OnePlus 3T: Most Boring Smartphone Update?

I had so many expectations from Chinese phone manufacturer OnePlus from its new and latest flagship smartphone this year. No, I’m not talking about the OnePlus 3. That’s old news! Today, OnePlus unveiled the OnePlus 3T.

The OnePlus 3T (pictured) comes in two colours.

It has everything you loved about the OnePlus 3 with an excellent up to date mobile processor—the Snapdragon 821—new and improved and cameras, a brighter display, and a whopping 3400 mAh battery, which is 13% bigger than its predecessor and comes in a new space gray colour. On the software side, it has a refined CyanogenMod layer with Android 7.0 “Nougat” as the stock operating system (finally). It has specs that match new Pixel phone by Google (which I will be giving my opinions on this Saturday), and you’re getting all this for only £399!

You could take my money if I had some!

All around, it is still the best budget flagship you can buy today. So what’s with the title of this post? Well, I and many others watching OnePlus’s live Facebook event had hoped for a better display—something more than 1080p. Yes, 1080p still meets today’s standards, but it would’ve been nice to see a display at least closer to what Samsung would normally offer in this price range, and still be cheaper, not just brighter. As if the display isn’t bright enough!

We hoped for a smaller screen phone. The OnePlus X had supported this, and that is what I was waiting for when they mentioned the OnePlus 2T… or T-2? Yeah, that’s what OnePlus was telling us before the event. It seems that the name was a last minute change and that they completely decided to ditch the previously teased One Plus 2T / T-2.

If they really thought that this was good marketing strategy to hype up their audience, then God, were they wrong. All I kept seeing from the Facebook live stream (not a press release at a venue, which obviously hints that the Facebook event is most probably only going to be minor updates, which turned out to be the case) were angry react emojis.

I could punch this little guy…

A flurry of these annoying mugs were literally flying all over the screen. Loads of them! Too many to count in fact, from angry and disappointed members of the OnePlus community. Now, the presentation was really bad, and really off-putting for some, but I’m not gonna get into that. We are talking about a phone here, not analysing someone constantly looking at notes rather than interacting with their live audience.

However, I asked my friend and current One Plus 3 user, Paul Brown, to tell me his thoughts on the One Plus 3T:

“I personally feel that the battery life is already incredible, and with the new Dash charge, it really makes the phone incredible to use, so I feel that the upgrade is good. But was it necessary? Could they have not just created a new budget smartphone or another high-end model? I guess having improved the processor is probably for the best; I haven’t had any problems with it and I’m not complaining.

“After all this, they’ve increased the price by £60, so I feel that if you want a new phone that is incredible, then either phone is a great option but I don’t think the changes justify that much of a price increase.”

—Paul Brown

The third and final thing I wanted from this the most is one thing that’s been putting me off about the OnePlus 3: not having more LTE bands. “What?! LTE bands?”, you say. Many people don’t talk about this, but I’m going to. Both the OnePlus 3 and 3T are lacking when it comes to the bands that they support, with only eight LTE bands. This is very bad for travel, as the devices don’t have many bands to use for cellular access, and this is also bad for carriers. You won’t be able to go with many carriers, and you are limited to only a few here in the UK and the rest of the world. I also mention this because both phones have two SIM card slots! If you are already limiting your users when it comes to LTE, then why have dual SIM support? OnePlus would have been better off having a microSD card slot instead of another SIM card tray that most users probably won’t even use. So more LTE bands would be ideal for a lot of users. Comparing these devices’ support for only 8 bands with the iPhone 7’s support for a whopping 41 bands, this looks pathetic from OnePlus.

Overall, if you are looking for a new smartphone under or around £400, save yourself £70 and go with the OnePlus 3 rather than the 3T. It’s essentially the same experience, and you’re saving money on the side, which is what OnePlus is all about, anyway. They deliver high-end smartphones to customers that are on lower budgets. However, if you really care about having the best battery out there from a relatively low-cost, high-end smartphone, then the OnePlus 3T is your best bet!