OnePlus 3T vs OnePlus 3: We take a look at the newly improved version of the OnePlus 3, the OnePlus 3T, to see whether it’s worth the upgrade.
After a couple of misses, OnePlus finally hit it out the park with the OnePlus 3. It was the first smartphone from the cult Chinese brand that didn’t have a glaring sacrifice, and is currently nominated for our prestigious ‘Phone of the Year’ award.
But – hold up – the OnePlus 3 has only been out a few months and there’s already a replacement in the OnePlus 3T. Well, it’s not so much a replacement but a souped-up version. It’s got a bigger battery, brand-new processor, and a bevy of camera tweaks.
So, is it worth the upgrade? And what exactly is new? Let’s take a look and see.
ONEPLUS 3T VS ONEPLUS 3: THERE’S A NEW PROCESSOR IN TOWN
One of the headline updates with the OnePlus 3T is the new CPU. Like the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL, the 3T runs on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 821 CPU which is meant to offer more power efficiency over the outgoing Snapdragon 820.
When we reviewed the Pixel duo, we didn’t notice a huge speed increase at the benchmark level, but they were much faster in daily use. A lot of this could be down to the optimised software, but it’ll be interesting to see if there is a notable speed bump.
There’s still 6GB RAM – even though the rumours pointed to a frankly ridiculous 8GB RAM – and storage begins at 64GB. There’s now a 128GB model available too, which is nice and only adds £40/$60 to the overall price.
ONEPLUS 3T VS ONEPLUS 3: CAMERA UPGRADES
While not quite in the league of the Google Pixel and iPhone 7 Plus, the OnePlus 3 still has a really great camera. It’s fast and accurate, with strong colour representation and nice depth.
Both the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T have 16-megapixel Sony sensors with an f/2.0 aperture, but the updated model features strong sapphire glass on the lens to add an extra layer of protection and something called Intelligent Pixel Technology that is meant to reduce noise. OnePlus has also improved the electronic image stabilisation (EIS) which should hopefully make videos a lot more stable.
The bigger updates are on the front camera though. It has jumped from an 8-megapixel sensor to a 16-megapixel one, and has integrated ‘smile capture’, which will snap a shot when you grin.
ONEPLUS 3T VS ONEPLUS 3: A BIGGER BATTERY, BUT ONLY JUST
We were pretty happy with the 3,000mAh battery on the OnePlus 3 and, even though we’ve been using it solidly since it first released, it still easily makes it through the day.
The new OnePlus 3T has a slightly larger 3,400 mAh battery – that’s 13% more capacity – and it still employs the clever, if slightly restrictive Dash Charge tech. This will charge the phone from dead in just over an hour, but you need to use both the cable and plug that come with the phone. Use anything else and you’ll encounter surprisingly slow charge times.
Both are equipped with ‘safeguards’ in the adaptor to try and stave off overheating, which seems even more important given what happened with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7.
ONEPLUS 3T VS ONEPLUS 3: THE REST IS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME
The OnePlus 3T isn’t a complete sequel, which means there’s a whole load of things that have stayed the same.
As with the OnePlus 3, the display is a 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED affair, which OnePlus says is more colour accurate (we tend to disagree), and still 1080p.
The display was easily the weakest feature of the OnePlus 3, so we’d like to see an improvement to this next year with the OnePlus 4.
You’re also still stuck on Android 6.0.1, which seems odd considering the biggest benefit of the Snapdragon 821 is support for Google’s Daydream VR platform, which requires Android 7.1 – read our full Android Nougat review here for the full story.
We should see an update soon – it’s already available in beta form on the OnePlus 3 – but it’s a shame it’s not here for launch.
There’s also the OxygenOS skin that OnePlus puts on top of Android, and that too has seen a few improvements. Apparently it’s lighter than before, with slightly rejigged icons and a simpler ‘Shelf’ pane.
ONEPLUS 3T VS ONEPLUS 3: PRICE AND RELEASE DATE
You can pick up the OnePlus 3 right now for £329/$493.5 direct from OnePlus, or, if you’d prefer to pay monthly, O2 is offering the handset starting at £28/$42 per month.
The OnePlus 3T on the other hand, comes in at a much higher £399/$598.5 for the 64GB option and £439/$658.5 for the 128GB variant. It’ll be available in the US from November 22, while Europe will have to wait until November 28.
We’ll keep this article updated with all the latest information and deals as soon as they become available.
ONEPLUS 3T VS ONEPLUS 3: FINAL THOUGHTS
There’s no doubt OnePlus has added enough improvements to make the OnePlus 3T an objectively more capable device. But without testing it out for ourselves, it’s difficult to say whether it’s worth the upgrade.
What’s more, there’s been quite a considerable jump in price, and we’re not sure whether the added upgrades warrant the increase.
We’ll have more once we’ve reviewed the 3T, so stay tuned. In the meantime, our best advice is to wait and see.