OnePlus 7T brings a 90Hz screen for less than $600

OnePlus just announced the new OnePlus 7T, a follow-up to the OnePlus 7, which was released in global markets (but not the US) earlier this year, and the OnePlus 6T from last year. The 7T has a lot of the same features as its sibling, the OnePlus 7 Pro, but it’s a little smaller and costs less. You’ll be able to buy the 7T from OnePlus or T-Mobile in gray or blue starting on October 18th for $599, making it about $70 to $100 less than the 7 Pro.
The most important thing about the 7T is the new 90Hz display, which has trickled down from the 7 Pro. The screen itself is a little smaller and has a slightly lower resolution than the Pro’s — it’s a 6.55-inch 1080p OLED panel — but it’s just as glorious to use, thanks to that high refresh rate. Every interaction is exceptionally smooth. It’s really something you have to see in person to appreciate. I’ve been using the phone for the past week, and I have yet to notice an instance where I felt like the lower resolution was a problem. It’s still very sharp, and the screen has great color and brightness overall. A new boosted sunlight mode will even get it up to 1,000 nits of brightness in direct sunlight, making it easier to see, and it supports both HDR10 and HDR10+ protocols.
The 7T also drops the aggressively curved sides of the 7 Pro and moves to a 20:9 aspect ratio, both of which have the effect of making it a bit easier to hold in my hand than the Pro model. This is still a large phone, but it’s not too large, like the 7 Pro tends to be. The back of the phone is a smooth matte glass, which looks stunning but tends to be more slippery than OnePlus’ glossy phones.
The back of the phone is home to a new three-camera setup housed in a rather giant protrusion that reminds me of the old Nokia Lumia 1020. Like many other phones available this year, the 7T has a standard camera, an ultra-wide angle, and a telephoto. It’s basically the same camera system as the 7 Pro, including the 48-megapixel main sensor that mostly outputs 12-megapixel images, though the telephoto is just a 2x zoom instead of the longer 3x reach of the 7 Pro. It won’t match what the best cameras on the market can do, but I think many people will be very happy with its results. Dieter has a lot more on the camera in his review of the OnePlus 7 Pro, so head over there for more info and impressions, as they basically all apply to the 7T as well.
Inside the 7T is Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, which is technically faster than the 855 in the 7 Pro, but you’d be hard-pressed to tell a performance difference between the two. Like the 7 Pro, the 7T is one of the fastest Android phones you can buy, with no lag or stuttering anywhere to be found. The 7T available for purchase in the US has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage; a 256GB model will be available in India and China. As with prior OnePlus phones, there’s no microSD card expansion, but 128GB is a generous amount for a $600 phone.
The 7T also has impressively loud stereo speakers. They aren’t quite as good as the Galaxy Note 10’s or iPhone 11 Pro’s, but they still sound pretty nice. You won’t find a headphone jack or USB-C to headphone dongle in the box, unfortunately, so you’ll have to rely on Bluetooth headphones for private listening or pick up a dongle to use your wired headphones.
Given all of the things the 7T has going for it, is there anything not to love about this phone? For starters, in my week of testing, I only got average battery life, with about four to five hours of screen time, even though the phone has a big 3,800mAh battery. I don’t think this is a huge problem; most people will be able to get through a full day with the 7T, but if you saw that stat and were hoping for a multiday monster, this ain’t it. It’s clear that the 90Hz screen takes a hit on battery life, and you can ramp it down to 60Hz if you want. But I think it’s totally worth the trade; the 90Hz screen is one of the main reasons to consider this phone.