One Plus 7T Review: An Incredible Phone for a Reasonable Price

Today, the OnePlus 7T goes on sale in the US, and I can safely say that if you’re in the market for a new phone, it should be a front-running contender. Loaded with flagship features, at $599 the 7T is almost a no-brainer. Let’s take a look at why I think this is the best phone for your money.

If you haven’t picked up a new smartphone in a few years, you’ll be in for a bit of sticker shock when looking at what’s available: Prices starting at $749.99 are the norm for mid-tier models with flagships starting in the $1000 range. :choke:

What’s a prospective buyer on a budget supposed to do? One excellent option has always been the phone models offered by OnePlus, a company who prides themselves on their tagline #neversettle. Over the last few years, they have really begun to enforce that promise.

The OnePlus 7T features a 6.55″ 3D Corning Gorilla Glass AMOLED display with a smooth 90 Hz refresh rate (like we saw on the recent 7 Pro). The 7T runs on the latest and most powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ mobile platform, and it comes with 8GB RAM and 128 GB or 256 GB user memory. The 7T has an excellent, accurate, and fast in-display fingerprint sensor, but it can also be unlocked via PIN or facial unlock (which is equally fast and accurate).

Included in the box are the OnePlus 7T, a 30W Warp Charge 30T wall charger, a USB Type-A to USB Type-C cable, a SIM tool, a quick start guide, a welcome letter, safety information, a warranty card, a OnePlus logo sticker, and a clear TPU case. A non-glass screen protector comes already installed on the phone right out of the box.

The OnePlus 7T measures approximately 6.3″ long by 2.9″ wide by 0.3″ thick, and it weighs 6.7 ounces. Its body is composed of  3D Corning Gorilla Glass on both the front and back; the side rails are aluminum. In hand, the phone feels really good; it’s sleek and well-balanced, and while the phone is elongated, it doesn’t feel top-heavy. I like that the display is flat rather than curved like the 7 Pro was. I’ve come to realize that although I like how curved edge glass looks on a device, for actual use I prefer a flat display. On the top center of the display, there is a little “waterdrop” notch that houses the 16-megapixel front-facing camera.

The 7T is available in either Frosted Silver or Glacier Blue I was sent.

Specifications

Display: 6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED (2400×1080; 90Hz)
Rear Cameras: 48 MP (ƒ/1.6); 16 MP ultrawide lens (ƒ/2.2); 12 MP telephoto lens (ƒ/2.2) with 2x optical zoom
Front Camera: 16 MP
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
Operating System: Android 10
RAM: 8GB
User Storage: 128GB
MicroSD: No
Battery: 3,800 mAh with Warp Charge 30T

Here’s a clearer shot of the notch; it’s really small and unobtrusive. At the top of the phone, there is a microphone. If you look closely, you’ll see the long narrow ear speaker that also functions as a second speaker for dual stereo sound. Speaking of stereo sound through the speakers, it’s actually pretty impressive. While it’s not loud enough to rock a room, the Dolby Atmos sound is rich and strong enough so that you can enjoy playing a game or listening to music without feeling like you need to stream to a better speaker; this also makes for an excellent speakerphone experience.

On the right side, there is a power button and a mute switch. The textured mute switch has three locking positions: ring, vibrate, and off.

On the left side, there is a volume rocker.

On the bottom, there is a Dual SIM tray, USB Type-C port, and the second speaker.

On the back, there’s a circular cluster that houses the triple camera lenses and the LED flash. The cameras include the main 48-megapixel lens, a 12-megapixels telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixels ultra-wide lens.

Battery Life

The OnePlus 7T has a 3,800 Lithium-Ion battery that can last for about 8 hours with my typical use which leans heavily on surfing, reading news sites, perusing and posting to social media, writing and answering emails, playing word games, taking lots of photos, and reading Kindle books. The good news is that when charging is required, the all-new Warp Charge 30T will get the battery from 0 to 70% in around a half-hour. The 7T doesn’t have wireless charging, but since that is more about convenience than speed, I’m okay without it.

Speed

I have zero complaints regarding the 7T’s speed. Between the 8GB RAM and the Snapdragon 855+, there are no stutters or stalling whatsoever; it is fast and smooth. Realize that I am not a huge gamer, but I am a power user — and I’ve had to suffer through weird stalls and stutters on other devices (:cough: Pixel 3 XL :cough:). The combo of 8GB RAM with the 855+ on the 7T is the virtual equivalent of a chef’s kiss. I like that the 7T comes loaded with Android 10 right out of the box, and OnePlus’s OxygenOS doesn’t add a lot of unnecessary bulk to the stock Android experience.

Camera

Judge for yourself!  Each one of the photos below is a thumbnail. Click on one to open the gallery where you can see larger unedited photos.

The camera feature that really shines for me is the macro setting. I realize that this may be a niche request, but not many phones have cameras that can handle being so close to something and picking up as much detail. Check this out …

Regular picture of a 50 Yuan bill.

Macro photo of the detail at the bottom of a 50 Yuan bill.

Yeah … wow.

The Display

The OnePlus 7T’s AMOLED display features a 90 Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, and a 20:9 aspect ratio; this all combines to make for an excellent experience when watching movies, reading, or playing games. The notch is so tiny and unobtrusive, you can almost forget that it’s there.

Gotta love the near bezel-less display!

Depending upon what you are looking at, you may not even see it.

In bright sunlight, you will notice the screen is a bit harder to see, but that’s typical so I’m not holding it against the 7T.

Overall, the OnePlus 7T has proven to be one of the fastest, brightest, and most perfectly sized (for my hand, anyway) phones that I’ve ever used. When compared to my daily driver, the Pixel 3XL, I’m blown away by the 7T’s speed and how much bigger (and nicer) the screen is. The 7T’s features and build make it perform like a flagship phone, but the price makes it much more budget-friendly than most. If you are in the market for an affordable new Android phone with all the bells and whistles, the OnePlus 7T is the one to beat.

The OnePlus 7T retails for $599, and it is available directly from the manufacturer and from T-Mobile.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: Super fast and smooth; Excellent build quality; Beautiful and brilliant screen with 90 Hz refresh rate; Dual SIM; Ships with Android 10; Itty-bitty waterdrop notch in the center top of the display; Gorilla Glass display and bak; Excellent stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos sound; Super fast charge; Free case and screen protector included; In-display fingerprint reader is super fast and accurate

What Needs Improvement: No memory card slot; No wireless charging; Battery life, so the Warp Charge 30T is very handy if you are a power user


About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.