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OnePlus 3T Unboxing And First Impressions

Last late November of 2017, OnePlus has unleashed the OnePlus 3T, the upgraded edition of the company's 3rd generation "flagship killer" Android smartphone. Coming from the already powerful Snapdragon 820 chip, OnePlus beefed up its internals by putting the speedier and more efficient Snapdragon 821 chip, added a better 16 MP front facing camera, and bigger 3,400 mAh of battery for longer hours of use.
OnePlus 3T Unboxing And First Impressions
The beast is here!

On paper, it appears that those updates made the OnePlus 3T a very highly capable flagship smartphone with a much lower price tag against most of its competitors late last year.

Fast forward 2nd quarter of 2017, OnePlus finally found an official distributor in our country thru Digital Walker. It means that it now has an official warranty and NTC seal from our lcoal government. In short, this is not a smuggled product compared with gray market sellers.

The question is, can this device still cope up with most of the newer releases? It is better a little late than never? Let's find out!

OnePlus 3T Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD Optic AMOLED 1920 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved screen and Gorilla Glass 4 protection at 401 ppi
CPU: 2.35 GHz 64 Bit Snapdragon 821 quad core processor
GPU: Adreno 530
ROM: 64 GB
Back Camera: 16 MP f/2.0 IMX298 sensor w/ PDAF, OIS, and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16 MP f/2.0 Samsung 3P8SP w/ PDAF
Battery: 3,400 mAh w/ Dash Charge 4A
OS: Android 7.0 Nougat w/ Oxygen OS 4.0.3
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, LTE, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, GPS, A GPS, dual SIM
Others: Fingerprint sensor, USB Type C, Colors: gunmetal, soft gold, midnight black
Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, compass, light, orientation, sound, magnetic
Dimensions: 152.7 x 74.7 x 7.4 mm
Weight: 158 g
Price: PHP 24,990 (PHP 23,990 cash)

Disclaimer: This unit was only borrowed from Digital Walker for our unbiased and constructive review. Again, this is not a paid review.

Unboxing / Accessories

The box
The box

Okay, its the same with what we saw from the original OnePlus 3. Everything is wrapped inside a clean white box w/ red accent and the company's logo.
Accessories inside
Accessories inside

Inside, the proprietary 4A USB Dash Charger, red USB Type C data / charging cables, SIM ejector tool, and cable manager are present. OnePlus also added a thin layer of screen protector on top. In addition, a FREE ZAGG HD Screen Protector was included by Digital Walker in the package.

However, unlike other devices from BBK like OPPO and Vivo, OnePlus failed to add a silicon case inside.

Build Quality / Design

Proper antenna lines and cameras behind

Nothing really changed with the construction and design of the OnePlus 3T coming from the OnePlus 3 except for its default gunmetal gray paint finish. The construction is still as premium as it can get, the special unibody metal used w/ chamfered edges is undeniably sturdy, and the 2.5D curved screen is protected by Corning's extra tough Gorilla Glass 4.
View on top
View on top
Single speaker, USB Type C, and headphone slot below
Single speaker, USB Type C, and headphone slot below
Volume rocker and silent key at left
Volume rocker and silent key at left
Power button and hybrid SIM slot
Power button and dual nano SIM slots

Going to the design, it is still eye catching and flauntable. The solid brushed aluminum body w/ arching back style, textured buttons, and 2.5D glass top are super sleek. It is also unbelievably thin for a handset w/ beastly configuration. Our only minor grip is its protruding main camera.

The OnePlus 3T is very flauntable!

Moving on how it feels in the hands, we still enjoyed that its incredibly light and comfortable to hold. For us, its up to the level of Huawei P9 in terms of ergonomics and the joy of holding it. It isn't so slippery to hold as well.

Then aside from its all-easy to reach properly placed buttons and ports, the OnePlus 3T still has the useful textured silent button at left. Personally, I also liked that it isn't using a physical home button / fingerprint scanner anymore.

However, there's a bit of  learning curve to get used to. The physical capacitive buttons isn't lit and doesn't even have markings.

Initial findings

1. The design is still the same. If you had the old OnePlus 3, you'll find it boring. But, if you're a new OnePlus user, you'll be amazed by its level of craftsmanship for a device this affordable. Then even if its screen isn't on QHD yet, the FHD Optic AMOLED panel it used produced some very accurate color reproduction.
2. Even if you say that this is a 2016 handset, no one can deny that its specs is still top-notch and can still compete w/ most of the best in a head-to-head battle. On paper, it even has more RAM than the LG G6 w/ similar Snapdragon 821 chip. Only the newly announced Samsung Galaxy S8 series and Sony Xperia XZ premium is slightly ahead on it on processor used. We also liked the fact that OnePlus upgraded its battery performance, we can feel the difference.
3. We also noticed that we got our unit at Android 7.0 Nougat w/ Oxygen OS 4.0.3 out of the box instead of the listed Marshmallow OS in most of the spec-sheets we saw. That's a good thing as we easily felt its improvement in snappiness compared with the older OnePlus 3. The icons also looked better.
4. The main camera performance is still the same. For stills, it can still cope up with most of the flagships on some conditions. For videos, its right up there with the likes of ZenFone 3 Zoom in quality. For selfies, its upgraded 16 MP front camera ranks among the nicest we saw. It reminds us of the ageing OPPO F1 Plus in quality.
5. OTG via USB Type C work, reverse charging is present, LED notification is on top, and capacitive keys isn't lit.

As of the moment

Its already April of 2017, but we still think that the OnePlus 3T rank among the best value for money phone in the world, pound per pound. The specs to price to build ratio is nearly unmatched and this can still keep up with most of the very best devices out there.

We are still not done with our review and testing, but as early as now we believe that this is the affordable flagship to get.

For our review: OnePlus 3T Review - Better Late Than Never
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