OnePlus 3T review: Good but gone

Price when reviewed

OnePlus 3T review: Performance

Let’s concentrate on performance for the moment. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that one of the few differences between it and the OnePlus 3 is the processor. The OnePlus 3T has a 2.35GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 where the OnePlus 3 has a 2.15GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820.

How much difference does this make? Not much. Qualcomm says by offloading more of the HDR+ processing from the CPU to its Hexagon DSP, the camera should be able to capture HDR images quicker, but that’s about it. In use, both phones feel equally responsive and can play any modern mobile game without breaking a sweat. That isn’t surprising given that each phone has precisely the same amount of RAM – 6GB – and the same Adreno 530 graphics chip.


In the benchmarks, there is a difference between the 3T and its predecessor, but it’s still a good distance overall behind the Samsung Galaxy S7 and its octa-core Exynos 8890 chip. That changes if you factor in price, of course. The following graph displaying Geekbench 4 points per pound shows just how far the OnePlus 3T’s price shifts the balance.


Here, the soon-to-be-no-more OnePlus 3 leads the pack, the OnePlus 3T is a clear second, with the Samsung Galaxy S7 a distant third.

As for graphics performance, the two OnePlus phones are almost identical, which is hardly surprising given they both use the Adreno 530 graphics chip. The Samsung Galaxy falls behind in the onscreen test because its 2,560 x 1,440 display requires much more graphics grunt to drive.


The key again, though, is to factor in the price. Here are how those numbers translate to frames rendered per pound:


Once again, the OnePlus phones are a significant stride ahead of the competition, and although the £70 price hike does impact the phone’s bang per buck, it’s still far better value than its immediate rivals.

Battery life should be a touch better, with a larger 3,400mAh battery in place, but on the first run of our test (I’ll be running it again a few times to make sure of the result), the OnePlus 3T returned less impressive results than its predecessor. It lasted 13hrs 22mins where the OnePlus 3 lasted 16hrs 56mins, a good three hours short.

That looks like it may be an anomalous result, though, given the reports I’m reading from around the web, which generally suggests battery life has improved, so I’m going to retest and update this section when I have a better idea how good it really is.

One thing that is clear is that, once the battery runs dry, the OnePlus 3T charges fast. OnePlus states the phone will deliver “a day’s charge in half an hour” when connected to the mains, which sounds impressive until you examine it closely. Exactly how long a given amount of charge is likely to last you will depend on how you use the phone, where you use it, what the network conditions are and so on.

However, I can report that it is pretty impressive. Starting with a capacity of 49%, half an hour connected to the mains ramped up the charge to 92%, with the phone hitting 100% capacity 24 minutes later. So, that’s almost half the battery in half an hour, which is pretty darned good, but probably only a day’s use if you’re really careful with it.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the Dash Charge system the OnePlus 3 uses is proprietary and not compatible with any other system, such as Qualcomm’s Quick Charge. In other words, to get these rates of charge you’ll have to use the power adapter and cable supplied in the box.

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