The back has a new camera block design, which moves everything to the top-left corner of the phone. The main camera is the same as the OnePlus 8, not the OnePlus 8 Pro—a 48MP Sony IMX586 sensor. There’s also a 16MP wide-angle camera, which has an IMX481 sensor, along with a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP monochrome camera. On the front, in a hole-punch cutout, is a 16MP IMX471.
The phone comes with Android 11 and OnePlus’ revamped Android skin, which finally adds an always-on display to the software. Turn it on and you’ll always be able to see the time and any notifications without having to touch the phone. It’s a wonderful feature and something OnePlus should have added years ago. The skin copies a bit from Samsung with big title headers in things like the settings, which makes scrolling lists start at the center of the screen. Everything moves when you scroll up, so it’s really just about making the top list items easier to reach. It looks a bit strange on the OnePlus 8T, but it works well. The rest of the OS only gets the light color tweaks. There was next to no third-party crapware on my device, only an extra install of Netflix. The Nord had Facebook on it, but that doesn’t seem to ship on the 8T.
We had this phone in for a hands-on, but there’s really not much new to say. It’s pretty much a OnePlus 8 Pro with a slightly different screen. It’s a great phone that brings the price for 120Hz displays down a bit, while offering OnePlus’ great-for-Android software support. As far as camera bumps go, I think the new camera design is pretty attractive. Other than that, it’s the standard glass-and-metal package that we’ve already seen from OnePlus. It’s great, just not very new. If money is no object, I’d still rather have the 8 Pro with a better camera, especially for the better macro mode, which the OnePlus 8T still can’t rival. I am not sure that’s worth an extra $150, though.
Samsung recently appeared to be targeting OnePlus with the Galaxy S20 FE, and in the “Pro” column for OnePlus you’re getting double the amount of RAM (12GB versus 6GB), double the amount of storage (256GB versus 128GB), and a newer version of Android (11 versus 10). You also won’t have to deal with Samsung’s poor software support in the future or the plethora of ads in its Android skin. In the “con” column, the OnePlus 8T is $50 more than the FE, and the FE adds a MicroSD slot, IP68 dust and water resistance, and wireless charging.
The OnePlus 8T is up for preorder right now, with a ship date of October 23.
Listing image by Ron Amadeo