Skip to main content

OnePlus 8T review

You win some, you lose some

(Image: © Aakash Jhaveri)

Our Verdict

The OnePlus 8T is a worthy upgrade over its predecessor from six months ago with a better display, faster charging and a new design. While it does add an extra camera to the mix, photography is once again the weakest point of an otherwise great phone.

For

  • Excellent display
  • Smooth performance
  • Insanely fast charging
  • Dual stereo speakers
  • Great ergonomics

Against

  • Ordinary cameras
  • Uninspiring design
  • Not-so-stock Android

TechRadar Verdict

The OnePlus 8T is a worthy upgrade over its predecessor from six months ago with a better display, faster charging and a new design. While it does add an extra camera to the mix, photography is once again the weakest point of an otherwise great phone.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent display

  • +

    Smooth performance

  • +

    Insanely fast charging

  • +

    Dual stereo speakers

  • +

    Great ergonomics

Cons

  • -

    Ordinary cameras

  • -

    Uninspiring design

  • -

    Not-so-stock Android

Two-minute review

In a year where OnePlus entered so many new product categories and price segments, the OnePlus 8T was still the most awaited product from the brand. Sure, the brand left no stone unturned in ensuring everyone knew about its existence. After spending some days with it, we think it deserves all the attention it got.

For those who missed it, this time, there was only one phone launched, which is the successor to the OnePlus 8. Basically, there will be no OnePlus 8T Pro this year. When comparing the OnePlus 8T with its predecessor, you’ll notice how it brings upgrades in almost every aspect, on the inside as well as outside.

The most notable upgrade - and one that is sure to stick around on upcoming OnePlus flagships - is the new 65W charging. The upgraded Warp Charge makes the OnePlus 8T the fastest charging smartphone in the world. It makes up for the just-above-average battery life that comes along with the 4,500mAh pack.

Even the display gets a bump up to 120Hz while retaining the colour accuracy and brightness levels one would expect from a flagship these days. The curved panel has been replaced with a flat one as some users complained about the palm-rejection issues on the OnePlus 8. While doing that, even the bezels and the chin get shaved to achieve a better viewing experience.

The cameras only get a quantitative upgrade, however. Once again, photography is the Achilles heel of OnePlus smartphones, acting as the weakest link of an otherwise excellent package. Everything else is just as you’d expect: a decent pair of stereo speakers, reliable performance and functional design. 

As a package, the OnePlus 8T is a phone that we can easily recommend to most users. If photography and battery life are higher priorities for you, check out the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro which offers the same specifications but with a more capable camera and a larger battery. 

OnePlus 8T price in India and availability

Check out the OnePlus 8T on Amazon.in

Check out the OnePlus 8T on Amazon.in

8GB + 128GB: Rs 42,999

12GB + 256GB: Rs 45,999

Colours: Aquamarine Green, Lunar Silver

OnePlus 8T specs

Display: 6.55-inch AMOLED, 120Hz

Dimensions: 160.7mm x 74.1mm x 8.4mm

Weight: 186 grams

Processor: Snapdragon 865 with 5G

RAM: 8GB/12GB LPDDR4X

Storage: 128 GB/256 GB UFS 3.1

Camera: 48MP + 16MP + 5MP + 2MP

Front camera: 16MP

Battery: 4,500mAh (non-removable) 

Charging: 65W Warp Charge

Two variants of the OnePlus 8T will be available in India. The base model with 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM is priced at Rs 42,999 and will be available in Lunar Silver and Aquamarina Green. The top variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage is priced at Rs 45,999 but will be available only in the Aquamarine Green colourway.

Pre-orders open on October 16 with the phone going on sale on Amazon starting October 17, during the Great Indian Festival. You can also avail a 10% instant discount on purchase through HDFC Bank Debit and Credit cards.

During the same sale period, the OnePlus 8 will be available at a discount of Rs 3,000, bringing the starting price down to Rs 38,999. The OnePlus 8 Pro will continue selling at the same prices.

Design

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 3 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The OnePlus 8T does away with OnePlus’s signature look of a curved back and vertical cameras in favour of a design that most other brands have offered recently. The new rectangular camera island is a little too generic for my preferences. This internal shuffling made space for the inclusion of new cooling technology. It’s unclear as of now if this approach will be carried to future OnePlus phones as well, as the OnePlus 7T from a year ago remained as the only one to offer a circular camera housing. Thankfully, the camera bump is almost non-existent.

The back is protected by a layer of 3D Gorilla Glass while a tinted metal frame holds everything in place. The handset measures 160.7mm x 74.1mm x 8.4mm, and weighs 188 grams, making it one of the more comfortable phones to hold and use. It’s still not a one-handed phone but gets much closer than most other flagships. 

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

A new glossy Aquamarine Green finish has also been introduced whose hue shifts from a warm green to turquoise based on the ambient lighting. I personally feel that matte/anti-glare finish looks more premium. For the minimalists, there’s the Lunar Silver variant (only for the base variant) which offers just that atop a metallic grey.

Ports and buttons are in their usual places — a USB Type-C port, loudspeaker slits and the SIM tray on the bottom, the volume rocker on the left, and the power button and the alert slider on the right. OnePlus continues to remain the only Android OEM to offer a way to quickly switch between notification sounds, vibration or complete silence without unlocking the phone.

The OnePlus 8T takes a much more functional approach with the design. Unless you are particularly looking for something more unique, it will serve you well.

Display

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 3 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Curved displays are one such topic that consumers and enthusiasts have been divided upon. Playing it safe, the OnePlus 8T moves to a flat 6.55-inch panel that is confined between pretty slim bezels. Even the chin has been shaved down by a bit by adopting a COP (chip-on-panel) solution.

The screen resolution is 2400 x 1080 and seemed amply sharp and crisp in our usage. The peak brightness of 1,100 nits also makes it bright enough to use in all scenarios. Even under direct sunlight, we had no issues. OnePlus claims that it is the world’s first smartphone to receive an A+ rating from DisplayMate. 

Coming to things that will actually affect your user experience: the OnePlus 8T has a refresh rate of 120Hz. That bit will be noticeable as soon as you start using it. Be it scrolling through social media, reading or gaming, every interaction feels a lot smoother. 

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 3 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The AMOLED construction of the panel also enables more vivid visuals with high levels of contrast and perfectly inky blacks. In case you prefer a more muted or saturated look, the colour profiles can also be changed. OnePlus also claims of industry-leading colour accuracy with a JNCD of about 0.3. Based on our testing, the colour rendition did seem to be on point.

As with other OnePlus phones launched this year, even the 8T opts for a punch-hole selfie camera in the top-left corner of the display. It is pretty small and easy to ignore once you start using it. Usually, it will be hidden amid the status bar anyway.

Staples such as Gorilla Glass protection and sRGB and Display P3 also make the cut. All of these combine to make the OnePlus 8T’s display one of the best in business, be it gaming or content consumption.

Audio

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The OnePlus 8T is one of the few smartphones to offer a dual stereo speaker setup - a primary loudspeaker on the bottom and the earpiece doubling as the second one on the top. They combine to offer a fairly loud output with minimal distortion. Naturally, the call quality was great too. There’s some level of smart noise-cancelling as well. 

A headphone jack is not included, but audio over USB Type-C is supported. Transmission over Bluetooth was reliable and clear too. Dolby Atmos can also be enabled for a more immersive experience.

Performance

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 3 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Internal specifications is one place where OnePlus has never cut corners. The 8T is no different, offering the Snapdragon 865 chipset with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and speedy UFS 3.1 storage. As expected, the phone sprints through everything thrown at it which isn’t much of a surprise.

It consistently hung on to the 120Hz output even while huggling through multiple apps, heavy web pages or multi-tasking in general. I can not recall a single instance where it abnormally stuttered. Our testing revolved around the higher-end variant, but we expect the other variant to perform similarly.

Gaming was extremely enjoyable too. The high refresh rate display along with the 240Hz touch sampling make every input feel instantaneous. The wider screen flanked by the stereo speakers makes the experience even more immersive. The strong haptics seal the deal, making the OnePlus 8T one of the best gaming phones around.

The Snapdragon X55 modem also brings 5G capabilities, so your phone will be ready whenever 5G is in India. Network reception and download speeds on Jio LTE were excellent.

Software

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The new Oxygen OS 11 build has been receiving a lot of flak for how different it is from the stock Android. In some ways, we agree that it is a big step away from the skin we’ve come to like, but it isn’t a particularly bad change. In fact, I’d argue that it is one of the most interesting interfaces on any smartphone.

Oxygen OS 11 is arguably one of the classiest software skins.

The visual overhaul will be evident as soon as you start venturing around. OnePlus says that this approach splits the interactions to the bottom and keeps the major viewing elements on the top. The result is a magazine-like look with big, bold elements in some places and a strong design language elsewhere. Yes, it is very different and can seem inspired by Samsung’s One UI, but I do like it a lot. 

As always, a lot of customizations are possible. Along with the usual dark and light themes, a third new dual-tone theme is also available with red and white secondary colours. It single-handedly gives Oxygen OS a ton of character. The Always-on display (AOD) also learns new tricks. Insight AOD tries to make you aware of how much you’re using your phone, while Bitmoji AOD takes your Snapchat avatar to do different activities through the day. Simpler options such as sketches and clocks are also available.

The included live wallpaper collection abandons the flowing design from the previous years in favour of strong lines and contrasting colours that change the day and move based on the interactions on the screen.

Gaming mode (Image credit: Future)

The OnePlus 8T is also one of the first smartphones to run on Android 11 out-of-the-box. It brings a redesigned notification management system that prioritizes important conversations and gives media controls a dedicated spot amid the quick toggles. This, however, means that you only eight options on the top.

Gamers will be glad to see the redesigned Game Space which can now also be summoned during gameplay with a downward swipe from the top corners to present quick options such as floating messages, blocking notifications, screen recording and current vital stats of the phone.

Overall, the changes in Oxygen OS 11 are very welcome and should go a long way in establishing its identity in the Android world. There are some places which seem to prioritize form over function. No real deal-breakers, but definitely a slight learning curve.

Biometrics

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

The OnePlus 8T once again opts for the industry-standard optical in-display fingerprint scanner from Goodix and optimizes it to be the fastest of its kind. Even a quick tap was almost always enough to unlock the phone. Its positioning is also a little higher than usual, making it easier to reach.

Apart from that, we also get 2D face unlocking using the front camera. While theoretically less secure, it is blazing fast as well. It’s impossible to peek at the time or check notifications without unlocking it.

Battery

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

Battery life can improve with more charge cycles but we’re yet to be impressed.

The OnePlus 8T features a 4,500mAh battery, which is bigger than the 4,300mAh battery in the OnePlus 8 (the 8 Pros is a fraction bigger at 4,510mAh), and the improvement is noticeable but not massive. On most days with heavy use, I got about 6 hours of screen-on time, which is just above average for my usage. Starting early in the morning with WiFi/data on all day, about an hour of video streaming and gaming and some calls could kill it in a day. With slightly lighter use, you should be able to take it to the next day but don’t stray too far away from the charger.

The most meaningful upgrade on the OnePlus 8T is the new Warp Charge 65 - a 6.5V 10A charging implementation that can fully charge the phone in just about 40 minutes, making it the fastest on any smartphone. A short 20-minute top-up was able to refuel it to over 60%.

There’s no wireless charging but OnePlus does throw in Optimized Charging options which can slow down the charging to go easy on the battery’s health. Looking at the bigger picture, there’s not much to complain about here.

Camera

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 3 of 3

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

With the 8 Pro, OnePlus hit new highs with its camera. Sadly, the 8T falls back to the older days of unexceptional camera hardware. The upgrades are only quantitative in nature: four cameras and two flashes. If you’ve used any other OnePlus phone in the last year or so, this is pretty much the same.

Image 1 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 7 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 8 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 9 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 10 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 11 of 12

(Image credit: Future)
Image 12 of 12

(Image credit: Future)

The primary camera is the same old 48MP f/1.7 Sony IMX586 sensor with OIS and EIS. The images have a ton of dynamic range and colour, but the issues start showing as soon as you zoom in. There seems to be a fair bit of processing going on, along with increased saturation. It also doesn’t shy away from raising the shadows, which often results in a contrast-less shot.

Image 1 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 6 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 7 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 8 of 9

(Image credit: Future)
Image 9 of 9

(Image credit: Future)

The ultra-wide lens has a resolution of 16MP, which is fine but struggles to maintain colour temperature parity with the main camera. The dynamic range, while lower, is still surprisingly high.

In lower lighting conditions such as the golden hour, the cameras start going crazy with the temperature and saturation. The difference in the images between the sensors also widens. It seems to be taking a software-driven approach to improving the images’ brightness, which isn’t always the most elegant way to do things.

Image 1 of 5

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 5

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 5

(Image credit: Future)
Image 4 of 5

(Image credit: Future)
Image 5 of 5

(Image credit: Future)

At night, the primary camera does a great job in producing a fairly lit image, usually even brighter than the actual scene. Night Mode takes it even further, but don’t expect a lot of details.

(Image credit: Future)

The macro shooter struggles to lock on to the subject owing to a very slim and fixed plane of focus. Shooting with the regular camera and cropping in will usually yield better results.

Lastly, there’s a monochrome sensor that is supposed to work in tandem with the primary camera for black and white images. We’re not sure if it does much as the lens can be covered with a finger without affecting the final image. Moreover, taking the saturation to 0 while editing does the exact same thing.

You can shoot 4K video at either 30 or 60 frames per second on the rear camera, with super slow motion available at 720p, and a timelapse mode. The optical image stabilization helps make video recording smoother than on other phones too. Night mode is now also available for shooting videos.

Verdict

Image 1 of 2

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
Image 2 of 2

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)

There’s no single headlining feature or upgrade on the OnePlus 8T but rather a bunch of smaller improvements across the board. If you own any recent OnePlus phone, you aren’t missing out on much. 

Its strong points are once again the display, software experience and performance. If it had a more reliable camera, it would have been a near-perfect smartphone. In the meanwhile, if you’re looking for a phone in this segment that offers a great camera, the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro is worth checking out. 

If you'd like to save some money, the slightly cheaper OnePlus 8 offers much the same experience with a sleeker design that is more recognizable.

Buy it if...

You want a gorgeous screen

The resolution may not be the best on the market, but the OnePlus 8T has a screen that looks great thanks to its 120Hz refresh rate and strong brightness levels. It’s one of the better smartphone screens on the market, and a pleasure to use.


You want an easy yet elegant software experience

Once you’re past Android 11’s learning curve, there’s a lot to like on Oxygen OS 11 with a ton of meaningful features that give it character as well as functionality. The high levels of customization is an added advantage.


You want reliable performance

The OnePlus 8T is packed to the brim with all the latest specifications. It is impossible to slow down regardless of how heavy your use is. We think it should last you for years without really slowing down.

Don't buy it if...

You need the best camera on the market

The OnePlus 8T has a capable rear camera that can take some great-looking shots, but you’re not getting the cutting-edge camera tech here that you’ll find on phones like the Samsung Galaxy S20 range or the new Xiaomi flagship.


You prefer your phones to look unique

If you’re buying an expensive phone, it should look like one. While we understand why OnePlus had to make certain design choices, it does result in a rather lacklustre design.


Check out the OnePlus 8T on Amazon.in

Check out the OnePlus 8T on Amazon.in

8GB + 128GB: Rs 42,999

12GB + 256GB: Rs 45,999

Colours: Aquamarine Green, Lunar Silver

Aakash Jhaveri

Aakash is the engine that keeps TechRadar India running, using his experience and ideas to help consumers get to the right products via reviews, buying guides and explainers. Apart from phones, computers and cameras, he is obsessed with electric vehicles.