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Review 10 min read 3 comments

OnePlus 6T review: the latest iteration is the best yet

It's no surprise: OnePlus has announced its new smartphone, and as tradition has it, it's called the OnePlus 6T. Although the device won't bring on a revolution, the Chinese manufacturer's new flagship now features an in-display fingerprint reader, a bigger battery and a more discreet notch. We've spent a week with the device, and now it's time for our complete review!

 

Rating

Good

  • Discreet notch
  • Excellent performance
  • Good battery life
  • In-display fingerprint reader
  • Great camera

Bad

  • No stereo sound
  • No IP certification
  • No mini-jack port
  • Lackluster night mode

The T-model gets a little more expensive

Everyone is now aware of OnePlus' strategy. Every six months, the manufacturer launches a new device. The OnePlus 6 was one of the best smartphones of 2018, and OnePlus has decided to raise the bar even higher with the OnePlus 6T. This is also the reason why the device has had a slight price increase.

But in exchange for the price increase, users will get more RAM and internal memory. The variant with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal memory is available for $549. The 8GB/128 GB version is $579 and the 8GB/256GB version is $629.

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Introducing the new OnePlus 6T! / © AndroidPIT

The device is available in two colors: Midnight Black and Mirror Black.

Honey, you shrunk the notch

As is often the case with OnePlus's T models, OnePlus hasn't really made any big changes to the design . So you'll find that the OnePlus 6T looks a lot like the previous generation. There is, however, one small change at the top of the screen: OnePlus has considerably trimmed down the notch, which now takes the shape of a teardrop. The OP6T also now has a wider screen and a 6.4-inch diagonal, but has still essentially remained the same size (157.5 x 75.7 x 8.2 mm vs 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75 mm). I personally find the device more aesthetically pleasing and easier to handle than the previous generation.

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The OP6T has retained the same format as its predecessor. / © AndroidPIT

The fingerprint reader on the back has disappeared and has been replaced by an in-display sensor under the screen. OnePlus promises that it's the fastest of its kind on the market (350 ms) and my early tests seem to confirm these claims. Compared to the Mate 20 Pro, the OnePlus 6T sensor is slightly faster, although it's still a little slower than a traditional fingerprint reader.

OnePlus unfortunately had to give up the mini-jack port to make space for the new in-display fingerprint sensor. OnePlus has stated that this change is a result of user feedback, but in reality this was likely a technical compromise. The in-display fingerprint reader uses a camera that requires precious space, so the mini-jack port had to be sacrificed to make more room.

There are no other major changes to the device. There's a metal frame, a glass back (it's a little slippery), slightly rounded corners and buttons to adjust the sound and volume: all the elements that made us love the OnePlus 6.

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The back is made of glass, but there's no wireless charging. / © AndroidPIT

All in all, the OnePlus 6T is an elegant smartphone, easy to use and pleasant to look at as a result of the excellent body-to-screen ratio. OnePlus hasn't drastically changed the recipe and that's a good thing, although it's not the prettiest phone I've ever held in my hands: it still can't outshine a Galaxy S9, Mate 20 Pro or OPPO Find X.

Still an AMOLED screen but even bigger

Thanks to its small notch, OnePlus can now offer a 6.4-inch screen (compared to the 6.28-inch screen on the previous generation) without increasing the overall size of the device. It also comes with Gorilla Glass 6 for protection. The OP6T comes in a 19.5:9 format and offers a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. Many OnePlus fans out there were likely hoping for a completely bezel-less display, but they'll likely have to wait for the OnePlus 7 to get their hands on one.

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The notch has gotten smaller! © AndroidPIT

The AMOLED screen will give you bright colors and excellent contrasts . The viewing angles and brightness are also great. The only defect (if you can call it that) is the screen's slight tendency toward blue, but you can change this default configuration in the settings. You can also hide the notch if you're not a fan of it.

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You can select different modes to configure the display colors. / © AndroidPIT

An in-display fingerprint reader

As I've already touched on, the OnePlus 6T comes with a fingerprint reader under the screen . The fingerprint reader is at the bottom, at a slightly lower level than on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro. The device allows you to register multiple fingerprints, just like on traditional sensors. The registration process is simple, but will take a little more time than on regular sensors. You'll also need to press down on the screen more times.

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There's an option to change the animation for the fingerprint sensor at the bottom of the screen. / © AndroidPIT

But in everyday use the sensor is very practical. The only downside is that there's no haptic feedback when you use it. The device can be unlocked quickly, although most of the time you won't need this feature since the OP6T offers faster facial recognition.

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 The OnePlus 6T has in-display fingerprint reader. / © AndroidPIT

Pie is on the menu

There's good news on the software front because the OnePlus 6T comes with Android Pie . Any other software would have been a surprise since the Pie update was already released on the OnePlus 6. The latest version of OnePlus's Oxygen OS skin is a delight to use. The OS is very fluid, and gestures are easy to use. The OS is very fluid and the navigation is simple. Apps open and close very quickly. Of course this is somewhat subjective, but I think it's one of the smoothest smartphones I've ever had the chance to use.

OnePlus also offers several new features with Pie, including an improved Game mode along with a Do not disturb mode with adjustable settings. You can also customize the display colors.

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OxygenOS looks a lot like Android stock. / © AndroidPIT

Lightning fast

The OnePlus 6T strongly resembles the OnePlus 6 when you glance at the data sheets . There's a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of internal memory. The model I currently use offers 8GB of RAM, although the 6GB model is also sufficient and very efficient. If you're a big gamer you might want to opt for a little extra RAM.

You won't be surprised to hear that the OnePlus 6T is one of the fastest smartphones on the market. In most cases, the smartphone is more powerful than its competitors: the Mate 20 Pro, Galaxy Note9Sony Xperia XZ3 and Pixel 3 XL. OnePlus can more than compete against these major players and charges just a fraction of the price.

For more information on the device's performance, take a look at my complete performance test:

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The OnePlus 6T is a fast smartphone. / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 6T audio

The sound is perhaps the most neglected aspect of OnePlus' flagship . Like many high-end smartphones, OnePlus has given into temptation and removed the mini-jack port from its device. The brand has justified this decision by stating that it's the result of requests from its community members, but as I've already stated, the decision was more likely made for technical reasons. The camera required for the fingerprint reader takes up space and sacrifices needs to be made to make space for it. As a consolation, OnePlus has provided a USB-C-to-mini-jack adapter.

Another regrettable aspect of the device is that the OnePlus 6T only has a single mono speaker. There are two grids on the lower part of the device, but only one houses a speaker. The other is just there to retain a sense of symmetry in the device. And although it might not be excellent, OP6T's speaker is quite powerful. The sound can at times seem metallic and distorted and you'll also find that due to the location of the speaker, the sound will sometimes be muffled by your hands, especially when you're playing games.

Same sensors, new photo software

The OnePlus 6T offers the same photo configuration for its main camera as the OnePlus 6 did :

  • a 16MP, f/1.7, 25mm, 1/2.6", 1.22µm, OIS, PDAF sensor
  • and a 20MP (16 MP), f/1.7, 25mm, 1/2.8", 1.0µm, PDAF sensor

The front camera also hasn't changed and still has a 20MP sensor.

It's on the software level that efforts have been made to improve the image processing. In addition to the improvements made to the portrait mode, there has been an effort to fix the major problems with the focus. The night mode has also been altered.

Not surprisingly, the OnePlus 6T is an excellent smartphone camera when lighting conditions are good. The images have nice contrasts, the details are rich and the colors are realistic, just like on the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL.

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The OnePlus 6T has an excellent camera. / © AndroidPIT

Overall, the changes made to the OnePlus 6T camera make the device significantly better than its predecessor.

For more details on the camera, I suggest reading my article dedicated to the OnePlus 6T camera:

A plus size battery

The last and most significant feature on the OnePlus 6T is its battery size. The smartphone has a battery capacity of 3700 mAh (compared to 3300 mAh for the OnePlus 6). In this respect as well, you'll really notice the progress made from the previous generation . In everyday use, the device can ensure you good battery life with intensive use.

OnePlus also offers the Dash Charge 20 Watts system (5 volts and 4 amps), which allows you to recharge the device very quickly. You can recharge the phone to 50% in just 30 minutes and fully charge it in just under 80 minutes. On the other hand, the smartphone still doesn't offer wireless charging, despite the fact that the back is made of glass...

In the PC Mark battery benchmark test, the OnePlus 6T obtained a result of 10 hours and 8 minutes.

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There's a Type-C USB port, but no mini-jack or stereo sound! / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 6T technical specifications

Dimensions: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 185 g
Battery size: 3700 mAh
Screen size: 6.41 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 2340 x 1080 pixels (402 ppi)
Front camera: 16 megapixels
Rear camera: 20 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
Android version: 9 - Pie
User interface: Oxygen OS
RAM: 8 GB
6 GB
Internal storage: 256 GB
128 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Number of cores: 8
Max. clock speed: 2.8 GHz
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0

Final verdict: OnePlus 6T is a premier device

The OnePlus 6T offers a lot great features. The Chinese brand has once again created an excellent phone. The OnePLus 6T has better autonomy, a more discreet notch, better photo processing, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. However, there are still some shortcomings we have to mention, including the lack of stereo sound, wireless charging and IP certification.

Does that mean that it's worth upgrading from the OP6 to get the new device? In my opinion it's not really worth making the switch, but that doesn't mean the OP6T doesn't have a ton to offer. OnePlus is really targeting users of older models (OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3T or OnePlus 3) along with tech enthusiasts who don't want to spend a fortune for a smartphone. With all this in mind, the OnePlus 6T offers very good value for money and a serious top-range model that's definitely worthy of your consideration.


This article was edited on November 6, 2018. This is the final version of the review, but the comments from the original article have not been deleted.

3 comments

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  • Giggle. Because it's one plus, the notch is now a feature. Your bias is showing. The essential phone had a smaller notch but was vilified for it just for being first. One Plus has never really implemented USB c in the phones. It just uses the connector.


  • I understand the screen has to be on for the fingerprint sensor to work...I GET IT, but, now you have two steps to unlock/wake up the phone? You have to turn it on, then press your finger to unlock it? Plus, the Oppo OnePlus 6T is a MINOR update to the 6, has usb-c, but it is stuck with USB-2 speed? And the prices have gone up to the point, they are not the bargain they once were. Oh, yeah if you are talking the OPO versus Apple/Samsung, but there are many models out there, that are less expensive, have pretty much the same feature set, and are not as BUGGY out of the box.

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