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- Bigger, 3,400mAh battery is a great addition
- Comfortably lasts a full day on a single charge
The most welcome addition to the OnePlus 3T over the OnePlus 3 is the bigger battery. The firm has managed to squeeze in a larger power pack into exactly the same frame – a feat which in itself should be applauded.
It means battery capacity has increased from 3,000mAh in the OnePlus 3 to 3,400mAh in the 3T – and it shows.
The OnePlus 3T now comfortably lasts a whole day (from 7am to 11pm) on a single charge, and we usually had at least 10% left in the tank at bedtime.
Our typical usage included a couple of hours of Spotify streaming, many WhatsApp messages, a few calls, two hours of gaming, a range of email activity and a healthy slug of web browser and other app activity (news, sport, etc).
With the OnePlus 3 that sort of usage required us to top up before leaving the office each evening, but with the OnePlus 3T it's not necessary.
We ran the TechRadar 90-minute Full HD video test on the OnePlus 3T, with screen brightness at max, Wi-Fi connected and accounts syncing in the background. When the hour and a half was up the OnePlus 3T had lost just 14% of its 100% charge.
That’s an excellent result – the OnePlus 3 lost 23% in the same test – and the 3T's showing matches the Galaxy S7 (13%) and S7 Edge (14%).
If you do find yourself running low you can use the Dash charging feature to quickly top up. A Dash charging block is included in the box, and you’ll need this to charge the OnePlus 3T quickly.
We plugged in at 12.18 with the battery at 65% to see just how fast Dash charging is. OnePlus claims a 30-minute blast is enough to give you a full day of use – although that of course depends on how much you use your handset.
After five minutes the 3T had already regained 8%, getting up to 73%, and after 10 minutes it had hit 80%. At the 15-minute mark we were up to 86%, which was swiftly followed by 90% after 20 minutes; 25% percent in 20 minutes is a good enough blast for a night out.
After half an hour we were up to 95% – a gain of 40% in 30 minutes. That’s not bad, but it does mean OnePlus’ half hour for a full day claim looks a little ropey.
Turn the OnePlus 3T off and then plug in the Dash charger, though, and you’ll get a faster top-up, which just about gets the firm out of the hole it's dug for itself.
- 16MP rear camera is a solid flagship snapper
- New 16MP front camera is perfect for selfies and Snapchat
On the rear of the OnePlus 3T nothing has changed over the OnePlus 3, with the same Sony-made 16MP rear camera protruding from the metal uni-body, and a single LED flash sitting below it.
Fire up the camera app and it’s more of the same from OnePlus, with a relatively clean interface giving you control over HDR (high dynamic range) and HQ (high quality) modes.
HDR helps to brighten darker areas in your photos, while HQ mode captures more detail – although you can’t use both modes together. In our time with the OnePlus 3T we found there wasn’t a huge difference between the two modes, and we tended to opt for auto HDR as default.
For those who want greater control over their snaps the OnePlus 3T offers a pretty comprehensive manual mode, accessed by tapping the menu icon in the top-left corner, enabling you to tweak various settings such as ISO, white balance, contrast and shutter speed.
There’s also the option to save images as RAW files, which will please the more serious photographers among you.
The OnePlus 3T's camera provides a solid showing in most situations; while it’s not quite up there with the newest iPhones or Samsungs you could do a lot worse than this snapper.
Images can look a little darker – especially in low light – compared to those from the competition, but OnePlus says it’s engineered its camera this way to give a result that's truer to what your eyes see in the same scenario, instead of brightening up dark areas artificially. It’s a matter of personal preference which results you prefer.
The big difference in the camera department here is round the front. The OnePlus 3T boasts a 16MP front snapper – matching the megapixels you get on the rear. Unlike on the rear it isn’t a Sony lens, so the quality isn’t quite as good, but compared to the 8MP offering on the OnePlus 3 (or most other selfie cams on flagship phones) and it’s excellent.
OnePlus’ reasoning for bumping up this camera is to appeal to the Facebook Live/Snapchat/selfie generation – and if you fall into this category you’ll likely be impressed.
Our selfies came out bright, clear and full of detail – and if you aren’t looking your best you can enhance yourself with beauty mode.
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John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.