[The LAB] OnePlus 8T Review: Through The Lenses of Rbagdai

  1. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 14, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 14, 2020 :

    Greetings everyone,
    I am Rahul Bagdai (raa-hul bug-die –he/his), a professional graphic designer and student based out of Toronto, ON, Canada. I am also the founder of True-Tech.Net – one of the fastest growing tech sites globally. If my little bio engenders the sense of a déjà vu or familiarity, well, you might remember me from the OnePlus 6 LAB Reviewer’s squad, or my earlier poetic renditions that were shared on the Forums (which, my old friend @SoniaB would agree, is not something I’d not prefer to get into). I also run a Tech YouTube channel, that has been stagnant for a while now. I will soon be reviving it with a full-fledged unboxing+review of the OnePlus 8T – once I finish the written review.

    Anyway, before we commence, I would like to extend my gratitude to the OnePlus team for believing in me and offering me another opportunity to check out one of their devices. It fills my heart with nothing but respect and prestige, that a conglomerate of such stature would pick me as an eligible candidate out of the 15,000 that applied. I feel honored and grateful, OnePlus team! Thank you!

    That said, I will endeavor my best to share objective verdicts on the OnePlus 8T and its various facets. I chose a rather orthodox course to express my pair of pennies on the OnePlus 8T. This review is structured like a book, divided into chapters and tenets. Chapters explore the various facets of the phone and serve as an umbrella for the tenets that dive in deeper.

    Table of Contents:

    Chapter 1: The Grand Unveil (Unboxing & Design)
    • Tenet A: The Box it Clads – Box & Unboxing
    • Tenet B: In It's Full Glory – The Phone Design
    Chapter 2: Light it Up With The 120Hz (The Display)
    • Tenet A: The Spec Game & Design
    • Tenet B: The Experience
    Chapter 3: Like a Lightning Bolt (Charging & Battery)
    • Tenet A: The Spec Game & Design
    • Tenet B: The Experience
    Chapter 4: Ultra Goes Beyond With Fluidity (Performance)
    • Tenet A: Off the Charts (Specifications)
    • Tenet B: Implications
    Chapter 5: Camera (on hold)

    Chapter 6: Did They Change The Butter? (OxygenOS 11)

    Chapter 7: Summary (on hold)

    BTDubs – Camera and Summary are on hold due to some issues that I am speaking to the team with. They'll be out soon.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020

  2. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 14, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 14, 2020 :
    Chapter 1: The Grand Unveil (Unboxing & Design) – [8.5/10]

    Topping my list every year is the OnePlus unboxing experience, along with a few others that I find closer to being quintessential. Whilst being simple, building excitement and anticipation (to a level it doesn’t disappoint), the OnePlus 8T presents itself with a big reveal, which is a feat in itself. Being a graphic/ visual designer, I can’t help but bring my dekkos pertaining to packaging design in this review. Building anticipation and exposing the “unboxer” to a big reveal is an arduous venture – one that I can confirm OnePlus has nailed with its OnePlus 8T packaging and its recent rebrand.

    Tenet A: The Box it Clads – Box & Unboxing


    The vertical-forward approach with the packaging is influenced by the trend of taller displays (or wider if perceived in the landscape format) – something that a habitué user would unintentionally neglect to follow – but would definitely enjoy the outcomes of. The prominent case in point can is how most OnePlus users, tech reviewers and my fellow LAB reviewers enjoy the minimalist, vertical-forward branded unboxing experience, but do not know why it works – design plays a robust role in this.

    That said, it is important to acknowledge that while the experience a minimal and simple, it is very high impact (and the minimalist nature of it is partially the reason why). Designing such a balanced yet symmetry-challenging packaging definitely makes for an amusing unboxing experience. This tenet, which if not divulged upon, would rather go unknowingly unnoticed – that’s what good design is.


    List of items included inside my box (may vary based on your location):
    1. The OnePlus 8T (The showstopper);
    2. A 65-Watt Warp Charging Brick (more compact, sturdier this time);
    3. A 65-Watt Warp Charge Compatible Cable (thicker this time);
    4. An Invitation Letter from Pete (personal touch drives home the idea of a community-developed phone);
    5. A Sticker Set (hitting the fan’s heart);
    6. A Quick Start Guide (if you read this, I just envy your abundantly available time);
    7. A Safety Information booklet;
    8. 8.A SAR Information booklet;
    9. 9.And a Sim Ejector tool (trust me, you need this if you want to text, WhatsApp or Call).

    Tenet B: In It's Full Glory – The Phone Design

    The high-impact unveils the subject at hand itself – The OnePlus 8T. The latest offering to be conceived of the OnePlus Laboratory (yes, lame pun intended), shimmers like the waves of the depth of the oceans and seas in its “Aquamarine Green” back-façade. Although appearing more of a blue in its essence, the new addition to the color palette is like a swim at the beach – refreshing. Nonetheless, given the red theme of the box, I would have loved to see a red OnePlus 8T that drove the OnePlus visual identity home with their latest phone.


    Looking deeper at the experience the back-façade of the phone has to offer, I discern rather peculiar features that speak of the asymmetry-challenging design yet again – the camera module moves to the left, the OnePlus logo is rather an inch north of the vertical centre (which, unlike Apple, is a rather conventionally correct design choice to make – I can engage on why it is so in the comments below), and the OnePlus branding centred at the bottom of the phone.

    I enjoy how OnePlus is driving home consistency with its new visual identity that speaks of the brand, its communication and its identity as bold and robust – being symmetric and making design look appealing is easy but doing the same with asymmetry is powerful triumph. I rattled on a little about this in my OnePlus 6 Review as well.

    You see, the design of the phone controls the way your eyes perceive the visual information, top to bottom, left to right – following the most common conventions of design as well as how most of us react to forms of visual communication: words, language and reading. English is read from left to right, top to bottom. Every single design choice is deliberate. Whilst some of you might disagree and stand with the statement “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, I would not. I believe change is inevitable and necessary – design choices that make user experience better even without the users realizing, are revolutionary. I'd go as far as saying that Design is an iterative process, there are no outcomes – solely iterations that are successful at solving certain problems.

    Moving on from the rear of the phone (before I ramble my two cents to two grand), the sides of the phone see a taper from the back, making it a really smooth and comfortable phone to hold. The sharper edges that lead to the display add to the ability to grip the device appositely. The alert slider has been shrunk and made smoother to use – I cannot appreciate this change enough; I am in love with it.


    The bottom and the top of the phone are standard with the antenna bands, a speaker, and microphone holes. And since the presence of Mr. H. Jack The 3.5th is definitely missed, I would’ve loved if OnePlus had thrown in the Wireless Z (hint-hint, my good friend @Zach X. :p). Sandwiched between all these sides is the gorgeous FHD+ display that gets pretty bright outdoors. It’s tall and mostly uninterrupted – like we all enjoy being when sharing our tales with our friends, but alas, there’s always that one person, who can’t help but interrupt. In the case of the OnePlus 8T, it’s the selfie camera hole that sits right on the top of the almost uninterrupted display. *The OP8T sighs.*

    But again, do you notice the placement of it? It’s on the top and left of the phone? Remember the conventions of design I discussed earlier? We read from top to bottom, left to right. Furthermore, the phone’s ambient display feature is also designed to take this into account.

    That wraps up my take on the physical design of the phone – whilst I want to venture further on the very fine details of the design, like how the flatter-display makes the phone more convenient to use, and ways in which OnePlus is challenging symmetry even more, I believe I have bored you enough with my nitpicking. I’ll save some more for later – the other aspects of the device that I will review soon. I hope I am left uninterrupted my friends, be good listeners. Unlike the hole punch on the OnePlus 8T (*the 8T sighs again*).
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020

  3. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 14, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 14, 2020 :
    Chapter 2: Light it Up With The 120Hz (The Display) – [9.0/10]

    Tenet A: The Spec Game & Design
    The OnePlus 8T borrows directly from its oldest sibling – the OnePlus 8 Pro: a 6.55-inched sized 120Hz display, with a resolution of 2,040 x 1,080. The latest OnePlus offering challenges the market by being one of the cheapest smartphones in its price bracket to offer a fluid AMOLED panel with similar specifications. The only head-to-head contender we observe is the Galaxy S20 FE, which in certain markets, might rob the crown. Nonetheless, in other markets, OnePlus will definitely vanquish the Samsung runner, with its aggressive pricing and stock-like OxygenOS experience (which has taken a hit this year, but more on that later in the upcoming OxygenOS segment).


    The OnePlus 8T also observes a significant increase towards its display brightness as compared to the OnePlus 8. The 8T’s display becomes more visibly accessible outdoors with its augmented 1,100 nits and 8,192 levels of brightness.

    Last but not the least, is the front-facing camera sensor that shamelessly intrudes the gorgeous flat display’s expanse till the very proximity of the bezels. You see Karens, the OnePlus 8T is making sure that it maintains just enough social distance with the edges. Wear your mask and maintain your social distance! Sorry for the bad jokes but bear with me – don’t intrude on my fair expanse of humour in this review.

    Tenet B: The Experience
    Now that we have divulged upon the specifications of the phone, it is time to understand how these choices add or discount from the experience of the display. Kicking it off with the 120Hz panel – I do not have much to say. Even after trying hard to nitpick, OnePlus has left me stunned, with an empty gaze of just astound. Part of this experience of mine stems from not having experienced a phone with higher refresh rate before – I never expected it to be so fluid and add to the experience to such a steep degree.

    It’s one of those minute details that gets lost in translation through the camera lenses of YouTubers, photographers or reviewers. It is more sedulous then it sounds, to conceptualize in writing or through any other form of visual communication, the smoothness that the 120Hz renders. All in all, it is definitely a welcomed addition that I have learnt to cherish.


    Moving on, the flat screen and the increased brightness level work hand-in-hand to make the phone’s display more practical than ever. Whilst it might make the phone’s screen appear less shapely or refined, it adds more to the functionality of the display. Any good design prioritizes functionality over visuals. A major case in point is Samsung’s gradual transition to flatter screens, which is a page OnePlus seems to have borrowed (amongst a few others) from the diary of Samsung.

    For the readers of this review, I have only one demand – do not take design or design changes lightly. Design is not simply visual, it’s a colossal amount of thought process put in to cultivating a product that solves problems, and not increases them. The design choice of the flatter screen enables the OnePlus 8T to fight glare and reduce cost – passing on both of the benefits to its users. This allows for a smoother, less distracting experience while consuming media or playing games.

    Not being a massive gamer, I played my favourite titles such as Smash Hit and many others (raise your hands you OG gamers who love Smash Hit), only to find the 120Hz and the flat screen building a smooth and seamless experience.

    This iteration of OnePlus’ display gets close to being quintessential, making it arduous for me to nitpick upon the flaws or the lack thereof. But, my not-so-sharp eyes did catch a minuscule tinge of colour change (maybe 5%-ish) under certain viewing angles – which is not such a big deal. Another pesky little detail that pestered my night-time phone usage was the lack of inability of the phone to get sufficiently dim, as compared to how bright it can get.

    Overall though, the Display on the OnePlus 8T speaks of venturing towards perfection, taking a step back from curved edges (a design choice that can be held to a high regard), and employing a 120Hz refresh rate that takes the viewing and software experience to the next level. That wraps up my few thoughts on the display of the OnePlus 8T, and the little camera cutout that rather wouldn’t stop interrupting it. I swear it is the last time I will speak of that joke. On that note, feel free to share your humor, thoughts, ideas and your take on this review in the expanse of the comments below. See you later with the next part of the review.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020

  4. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 14, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 14, 2020 :
    Chapter 3: Like a Lightning Bolt (Charging & Battery) – [9/10]

    Tenet A: In The Blink of an Eye
    Leave it to OnePlus to work on breathtaking fast-charging technologies. Period. Starting with the OnePlus 2, the company was the first to pack a USB-C port on the device – a bold move that lead a revolution in the tech industry. This change allowed for OEMs is to develop faster charging and data-transfer speeds for phones. However, OnePlus is back at the pub, asking other OEMs to hold its beer with the Warp Charge 65.


    The OnePlus 8T divides the battery cell into halves, each with a capacity of 2,250mAh. This allowed OnePlus to leap ahead from 30-Watt to 65-Watt charging. The insane speed is achieved by a clever solution: the two batteries in the phone charge simultaneously. While the upgrade to double the speed might not sound significant to you readers, I personally am pleasantly nonplussed by how quick this phone charges; basically, it is ready to roll when I am.

    I run busy, which has forced me into a vice of forgetting to place my phone on charge in a timely manner. Even with fast-charging phones, I let slip the charging till the last minute every, especially when I am supposed to have a little video call with my parents, step out to hang out with my friends or attend a party. Warp Charge 65 puts my anxiety-ridden mind at ease. Every time I plug this phone in, I am surprised to see over 40-45% battery gain in just about 10 minutes. The phone hits 100% in around 35-40 minutes on average, which is bonkers in itself. With Warp Charge 65, my quotidian charging vices have changed into healthier habits.


    Leave it to the 8T to drive home convenience with its charging speed – certainly one of the best features the phone is equipped with. Furthermore, the Warp Charge brick is accompanied with a thicker, USB-C to USB-C cable, diminishing any unwarranted efforts of finding the right ends. The Warp Charge brick will also welcome a fleet of many existing fast charging devices in the market and will comfortably pump a 45W charge to all compatible devices, including smartphones, consoles, laptops or pretty much anything that uses USB-C to fill their battery juices up.


    While the Warp Charge 65 may sound “Ultra” at convenience, the OnePlus 8T is not (just like its predecessor – the OnePlus 8). It lacks support for wireless charging as well as IP certification. Through my lenses, this is a significant overlooked opportunity to augment sales of the OnePlus Wireless Charging Dock that was unveiled alongside the OnePlus 8 Pro. The OnePlus 8T is definitely not an Ultra, if “Ultra stops at nothing”, It definitely settles for the lack of wireless charging and IP certification, which OnePlus could have easily bestowed upon for an additional cost of $40-$80.

    Tenet B: Not Easy to Tire
    Nonetheless, the 8T is definitely an Ultra when it comes to the battery life of the device. The 4,500mAh combined battery allows for a 7-9 hours of constant screen on time. If you take advantage of the Zen mode, take breaks and reduce your usage by a tad bit (which you should, kids), the phone will deliver over 12-15 hours of total usage on a single charge. That’s an effortless 10-on-10, given my phone has never shown me a refresh rate lower than 120Hz ever – yeah, I keep it on its toes.


    Having said that, should you find yourself at a lower battery percentage after gaming titles like Asphalt 9, or other games such as Smash Hit, Among Us etc., a quick 10-20 minute charging-break will power your phone enough to let you step out at east – without the anxiety of your phone dying midway.

    That draws my views on the charging and the battery life of the phone, to a close. Let me know if you have any questions. Unlike the 8T, I actually won’t stop at nothing – I will go all wireless Qi to answer your questions in the comments below! I promise!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020

  5. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 14, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 14, 2020 :
    Chapter 4: Ultra Goes Beyond With Fluidity (Performance) – [9/10]

    Another day, another adventure in the saga of my various review chapters – today we’ll gander on the OnePlus 8T’s performance. Time to put the Ultra to the test. Before we dive in, let me make you au courant that neither am I a performance geek, nor an extensive gaming buff – I prefer that my phone handles my software, fair share of small or 3D games and is able multitask. A well-performing phone through my eyes is one that serves robustly as a companion to the owner, while rendering tasks progressively intelligible.


    Tenet A: Off the Charts (Specifications)
    I am glad to inform that the Ultra doesn’t stop just there, it goes beyond, when it comes to performance. To elucidate, the OnePlus 8T leaves no stones unturned when it comes to the on-paper camera war. Fighting head-to-head and sometimes beyond in the flagship war, the OnePlus 8T sports a Snapdragon 865, Adreno 650 GPU, 256GB storage and 12GB RAM on my review unit, and UFS3.1 Storage for the ultra-fast read and write speeds. With those kinds of specs, at a price that is robustly competitive, it clearly drags itself off the charts.

    Tenet B: Implications
    Having said that, specs only matter if they’re optimized well. That is definitely something that OnePlus gets right with its OxygenOS platform, that lucidly glides on the hardware platform. Overall, the performance has been smooth throughout my usage – which sums up to be around two weeks. Apps, games, photos, and files all open in the blink of an eye after being clicked, no lags or issues whatsoever.

    Games like Among Us, Smash Hit, Asphalt 9 all run like a hot knife on butter, but hold you horses, the OnePlus 8T is immune to the heat unlike the poor slab of butter. The games, multitasking and my active use cannot get the better of the phone, cheers to the copiously applied thermal paste over the entire motherboard and around the components that are more likely to be vulnerable from the heat.

    Overall, the performance has been buttery smooth. Additionally, like aforementioned in commencement of the former tenet, the Ultra just doesn’t stop here, it goes above and beyond with the 120Hz screen. The higher refresh rate screen definitely compliments the perception of the performance, making the phone feel faster, smoother and overall a more fluid experience. A fluid screen certainly renders a more breezier software experience, which in turn renders the performance to be a notch above. No pun intended Geddit? The lack of the notch? No? Never mind, I tried.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2020

  6. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 14, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 14, 2020 :
    Chapter 6: Did They Change The Butter? (OxygenOS 11) – [8.5/10]

    With the OnePlus 8T, the flagship smashing conglomerate has decided to roll out their latest take on Android 11 – the OxygenOS 11. I still remember the very day when things ran sour amidst CyanogenOS and OnePlus, during the OnePlus One India launch. Following which, OnePlus unveiled its own plans to develop a ROM of its own – OxygenOS, which a plan to keep it as close to stock Android as possible and adding relevant features where needed.

    Tenet A: Changes – for the better or worse
    OxygenOS has certainly changed its course this year, for the better or worse depends on the eyes of the perceiver. For me, I believe it’s a step away from the stock Android experience, in order to deliver something more on-brand of the OnePlus visual identity or what I would rather like to call the OnePlus “experience”. While it might be a deal breaker for a few, I would like to say it certainly don’t consider it to be any inferior of the prior versions of OxygenOS at all.

    If you haven’t caught on to what I have been speaking of, let me address the elephant in the room (ironically the lightest one) – the new OxygenOS UI that drifts away ever so slightly from stock. OxygenOS could be considered the lightest Android skins ever, one that holds its similarities for the most part but evolves where it needs to, or sometimes wants to. For instance, the use of vertical space (through grids) allows dividing information into segments based on the amount of interactivity required.

    Tenet B: The upshots
    The spaces on the phone are divided based on elements: the elements that require more interactivity are placed at the bottom of the screen, as compared to titles that are larger in size and placed on the top of the screen. This not only makes it more visually pleasing (for me, and a few folks), but it also makes one-handed use progressively straightforward. It definitely is a strong step ahead in the lines of Samsung’s OneUI evolution – which I don’t blame OnePlus for. Samsung is known to have innovative UI/UX and software solutions for the modern smartphone problems. Samsung figured out the formula to achieving multitasking on phone before anyone else could – through experimentation. Google then followed onwards to add the support natively to Android.

    Although I believe this change or skin could have been applied rather more consistently, certain official OnePlus apps still don’t benefit from this new visual language, although they should be one of the primary apps to get these changes. These apps just feel left out of the group rendering a rather bumpy experience for users that got used to the new UI and that expected it in these apps. The main example is the OnePlus Files App. Like why is it missing from here?
    Having said that, in my eyes, it’s a welcomed change, although I believe there could have been more ways of achieving the “OnePlus Experience” without drifting away from stock Android. It just feels sad to see it go from the company we looked up to for withholding. Nonetheless, OxygenOS is, ironically as I said, the lightest elephant ever – a skin that doesn’t hinder the performance or add gimmicks where not necessary. Overall, with the 120Hz display, the experience is ultra-smooth and fluid. Overall, my experience has been sans bugs, except for one that I encountered with Chat Bubbles. Opening a new Chat Bubble glitched by entire screen, but after updating the phone to the latest firmware, the issue seems to have resolved. That wraps up my OxygenOS review, please feel free to leave your interactive comments down in the comment section below, like OxygenOS does :p.

    Note: my camera review and summary are on a hold due to an issue I have been facing, I am in talks with the OnePlus team to figure it out. They will be live soon too.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020

    jlasensiofi likes this.
  7. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Oct 19, 2020

  8. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 19, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 19, 2020 :
    Thanks for checking out my review ;) – Appreciate it! Hit me with questions, if you have any.

    trackstarMKVIII, manuel19 and MosheG1 like this.
  9. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Oct 19, 2020

    MosheG1 , via OnePlus 7 Pro , Oct 19, 2020 :
    Sure! And if you want any help with your review like making gifs or dealing with the ridiculousness that is this forum's editing tools feel free to ask me (I did the OnePlus 8 pro LAB)

    manuel19 and rbagdai like this.
  10. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 19, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 19, 2020 :
    Thanks! I will keep that in mind 😁! I did the OP6 LAB too haha.

    manuel19 and MosheG1 like this.
  11. MosheG1
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Oct 19, 2020

    MosheG1 , via OnePlus 7 Pro , Oct 19, 2020 :
    Oh right! Oops I forgot already! 😂 You're probably good then!

  12. unbeatable95
    Donut Oct 19, 2020

  13. Tepin
    Eclair Oct 19, 2020

    manuel19 likes this.
  14. Suraj3000
    Gingerbread Oct 19, 2020

  15. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 19, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 19, 2020 :
    Thanks! Appreciate the readership.

    Soon! :) Thanks for hanging out!

    Good luck, hope you enjoy your phone!

    Tepin likes this.
  16. McJader
    Marshmallow Oct 19, 2020

    McJader , Oct 19, 2020 :
    Is it easy to hold? I mean could it slip from your grip without a back case/cover?
    Also, do tell if fingerprints are visible .
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2020

    rbagdai likes this.
  17. ItsMeSohil
    Cupcake Oct 19, 2020

  18. J1592114112236
    Donut Oct 19, 2020

  19. J1592114112236
    Donut Oct 19, 2020

    J1592114112236 , via OnePlus 8 , Oct 19, 2020 :
    will my data get removed if I update my OnePlus 8 to oxygen os 11

  20. rbagdai
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 19, 2020

    rbagdai , Oct 19, 2020 :
    I don't think so. OTA updates are usually safe. Just make sure to take a backup of your data anyway.

    Tepin likes this.