back to article OnePlus 8T: Solid performance and a great screen make this 5G sub-flagship a delight

Six months after OnePlus released a flagship, it followed with a slightly upgraded refresh of the same device. You can distinguish these souped-up variants from their predecessors by the "T" in the name. One such device is the OnePlus 8T — an affordable 5G powerhouse. The 8T has premium specs without the pocket-pummelling …

  1. RockBurner

    You can never have too much RAM.

    I certainly don't need so much screen-space though - any chance of something that will actually fit in the average trouser pocket, or, come that, the average hand?

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      It's only 2.9" wide - because of the aspect ratio, the 6.5" screen doesn't result in a phone that is wide as 16:9 6.5" screened phone.

      If that's too wide, consider looking at Sony's range - I believe they make a smaller phone with top spec internals.

      1. RockBurner

        Oh - I'm a big fan of Sony's 'compact' phones, however even those are growing beyond 5 inches now.

    2. juice Silver badge

      > You can never have too much RAM.

      I'd argue that you can.

      For better or worse, where PCs and laptops seem to have gone for "the RAM and CPU are the only places where we can cut costs", mobile phones seem to have gone for "Moar RAMs and Moar CPU for the marketing checklist!"

      I mean, I'm on a Samsung S10+, with 8GB of ram. And it gets used reasonably heavily - while I don't play games on it, I've got about 30 tabs open in the browser, Slack, Facebook, yadda yadda running.

      And that's currently chewing up 5.1GB, with an extra 700mb "reserved" - and with an option to press a button and reclaim 3.9GB of RAM from "background" apps.

      So as far as I can see, at present, 6GB of RAM is generally more than sufficient for day to day handset usage; 8GB of RAM gives it a nice bit of headroom, but 12GB is just ridiculous, since at least half of that RAM is just sitting there and twiddling it's metaphorical thumbs.

      After all, while it twiddles set thumbs, not only is it sipping your electrons, but it also bumps up the materials cost for your handset.

      As far as I can see, 8GB is more than enough RAM for the foreseeable future; any more than that is pointless, and may well indicate that the company is cutting corners elsewhere (e.g. the RAM speed) in an effort to make the marketing checklist look good...

    3. Mark192

      "any chance of something that will actually fit in the average trouser pocket"

      I understand the wish for a smaller device but a 6.5" screen will fit into normal sized pockets with room to spare. As an example, a 7.2" screened phone fits into every trouser pocket I own.

      I hope that helps.

  2. Tom7

    It's a bit disappointing that the battery barely lasts you through the day. My 7 Pro still normally lasts 36 hours between charges and when new often did me for 48 hours. The 7 Pro's screen is good; the 8T would have to be a *lot* better to justify cutting the battery life by that much, in my view.

    1. Dapprman

      But did you turn off the high refresh rate?

      I did and I think that's how I get 1.5-2 days out of my 7 pro.

      1. Tom7

        Re: But did you turn off the high refresh rate?

        [checks quickly] No.

  3. Shadow Systems

    Questions...

    You may have shown the answers in photos, but since I'm blind & can't see them I'll ask.

    Does it have a headphone jack? An SD card slot? A Taser or Laser weapon? Inquiring (and insane) minds want to know. =-)

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Questions...

      Consider the XKCD Phone IV - it has twelve headphone jacks!

      https://xkcd.com/1707/

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Questions...

        Dave 126,

        I'd not seen the XKCD Phone IV before, so thank you.

        Personally I will find the Gregorian / Julian calendar switch particularly useful.

        However the best feature is clearly the SpaceX Impact Protection: When dropped, phone lands on barge.

        The SpaceX system carefully guides falling phones down to the surface, a process which the phones increasingly often survive without exploding.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Questions...

          > However the best feature is clearly the SpaceX Impact Protection: When dropped, phone lands on barge.

          Make sure you have the latest firmware update to accommodate SpaceX's new barge: 'A Shortfall of Gravitas'

          - https://mobile.twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1312760295228547073

        2. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Questions...

          Personally I will find the Gregorian / Julian calendar switch particularly useful.

          Even though you ain't Spartacus? (Sorry, just couldn't resist...) To each his own, of course, and enjoy, but surely the most modern feature is cough-activated "WebMD Partnership". Does it come in 3 tiers?

    2. wegie

      Re: Questions...

      No headphone jack. OnePlus canned the 3.5mm jack as of the OnePlus 6T. I've spent the intervening two years acquiring USB-C to 3.5mm adapters every six months or so when I've forgotten to pack one of the bloody things.

      More annoyingly, none of the phones come with a dedicated adapter to allow you to charge the phone as well as listen to music on wired headphones at the same time. OnePlus doesn't make such an adapter, and the third party adapters are very much hit and miss.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Questions...

        Why would they make an adapter when they think nobody wants wired headphones?

        To be honest it would be far easier to just get a BT headphone set, you seem to be cutting off your nose to spite your face.

        I deliberately got the 6 not the 6T to retain 3.5mm as long as possible, but ended up not using it. No wire is so wonderful.

        1. Shadow Systems

          Re: Questions...

          Some of us don't want Yet Another Rechargeable cluttering up our desk vying for space in line for charging. Sure a BT headset means no more wires to the phone, but it also means one more damned thing to remember to keep charged, one more thing to become utterly useless/landfill when the battery gives up the ghost, and yet one more way they milk us for every last drop of blood.

          You like wireless headsets & that's fine, but some of us don't & we'll vote with our wallets to reward those vendors that don't treat their customers as jackpot spewing ATM's to be sucked dry at every opportunity.

          *Hands you a pint*

          Drink up. We can agree to disagree & still be civil.

          1. wegie

            Re: Questions...

            @Shadow Systems, thank you for articulating my objections considerably better than I can myself. I bought the 6T to replace my 3T that had succumbed to an interaction with the floor of Birmingham New St knowing about the lack of an adapter, but fully expecting either OnePlus or a third party solution in the VNF. My seventy quid ten year old wired Sennheiser earbuds are perfectly fine (and would cost *considerably* more now to replace), and I really don't see why I should replace a passive solution that just works with a limited lifespan option that needs yet another bloody charging system.

            No beer chez wegie this afternoon, would a large glass of very nice Saffie fizz be acceptable?

          2. JDX Gold badge

            Re: Questions...

            I don't want to have my phone make sacrifices for you old fuddy duddies. It takes up space and adds another hole to the case.

            If your main argument is "I have to charge them" then you're really reaching. As for showing your green credentials, in my experience wired models last less time. A battery is probably going to last longer than the crappy wires. Not that is matters because the packaging takes up more space than the unit!

            If we can have both, great. If only they could make headphones that run off USBC...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "... Oppo Reno4 Pro 5G... touting a far superior processor... there's no actual evidence... "

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      https://www.androidauthority.com/snapdragon-765g-vs-snapdragon-865-1112843/

      Bottom, 765G is absolutely fine and dandy, people messing around with games and fancy camera features might benefit from the 865.

  5. AbortRetryFail

    "Running on top is OxygenOS"

    I thought OxygenOS was an actual fork of Android rather than something that ran on top of Android?

    Or am I getting confused with the older CyanogenOS that OnePlus phones used to run, and which was a variant of CyanogenMod?

  6. tiggity Silver badge

    non premium

    "The 8T has premium specs without the pocket-pummelling usually demanded by a top-drawer phone."

    Those prices would certainly pummel my pocket.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: non premium

      That's more than I paid for a new iPad Air at Christmas. Which is last year's iPad Pro with an updated processor.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: non premium

        How's your iPad Air doing as a phone?

        I could buy a half-decent laptop for less or a PS4. Not sure why this is reelvant.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: non premium

          JDX,

          But an iPad is a phone. It’s just too big to hold up to your ear. The chips and boards are incredibly similar to the iPhone.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: non premium

            I'm a bit confused by the downvotes. If you buy an iPad with 4G chip, then you've bought a mobile phone you can't speak on. It's got all the tech of a mobile phone, but not the UI. Obviously you can use mobile data with your app of choice to use it for voice comms too.

            So the only difference that should affect the price is that the iPad has a screen that's 3-4 times the size of a top line mobile, and therefore is considerably more expensive - and a bigger battery, which is a little more so.

            The only reason for the price difference is that people are more willing to pay stupid money for top of the range mobiles than they are for tablets. And also that lots of people still get phones with their airtime contract, and are thus effectively paying for them in installments - and so don't notice the price.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's more than I paid for a new iPad Air at Christmas

        and definitely more than I paid for ALL my (mobile) handsets, combined. Ever.

        ...

        funny, it appears that each consecutive handset I bought was cheaper than the previous one, goes like:

        1st hand, around 120 quid, 2nd hand, 80-ish quid, 2nd hand 40 quid, 3rd hand, 60 quid (but really good! :). I'm only likely to continue with this trend, if ever my current 3rd hand brick give up ghost. But, given it's a _very_ solid, bump-proof brick, it might well outlive me. Actually, they can put it in my coffin, to amuse those that might dig it up at some point :)

  7. juice Silver badge

    Fast charging vs wireless

    > OnePlus, like Oppo, thinks 65W fast charging can replace slower wireless charging. I’m not convinced

    Ditto.

    I mean, it's nice being able to fast-charge my phone - it'd be great when travelling (pre/post lockdown), as I tend to heavily use both GPS and the camera when wandering around remote climes. Being able to pause for a swift half in a local drinking hole and then emerge with a fully charged phone is definitely good!

    OTOH, on a day-to-day basis, the nice thing about wireless charging is that I can use a "painters easel" stand to stick my phone on. Which means that it's easy to see the screen (no glare from sunlight, or awkward viewing angles) - and as a double bonus, since my phone has an always-on display, it doubles up quite nicely as a bedside clock.

    Plus, I can easily pick it up and/or drop it back, whenever I wander out of my office-study downstairs to make a cuppa.

    Or when I'm reading an ebook before falling asleep, I can paw over to the bedside cabinet and drop the phone onto the stand, with the lights off, and without having to wake back up enough to faff around with finding and plugging in the cable.

    And for an added bonus, it reduces wear and tear on the socket, and means I don't have to mutter darkly whenever my phone decides to loudly announce "moisture detected in USB socket" and refuses to charge via cable until it's spent at least a week soaking up the rays in the Sahara desert.

    Wireless charging may be slower and less efficient, but for me, that's entirely outweighed by the conveniences it brings!

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Fast charging vs wireless

      - wireless charging saves wear and year on the USB socket

      - should the USB socket become unusable, wireless charging allows the phone to remain usable

      - wireless charging allows a damp phone to be charged without delay (phones will often announce the USB socket as being moist if just a drop of rain has fallen in it. Why would the USB socket be facing upwards? Because the headphones plug in next to the USB socket and the cable can only exit my pocket at the top)

      I rarely use wireless charging, but it's nice to know it's there.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Fast charging vs wireless

      It's too inefficient. I'm avoiding it until it's as good as plugging in.

      The fact that you like wireless because it's easier, like plugging a phone charger cable in is an effort, amazes me.

  8. Tom Chiverton 1

    "wireless charging surfaces are present in more places than ever"

    Places you can't go !

    Everyone has a USB cable. Hardly anyone has just the right sort of wireless charge surface.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Almost every charging surface is Qi compatible these days. There are still three types of phone cable commonly in use.

      USB C is more common in pubs and homes than Qi these days... Even Apple-using households might have a newer USB C MacBook, Nintendo Switch, or some other gadget which uses USB C for charging.

  9. Waffle
    Paris Hilton

    Not sure I understand your point about wireless charging. Depending on where you are in the world how won't find it everywhere. I live in London so I can tell you that it really isn't even the case here.

    It's also antithesis to what you said about owning a "high-end car". This phone is a midrange phone, not in the premium rankings, so where's the expectation that you own such a car with this handset?

    Moreover you mention you like to watch it slowly trickle to life. I'm sorry, I don't get this either. If you can quick charge it then you can have it in your hand, pockets or on any surface having enough juice to pick it up. It's faster and actually for the sacrifice of 5-10 mins cabled, much more convenient.

    I do wish it had it, because why not have both, but if I had to make the choice between a slow charge wired and wireless or 65W of convenience then I would go for the latter.

  10. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Fully charged in half an hour means wireless charging is a bit pointless. Even with my older OnePlus I can just quickly charge it for ten minutes before I leave the house to get enough for a short trip out.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Wireless charging offers redundancy should the USB C socket fail, so its not entirely pointless.

      1. Bogbody

        Wireless charging

        Two things wear out on Samsung phones in my experience - usb socket or battery.

        Wireless charging extends the usb sockets life (esp. Micro usb) to the point that it outlasts the battery.

        The phone continuses to be useful until the day that gravity or a thiefing scrote interfers.

        The current crop of Sammy mobs are either far too expensive or are expensive with no wireless charging.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All welll but.......

    .........Where is proper 5G that I can use without losing connection by walking 50 yeards either way of a good signal?

  12. TheProf Silver badge
    Meh

    Fingerprint Reader

    Has anyone got any comments on using in-screen fingerprint sensors?

    How do people used the front sensors? Just tapping it to check the time while leaving the phone on the table?

    I find the one on the back of my current phone very easy to use one-handed. Picking up the phone and once it's in a usable position the fingerprint scanner is in a 'natural' position for my index finger to touch the pad. Of course if I then need to do something useful I need to touch the screen anyway.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Fingerprint Reader

      Some people use their phone whilst it's sat on a desk, or in a dashboard cradle doing duty as a SatNav - times when the rear fingerprint sensor isn't necessarily accessable.

    2. AlanSh

      Re: Fingerprint Reader

      I have the OnePlus 8 with the fingerprint reader under the screen. It works very well. I use my thumb as that is what seems natural.

      It's a damn sight better than the one on my HP Envy PC. That is rubbish.

    3. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Re: Fingerprint Reader

      Qualcomm had the patent on this and wall street became adamant flagship phones should have it

      Honestly it works better on the back of the phone. Putting your fingerprint on the front is weird (to me)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More proof that these companies are out of touch with what most users over 20 actually want, which is a phone that will fit into a pocket, not cost the earth or have lots of "features" that will never get used. As far as I'm concerned, if the screen size is over 6", then I'm not interested, whatever "improvements" are added.

  14. Mark192

    Amusing review

    The specs are focused on the wants of mobile gamers, missing things you'd otherwise expect at this price point* so that memory, ram, processor speed, fast charging, large battery and the high refresh rate OLED screen would fit into this price point.

    As such, it was amusing to read things like "120Hz refresh rate, which makes UI elements feel slickly smooth" and the statement that 12GB ram was excessive "unless dabbling in games" - the whole phone is excessive unless playing the most demanding of games! :-)

    Thank you, I enjoyed the review but mainly for the bemusement-factor.

  15. FlippingGerman

    Battery

    It doesn't matter how fast it can charge if I don't have a socket. Fast charging is not a replacement for decent battery life. And yes, it gets "all-day" battery life (which is a bit meaningless - it hasn't died at the end of the (working?) day?) but how much have you used it? Many days all my phone does is a bit of browsing and playing music over BT. Sometimes a lot more. Having it be fine if I forget to plug in at night is a necessity - it wakes me up in the morning, it has to be alive. Only charging every few days means the long-term life is much better.

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