Hands on: OnePlus8T + OnePlus8T Cyberpunk Edition – Our time with the grimy smartphone

Cyberpunk 2077 will be the game that everyone is waiting for. It will bring down your living space, and, if lucky, your phone.

OnePlus has revealed a new version its flagship that feels and looks right at home in the tech-dystopia era.

Let’s start by stating a fact: the OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk edition has exactly the same specs as the regular OnePlus 8T. This edition isn’t like the McLaren-themed and more luxurious versions that the brand used. This edition focuses on the exterior, but offers special software perks.

It isn’t a problem, the OnePlus 8T is a great smartphone and we highly recommend it. If you have the budget for a OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk edition, you shouldn’t expect that it will be able to take you into the future with its interface tweaks. The internals have not been hacked.

Design and Construction

Let’s start with the design. OnePlus has made some improvements to the back. This is a great thing. You can get it in Aquamarine Green or Lunar Silver.

My green review sample is glossy but not too glossy. The colour is a great addition to OnePlus’s continuing effort to make every shade of blue-green available on all its phones. OnePlus says the finish is also more fingerprint-resistant than before, and to be fair it’s done a good job. It’s possible for fingerprints to be left on your phone but I found that I was reaching for my cloth less often.

The OnePlus 8T Specifications features a 6.55in screen. It is easy to use with one hand thanks to slim bezels and software tweaks. It is 8.4mm thick and weighs in with 188g. The 8T is not small nor compact, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

There is no headphone jack. Stereo speakers can provide decent sound quality if you’re on your own.

Display

This is the first of two important spec bumps for 8T. It measures 6.55in by 2400×108080, which is identical to the OnePlus 8.

It can now refresh at 120Hz instead of 90Hz. This makes it more responsive and smoother to what you’re doing.

It is still an amazing display. It is bright and crisp, with vivid, accurate colours that will make any game or video pop. Flat panel design is another thing I like. It improves the phone’s usability and doesn’t make it look less attractive.

Full HD+ resolution is not offered on the 8 Pro. This will disappoint some. This is an area most people won’t notice any differences.

Software to fulfill your cyber dreams

Interface touches are equally important as looks. The Android launcher is the first thing that appears when you boot your phone. The next screen displays a string of red nonsense codes that end with an innocuous OnePlus motto.

It’s absurd, but it helps to promote the device’s theme, especially when you consider how little care is given to phone launches.

The OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk edition theme is also available. This dark mode modifies text, menus, and app icons with neon flair. They look like the neon signs found in Night City, where Cyberpunk2077 takes place.

It also has a custom cyberchirp when you move between apps.

Dark Mode cannot be disabled if you have the 2077 themed set. The game is actually set at Night City.

This is all to say that the phone’s interface is fun and engaging. These are cyber-styled whizbang effect that many people love to see in products that use popular IP. These would be simple to add to other phones if OnePlus and CD Projekt Red allow it.

These software features will not be available to anyone outside the OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk edition.

Charging and battery

Although the 120Hz upgrade to your display is nice, it’s not worth the wait. Fast charging technology has improved and is now more attractive.

Although charging is the highlight, the battery life is generally good. The 8T can last for over a day but I found it only made it to 48 hours. It is no longer necessary to plug it in every day, and certainly not over night. This will allow you to keep it running for a long period of time by plugging in once a week for 20 minutes.

OnePlus 8t Specifications also has shifted its attention away from its proprietary charging system. With a non-OnePlus charger, the 8T can charge at 27W. This is in contrast with the drip feed of power that many OnePlus phones use, which was provided by third-party adapters.

You can charge up to 45W of USB-C devices with the included 65W charger. The 8T’s adapter can be used to charge the Switch and run a laptop. This isn’t OnePlus first move, but it is a welcome one from a company who has been limiting its proprietary charging technology.

Performance and OnePlus8t specifications

This is only the beginning of new things. What is the worst?

The 8T’s internals are fundamentally unchanged. You won’t find the upgraded Snapdragon 865+ processor, but you will still be able to access the original Snapdragon 865 CPU. If you are obsessed with mobile gaming performance and frame rates, you won’t notice any differences.

You can pair it with either 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, or 12GB RAM and 256GB storage, though this is not possible in the US. UFS3.1 storage will get a slight boost in specs. Only the UK’s lowest-spec model is available in Lunar Silver. Aquamarine green is the only color available for the 12GB model. This may change from one market to the next.

The OnePlus 8T Specifications performed well in benchmarks. However, there is one exception to this rule: It performed slightly lower than other Snapdragon 865 phones when it comes down to core CPU benchmarks.

This trend has been observed on all Android 11 devices we tested so it is not just the OnePlus 8T. This is unlikely to cause any problems and future patches will likely improve performance.

In real life, the phone responds quickly and is responsive.

Camera

It would be difficult to believe that the 8T’s cameras would look so different when viewed from the outside. As it turns out, appearances can deceive.

The main lenses are 48Mp and F/1.7. Four years ago, the same Sony IMX586 sensor was used on the OnePlus 7. It is also available on the OnePlus Nord. Although the company has spent years improving its software, it’s fair to say that the hardware is beginning to show its age.

The OnePlus 8T Specifications’ main camera is quite good. The photos are vibrant with vivid colours and detail that are seldom over-saturated. The lack of dynamic range in daytime photos is what makes them so disappointing. It can be difficult to see details clearly when the sky is cloudy.

Nightscape has been enhanced, but more importantly, you can apply more of its effects automatically in main camera mode. The main camera can now be used to create low-light options. This brings out details while preserving colour and tone. However, nightscape photos look bright and harsh because they are often over-lit with street lamps or other light sources that are slightly more colorful.

The ultrawide is very similar to the 8. It’s 16Mp, still f/2.2. However, the field has increased from 116deg to 123deg. You won’t notice the difference. It’s unlikely that you will notice the difference.

This set also includes a macro lens of 5Mp and a mono-lens of 2Mp. This macro lens is one I can see myself using. Many others produce worse results. It still has focus issues and washed out colours. However, the images are worth sharing if the lighting conditions are right.

The rear camera records at 4K@60fps, while the front can record at 1080@30fps. The rear camera can record video nightscape and video portrait modes, but they are not available for front-facing footage.

Video portrait mode produces results almost as good or better than portraits. Nightscape video, however, is not as appealing to me. It is difficult to watch because of the blurry footage.

Verdict

The OnePlus 8T & OnePlus 8T cyberpunk edition aren’t a significant upgrade to the 8 in any way, so it’s worth considering the price. The phone is more appealing once you see the price drop.

While 120Hz and 65W charging upgrade are welcome, they aren’t techie features that most users will be interested in. Android 11’s software upgrades are welcome, with the exception of the always-on display.

The camera is the most problematic hardware-wise. The inclusion of the same main lenses in PS379 Nord made this problem worse. Although the 8T is a great camera, the Nord is superior. OnePlus must be the one lifting the dog.

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