The OnePlus 3 is, without doubt, one of 2016’s very best smartphones because it offers true flagship performance at half the price of most rivals. But just five months after release OnePlus has controversially announced an upgraded version called the ‘OnePlus 3T’.
For this mid-cycle refresh, OnePlus has focused on bumping the specs and adding a few extra hardware features to the OnePlus 3T. The core of the experience in terms of external hardware, display and main camera components remain unchanged. But internally we have some new additions with a better processor, new front camera, 128GB storage option and a larger battery.
First, off, there are a bunch of new wallpapers.
Other than that, it looks exactly like the OnePlus 3 (having the same dimensions even), but there’s a new color option called “Gunmetal” along with “Soft Gold”. The OnePlus 3 was initially available in silver, then a “Soft Gold” version was launched.
The rumours about OnePlus 3T sporting a Snapdragon 821 instead of Snapdragon 820 (as was in the original OnePlus 3) have turned out to be true here. The Snapdragon 821 itself has two variants, one of them – the one used in the Google Pixel – clocked the same as Snapdragon 820, uses 5% less power while the other one – used on the OnePlus 3T – is clocked higher than the Snapdragon 820 but uses the same amount of power.
The Snapdragon 821 runs cooler than the 820 so it doesn’t throttle as much and can consistently run at full speed when needed.
The new phone’s rear camera has remained unchanged from the OnePlus 3 but a sapphire crystal cover added for improved scratch protection along with ‘Intelligent Pixel Technology’ which reduces noise in low light and improved EIS.
On the other hand, the selfie camera has received a huge boost in resolution – whereas the OnePlus 3 has an 8 MP Sony sensor, the 3T comes with a 16 MP Samsung-made snapper which adds a ‘smile capture’ for automated snap taking when you grin.. The aperture remains the same f/2.0, while pixel size has shrunk from 1.4 nm to 1.0 nm. The exact sensor used is the Samsung 3P8SP, and the selfie cam has phase detection autofocus and support for capturing 1080p video at 30fps.
The OnePlus 3T also ups the ante on its older brother with a welcome 13% increase in battery capacity that sees it now close on rivals like the Galaxy S7 Edge (3600 mAh) and Google Pixel XL (3450 mAh):
- OnePlus 3 – 3000 mAh
- OnePlus 3T – 3400 mAh
More frustrating, however, is OnePlus continues with its proprietary ‘Dash Charge’ technology which is incompatible with Qualcomm’s popular Quick Charge alternative and the native USB 3.1 standard Google is starting to push handset makers to adopt on all Android phones going forward. This fracturing of standards (and therefore chargers) hurts what should be one of Android’s biggest advantages over the iPhone.
That said where Dash Charge excels is the speed of its charging while using the phone. Most Android fast charging options are extremely quick while the phone is inactive, but slow significantly when the phone is in use. Dash Charge doesn’t.
The 3T still runs Android Marshmallow, despite some rumors claiming it would launch with Nougat on board. However, the Nougat update should be just around a distant corner.
Here’s a rundown on the specs :
|Operating System||Android 6.0 Marshmallow|
|Display||5.5-inch Optic AMOLED
1920×1080, 401 ppi
Gorilla Glass 4
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 2.35 GHz
Adreno 530 GPU
|Rear Camera||16MP IMX 298, 1.12-micron pixels
f/2.0, OIS, EIS
PDAF, 4K video, 120fps slow-mo
|Front Camera||16MP Samsung 3P8SP, 1-micron pixels
f/2.0, fixed focus
|Connectivity||802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, GPS
USB-C (USB 2.0)
Dual Nano SIM
|Audio||3.5 mm headphone|
|Security||One-touch fingerprint sensor
|Dimensions||152.7 x 74.7 x 7.35 mm|
There will be two models with the base model having the same 64GB as the older model for a slightly higher price of $439 (CAD $599) over the OnePlus 3’s pricing of $399 (CAD 519). There is also a 128GB model for $479 (CAD 639), as the OnePlus 3T offers no means to expand the internal memory. In the EU the prices will be €439 and €479, respectively. In the UK, pricing starts at £399.
The gunmetal OnePlus 3 will launch in the U.S. and Canada on November 22, with a worldwide launch to a dozens of countries on November 28. The soft gold color option will come shortly after launch.
OnePlus did not really talk about India at all, so we can only guess it falls somewhere under the “other” category. The pricing for the OnePlus 3 currently sits at ₹27,999 on Amazon India. This is a ₹1000 more than its price in the US. Judging by that, if and when the OnePlus 3 arrives in India, it should cost about ₹30,000-₹31000 for the base 64GB model and ₹33000-₹34000.
Those who haven’t already bought a OnePlus 3, are you willing to go the extra mile for the bump in specs offered? If you currently own a OnePlus 3, I’d like to know how you feel about this.