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!
- Discreet notch
- Excellent performance
- Good battery life
- In-display fingerprint reader
- Great camera
- 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.
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.
The fingerprint reader on the back has disappeared and has been replaced by an in-display sensor under the screen.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Note9, Sony 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:
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.
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.
OnePlus 6T technical specifications
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.