Each year OnePlus upgrade their devices, adding a T to the phone name. Last year they released T upgrades to both versions of their first half of the year flagships. This year they have decided on just one — likely due to a COVID-19 downturn.

The OnePlus 8T was announced this morning in an online event (is there any other sort in 2020?) with an upgraded display, a refreshed rear camera module and an upgraded battery with a new Warp Charge 65 charging. The new phone looks to once again push the boundaries of what is possible with a mid-range to premium device.

With the OnePlus 8T, we’re offering pro-level capabilities for even more users across our flagship smartphone portfolio. Featuring a class-leading 120Hz AMOLED display, our upgraded 65W fast charging technology and fresh, bold software in OxygenOS 11, the OnePlus 8T offers an impressive overall package of powerful hardware and smooth software.Pete Lau, OnePlus co-founder and CEO

The internal chipset and hardware are extremely similar to the OnePlus 8 — both are powered by a Snapdragon 865, 8GB or 12GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of onboard storage. The display is once again a 6.55-inch2400 x 1080 pixel resolution display but this time it has support for 120Hz refresh rate.

The display also is on top of one of the fastest, most reliable in-display fingerprint sensors available and is punctuated by a punch hole in the top left corner for the 16MP selfie camera (same as the OnePlus 8).

The rear camera module is probably the main difference you will notice with the module this time sitting in the top left corner of the rear of the device, now a quad camera setup. The main lens is once again a Sony IMX586 48MP lens and is accompanied by a 16MP Sony ultrawide angled lens, a 5MP macro or telephoto lens and a 2MP monochrome lens. While a step up from the OnePlus 8 it still sits below the specs of the OnePlus 8 Pro.

The 4,500mAh battery is charged through the USB 3.1 Type-C port at the bottom of the device using their new 65W charging — Warp Charge 65. There is no wireless charging in the 8T, just as there wasn’t in the 8. The battery uses the same dual battery charging technology that OPPO use for their SuperVOOC 2.0 so we expect the 4,500mAh battery to be charged from empty to full in just over 30 minutes. The cable and adapter both have temperature sensors and encryption chipsets to keep charging temperatures at a safe level.

Connectivity-wise, expect a run around with Australian 5G bands if you import this one from the US. The North American version does not support the Australian 5G band N78 (currently the only one in any real existence), but the Indian and European versions do. If importing, grab one of those instead if you want to use Aussie 5G networks. There is also support for Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1.

Software is a real treat when using any OnePlus phone and this one launches with Android 11 onboard, and having used it for a few days already we are mightily impressed with OnePlus’ take on Google’s latest version of Android.

Included are three new versions of an always on display, something that OnePlus has never had but their users have been screaming out for for a while. Along with normal AOD they have:

  • Insight AOD which was created to deliver an AOD centred around digital wellbeing, recording how many times you unlock the phone, encouraging you to unlock it less and enjoy life more
  • Canvas AOD which generates a sketch of your loved ones from images in your gallery using an AI algorithm providing choices for you to use as your wallpaper. Unlocking the phone the AOD will smoothly convert into the original wallpaper images
  • Bitmoji AOD is a partnership with Snapchat to “liven up your ambient display with your personal Bitmoji avatar”. The Bitmoji updates itself throughout the day based on your activity and what’s happening around you

OnePlus have also updated their Dark Mode with new colour tones with distinctive layers to make content easier to read. This is across various apps and throughout the System UI. Dark Mode can be accessed and toggled easily from Quick Settings for a more personalised experience.

Another improvement OnePlus have done is to design their Android 11 UI to be easier to use one handed — something certainly required when you have a phone this big.

The layout has been readjusted according to the golden ratio, with the display being smartly divided to distinguish touch controls from the display area.

This means that the operation space being below allows a “clear and unobstructed view for one-handed control”.

Available in Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver the OnePlus 8T is available through official channels for US$749, CAD$1,099. To import this expect to pay around AU$1,200 and we recommend if you do use a grey market importer try and stick to those with decent reputations.

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Tom Sekulic

The price is a joke. Samsung S20 FE 5G, 256Gb storage 8Gb RAM is just as powerful, has a better camera, SD865 chipset, wireless charging, DEX, cheaper and most importantly, available in Australia for immediate purchase and has a 2yr local warranty. 3 years of major OS upgrades too.