Android Authority –
Today, OnePlus formally took the wraps off its latest flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 8T. The latest T-series device is a subtle upgrade over the OnePlus 8 that launched earlier this year. Below, you’ll find everything you’ll ever want to know about the smartphone!
Editor’s note: We’ll regularly update this OnePlus 8T guide with more tips, resources, and details. Stay tuned!
OnePlus 8T at a glance
OnePlus launched the 8T at its fall hardware event on October 14, 2020. Historically, OnePlus issues a T-series upgrade to its earlier flagships in the second half of the year, so this launch wasn’t too surprising. What was surprising, though, is that the company didn’t also launch a OnePlus 8T Pro. OnePlus decided to skip that version this year.
Here are the most notable upgrades of the 8T over the OnePlus 8:
- A 120Hz display refresh rate instead of 90Hz
- 65W wired charging instead of 30W
- A quad-camera system instead of triple-cam
- Android 11 skinned with Oxygen OS 11 out-of-the-box
- Two new colorways
Other than the changes above, the OnePlus 8T is very similar to the OnePlus 8. It has the same processor (Snapdragon 865), the same RAM/storage configuration options, and a very similar overall design. Because of the upgrades, however, the 8T now is an “inbetweener” for the series, sitting above the OnePlus 8 but still below the OnePlus 8 Pro.
The OnePlus 8T costs $749 in the US for the Lunar Silver or Aquamarine Green colorways. Either color comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Scroll down further in this article for pricing and availability options throughout the rest of the world.
In the US, the phone now directly competes with the OnePlus 8 and the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Outside the US, it’s in direct competition not only with those two but also with the Poco F2 Pro and the Xiaomi Mi 10T.
You should avoid the OnePlus 8T if you want:
- Wireless charging
- An IP rating against water and dust
- The fastest processor available
- Tons of internal storage and the ability to expand it
- The best camera you can get this year
Is the OnePlus 8T worth buying?
OnePlus fans who already shelled out this year for a OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro probably don’t need to upgrade to the OnePlus 8T. OnePlus 8 owners would be gaining a slightly better camera, faster charging, and a higher display refresh rate, but most other aspects would remain the same. Meanwhile, OnePlus 8 Pro owners would lose out on wireless charging, an IP rating, and getting a weaker camera. They will only really gain faster wired charging speeds.
Buyers who haven’t yet purchased a phone this year, though, might find some good things about the OnePlus 8T. Its incredibly fast charging speed (the fastest in the US at the moment) sets the phone apart from the competition. While it doesn’t have the latest-and-greatest processor (the Snapdragon 865 Plus), it will still be capable of doing pretty much anything you need a smartphone to do, including high-performance gaming. It also will be relatively “future-proof” since it supports 5G connections.
However, do keep in mind that OnePlus traditionally has trouble delivering high-quality photography results with its phones. This camera system doesn’t make us confident that that will change. Additionally, the recently launched Samsung Galaxy S20 FE will offer most of the same specs as the OnePlus 8T at a lower price, with wireless charging, an IP rating, and more on-board.
What AA readers think of the OnePlus 8T
Prior to the launch of the OnePlus 8T, we ran two different polls for the phone. The first we’ve got is a simple choice: do our readers want the 8T or would they rather go with the OnePlus 8 Pro? Obviously, choosing the former will save you some cash while you lose out on some features, while the latter will do the opposite.
The results of that poll are in the chart below. Keep in mind, however, that this poll ran well before OnePlus officially announced the 8T, so these answers are based on pre-launch rumors:
The poll suggests that the majority of Android Authority readers would like the cheaper OnePlus 8T over the OnePlus 8 Pro. However, you can’t ignore how close the results are.
In another poll, we asked whether readers were interested in the 8T or the recently released Google Pixel 5. The latter phone has a much weaker spec sheet when compared to the 8T while still carrying a similar price tag. However, the Pixel 5 will get faster software updates and likely have a better camera when compared to the 8T.
Here’s how Android Authority readers answered that poll:
As you can see, this poll was split right down the middle. Although the OnePlus 8T edged out for the lead, it shows that a terrific camera system and fast software updates are two very important features for our readers.
OnePlus 8T specs
Even though the OnePlus 8T is a powerful phone, it’s certainly not the most powerful handset of the year. Below, you’ll find the official specs of the 8T as compared to the OnePlus 8.
|OnePlus 8T||OnePlus 8|
2,400 x 1,080 resolution
20:9 aspect ratio
120Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
2,400 x 1,080 resolution
20:9 aspect ratio
90Hz refresh rate
In-display fingerprint sensor
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865||Qualcomm Snapdragon 865|
|RAM||8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X||8GB / 12GB LPDDR4X|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB UFS 3.1||128GB / 256GB UFS 3.0|
48MP, ƒ/1.7, 0.8µm, OIS, EIS
5MP macro, 3cm focal length
16MP ultra-wide, ƒ/2.2, 123° FOV
48MP, ƒ/1.78, 0.8µm, OIS, EIS
2MP macro, ƒ/2.4, 1.75µm
16MP ultra-wide, ƒ/2.2, 116° FOV
Warp Charge 65 (10V/6.5A)
No wireless charging
Warp Charge 30T (5V/6A)
No wireless charging
|Software||Oxygen OS 11
|Oxygen OS 11
|Dimensions and weight||160.7 x 74.1 x 8.4mm
|160.2 x 72.9 x 8.0mm
|Colors||Lunar Silver, Aquamarine Green||Interstellar Glow, Glacial Green|
What’s up with these 65W charging speeds?
There are several differences between the OnePlus 8T and other OnePlus phones, but the brand new star feature is the 65W wired charging speed. OnePlus brands it as Warp Charge 65.
OnePlus says this allows you to charge from empty to full in 39 minutes, which our testing backs up. It’s using the slogan “A day’s power in a quarter-hour” because you can get from empty to 58% capacity in just 15 minutes. While that’s incredibly fast, we’ve seen slightly faster times with other 65W charging systems we’ve seen on phones.
The OnePlus 8T should charge faster than any other smartphone the company’s yet launched.
Technically-minded folks might be concerned about how those speeds will affect the longevity of the internal battery. To be clear, ultra-fast charging speeds like this degrade battery longevity quicker than slower charging speeds. To compensate for this, the included 65W charger (when used with the included USB-C-to-USB-C cable) uses 12 different thermal monitors to slow battery degradation. What isn’t clear, though, is how effective this is. We will need to test this out ourselves.
Related: How fast charging really works
Additionally, there are two batteries in the OnePlus 8T. Combined, they pack the equivalent of a 4,500mAh cell. However, the two separate cells should, in theory, help prevent degradation of overall battery life.
Finally, the included 65W charger is also capable of charging other devices at high speeds. If you have a laptop that charges via a USB-C port, it is likely you’ll be able to use it with this charger, for example. For this to work, however, you’ll need to use the charger in tandem with the in-box cable.
How is the OnePlus 8T battery life?
Once again, we haven’t had enough time to test out the phone to make any solid claims regarding battery life. However, we subjectively have seen terrific battery life in our early testing. We can also extrapolate a bit based on our previous testing of the OnePlus 8.
Since the OnePlus 8 shares the same processor, display, and other specs, it wouldn’t be out of the question to assume the phones will have similar battery life. In our subjective testing, the OnePlus 8 got around seven hours of screen-on-time. That enabled us to use the phone without charging for approximately a day-and-a-half. Our objective battery tests saw the phone push through 11.5 hours of browsing time, 16.5 hours of video playback, and 9.5 hours of mixed-use (browsing and video).
Theoretically, the OnePlus 8T should fare about the same. Considering this new phone has a slightly higher battery capacity (by about 200mAh) compared to the OnePlus 8, it’s very possible the 8T will fare even better.
When you combine that long-lasting battery with the ultra-fast wired charging speeds, users who churn through battery should find a lot to love here.
Is the OnePlus 8T fast enough?
Last year, with the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro, the company upped the processing speed compared to the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro. The OnePlus 7 series had the Snapdragon 855 while the 7T series had the Snapdragon 855 Plus. Unfortunately, OnePlus didn’t do that this year. The OnePlus 8T has the exact same processor as the OnePlus 8.
If you want to get technical, that puts the 8T slightly behind the curve of other phones launched in this half of the year. The Asus ROG Phone 3, Samsung Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 all have the Snapdragon 865 Plus. That processor will be nominally faster than the vanilla SD865.
However, that extra boost in speed will hardly be noticeable during everyday usage. Unless you are nitpicking benchmarks, there will be no perceptible difference between the SD865 and SD865 Plus. For the average user, the OnePlus 8T should be blazing fast.
That being said, if you are a big gamer, rely a lot on emulators, or consistently perform processor-heavy tasks on your smartphone, it might be better for you to spend your money on something with the SD865 Plus. Of course, you won’t find a phone with the SD865 Plus at the relatively low price of something like the OnePlus 8T.
OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 8 vs OnePlus 8 Pro
As mentioned earlier, the OnePlus 8T now exists as an inbetweener device. It has more and better features than the OnePlus 8 but isn’t quite as powerful as the OnePlus 8 Pro. Here’s a quick summary of what’s different for each device. If you don’t see an aspect listed here, that means it’s exactly the same across both devices.
- Display: The OnePlus 8 has a 90Hz refresh rate, which is not as good as the 120Hz rate of the 8T. This will enable the 8T to have smoother scrolling and better gaming framerates for specific titles that support it. The 8T’s display is also flat, unlike the OnePlus 8’s curved display. Other specs are exactly the same.
- Storage: Although both the OnePlus 8 and 8T come in the same storage configurations, the 8T has a slight advantage. It has UFS 3.1 speeds, which will make it nominally faster than the OnePlus 8 when it comes to the movement of data.
- Camera: The primary sensor on the 8T is almost the same as the one in the OnePlus 8. The 8T’s ultra-wide lens has a slightly larger field-of-view and the macro lens is of better quality at 5MP when compared to the 3MP sensor on the OnePlus 8. The OnePlus 8T also adds a new fourth lens that the vanilla OnePlus 8 doesn’t have. It’s a monochrome sensor which should help with capturing better black-and-white photos.
- Battery: The OnePlus 8 has a slightly smaller battery capacity when compared to the 8T. The OnePlus 8T will charge much faster than the OnePlus 8 due to the new Warp Charge 65 charger.
- Size: The OnePlus 8 is slightly smaller and lighter when compared to the 8T.
OnePlus 8 Pro
- Display: The OnePlus 8 Pro has the same 120Hz refresh rate as the 8T, but the Pro variant has a larger display at a higher resolution (1440p). The OnePlus 8 Pro also has a curved display while the 8T’s is flat.
- RAM and storage: The OnePlus 8T has slightly faster data-writing speeds than the OnePlus 8 Pro since it runs the UFS 3.1 standard. However, storage capacities are the same for both devices. As far as RAM goes, the 8 Pro has a slight advantage as it uses LPDDR5 while the 8T uses LPDDR4X. Neither of these stats should make much of a difference for the average user.
- Camera: The OnePlus 8 Pro’s quad-camera system will almost certainly capture better shots than the 8T’s quad-camera system. The 8 Pro has a telephoto lens which the 8T does not. Additionally, the 8 Pro has a higher-quality ultra-wide sensor. That all being said, the 8T has a wide-angle lens with a larger field-of-view and its monochrome sensor will probably be more useful to people than the 8 Pro’s color filter lens.
- Battery: For all intents and purposes, the two phones have the same battery capacity. However, the 8T will charge faster since it has the new Warp Charge 65 standard. The 8 Pro, on the other hand, has the option for charging wirelessly, which the 8T does not support at all.
- Durability: The OnePlus 8 Pro has an IP68 certification, ensuring that it is resistant to water and dust. The OnePlus 8T has no certifications at all related to the elements.
- Size: The OnePlus 8 Pro is larger and heavier than the 8T.
Oxygen OS 11 based on Android 11
When you take the OnePlus 8T out of the box, it will be preloaded with the latest iteration of Oxygen OS. This is the stable form of Oxygen OS 11 which is based on Android 11.
There is a whole slew of features introduced with this new version of Oxygen OS. Most notable is the introduction of an always-on display (AOD). Plenty of other smartphones have this feature, but this is the first time a OnePlus phone has had it out-of-the-box.
The OnePlus 8T will be the first phone with the stable version of Oxygen OS 11 out-of-the-box.
Oxygen OS 11 also features a new dark mode toggle in the Quick Settings panel, some new features related to OnePlus Zen Mode, and other upgrades to OnePlus apps. It also offers some new design elements that OnePlus says will make one-handed usage easier.
In addition, it includes all the extras introduced with Android 11. You can find out more about that in our feature roundup.
Although the OnePlus 8T will come with Oxygen OS 11 out-of-the-box, that doesn’t mean other OnePlus phones won’t get it. The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro already have the upgrade. We also expect every OnePlus phone going back to and including the OnePlus 6 to see OOS11. However, there is no set timeline for when those phones will receive the upgrade.
What are some good OnePlus 8T alternatives?
The OnePlus 8T appears to be a stellar phone for its price. However, there are other phones out there with similar specs for a similar price that might be a better fit for you. Additionally, there are phones with weaker specs that will save you some cash.
Here are some alternatives you should consider:
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE ($699): The Galaxy S20 FE is probably the best alternative to the OnePlus 8T on the market. It has the same processor and very similar specs across the board. It offers wireless charging, an IP rating, and expandable storage to boot. Those are all features that the 8T doesn’t have. Really, the only things that definitively make the 8T the better buy is the ultra-fast wired charging and the option for more RAM. If these things don’t matter to you, though, you should absolutely check out the Galaxy S20 FE.
- Google Pixel 5 ($699): If you waged a specs war between the Pixel 5 and the 8T, the Pixel 5 would lose — badly. However, the Pixel 5 will almost certainly take better photos than the 8T. We can’t say that for certain yet because we still need to run both phones through all our tests. However, Pixel phones have historically been better for photography than OnePlus phones. The bottom line is that if you are someone who prizes the camera on your phone above all else, the Pixel 5 is worth a look.
- LG Velvet ($599): If the two most important features for you are wireless charging and an IP rating, then the LG Velvet will offer both and save you some cash. Sure, you’ll get a weaker processor and slower wired charging, but the LG Velvet can still hold its own against the OnePlus 8T in numerous respects. It also sports a terrific-looking design if that’s an important aspect of your phone decisions.
- Xiaomi Mi 10T (€499): Our readers in the US don’t have access to this phone, but our international friends should pay it some attention. It has a lot of the same specs and even ups the ante for the display refresh rate by bumping it up to 144Hz. It’s capable of 65W wired charging speeds, too (although the in-box charger will be slower). If you can deal with the trade-offs, this is a good option that will save you a bit of scratch.
- Apple iPhone 12 ($799): If you aren’t locked to Android, the just-launched iPhone 12 should be on your radar. While you’ll pay a hefty premium for the Pro variants of the latest iPhones, the vanilla model is in the same price bracket. It will offer the same or even better processing speeds and will probably also have a better camera. You’ll lose out on the ultra-fast wired charging and high-refresh-rate display, though.
Should you buy the OnePlus 8T now or wait?
We’re getting close to the end of 2020. Between now and the end of the year, there won’t be too many high-profile flagship releases. If you are determined to buy a 2020 smartphone, you have all the info you need to make a decision. If the OnePlus 8T looks good to you, then you should definitely buy it, as it is unlikely there will be anything else in its class this year.
However, if you can wait a bit longer, the next iteration of the Samsung Galaxy S line will likely launch in early 2021. Those phones will almost certainly have a faster processor and feature all the newest bells-and-whistles. Of course, they will definitely cost more than the 8T.
There won’t be too many more flagship phones launched over the rest of 2020.
If you are concerned about OnePlus dropping the price of the 8T soon after its launch, that is a possibility. With the OnePlus 7T in 2019, the company permanently dropped the starting price by $100 only a few months after launch. Obviously, we can’t say if the manufacturer will do that again with the 8T, but it’s not out of the question.
Ultimately, the OnePlus 8T offers quite a lot for a decent price. If you like it, we recommend buying one now.
Where to buy the OnePlus 8T
The OnePlus 8T opened for pre-orders on October 14 at 11:00 AM ET. It will hit store shelves in the US on October 23, 2020.
In the US, the phone will have only one configuration in two colorways for $749. You can choose between the Aquamarine Green or Lunar Silver colors, but either one comes with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Other countries will have access to a lower-spec’d (and cheaper) configuration of 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The easiest way to buy a OnePlus 8T is directly from OnePlus.com. Just click the buttons below to grab it.
In the US, on October 23, the phone will be available from third-party retailers, including Amazon.
In Canada, the phone will cost $1,099 CAD. That’s for the same 12GB/256GB color configurations as in the US. In the UK, the 8GB/128GB variant in Lunar Silver will cost £549 (~$713) and the 12GB/256GB model in Aquamarine Green will cost £649 (~$843). The memory configurations are locked to the specific colorways. Notably, the UK will also see general sales start earlier on October 20.
In India, the 8GB/128GB model will come in both Lunar Silver and Aquamarine Green for 42,999 rupees (~$585). The 12GB/256GB version will only come in Aquamarine Green for 45,999 rupees (~$626).
If you don’t want to buy it unlocked, you can also get it from certain wireless carriers. Here in the United States, it will be available to buy from T-Mobile and Verizon.
The OnePlus 8T is available in the United States, Canada, almost all of Europe, the United Kingdom, India, China, and Hong Kong.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Where’s the OnePlus 8T Pro?
A: OnePlus declined to create a Pro variant of the 8T, so it does not exist.
Q: What kind of 5G networks are supported?
A: If you buy the phone unlocked or from your carrier, it will only support Sub-6GHz networks. The sole exception is the Verizon model, which will support mmWave connections.
Q: Does the phone have a headphone jack?
A: No, OnePlus no longer includes 3.5mm ports on its flagships.
Q: Does the OnePlus 8T have a microSD card slot?
A: This is something OnePlus has never offered. Chances are good that there will never be a OnePlus phone with expandable storage.
Q: What colors are available?
A: There are two colors: Lunar Silver and Aquamarine Green. In some countries, each color is locked to a RAM/storage configuration, so your color choice could be very important.
Q: Is the OnePlus 8T waterproof?
A: There is no IP rating with the 8T, which means there are no guarantees against water or dust. Be careful!
Q: Does the phone support wireless charging?
A: No. The only OnePlus phone with wireless charging ever made is the OnePlus 8 Pro.
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