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The Best Android Phone for the Money Just Got a Big Upgrade

Less than six months ago, OnePlus came out with what I think is still the best phone you can get for $400: the OnePlus 3. But the phone maker is already planning its next move beyond the OnePlus 3. Enter the OnePlus 3T.

The 3T looks to capitalize on the company's short development cycles by refining everything that made the OnePlus 3 so compelling and shoring up other areas based on feedback from OnePlus users. So on the 3T, you get the same unibody aluminum design, 5.5-inch full HD AMOLED display, 16-megapixel rear camera and superfast Dash Charging. But the 3T adds a faster, Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 system on a chip, bigger 16-MP front cam, and more durable sapphire glass lens on the rear shooter. The new phone will start at $439.

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Other specs that have stayed the same from the OnePlus 3 include the 3T's 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Because a lot of customers wanted even more room for apps and media, OnePlus will offer a $479 model with 128GB of storage for its new phone.

According to OnePlus, the new 16-MP front cam doesn’t just offer a higher resolution. The company says that in low-light conditions, the sensor can combine pixels so the camera can capture more light, which should result in brighter, less grainy selfies.

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Another tidbit of feedback from users was that they wanted battery battery life — one of our bigger complaints with the OnePlus 3. So to help improve the situation, the 3T comes with a 3,400 mAh battery that’s almost 15 percent bigger than the 3,000 mAh battery in the old 3, which lasted a ho-hum 8 hours and 33 minutes on the Tom's Guide battery test.

Some people may be surprised to learn that the 3T will not launch with the latest version of Android, shipping with Android Marshmallow. OnePlus has pledged to bring Android 7.0 Nougat to both the 3T and the original 3 before the end of the year.

The OnePlus 3T will be available in the U.S. on November 22 in a new gunmetal gray body, which will be followed up with a soft gold version coming “shortly” after launch.

Oh, and in case you were wondering why the phone is called the 3T, OnePlus said that it had noticed a lot of phones using the letter "s" to denote a new version. And what's one plus s? You guessed it.