super Stable mode increases angle of view yet the contrast is lower, and details appear less sharp, so do not shoot in this mode if you want to capture text.
The OnePlus 8T comes with dual stereo speakers which switches channels according to the screen orientation. The sound is loud and clear with more mid-treble body and a little more warmth compared to the Pixel 4XL.
Like the earlier OnePlus models, the OnePlus 8T supports most audio codecs – SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX HD, LDAC. It also supports Qualcomm True Wireless Stereo Plus (TWS+) which connects both earbuds simultaneously for lower latency and better battery performance. Dolby Atmos is also available to sweeten the audio from the speakers.
The OnePlus 8T makes up several of the weaknesses of the OnePlus 8, and for the price point, I do not see any serious drawbacks. The absence of wireless charging is not a deal breaker as I value fast efficient wired charging more, which OnePlus 8T offers. I also do not fancy the 120Hz refresh rate and would disable it if I find the battery drain too much to bear. The camera feature is probably the least exciting given the intense competition, but it should suffice for general use.
OnePlus 8T (KB2003) retails in Singapore at S$899 (8/128GB) and at S$1099 (12/256GB). For detailed product info, visit the official OnePlus 8T product page here.
- Overall improvements over OnePlus 8 at the same price
- Close to Android 11 stock experience
- Extremely fast charging at 65W with including charger
- Comes with more customisable UI options than competition
- Image colour tone not as accurate with highlight blowouts
- Some video settings come with quality compromises
- Below average macro image quality (still better than OnePlus 8)