OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 8: Five things that have changed in the new OnePlus flagship smartphone

Let’s take a quick look at all the major changes in the new OnePlus 8T from its predecessor

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like the OnePlus 8 was launched not too long ago. It’s probably the lockdown effect, or the fact that the Nord is still fresh in the mind, making the near-six month time frame between the 8 and 8T seem a lot shorter. Anyway, it is time to welcome the newest member of the OnePlus family, the 8T. Has the company brought about enough changes to make the new phone more desirable than its predecessor? Let’s take a quick look.

What’s different in the OnePlus 8T over the OnePlus 8?

Before we head to what has changed, let me state upfront what hasn’t. And ironically, it is the very thing that almost everybody was sure would change - the processing hardware. OnePlus hasn’t jumped onto the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC, and has persisted with the 865 in the 8T. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Neither did we. The company states that the previous flagship chip is still powerful enough, and we don’t disagree.

The RAM and storage configurations remain the same, with the 8T available in 8 GB RAM with 128 GB internal storage or 12 GB RAM with 256 GB internal storage combinations. I don’t think the 6 GB RAM variant will make its appearance here. Now let’s look at what has changed.

(Also read: OnePlus 8T 5G with 48 MP quad-camera setup launched at a starting price of Rs 42,999)

OnePlus 8T comes in two colour variants.

OnePlus 8T comes in two colour variants.

OnePlus 8T Design

A quick glance at the OnePlus 8T from the front or the sides, and one would say that it looks exactly like the OnePlus 8. A closer inspection reveals the subtle changes. The curved display has been replaced with a flat one, and though technically the same size, it makes the phone a couple of millimeters broader and taller. The phone also feels slightly bulkier and heavier to hold as a result. I quite liked the way the OnePlus 8 felt in hand, and that’s something I miss in the 8T.

The chin seems marginally smaller though, if it’s any consolation. The back of the phone has seen a noticeable change. The company has moved away from the typical vertical alignment of cameras at the centre to a 2 x 3 rectangular array at the top left, in tune with current design trends. It does look nicer.

OnePlus 8T Display

The OnePlus 8T has a 6.55-inch flat screen with 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass on top. The fluid AMOLED display still sports the same Full HD+ resolution with 2400 x 1080 pixels, but the refresh rate has been bumped up to 120 Hz from 90 Hz, ostensibly making it even smoother. The screen looks sharp and vibrant and there’s little room for complaint as of now. More on that in the full review.

OnePlus 8T Battery

While the battery capacity has increased by just 200 mAh from 4300 to 4500 mAh, the major change comes in the charging technology that the company calls ‘Warp Charge 65’. OnePlus bundles a 65W turbo charger with the 8T that claims to charge the phone fully from 0 to 100 percent in 39 minutes flat. Review spoiler - they are pretty much on the money with that seemingly ridiculous claim. The phone doesn’t heat up either. Now, that’s a meaningful change!

OnePlus 8T Cameras

Not only has OnePlus changed the rear camera layout, but also the camera configuration on the 8T. For the first time, a regular OnePlus phone (non-Pro/non-Nord) gets a fourth camera module at the back. While I was hoping that the company would bring back the telephoto camera, they haven’t. What we have here is a 48MP primary camera with a Sony IMX586 sensor and optical image stabilization. Giving it company is a 16MP ultra-wide camera with a Sony IMX481 sensor and 123 degrees FOV. There’s also a 2MP monochrome camera, and the macro camera has been bumped up from 2MP to 5MP, which makes it a bit more relevant.

I will discuss the performance of various cameras in our OnePlus 8T review. For now I can tell you that I noticed a marked improvement in at least two modes as compared to its predecessor, one of them being night photography.

OnePlus 8T Software

OnePlus 8T gets Android 11 out of the box with OxygenOS 11. Yes, its predecessors will get the update too, given the company’s track record, but it’s good to have it here from day one. The new OxygenOS is buttery-smooth with a few enhancements here and there (I am still in the process of experiencing it). If you have used a OnePlus phone before, you will take to it like a fish to water, without a learning curve.

I will pause here for now. Stay tuned for our in-depth review of the new OnePlus 8T that’s coming up shortly, where I will share deeper insights about each of the key aspects of the phone.

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