Conclusion

The Good The Bad
  • Good edge detail in bright light
  • Good color and exposure across the ISO range
  • Lens flare, CA and other aberrations well under control
  • Well-balanced noise reduction at higher ISOs
  • HQ mode improves low-light image quality
  • Sleek design and premium materials
  • Plenty of on-board storage
  • Bright and sharp screen (but no Q-HD)
  • Good battery life and fast charging (even faster with Dash charger)
  • Manual shutter speed selection and DNG Raw support
  • 16MP Front camera shows very good detail in bright light
  • Responsive overall operation
  • Great value
  • Some noise and smearing of fine detail at base ISO
  • Lens softness towards the left edge and in corners
  • HDR mode has little effect on highlights
  • Ghosting and no dynamic exposure in panorama images
  • No front camera flash function
  • No IP certification
  • No microSD slot
  • Video occasionally generates very large files
  • Slightly shaky panning and unstable AF when recording video

Overall Conclusion

The OnePlus 3T offers all-around top specifications and snappy general performance, all wrapped up in a sleek design and premium body materials. The camera performs well across the board and, thanks to HQ mode, is capable of capturing very good low-light image quality. Selfie-lovers will appreciate the 16MP front camera, which offers unrivaled image detail in bright light. On the downside, we've seen better video and panorama modes and our test unit came with a lens that suffered from noticeable softness around the edges.

Mobile photographers who are willing to sacrifice a few percentage points of imaging performance in order to save a substantial amount of money can't go wrong with the latest offering from OnePlus.

When looking at the OnePlus 3T, you have to talk about its price. Depending on the exact specification, it is at least a couple of hundred bucks cheaper than its top-end rivals from Apple and Google, making it the undisputed leader in terms of value-for-money. Mobile photographers who are willing to sacrifice a few percentage points of imaging performance in order to save a substantial amount of money can't go wrong with the latest offering from OnePlus.

Features & Operation

Thanks to powerful processing and plenty of RAM the OnePlus 3T feels fast and responsive at any time. The camera app is intuitively structured and easy to operate. There aren't many options or settings to play with but all important modes and functions are on board. You can shoot HDR images and panoramas, and if you want to venture away from auto mode and processing, DNG Raw capture and manual control over shutter speed and other shooting parameters are available. HQ mode is very useful when shooting in low light and helps squeeze some extra detail out of your images while keeping noise at bay.

On the downside, HDR mode is not too efficient at reducing highlight clipping and panorama mode is prone to ghosting effects and lacks dynamic exposure. Slow-motion 720p video is included in the feature set but hardly offers any control to the user. Overall, the OnePlus 3T camera feature set is solid, but the very best devices offer a little more control and better performing HDR and panorama modes.

Image Quality

In our test the OnePlus 3T images show good color and exposure across the ISO range. The camera's only real let-down is its lens which shows, when viewed at 100% magnification, some quite noticeable softness towards the left edge. Other than that, base ISO images show very good edge detail. There is some luminance noise in areas of plain color and some smearing of fine textures, but all within acceptable limits.

In low light the camera finds a good balance between detail retention and noise reduction and is capable of producing good exposures, even in very dim locations. Once ISO goes above 800, fine detail suffers noticeably but HQ mode helps improve pixel-level image quality at high ISOs. HQ-images show finely grained luminance noise but are otherwise pretty clean and offer more detail than the standard exposures. With generally reliable AF and white balance, the OnePlus 3T performs well in still image mode but cannot quite match the best in class. Video footage shows good detail, color and exposure, but panning is a little shaky and the camera refocuses more often than we would like. 

The Final Word 

The OnePlus 3T is an absolute top-end smartphone in most respects. While its camera performance does not quite match the very best in class, it is still on a high level, making the latest model from OnePlus a very interesting proposition to mobile photographers who want value for money.

OnePlus 3T
Category: Mobile Phone
Camera and Photo Features
Screen Quality
Ergonomics and Handling
Video Quality
Still Image Quality
Speed and Responsiveness
PoorExcellent
Conclusion
The OnePlus 3t offers all-around top-specs and snappy performance, all wrapped up in a sleek metal unibody design. While the camera performance can't quite match the best in class, it is still very good, making the 3t one of the currently best value propositions in the market.
Good for
Mobile photographers who want bang for the buck.
Not so good for
Mobile video shooters
84%
Overall score

Sample Gallery

There are 59 images in our OnePlus 3T samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.

Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution.