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Best OnePlus phones of 2021: these are the top new or older OnePlus handsets

OnePlus 7T Pro
(Image credit: Future)

In the past year our ranking of the best OnePlus phones has seen lots of updates; besides the launch of the OnePlus 8 range and the OnePlus 8T, the company has also launched a new line with the more affordable OnePlus Nord

2021 will be just as, if not more, busy - there are still rumours swirling about the OnePlus Nord Lite too with the company likely to announce the OnePlus 9 in the first half of 2021, and possibly a OnePlus Watch too.

As such, our list of the best OnePlus phones is regularly updated with new additions, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It’s worth checking back here often if you want to stay up to date on them.

The most recent addition is the OnePlus 8T, which is an upgrade on the OnePlus 8 but not on the OnePlus 8 Pro. There’s no OnePlus 8T Pro, so the 8 Pro is still the flagship.

There are plenty of other handsets to choose from as well, including the aforementioned OnePlus 8 Pro, and the older but still great OnePlus 7 Pro. So, while there are plenty of OnePlus handsets on the way soon, there are already loads of great options to choose from in the meantime. 

The best OnePlus phones of 2021 at a glance

  1. OnePlus 8 Pro
  2. OnePlus 8T
  3. OnePlus Nord
  4. OnePlus 8
  5. OnePlus 7T Pro
  6. OnePlus 7 Pro
  7. OnePlus 6T
  8. OnePlus 7T
  9. OnePlus 6
  10. OnePlus 7

The best OnePlus phones

(Image credit: OnePlus)

1. OnePlus 8 Pro

The most accomplished OnePlus ever, but also the priciest

Specifications
Release date: April 2020
Weight: 199g
Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.4 x 8.5mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.78-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3168
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4,510mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 48MP + 8MP + 5MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+One of the best displays around+5G and plenty of power
Reasons to avoid
-Most expensive OnePlus yet-Sizable rear camera bump

It should come as no surprise that the OnePlus 8 Pro is the best OnePlus phone. After all, it’s the brand’s most high-end handset. It stands out both from other OnePlus phones and most other phones through having a 120Hz refresh rate, and that refresh rate is attached to an all-round superb screen.

The OnePlus 8 Pro also packs top-end power, 5G, wireless charging, reverse wireless charging, water resistance, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a quad-lens camera, and just about every other top-end feature you’d expect.

As a result of all this it’s also the most expensive OnePlus phone available, and almost as pricey as big-name rivals, but there’s no denying that you get plenty of phone for your money.

Read our full OnePlus 8 Pro review

OnePlus 8T

(Image credit: OnePlus)

2. OnePlus 8T

The OnePlus 8T is more of the same – and that’s okay

Specifications
Release date: October 2020
Weight: 188g
Dimensions: 160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.55-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Long-lasting battery+Beautiful display
Reasons to avoid
-No wireless charging-No telephoto camera

While the OnePlus 8T is newer than the OnePlus 8 Pro, it doesn’t quite reach that phone’s heights, but with a lower price it doesn’t need to, and while it’s rather familiar, it’s also very good.

Highlights include a great 6.55-inch 1080 x 2400 AMOLED screen with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, a long-lasting 4,500mAh battery with super-speedy 65W charging, and plenty of power from its Snapdragon 865 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM.

The OnePlus 8T also has a quad-lens camera, 5G, and strong software. There’s no telephoto camera or wireless charging, but in most other ways this could almost be a flagship.

Read our full OnePlus 8T review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

3. OnePlus Nord

Killing its own flagships

Specifications
Release date: July 2020
Weight: 184g
Dimensions: 158.3 x 73.3 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.44-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 765G
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 4,115mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera: 32MP + 8MP
Reasons to buy
+The cheapest OnePlus phone +Premium design 
Reasons to avoid
-Average battery life-No IP rating 

While OnePlus claims it has not gone back to its roots with the Nord, it’s hard to believe the company. The £379 Nord is very well priced considering the specs, and undercuts the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro without sacrificing too much.

Its Snapdragon 765G processor is fine for all but the top end of mobile gamers, the cameras are pretty good, the 90Hz display is lovely and the design while not anything special stands out in the blue colour option.

It’s a shame it’s not available in the US but for the UK, Europe and India this is all the OnePlus phone many people will need at a price that drastically undercuts similar phones. The lack of IP rating and wireless charging will put some people off though, plus the frame is made of plastic.

Read our full OnePlus Nord review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

4. OnePlus 8

The OnePlus 8 is the new affordable flagship to beat

Specifications
Release date: April 2020
Weight: 180g
Dimensions: 160.2 x 72.9 x 8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.55-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 865
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4,300mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 16MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Affordable 5G connectivity+Impressive specs
Reasons to avoid
-No telephoto camera-No wireless charging

The OnePlus 8 is rather shown up by the OnePlus 8 Pro, but it’s still a great phone in its own right, thanks to its similarly high-end power (you’re getting the same Snapdragon 865 chipset) and lower price.

The OnePlus 8 also supports 5G as standard and has a 90Hz refresh rate on its 6.55-inch 1080 x 2400 screen – specs that aren’t quite a match for the OnePlus 8 Pro, but are still decent.

There’s a big 4,300mAh battery here too, with support for fast charging, plus an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a triple-lens camera, and up to 12GB of RAM. Unlike its Pro sibling this isn’t quite a rival to the best Samsung and Apple handsets, but at what it costs it doesn’t need to be.

Read our full OnePlus 8 review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

5. OnePlus 7T Pro

One of the better OnePlus phones right now

Specifications
Release date: October 2019
Weight: 206g
Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.67-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3120
CPU: Snapdragon 855 Plus
RAM: 8/12GB
Storage: 256GB
Battery: 4,085mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Smooth and beautiful display+Great design
Reasons to avoid
-No wireless charging-Camera can struggle

The OnePlus 7T Pro isn't the newest Pro-model OnePlus phone any more but it's still one of the very best.

This phone is a great-looking device, with a pop-up front-facing camera and three very decent cameras on the rear. It has got a 90Hz display which is crisp to look at, and had one of the best processors available when it came out.

It's a very small upgrade over the OnePlus 7 Pro, and has a lot in common specs-wise with the 7T, which are both more affordable phones, so if money's an issue you might want to check out the other entries on this list, but this still undercuts the OnePlus 8 Pro.

Read our full OnePlus 7T Pro review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

6. OnePlus 7 Pro

The first OnePlus Pro phone

Specifications
Release date: May 2019
Weight: 206g
Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.67-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3120
CPU: Snapdragon 855
RAM: 6/8/12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant all-screen display+Fast performance and charging
Reasons to avoid
-Camera is good, not great-Not for small hands

The OnePlus 7 Pro was the first 'Pro' phone from the company to come out, and in the brief time since its launch this and the 7T Pro have become some of the most popular flagships around.

The OnePlus 7 Pro has three powerful cameras, a beautiful all-screen display not broken up by a notch or punch-hole (thanks to the pop-up front-facing camera), and a great battery life and fast-charging combination. It's also not going to break the bank as much as something from Apple or Samsung.

Since the device has now been succeeded multiple times, it's now decidedly affordable, so you can pick it up for a great price. It's not a huge downgrade either, with only a few minor differences from the OnePlus 7T Pro, so we'd recommend it wholeheartedly.

Read our full OnePlus 7 Pro review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

7. OnePlus 6T

A serious value pick

Specifications
Release date: November 2018
Weight: 185g
Dimensions: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.41-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 845
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 3,700mAh
Rear camera: 16MP + 20MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+All-day battery+Top-end design
Reasons to avoid
-No headphone jack-Not a QHD display

The OnePlus 6T was one of the best affordable picks of 2018, bringing top-end features at a mid-range price tag. Well, it did have a mid-range price tag, but with the release of the 7 and 7T handsets, the 6T is now seriously affordable.

The phone has decent cameras, a long-lasting battery and a sturdy, refined design, perfect for people who want a great handset without needing top-end features.

Sure, there's no wireless charging and the display isn't QHD, but not everyone needs those features in a smartphone.

Read our full OnePlus 6T review

8. OnePlus 7T

Yet another affordable powerhouse from OnePlus

Specifications
Release date: October 2019
Weight: 190g
Dimensions: 160.9 x 74.4 x 8.1mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.55-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 855 Plus
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128/256GB
Battery: 3,800mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 12MP + 16MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Brilliant refresh rate+Smooth UI
Reasons to avoid
-No heaphone jack-Large camera area

While the OnePlus 7T Pro was arguably a very slight upgrade over its predecessor, the 7T is a huge leap up from the 7; in fact, the device is even better than its 'Pro' sibling in a few ways, such as a higher-resolution zoom camera.

The OnePlus 7T has the 90Hz refresh rate, Android 10, and high-end chipset of its bigger sibling, but loses the pop-up camera and a portion of the asking price as a result.

This phone doesn't have wireless charging, but if that's a feature you need, your only OnePlus option is the 8 Pro. But in general the OnePlus 7T isn't just a decent budget device, it's a fantastic one.

Read our full OnePlus 7T review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

9. OnePlus 6

A decent 2018 smartphone

Specifications
Release date: May 2018
Weight: 177g
Dimensions: 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.28-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2280
CPU: Snapdragon 845
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB
Battery: 3,300mAh
Rear camera: 16MP + 20MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Clean interface+Design feels premium
Reasons to avoid
-Mono speaker-Only Full HD resolution

The OnePlus 6 may have been overshadowed by the 6T in 2018, but that doesn't mean you should count it out. It was a great phone then, and it's a great phone now, even if its successors are better.

The phone has a decent camera array, a solid build, and also the last physical (as opposed to in-screen) fingerprint sensor on a OnePlus handset, so if you're looking for an affordable device with a fingerprint scanner that isn't in the screen, this is the phone for you.

Plus, thanks to the fact that it's older than the prior phones on this list, it's now rather affordable – although from most retailers it's roughly the same price as the 6T.

Read our full OnePlus 6 review

(Image credit: OnePlus)

10. OnePlus 7

We didn't forget about it

Specifications
Release date: June 2018
Weight: 182g
Dimensions: 157.7 x 74.8 x 8.2mm
OS: Android 10
Screen size: 6.41-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 855
RAM: 6/8GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB
Battery: 3,700mAh
Rear camera: 48MP + 5MP
Front camera: 16MP
Reasons to buy
+Solid battery life+Decent processing power
Reasons to avoid
-Sandwiched between better phones-No microSD, headphone jack

We know what you're wondering – why is the OnePlus 7 below the 6-series in our rankings of the best OnePlus phones? Well, that's because it's very similar to the 6T, but costs more, and it was also completely overshadowed by the 7 Pro.

Sure, the phone has a 48MP camera, but it's joined by a much weaker 5MP snapper, and in most other ways it's almost exactly the same phone. If you've used the 6T, you won't find the 7 very different.

That doesn't mean it's a bad phone, not by any means, and if you can find it in a deal it would be worth picking up. But for the best affordable OnePlus phone right now, you might want to stick with the 6T.

Read our full OnePlus 7 review