OnePlus 7T vs 7 Pro – We Have A WINNER!
One of the most anticipated new smartphones has finally arrived. After all the teasers OnePlus has been putting out in the last few weeks, the new OnePlus 7T is here. Now just to set the record straight, the OnePlus 7T is not replacing or succeeding the OnePlus 7 Pro, but what it does is bring a lot of the features from the OnePlus 7 Pro to a lower price point. How much you may ask? Well it’s going to be priced at $600 USD. Notice I didn’t mention ‘starts at’ and that’s because there’s only one model of this device in two different colors: Glacier Blue and Frosted Silver. As far as specs, you get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage or 256GB in a few select markets (along with a small price premium). Therefore, the new 7T is $100 cheaper than an equivalent spec’ed OnePlus 7 Pro. You may be asking to yourselves, what am I really losing? Well in this review I’m going to walk you through the differences between the OnePlus 7 Pro and the OnePlus 7T. Interestingly enough, OnePlus decided to add some features to the 7T that currently aren’t even on the 7 Pro, which is a bit odd but also cool.
Design & Display
Let’s start with the design and I want to give huge props to OnePlus for not implementing a curved screen around the edges of the device. In my opinion, this alone is a huge upgrade rather than a downgrade from the 7 Pro. This change means you don’t have to worry about warped videos at the top and bottom when you’re watching them in landscape mode, plus it’s a lot more comfortable to hold compared to the 7 Pro. The back is wrapped in the same matte frosted glass texture as the 7 Pro, while the Glazier Blue is lighter than the Nebula Blue on the 7 Pro, which I don’t mind. For $600 this phone feels great, it’s a bit lighter than the 7 Pro and size-wise they are pretty much the same albeit a few millimeter differences here and there.
Moving on to the display, the 7T comes with a fluid 90Hz AMOLED screen but with a catch, which I think most of you knew was coming. The catch is the resolution is set to 1080P+ versus QHD+ on the 7 Pro. I can’t complain about that too much because the screen is still pretty sharp, and in classic OnePlus fashion they give you the option to switch between different color profiles including DCI-P3 three and it looks great. However, I did want to bring up an issue that I experienced with the display. The first unit that I got was showing some horizontal banding issues, but I did get a replacement that fixed the issue. I’m not sure if this is a going to be a common problem for a lot of the retail samples, but I thought that was worth bringing up. Now the teardrop notch is still here just like on the 6T, but they’ve made it a bit smaller so no pop-up style cameras like the 7 Pro. You still get dual front-facing speakers just like the 7 Pro, so there’s fantastic audio projection and it’s loud and clear too. No complaints there. The in-display fingerprint scanner has been imported from the 7 Pro, but interestingly enough as I was comparing the responsiveness of the sensors I noticed that the 7 Pro was still a lot faster than the 7T. I’m not sure if that has to do with Android 10 running on this device, perhaps OnePlus has some optimizing to do.
Better than the 7 Pro
You remember how I mentioned that OnePlus added some features to the 7T that unfortunately aren’t on 7 Pro. Well here’s where it starts, the 7T now comes with a faster SOC. In this case, the Snapdragon 855+, which is a slightly overclocked version of the standard SD855 found on the OnePlus 7 Pro. I did ask OnePlus about this and they said that they wanted to bring the best currently available SOC to consumers and I appreciate that. Are you going to notice a significant difference in terms of performance between these devices? No, at least I wasn’t able to tell because the phones still feel snappy. I mean you’ve also got that 90Hz screen that really increases the general perception of fluidity while you’re using the phone, which is awesome. Benchmarks do tell a story, but there’s just so much more than that.
Next there’s Warp Charge 30T – there’s the T that we’ve been looking for – which is 20% faster compared to Warp Charge 30 that is supported on the OnePlus 7 Pro. OnePlus was able to do this by optimizing the internal resistance of the battery to accept a faster charging rate, but also optimize it so that it’s not running hotter while you’re using the device when it’s plugged in. I did test this out, and yes it is noticeably faster then previous Warp Charge 30. However, it also sucks for users who have the OnePlus 7 Pro.
Another new addition to the 7T is Super Macro mode, which I think is really cool. It allows you to get super close to the subject, as little as 2.5 centimeters away without losing focus. And as you can see you can get pretty creative with it and the images come out looking fantastic. You can get really close to subjects to capture cool perspectives. Unfortunately, this is only a hardware upgrade, OnePlus has actually tweaked the camera a little bit to include that feature, which means it won’t be available as a software update to the 7 Pro. This really sucks for current owners of that device because the 7 Pro is their flagship model, and missing such a great feature just kills the value proposition for this phone in the first place.
Speaking of the cameras, aside from the macro mode, the various components are quite similar to the 7 Pro. You get this triple camera layout with an ultra wide-angle, the standard 48MP sensor and a telephoto lens. Interestingly enough, you only get a 2X optical zoom range versus 3X on the 7 Pro. The telephoto sensor is a bit of an upgrade, it is 12MP F2.2 versus 8MP F2.4 on the 7 Pro. As you can see the pictures coming out of the sensors look really good. They are pretty sharp and maintain a good balance of contrast and saturation.Obviously if you pixel peep you’re going to notice that it’s not as detailed as the Pixel 3. The color tones on the 7T looked a bit warmer compared to the 7 Pro, which I thought was interesting. In low light the camera is decent, it’s not super noisy or anything. You do lose a bit of detail, especially when you are involving people as subjects, as skin tones don’t look that great, but it’s respectable. Perhaps a GCam Mod could help address this. OnePlus has also improved the video recording capabilities on the 7T, so now it combines both the EIS and the OIS to create a super stable mode feature that gives you pretty stable footage. I’m really impressed with how smooth the footage is, because even when walking at a normal pace the footage looks totally usable.
Now with all of that being said, let’s talk about that huge circular camera bump. I’m not really a fan of it. It’s big and the protrusion is very much noticeable when you lay the phone flat down on a desk. I would have preferred a subtle bump like what’s on the 7 Pro, but this is something that can easily be addressed if you put a case on it. No, but seriously, let me know what you all think about this circular camera bump on the 7T. Is it something that you’re okay with or would you rather go with something that’s a little bit more subtle like on the 7 Pro.
Software & Battery Life
Finally, I want to go over the new software enhancements with Oxygen OS. The 7T comes shipped with Android 10 and OnePlus has made customization a little more intuitive. Now there’s a separate tab solely for customization, which lets you easily access wallpapers, clock style for your lock screen, fingerprint animation, you can also monitor accent colors in real-time, and even change the tone to a system-wide dark mode (which looks great). You can also change the system font, change the shape of the settings icons, as well as quickly switch icon packs. Basically you don’t have to fish for these options. It’s all right there and I appreciate that. However, they did take away the subtle Back and Home bar, which was in Android 9. Now you’re only left with the standard Back/Home/Recent layout or full screen mode, which I’m enjoying quite a bit. You get a thin horizontal bar, kind of like what’s on iOS, and if you swipe up from the bottom that takes you to the home screen, to go back you can simply swipe inward from the lower left or lower right edge of the screen. In order to bring up recent apps you simply swipe up from the bottom and pause, and to switch between apps you simply swipe left or right with a bottom bar. It did take me a couple of days to get used to this new full screen layout with the bar at the bottom, and I’m glad that they’re giving users the option to customize the navigation bar to the old school Square/Round/Triangle layout.
One last thing that I want to touch base on is battery life. It’s not the greatest, it’s still very much similar to the OnePlus 7 Pro. This makes sense because the OnePlus 7 Pro has a 4,000mAh power battery and QHD+ resolution display, while OnePlus 7T has a 3,800mAh battery but a slightly lower resolution. The 90Hz screen that both of these models come with really adds to the battery drain. This means both are very much similar, and nowhere closer to the OnePlus 6T from last year, which had phenomenal battery life. I was able to get two days of use from that device, which was fantastic, but unfortunately that’s not a strength that the 7T continues.
To conclude, I’m really impressed with what the 7T brings to the table. However, at the same time I feel bad for people who bought the 7 Pro because the 7T brings like 90% of the features and a lower price point. Most notably the 90Hz AMOLED display by itself is a fantastic feature to bring down to this price point. Also the display is flat, which makes it more practical to use compared to the 7 Pro. One of my major complaints with the 7 Pro what the curved screen, it was super distracting while watching content and I didn’t really enjoy it, but the 7T is just a much better experience. The camera performance is good, especially if you put them in really good lighting situations. In low light it’s certainly not the best. I think my favorite feature is that new macro mode, you can get really creative with it, but it really sucks that it’s not on the 7 Pro. At this point I don’t know why someone would pick a 7 Pro over the 7T? I think the only reason you would want to get the 7 Pro is because of the higher resolution screen, but aside from that I would hands down recommend the 7T over the 7 Pro. If you’ve been waiting to buy a OnePlus device now is probably the time to pick it up. That being said, we have phones like the Pixel 4 coming onto the market, and some other phones too, into but for $600 I think the 7T certainly sets a benchmark for itself compared to the competition. I’m curious to see what the end of 2019 or the rest of 2019 is going to turn out. Let me know what guys think about the OnePlus 7T, would you consider the 7T over the 7 Pro and are you waiting for the Pixel 4?