The OnePlus 7T brings a 90Hz screen for less than $600
OnePlusOnePlus just announced the new OnePlus 7T, a follow-up to the OnePlus 7, which was released in global markets (but not the US) earlier this year, and the OnePlus 6T from last year. The 7T has a lot of the same features as its sibling, the OnePlus 7 Pro, but it’s a little smaller and costs less. You’ll be able to buy the 7T from OnePlus or T-Mobile in gray or blue starting on October 18th for $599, making it about $70 to $100 less than the 7 Pro.
That lower price doesn’t mean the 7T is any less of a phone than the 7 Pro, however. In fact, it shares so many features with the 7 Pro (and even a couple of tricks that the larger phone doesn’t offer) that I think most people would be better served by the 7T.
The most important thing about the 7T is the new 90Hz display, which has trickled down from the 7 Pro. The screen itself is a little smaller and has a slightly lower resolution than the Pro’s — it’s a 6.55-inch 1080p OLED panel — but it’s just as glorious to use, thanks to that high refresh rate. Every interaction is exceptionally smooth. It’s really something you have to see in person to appreciate. I’ve been using the phone for the past week, and I have yet to notice an instance where I felt like the lower resolution was a problem. It’s still very sharp, and the screen has great color and brightness overall. A new boosted sunlight mode will even get it up to 1,000 nits of brightness in direct sunlight, making it easier to see, and it supports both HDR10 and HDR10+ protocols.
The 7T doesn’t have a fully uninterrupted display like the 7 Pro because it doesn’t have a motorized pop-up selfie camera. Instead, it puts the front camera in a small waterdrop notch at the top of the screen. OnePlus claims this notch is 31.6 percent smaller than the one on the 6T and 7, and I haven’t found it to be annoying or obtrusive at all.
Like the 7 Pro, the 7T has an optical fingerprint scanner embedded in the display, which is perhaps the fastest and most reliable in-screen fingerprint scanner I’ve used yet. OnePlus tells me that, although it’s using the same hardware as the 7 Pro, the scanner has been enhanced with software tweaks to be more accurate and even faster than before.
The 7T also drops the aggressively curved sides of the 7 Pro and moves to a 20:9 aspect ratio, both of which have the effect of making it a bit easier to hold in my hand than the Pro model. This is still a large phone, but it’s not too large, like the 7 Pro tends to be. The back of the phone is a smooth matte glass, which looks stunning but tends to be more slippery than OnePlus’ glossy phones.
The back of the phone is home to a new three-camera setup housed in a rather giant protrusion that reminds me of the old Nokia Lumia 1020. Like many other phones available this year, the 7T has a standard camera, an ultra-wide angle, and a telephoto. It’s basically the same camera system as the 7 Pro, including the 48-megapixel main sensor that mostly outputs 12-megapixel images, though the telephoto is just a 2x zoom instead of the longer 3x reach of the 7 Pro. It won’t match what the best cameras on the market can do, but I think many people will be very happy with its results. Dieter has a lot more on the camera in his review of the OnePlus 7 Pro, so head over there for more info and impressions, as they basically all apply to the 7T as well.
The 7T does have one new camera trick: a super macro mode that lets you focus as close as one inch (2.5cm) away from a subject. It’s a fun trick, though it can be challenging to use, as it’s hard to get a sharp picture that close to your subject. But it’s something the 7 Pro can’t do at all, so put that down as a point in the 7T’s column.
The 7T is launching with Android 10 and OnePlus’ OxygenOS version 10, making it one of the first phones to launch with Google’s latest software. You can choose between Android 10’s new gesture interface or the standard three buttons. But if you were a fan of OnePlus’ gestures, I’m sorry to report that those are no longer available. OxygenOS does have a dark mode, but it doesn’t let you change the theme automatically based on sunrise and sunset, which is something I missed from Google’s dark theme.
In fact, when I compare the 7T to any other phone right now, even the 7 Pro, I’m not sure anything can touch this combination of display, performance, and price.
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