OnePlus 3T Review

- Introduction -
- Physical features -
- Audio -
- Display -
- Bootloader unlocking -
- Repairability -
- Custom ROM & Kernel Availability -
- Other issues -
- Conclusion -

Introduction

OnePlus 3T - the 1st OnePlus PDA to enter my inventory.

Physical features

The 3T feels smaller than its screen size indicated, however it may be caused by me getting a bit too used to the Pixel XL. Otherwise, forgettably fine.

On the top section, there's nothing but metal as far as the eye can see.

USB-C charging port, speaker, headphone jack, & primary mic on the bottom corner. The jack is positioned on the bottom-right, which is somewhat ideal, though at the cost of the speaker being easier to block with the right hand while in landscape position. The left & right corners also houses a T2 torx screws each, meant to be taken off in a repair / teardown.

Left section contains the alert slider & the volume buttons.

Right section is home to the power button & the dual SIM tray. Having the power & volume button on the opposite of each other isn't the best positioning IMO.

Front side is reserved for the 5.5' 16.9 OLED, front camera, earpiece, fingerprint sensor / capacitive home button, & 2 remappable capacitive buttons flanking the fingerprint sensor.

The back holds the rear camera & the secondary mic. The camera bump is somewhat thick, though at least it's centered.

For materials, Gorilla Glass 4 covers the front display, with aluminium covering the back, sides, the buttons, & the alert slider. The rear camera is also said to be covered by sapphire glass.

JerryRigEverything durability test video for the OnePlus 3, which also applies for the 3T since they have similar build profile.

Audio Quality

The OnePlus 3T has all audio modules (mono loudspeaker & headphone jack) at the bottom of the device, flanking the USB-C port.

The speaker's quality is serviceable, but due to its position, it's much more likely to get blocked than the likes of LG V30.

The headphone jack quality is average.

Display

The 5.5' 16.9 OLED display is fine enough (turned-off blacks are good). Since it's an OLED, burn in will eventually happen. However, due to its 16:9 aspect ratio, Fate/GO didn't produce any blue bars.

When I got my 3T, it already had a (seemingly minor) burn in on the status bar area.

Bootloader unlocking

The bootloader unlocking process is foolproof & simple : plug PDA to PC, enable OEM unlocking & USB debugging in stock OS' developer options, boot to fastboot & fastboot oem unlock in fastboot. No connecting to internet (if you have the adb/fastboot tools ready).

Repairability

Disclaimer : I haven't actually opened up the OnePlus 3T, so this review is based on the links at the bottom of this section.

In terms of repairability, the OnePlus 3T seems to resemble the A1, since both require removing the back shell. However, JerryRigEverything discovered that opening the back is easier starting from the sides.

Inside, it is straightforward, although the bottom modules (headphone jack, USB-C, speaker) seems combined together. The power & volume buttons connect through contact pins.

JerryRigEverything's teardown video

Custom ROM & Kernel Availability (as of 3/11/2020)

The OnePlus 3T has many custom ROMs available for it, mainly due to OnePlus' popularity with developers at that time. In addition, the kernel sources for both OnePlus 3 & 3T are unified.

Speaking of kernels, since 3.x kernels are discontinued by the Linux kernel devs, you will inevitably top out at 3.18.140, regardless of your custom kernels. In this consideration, while there are many custom kernels, they can be safely ignored (at least until someone upstreams the OnePlus 3(T)s to 4.x), since prebuilt is good enough.

Other issues

Let's start out with the bad ones:

And, finally, the nice to have ones:

Conclusion

The OnePlus 3T takes a Pixel XL & adds in Mi A1's capacitive front buttons, while having the home button also double as a fingerprint sensor. And yes, it also comes with more options of custom ROMs.

Despite the lack of microSD slot, I fnd the 3T easier to recommend over even a microSD-toting PDA like the Poco F1 (this just speaks just how bad the F1's bootloader issues are).

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