OnePlus 3T review: Digitally remastered

Digitally remastered

GSMArena team, 7 December 2016.

Display

This is yet another department, which OnePlus approached with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality and thankfully so. A 5.5-inch panel still seems to be right in the sweet spot for many mobile users - especially on the Asian markets.

As for the choice of 1080p resolution, at the risk of fueling the seemingly endless flame war on the matter, we still firmly believe that you don't need more pixels. Plus, there is the battery life benefit of using the lower screen resolution, and with OpenGL ES 3.1 gaming becoming even more advanced in graphics, the GPU will appreciate the extra breathing room. Just stick around for the graphics benchmarks if you don't believe us.

Oneplus 3t review

The AMOLED panel in question comes courtesy of Samsung and is specially made for the OnePlus, hence the Optic AMOLED moniker. Still, it looks just as gorgeous as any other Samsung Super AMOLED panel, and unless you place it next to a QHD phone, the difference between the two is hardly noticeable. Sure, the diamond pentile pixel arrangement isn't the best possible choice, but the screen more than makes up for that with its great contrast.

What we will touch upon instead is the VR argument. Yes, 1080p is not ideal for virtual reality, and yes, OnePlus does have a VR headset, of sorts - the Loop VR Headset. However, the company has made it clear that from its standpoint, strapping a phone to your forehead is more of a gimmick than a viable approach to VR in its current form, and as such is not considered a priority. We agree, these are some rather mixed messages they are sending, but then again, the VR headset in question is merely a fancy Google Cardboard-style viewer, so the whole thing is more for show and marketing than anything else.

Anyway, back to the Optic AMOLED panel. It offers a quite respectable 401ppi, and at 439 nits at full blast, it is bright enough for most scenarios. That is even a few nits brighter than the 433nits, which we managed to register on the original OnePlus 3. Contrast is naturally great, given the AMOLED technology and the perfectly deep blacks associated with it.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
OnePlus 2 0.30 399 1334
OnePlus 3 0.00 433
OnePlus 3T 0.00 447
Xiaomi Mi Note 2 0.005 341 68200
Xiaomi Mi 5 0.51 628 1227
Xiaomi Mi 5s 0.51 660 1294
Xiaomi Redmi Pro 0.00 408
Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL 0.45 607 1349
LeEco Le Max 2 0.30 426 1444
ZTE Axon 7 0.00 352
nubia Z11 0.43 513 1196
LG G5 0.17 306 1855
Meizu PRO 6 0.01 360 40000
Meizu MX6 0.34 457 1344
Huawei Honor 8 0.34 374 1101
Huawei P9 0.46 500 1094
Huawei P9 Plus 0.00 400
Huawei Mate 8 0.346 471 1361
Lenovo Moto Z Droid 0.00 371

Sunlight legibility is superb. The panel on the OnePlus 3T surpasses most of Samsung's 2015 offers in this respect and is up to par with its current models.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • OnePlus 3
    4.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy Note7
    4.247
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • OnePlus 3T
    4.232
  • Google Pixel XL
    4.164
  • ZTE Axon 7
    4.154
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Vivo Xplay5 Elite
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Apple iPhone 7
    3.964
  • Huawei P9 Plus
    3.956
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy C5
    3.911
  • Samsung Galaxy C7
    3.896
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.802
  • Xiaomi Redmi Pro
    3.798
  • LG V20 Max auto
    3.798
  • Sony Xperia XZ
    3.795
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016)
    3.756
  • Oppo F1 Plus
    3.709
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Sony Xperia X Compact
    3.694
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • Meizu PRO 6
    3.659
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
    3.588
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016)
    3.523
  • Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) outdoor mode
    3.523
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • nubia Z11
    3.466
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • LG V20
    3.402
  • Oppo R9s
    3.352
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s
    3.276
  • Xiaomi Mi 5
    3.24
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Sony Xperia X Performance
    3.234
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • Motorola Moto X Force
    3.105
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Sony Xperia X
    2.989
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3S
    2.913
  • Sony Xperia XA Ultra
    2.906
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Xiaomi Mi 5s Plus
    2.884
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3 Pro
    2.803
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • Meizu MX6
    2.751
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Huawei P9 Lite
    2.679
  • Vivo V3Max
    2.659
  • Xiaomi Mi Mix
    2.658
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Sony Xperia XA
    2.609
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus
    2.582
  • Motorola Moto G4 Plus (max auto)
    2.582
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • LeEco Le Max 2
    2.567
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Asus Zenfone 3 ZE552KL
    2.563
  • Lenovo Moto G4
    2.544
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Huawei Honor 7 Lite / Honor 5c
    2.506
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Oppo F1s
    2.481
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Huawei nova
    2.467
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Lenovo Vibe K5
    2.459
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • Sony Xperia E5
    2.386
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • HTC 10
    2.378
  • Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016)
    2.378
  • Huawei nova plus
    2.329
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Xiaomi Mi Note
    2.234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Huawei Honor 6
    2.169
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 4
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Acer Liquid X2
    2.084
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Xiaomi Mi Max
    1.996
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Meizu m3 note
    1.923
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215

Along with the choice of screen resolution, color accuracy was another big point over which the OnePlus 3 was criticized. Punchy AMOLED colors are somewhat more appealing to a broader customer audience, which was the reasoning. However, OnePlus quickly found a way to offer a more accurate color rendering mode - called sRGB.

With the OnePlus 3T the option is more easily accessible. It does a great job of delivering accurate colors, with an average deltaE as low as 2.8 and a maximum of 5.5. The image does look a bit bland in this mode, so if the punchy screen is what you are after, then the default mode can deliver plenty of that.

Connectivity

The OnePlus 3T is a Dual-SIM device, just like its sibling and predecessor. It takes two nano SIM cards, and neither of the SIM slots is a hybrid one, and it won't take a microSD. However, we are a lot more willing to let it slide this time around since there is a 128GB version.

There is LTE on board as well. It comes courtesy of Qualcomm's current flagship chip, the Snapdragon 821, with Cat.6 speeds of up to 300 Mbps downstream and a rich combination of HSPDA and LTE bands, making the OnePlus 3T a truly global device.

There's a full set of a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi standards on both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot and DLNA media sharing on supported TVs and PCs. There is also Bluetooth 4.2 added to the mix.

The USB Type-C connector is quickly becoming the industry standard and OnePlus was quite ahead of the curve in this department, adopting it as far back as the OnePlus 2. However, we still can't get over the fact that there is a USB 2.0 controller, standing behind this modern connector.

Battery


Changing gears quickly, as if to wash away the minor USB disappointment, the 3,400 mAh battery in the OnePlus 3T is quite the engineering feat. The most impressive thing about it is that the extra battery capacity doesn't come at the expense of neither added weight nor volume.

Oneplus 3t review

The OnePlus 3T managed to clock in a really impressive 83 hours of endurance rating. This is even more impressive when we consider what we have seen from previous OnePlus phones - 66 hours on the OnePlus 3, 61 hours total on the OnePlus 2 and exactly 66 hours on the original OnePlus One as well. This is a solid achievement by the OnePlus 3, as it does have a smaller battery than its predecessors. However, the OnePlus 3T makes really good use of the extra 400 mAh as well. Standby times saw the biggest improvements, while things like web browsing, video playback and 3G talk time, came out just as optimized as in previous OnePlus software iterations.

As for charging, there is the excellent Dash technology. We already touched upon it briefly, and the hype really is justified. If you use the Dash charger and cable included in the box, you can quickly pump up to 20W of power into the OnePlus 3T.

The technology also rules out overheating, which one could naturally expect with such a current going in the phone. On the technical side of things, this is achieved through a clever segmentation system, which allows the sub-parts of the battery to be charged independently in parallel (Oppo's VOOC charging).

The Dash system is so efficient that it practically eliminated the need for overnight charging while we tested the device. 30 minutes on the charger consistently got us from a dead battery up to 60%. Not only that but 60% in 30 minutes was valid both for the OnePlus 3 and the new "T" variant, despite the difference in battery capacity.

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • Sayeed2699

Bought one on January 2017, Now it is January 2020; Still going strong-No issues-2 day battery life.

My android phone oneplus 3T just got locked up and it's requesting for a password but I can't remember using a password for it. Kindly help me

  • Musthafa

please don't buy this phone!!!!! this phone is good but it has display issue all of a sudden while using its display goes so it will be an additional cost to. replace another. I have been affected and most of the people I know too.