Is OnePlus 3T a tactical assault on Google Pixel phones?
The OnePlus 3, so far, was perhaps the best Android smartphone, considering the specifications, the overall user experience as well as the price tag it sported. At Rs27,999, the OnePlus 3 pretty much was as good a flagship killer as there ever has been. And while there were occasional rumours all along that another OnePlus smartphone might be unveiled before 2016 drew to a close, the OnePlus 3T still comes as a bit of a perplexing surprise.
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In comparison to the phone it succeeds (we would not say replaced, yet, because there is no confirmation yet on what will happen to the OnePlus 3), the OnePlus 3T is more of the same, but with some differences. For starters, the gorgeous aluminium design has been retained, and we get the gunmetal and soft gold colour variants. In essence, it looks the same, has the same dimensions and weighs the same too—most OnePlus 3 accessories should also work on the OnePlus 3T.
The 5.5-inch Optic AMOLED (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) screen has been retained, as is, and so is the 16-megapixel camera. But some of the innards have changed. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor has been replaced with the more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor, and 6GB RAM remains as is. Critically, the battery capacity has been increased as well—3400mAh now, compared to 3000mAh earlier. The Dash Charge feature of the OnePlus 3, which charged a fully discharged battery to 60% in 30 minutes, has been tweaked as well to charge this larger battery to 60% in 30 minutes.
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It is hard to not compare the OnePlus 3T with the Google Pixel XL phones (Rs67,000 onwards). While these two phones, at first glance fall in very different categories, there are certain similarities. Both phones run the same Qualcomm processor and have the same screen size (but the Pixel XL has a higher resolution), similar sized battery, OnePlus 3T has a higher megapixel camera as well entry-level storage options, for example. And that is exactly what a flagship killer is all about—similar specs and user experience. The Pixel XL, along with the Pixel, have been selling well. In India, as per the latest numbers, they have already cornered 10% market share among phones priced upwards of Rs30,000. And this renewed OnePlus 3T effort could very well give OnePlus another shot at attracting the demographic that finds the Pixel XL interesting.