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The front-camera on the OnePlus 3T has been upgraded to 16-megapixels

OnePlus 3T first impressions: A mid-cycle hardware upgrade

WT24 Desk

The rise of OnePlus in India has come as no surprise. The company makes high-end smartphones with decent specifications and sells them online, a model different from traditional smartphone makers. Six months ago, OnePlus launched the OnePlus 3 with a Snapdragon 820 processor, 6GB RAM and dash charging support (it’s own version of quick charging). You can still buy the OnePlus 3 smartphone online for Rs 27,999. However, the OnePlus 3 has now been replaced by the OnePlus 3T. The newly launched smartphone is not the successor to the OnePlus 3; in fact it would be apt to call it a mid-life cycle refresh.

The question is: who should buy the OnePlus 3T? And most importantly, does it make sense to get the OnePlus 3T now when the OnePlus 4 might get released in the first half of next year. Here is what we thought after a hands-on session with the OnePlus 3T after its India launch.

Design

The first thing I noticed about the OnePlus 3T was its subtle styling, which looks remarkably similar to the OnePlus 3. The smartphone has been crafted out of a single aluminium alloy block. The back gives a certain comfort while holding, with its slightly curved body and refined edges. The phone does look solid in the hand, something I really appreciate. I get panicky when I see flimsy devices, the ones that usually bend in the pocket. I am happy to say that OnePlus 3T doesn’t bend, after multiple repeated attempts.

While the OnePlus 3T does look similar to the OnePlus 3, the camera lens now comes protected with a sapphire glass. It is a scratch-resistant cover that protects the lens from being damaged. This is a good move, given the fact that the 16-megapixel shooter on the OnePlus 3T protrudes as ever.

The OnePlus 3T has a notification slider that sits on the left hand side, right above the volume button. On the opposite side, you will notice the SIM tray and the power button. Like the OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 3T doesn’t support a microSD card. However, for power users, the smartphone will be available in two options: the one with built-in 64GB and a slightly higher capacity one with 128GB. Then there’s a USB Type-C port, microphone, speaker grille and 3.5mm headphone jack.
I wish the design of the OnePlus 3T could have been altered. I’m not against OnePlus’ design philosophy, but the fact remains that when you launch a new smartphone, consumers do expect something fresh, something totally new. As in case of OnePlus 3T, I don’t think there aren’t too many changes made to the design. But again, that’s what I think, there were quite a few happy with the OnePlus 3T design.

Camera

OnePlus claims they have improved the camera experience on the OnePlus 3T. On paper, at least, I could see major improvements. The OnePlus 3T still has a 16-megapixel camera, though. It’s actually decent. However, I’d like to add here that I’m yet to spend some more time with the back camera. I have had fond memories of the OnePlus 3’s back camera – and I just hope this phone doesn’t disappoint either.

Meanwhile, the front-camera on the OnePlus 3T has been upgraded to 16-megapixels. What it does is that you’d now be able to take selfies in low-light conditions. As a user, I always find it difficult to take selfies in the dark. The result: expect a lot better selfies in low-light, with less noise possible. The OnePlus 3T does support 4K video recording. I don’t know how many actually like to record videos in 4K, but it is quite handy if you are a blogger or someone interested in making lots of home videos. These days platforms like YouTube support 4K upload and soon this might end up being the standard of televisions.

Hardware

On the hardware side, OnePlus 3T gets the top-notch processor in the form of a Snapdragon 821 chipset. Things get even better with 6GB RAM and a bigger 3,400mAh battery with Dash charging support. Actually yes, the OnePlus 3T is fast and beefier than ever. I don’t know whether you would be able to note the difference between the Snapdragon 820 and 821 processor. I liked the OnePlus 3 to the core – after all, it came with a Snapdragon 820 processor, especially when some of the high-end smartphones were selling twice the cost. With the OnePlus 3T, I’m expecting zippy performance, with no slowdown at all. That means I’d be able to run Asphalt 8, or any game for matter (including Candy Crush) with aplomb.

Software

Oxygen OS is back, and this time it’s much more simpler and clear. I have used the original OnePlus 3 and liked OnePlus’ approach towards making the software experience easier. I’ll be talking more about the software in my detailed review as and when I receive the review unit. I just hope OnePlus 3T gets updated to Android 7.0 Nougat in the coming days.

Display

While the processor and camera have improved, the 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED type screen on the OnePlus 3T is a bit disappointing. It hasn’t changed. You still get the 5.5-inch display having a resolution of FHD (1080p). Yes, colours are fairly vibrant and blacks are deep. But, somehow, the screen pales in comparison to the Galaxy S7’s 5.2-inch QHD-type display.

Though not against the OnePlus 3T, I wish the geeks deserve the best. Going by my first impressions, I don’t see the OnePlus 3T as a revolutionary device for sorts.The OnePlus 3T goes on sale in India, beginning December 14 and is priced upwards of Rs. 29,999.

Source: Indian Express

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