It’s been just six months from the launch of what was and still is a very popular smartphone in the Android smartphone market, the OnePlus 3, and we already have its upgraded replacement called the OnePlus 3T.

While the OnePlus One went big on bragging rights, the OnePlus 2 somehow fell short of its “flagship killer” title. But in our review of the OnePlus 3, we found out that OnePlus had finally matured, it has grown up now. This is how we have the OnePlus 3; a product that hit the sweet spot for many smartphone buyers looking for a flagship device in the past couple of months.

But with the ever-evolving smartphone market, and more importantly, the launch of the Google Pixel, OnePlus needed a device that could sustain its sales till the OnePlus 4 arrives in the coming year. It needed a smartphone that could keep its sales momentum going even when major flagship announcements start to pour in at the Mobile World Congress 2017 (MWC), which takes off in Barcelona, Spain in February next year.

The OnePlus 3T is here to do just this. It is here to replace, the slightly outdated OnePlus 3 and packs in a few extras that may or may not appeal to the OnePlus 3 owner. So are these hardware improvements worth upgrading for OnePlus 2 and OnePlus 3 owners? Well, that’s what we are here to find out!

Build and Design: 8 / 10

If you own a OnePlus 3, everything will seem pretty much identical. There is not a single change when it comes to build quality or design except for one new element and that is the finish.

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Instead of going with the standard Graphite finish like on the OnePlus 3, the company went in for a slightly altered version of the same shade and tagged it as ‘Gunmetal’. It’s a great colour and similar to the Soft Gold variant, it is unique. I placed it alongside the now older OnePlus 3 (Soft Gold and Graphite), and one can easily tell that it does look different.

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One thing that I did like about this new finish, is that it all the chamfered (and buffed) perforations on the metal body now stand out thanks to the new darker shade. I noticed this subtle touch even the first time I opened the box during our #techtalk Facebook live.

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Another minute detail is that the crown that rear camera is placed in has been given a shade that is darker than the standard chrome finish on the OnePlus 3.

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I always liked the design of the OnePlus 3 and 3T builds on it in most subtle way which is good considering that this is just its replacement and not technically its successor (which would be the OnePlus 4).

Features: 8.5 / 10

The OnePlus 3T features almost the same specifications as the OnePlus 3 with a few upgrades and with the updated hardware, it stands at the very top when it came to performance as well. There’s the same 5.5-inch Full HD Optic AMOLED display on the front with a upgraded 16MP front-facing camera at the top and a fingerprint reader below the display that doubles as the Home button.

On the back, we get the same 16MP camera accompanied by an LED flash as on the OnePlus 3. This time however, there is a sapphire coated glass that protects it instead of a regular one.

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Most of the changes take place on the inside. There’s a shiny new Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 chipset (instead of the 820) clocked at 2.35GHz coupled with an Adreno 530 GPU and the usual 6GB RAM. There’s now a 128GB storage option apart from the usual 64GB model, which is the one that I received for the review. One other detail that did matter, was that the new OnePlus 3T features a 3,400mAh battery instead of usual 3,000mAh unit, which should technically deliver better battery life.

On the communications front, the OnePlus 3T retains its dual nano SIM card slot, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, DLNA, GPS with A-GPS, NFC and more. What is still missing is the FM Radio.

The handset runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow which is now a bit different with a mix of elements from both the global OxygenOS and China’s HydrogenOS.

It was however sad to not see the Google’s VR Daydream make it here. Since OnePlus went with an older design built on Google’s previous guidelines, we can only expect the same to arrive with a new design on the OnePlus 4.

Publish date: December 14, 2016 10:00 am| Modified date: December 14, 2016 10:05 am

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