Review device specs
- Price: £529
- Mirror Black
- 8GB RAM
- 128 GB Storage
- Snapdragon 845 chipset
- 16 and 20-megapixel dual cameras
- Android 9 pie running oxygen OS 9.0.11
- December 2018 security patch
- Lightening fast
- Great battery life
- Oxygen OS close to stock Android
- Gorgeous screen
- Slippery as hell, thank god for the included case
- Underscreen fingerprint reader not as fast, as a capacitive one; I needed to press on a lot harder than I was used to
- Fingerprint magnet
- The pre-fitted screen protector is prone to scratches
To date, I have owned every OnePlus device – right back to the OnePlus One. My current daily driver is the OnePlus 5T. I didn’t buy the OnePlus 6 because, for whatever reason, I was late to the party in buying the Oneplus 5T, so I have been eagerly awaiting the OnePlus 6T and reading all the reviews published online.
But there were just a few niggles with the OnePlus 6T that couldn’t pull me away from my current device. These been the under screen fingerprint reader; is it as fast as and as reliable as the capacitive fingerprint reader on my current device? And the notch. I’ve never had a device with a notch. Do I like notches? Also, there’s no 3.5 mm headphone jack. I, like Steve Lichfield to name but one person, kind of like having this port. Also, there’s no notification LED.
So when I was contacted by the nice people at Vodafone, who had already provided my Pixel 3 and Note 9 review devices, I jumped at the chance. It will give me a chance to literally try before I buy.
As I was going to be using the OnePlus 6T as my daily phone for the next few weeks, the first thing I needed to do was to set it up. For this, I used the OnePlus switch app. It made transferring all my contacts, messages (including WhatsApp messages) and apps from one device to another a simple process. This app isn’t just for transferring data between OnePlus devices, but will work with other phones as well. All in all, in just a few minutes I had everything synced over. Why can’t Google do something as easy as this from the cloud?
The OnePlus 6T is an all-glass sandwich, which sizewise is almost identical to the OnePlus 5T. The screen real estate has increased from 6.1 inches to 6.4 inches by having very minimal bezels, and a small teardrop notch at the centre of the top of the screen. The volume rocker is in the usual place on the left-hand side of the phone and the alert slider has moved from the left-hand side to the right, so a little bit of muscle memory from experienced OnePlus owners will need to be changed after all these years. Below that sits power button, and on the bottom is the USB type-C port and the single speaker.
The problem with this all-glass design is that it remains a complete fingerprint magnet, and the whole time of this review I was terrified of dropping the device (you could sit and watch the phone slowly slide across anything but a perfectly flat surface). That was until I remembered that OnePlus includes a TPU case in the box, and once duly fitted it gave me a bit more grip to hold the device. Although having a front and back glass panel, the OnePlus 6T has yet to incorporate wireless charging.
As I stated earlier, the AMOLED display size has increased to 6.41 inches on the OnePlus 6T. This gives a 2340 by 1080 resolution, coming out at 402 pixels per inch and is truly beautiful to look at. Also included under the display is a futuristic feeling fingerprint scanner, which I found sometimes to be a hit and miss affair. When it did work it, was only marginally slower than the capacitive fingerprint reader on the rear of my Oneplus 5T. I did like the way that when required for security reasons for opening apps, there is a bright green prompt to tell you where to put your finger on the front of the screen.
The display also has a teardrop notch in the top centre, which holds the front camera. I’ve got to say it: I don’t like devices that have a notch, but thankfully in the settings of the display, there is the option to hide the notch by giving you a black bar at the top that still holds relative information. I’m thinking that to my eyes, it looks better.
The OnePlus 6T comes with the latest Snapdragon 845 chipset, and the version I was reviewing also came with 8 GB of RAM and 120 GB of onboard storage. This, coupled with the Oxygen OS (which is very close to stock Android with just a few useful tweaks) means the OnePlus 6T really flies with no discernible lag at any time whilst I was using the device. It would cope easily with large games and apps being held in RAM.
The battery fitted to the OnePlus 6T is a 3700 mAh power battery module. It is a big jump from the 3300 mAh battery that was inside the OnePlus 6, and OnePlus are saying they have had to ditch the 3.5 mm headphone jack to get this larger capacity battery within the chassis. As I said earlier, there is no wireless charging fitted to the 6T but it does have OnePlus’ proprietary Dash charging system, which means it takes next to no time to top up the device. I am by no means a power user, but I was easily getting two days of use out of a single charge, with 5 hours of screen on time. I played a 90 minute video in full HD with the screen set at maximum brightness and found that the device only lost 10% of its charge – this was compared to 15% in the same circumstances on the Oneplus 5T.
The OnePlus 6T comes with a dual rear camera setup: one camera is at 16-megapixels and the other at 20-megapixels. This is the same camera hardware that is fitted to the OnePlus 6. The 6T model has updated camera software and improvements, along with the inclusion of nightscape long exposure mode. All the normal shooting modes are present, including automatic portrait mode manual, and panorama. On the video side, there is slow motion and time-lapse modes, and simple automatic mode. Considering the price point of the OnePlus 6T, the camera can produce some outstanding quality pictures, and in certain circumstances and situations, it can easily go toe-to-toe with some flagship devices coming in at twice the OnePlus 6T’s current cost. The only time I felt let down when taking pictures was zooming in; the image quality really did suffer, but hopefully this can be eliminated with further software tweaks and updates.
The OnePlus 6T runs Android 9 Pie software, with OnePlus’ own theme or skin, Oxygen OS. Although this OS does look quite different from stock Android, OnePlus has added just minor tweaks to the overall experience, which I think I’ve given some added value.
Coupled with the lack of bloatware, you don’t need to worry as all the Google core apps as present as you would expect, such as YouTube, Gmail calculator, etc. If you don’t like to use the navigation bar on the bottom of the screen, you can use navigation gestures which is my preference. This allows swipes along the bottom of the phone, and this way of input feels natively better than Google’s implementation of the navigation gesture control.
If you are looking to get 99.5% of a top flagship device for 50% of the price, well the OnePlus 6T is the phone for you. Admittedly, with a full glass design I expected wireless charging to be present, but it is difficult to find any other faults with this phone. It has solid battery life and the cutting edge under display fingerprint reader. But I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I don’t think I will be buying the OnePlus 6T. My reason for this is that there just isn’t enough of an upgrade for me and my use case scenario with my OnePlus 5T. If OnePlus keeps up to their current release schedule, the OnePlus 7 should arrive in Q2 of 2019 and I think I’m going to hold out till then.
Also, I think I’m one of those people that just doesn’t like a notch in my smartphone display.
If you are after a OnePlus 6T, check out some of the deals over at Vodafone UK.