The Oneplus 6T is the company’s latest effort in giving more for less, and I think they’ve hit a real home run on this one. Will I be switching? Stick around until the end to find out.
The Oneplus 6T’s spec list is nothing to write home about. It has the Snapdragon 845, like most 2018 phones, it has 6 or 8GB of RAM, which is good, and up to 256GB of storage, which is also quite good. However, even with those relatively average internals, it works miracles. It beats phones twice its price on benchmarks and smoulders nearly everything else with a Snapdragon chip. Overall, beefy internals.
The display is a 1080p 6.41″ ‘Optic’ AMOLED display, with great colours and contrast for the price. No complaints, but also, it is nothing special. Oneplus still haven’t opted for a 1440p display, which makes this phone noticeably more pixellated than other phones with similar screen sizes, like the Note 9 or Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
In the past 6 months, Oneplus has really worked on making their phone as visually appealing as possible, starting with the Oneplus 6. Now, I think they have perfected their design language. The Oneplus 6T comes with a glass back (more on that later), a centred dual camera setup and a teardrop notch that is so beautiful, I might even choose that over no notch. Don’t expect it to match up to the beauty of the Oppo Find X or the Mate 20 Pro, though. I honestly don’t know what else to say about the design. If you want a phone that feels good in the hand, shimmers in the light and is perfectly symmetrical above all, this is the phone for you.
Yes, this is a new category, invented for this phone. The Oneplus 6T has massively improved one of the biggest drawbacks of the Oneplus 6, and that is battery life. The battery life improvements come mainly due to the 3700 mAh battery, which should be fine since it is pushing fewer pixels on the 1080p display. This is a big leap forward for Oneplus, by them reclaiming their battery life prowess that they began to lose with the 6.
However, what I feel is one of the largest issues with this phone, is the rear. Yes, it is beautiful, but it’s made of glass. Therefore, it is incredibly fragile. I, personally, always have a case on my phone, so that doesn’t bother me too much. However, durability is a reasonably large issue with phones these days, so a glass back must prove its value. For example, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro includes the fastest wireless charging of any phone for the glass back, so it’s worth it. Even Google now includes wireless charging, even if it is only at 5W if you don’t purchase the £80 wireless charger. But Oneplus, 3 years after it was made mainstream by Samsung in 2015, still does not include wireless charging in their phones. I don’t know about you, but I would be willing to pay an extra £20 or £30 to have wireless charging. The least they could do is include it on the upper models, as an optional upgrade. Come on Oneplus.
Oneplus’ software is, in my opinion, the best on any phone. It has the perfect balance of features and smoothness which leads to the fastest, cleanest, butteriest software experience of all time. That is, if butteriest is a word. If it isn’t, it should be made for this phone. The gesture navigation I haven’t tried, but it seems as good as if not better than Android Pie’s. Other than that, the only thing to say is that, if you want features, but you also want the smoothness of the OS above all, this is the phone for you. And if you don’t, what are you doing? Why don’t you want a good software experience?
Now for the biggest downfall of the phone; the cameras. Don’t get me wrong, for the price, they’re pretty good, but it seems to me that Oneplus decided quite a while ago that they would focus on literally everything except for the cameras. Now, I know that because of this, they have nailed just about everything else about the phone, but today, cameras are – in my opinion at least – the biggest distinguishing factor between smartphones, and Oneplus isn’t even trying. Their secondary lens is just a depth sensor! You get telephoto lenses on phones half this price! I am sure that, one of these years, maybe even with the Oneplus 7, Oneplus will focus on the cameras, and it will really pay off, and it will make a phone so brilliant, with such good value for money that nobody will be able to deny its excellence. But, until that day arrives, I don’t think the cameras are doing the ‘Never Settle’ motto justice.
In the event, the feature that they focused on most about the camera system is the Nightscape feature, in which the phone uses a long exposure to get a brighter, sharper and clearer photo. In fact, it is only 2 seconds long, as opposed to a maximum of 5 on the Mate 20 Pro, to minimise motion blur. This actually piqued my interest. Night photography is the latest trend in phones, so it is good that Oneplus is following suit. But, then, after seeing this video by Mrwhosetheboss, I completely changed my mind. In this video, it is clear that it doesn’t nearly compete with the big players in this area. And yes, it is cheaper, but the focus they put on it during the event had me thinking they were at least going to top the 6-month-old Huawei version, but no. They bragged about having less motion blur, but in fact, had more. They even admitted that the photos were shot by professionals, adjusting the settings to make it look good! Honestly, I am just ashamed of Oneplus with this.
Bonus features, extras, whatever you call them, extras are features that don’t quite fit into any other category, and there are a few here. From the blisteringly fast face unlock to the fastest in-display fingerprint scanner on the market, to the surprisingly fast Dash Charge, this phone has a few. The best though, and few will disagree with this, is the in-display fingerprint scanner, or as Oneplus has ingeniously named it, Screen Unlock. It is roughly in the position of the home button on the 5, so if you are upgrading from a 5 or earlier, this should help the process. The scanner is by no means faster than a traditional capacitive scanner, but it is still very fast nonetheless. It is noticeably faster than the one on the Mate 20 Pro. I personally love this feature, and it would be one of the biggest reasons for me to purchase the 6T. Plus, it allows the back of the phone to look much simpler, more minimalistic and just overall better than the Oneplus 6. However, all things considered, this year is definitely a ‘T’ upgrade. It is definitely very iterative, like the ‘S’ upgrade for iPhones. This just has me waiting impatiently for the huge upgrade that is the Oneplus 7, which is thought to have 5G, wireless charging, and Warp Charge, a newer, faster charging standard. Here’s hoping.
Now, the thing everyone has been waiting for. Throughout this article, I have gone over point by point how good this phone is, with the added bonus of its price. But what is that exactly? Well, drumroll please. The Oneplus 6T starts at £499/$549. That is over half the price of the iPhone XS, nevermind the iPhone XS Max! Is it worth it though? Well, that depends on what you need a phone for, and what you want it to do. Let’s check it out.
The Oneplus 6T is, in my opinion, the best value for money flagship to date. For half the price of a flagship, you get 80% of the features, and it even improves in a lot of ways. Nevertheless, I will not be upgrading to the 6T. I just use my camera too much to have it so badly downgraded. But, let me get this straight. That is the only reason. I love everything else about this phone. Especially the price. I would recommend this to anyone disgraced by the 4 figure prices of today’s phones, and, if you do some digging, you can find a good deal for it too. Maybe, if the Oneplus 7 has a good camera system, I might upgrade, but we’ll see.
What are your thoughts on the Oneplus 6T? Let me know in the comments down below. Also, let me know what you want to see my opinions on next.