OnePlus as promised on Tuesday unveiled an upgraded version of its current flagship smartphone. The new OnePlus 3T is a bit more expensive than the standard OnePlus 3 but for some, the slight bump in price may be worth it.
The OnePlus 3T features a 5.5-inch AMOLED display coated in Gorilla Glass 4 operating at a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (401 PPI) and as both OnePlus and Qualcomm alluded to days earlier, is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 SoC clocked at 2.35GHz compared to the industry standard 2.15GHz.
The chip is accompanied by Adreno 530 graphics, 6GB of RAM and your choice of 64GB or 128GB of local flash storage.
The 16-megapixel rear-facing camera uses a Sony IMX298 sensor (the same as the OnePlus 3) with a sapphire crystal coating on the lens while the front-facing selfie cam utilizes a 16-megapixel Samsung 3P8SP sensor.
I’ve often wondered why, in our selfie-obsessed society, manufacturers insist on using low-resolution front-facing cameras on otherwise cutting-edge mobile devices. To the best of my knowledge (and correct me if I’m wrong), the OnePlus 3T is the first to ship with a 16-megapixel (or higher) front camera.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a larger 3,400mAh battery that provides 13 percent more runtime compared to the 3,000mAh pack in the standard OnePlus 3. You also get 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, a USB 2.0 Type-C port, a dual nano-SIM card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It’ll ship running OnePlus’ OxygenOS based on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (an update to Nougat is in the works, we’re told).
The OnePlus 3T represents a curious move in the mobile industry, not due to its specs but simply because of timing. The OnePlus 3 launched on June 14 of this year, or just over five months ago. This goes against the industry norm of releasing a new model every 12 months or so which, as you can imagine, has some OnePlus 3 buyers a bit pissed off that their device is already obsolete.
One has to wonder then, why would OnePlus risk upsetting a loyal fan base by making a flagship obsolete after just five months? There are a few possible reasons I can think of off the top of my head.
Samsung left a pretty big gap in the market when it recalled the Galaxy Note 7. Perhaps OnePlus saw it as an opportunity to capitalize on Samsung’s misfortunes? It would be a quick turnaround for sure but considering the 3T uses the exact same chassis as the standard OnePlus 3, swapping out a few bits of internal hardware may not take very long at all.
Or maybe it’s just another example of OnePlus doing what it does best – disrupting an established industry a la T-Mobile. Another explanation could be that this is just the new normal, what with Microsoft and Sony blazing the trail for mid-cycle hardware refreshes in the console industry. The fact that Apple's latest iPhone wasn't the radical redesign that some had hoped for may have also played a role in OnePlus' decision but I digress.
The OnePlus 3T is priced at $439 for the 64GB model and $479 if you opt for 128GB of flash storage. While that’s more than OnePlus customers are used to, it’s still one hell of a deal given the flagship-grade hardware. Look for it to launch on November 22.