The OnePlus 3 was not only an excellent smartphone, it was also very attractively priced, and one we heartily recommended. But now that OnePlus has debuted the OnePlus 3T, an update of the original with some exciting new specs, its older sibling has been officially discontinued. That means you can no longer buy the OnePlus 3 in the U.S. or Europe, and there are no plans to bring it back. But don’t fret — while the OnePlus 3T is less a revolutionary leap than an evolutionary move forward, it features a number of compelling improvements.
OnePlus made the big reveal during a Facebook Live session. “[OnePlus customers are] early adopters of the latest technology,” OnePlus founder Carl Pei said in an address to the company’s community. “[The OnePlus 3T] is one of the best smartphones of 2016.”
Is he right? Here’s what you need to know about the OnePlus 3T.
Pricing and availability
Want to buy a new OnePlus 3T? The wait is over, and the phone can be purchased online, plus through a network in the U.K.. Here’s what you need to know. In the U.S., the OnePlus 3T is sold through OnePlus’s own online store, where the 64GB model costs $440, and the 128GB model is $480. The OnePlus 3T comes in a new color: gunmetal, while one in soft gold — but only with a 64GB capacity — will become available on November 28.
In the U.K. the 64GB OnePlus 3T costs 400 British pounds and the 128GB version is 440 British pounds, both through the OnePlus online store. OnePlus has also struck an exclusive deal with U.K. network O2, where the phone is offered with a monthly contract. With 1GB of data each month, and unlimited calls and texts, the 64GB OnePlus 3T will be 10 British pounds up front, and 35 British pounds a month for two years. The 128GB phone has no up front cost, but is 37 British pounds a month on the same tariff. Alternatively, buy the 64GB phone outright through O2 for 418 British pounds, and the monthly tariff for the 1GB package will be 18 British pounds.
The new OnePlus 3T is a powerhouse of a flagship smartphone. It features a full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) Optic AMOLED display shielded by Corning Gorilla Glass 4, as well as vastly upgraded cameras. The rear, a 16MP Sony sensor capable of recording video up to 4K in resolution at 30fps, has a pixel size of 1.12μm and an aperture of f/2.0, plus both optical and electronic image stabilization, phase detection autofocus, high-dynamic range, and a sapphire crystal lens cover. The front-facing shooter, meanwhile, sports a whopping 16MP sensor with a 1.12μm pixel size, and comparable electronic image stabilization and phase detection autofocus.
The OnePlus 3T is also packing impressive hardware on the inside. It has got Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 821 processor clocked at 2.35GHz, paired with the Adreno 530 GPU, the same silicon that powers Google’s Pixel phones and Asus’s ZenFone 3 Deluxe. It comes in two configurations, 64GB and 128GB, both of which ship with 6GB of RAM. And both pack the same accouterments: a USB Type-C connection at USB 2.0 speeds, a bottom-facing speaker and dual-microphone with noise cancellation, a fingerprint sensor, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, and an LED notification light.
Battery and software
Powering the new smartphone is a beefy 3,400mAh battery with OnePlus’s proprietary Dash Charge, which was introduced with the OnePlus 3. The company said that, compared to competing fast-charge solutions like Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 3.0, it takes the cake: In a video comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the OnePlus 3, the latter charged up to 64 percent in 30 minutes while the former only managed to reach 50 percent. When we put Dash Charge to the test on the OnePlus 3, it zipped to 100 percent capacity in an hour and 14 minutes, so we’ve no reason to doubt it’ll perform well with the OnePlus 3T.
Despite the upgrades, OnePlus said it managed to retain the same weight and size as the OnePlus 3.
If there’s a damper on the OnePlus 3T, it’s the smartphone’s Oxygen OS software: it’s shipping with Android Marshmallow. It’s an anachronistic choice, to say the least — Marshmallow’s a year old. However, although the OnePlus 3T won’t be eligible for the forthcoming Android 7.0 Nougat-based OxygenOS beta build coming soon for the OnePlus 3, it will get the official version before the end of 2016, according to OnePlus.
Article originally published on 10-14-2016. Lulu Chang also contributed. Updated on 11-28-2016 by Andy Boxall: Added details of the OnePlus 3T’s price and availability, and added new images.