OnePlus launched the OnePlus 6T last week with much fanfare and buzz. Like all OnePlus devices, this one too has the community and the tech fraternity buzzing. This device is packing a lot of incremental updates to hardware and software. I spent considerable time with the device and here is my review of the OnePlus 6T that is looking to build on the solid base that the OnePlus 6 has created for OnePlus in India
OnePlus is known for taking decisions that other brands generally shy away from, like changing the Android OS on their phones or deciding that wireless charging was not something they were looking to go for. These very decisions that have been taken in conjunction with the community is what makes the brand stand out and hold footing in the market. So even with the OnePlus 6T, OnePlus as a team has made some bold decisions and these seem to be standing them in good stead.
Let us begin with the design of the OnePlus 6T. A slim frame, smart-arc, and delicate craftmanship together help create the unique light feel in hand. The smart-arc backing and horizon line are crafted at the micron-level to perfectly fit the contour of your hand, improving comfort and grip. The device looks and feels extremely premium. The phone has the all glass crafting that OnePlus moved to with the OnePlus 6 earlier this year. The customary alert slider and power button sit on one side of the frame and the volume rocker sits on the other. In an important move the company has done away with the headphone jack and the physical fingerprint scanner. The horizon line that has been a customary part of the design is still there. The OnePlus 6T is on par with the flagships of this year in the design department. Looks and feels good.
The fingerprint scanner has moved under the display and becomes the primary way to unlock the phone. The in-display fingerprint sensor provides a convenient and intuitive approach to unlock the display. Screen Unlock leverages the industry’s fastest and most mature sensor technology available today. Without the need for a back-fingerprint sensor, the look and feel of the phone is further enhanced. Getting down to the actual unlock part using the in-display scanner, it was a breeze. Though I would recommend that you register you fingerprint in the orientation that you plan to use it to unlock the phone. This will make things faster.
The in-display fingerprint sensor, combined with other features such as Face Unlock, provides additional unlocking options for a fast and smooth user experience based on individual preferences. I can vouch for the fact that the Face Unlock is really fast and in most cases exceeds expectations when it comes to unlocking the phone when you look at it. The face registration is also smooth and easy to set up. The other options like pattern/pin unlock are also there to compliment these options. The unlock part is one area where I have no complaints at all. Easy to setup and very fast to unlock the phone.
OnePlus claims that this is their most power efficient and comfortable-to-view display that features an impressive 86% screen-to-body ratio. It is a 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display that supports 2340 x 1080 resolution at 402 pixels per inch. It has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and is made with Corning Gorilla Glass 6 . In my regular usage, the display is very crisp and sunlight visibility is excellent with great viewing angles. I tried prolonged gaming sessions, streaming videos and a lot of outdoor activity as well, the display ticks all the right boxes. The very small teardrop notch also helps the display greatly to make it immersive. The notch is just big enough to hold the front camera and the earpiece has been moved into a small slit on the top of the screen. The new aspect ratio also means that the phone is thinner but taller than the OnePlus 6. Having said that, it is extremely comfortable to hold and grip.
The OnePlus 6T enhances the acclaimed camera experience of the OnePlus 6 with software optimizations and added features. The new Nightscape is perfect for capturing low-light urban environments with improved clarity, less noise, more accurate color reproduction and better dynamic range.
Working with critically acclaimed photographer and artist Kevin Abosch, the OnePlus 6T’s rear camera features Studio Lighting, a feature that has been fine-tuned to recognize faces and adjust the lighting accordingly to simulate professional lighting.
The phone’s HDR and portrait mode images are also improved, thanks to the clarity, dynamic range, and edge detection provided by OxygenOS. The OnePlus 6T rear cameras can capture 4K video footage at 60 frames per second, and Super Slow Motion at 1080p and 240fps / 720p and 480fps. Google Lens is also included as standard in the user interface.
The camera hardware sees a combination of f/1.7 16 megapixel and f/1.7 20 megapixel rear-facing cameras, featuring Optical Image Stabilization and Electronic Image Stabilization, while the front-facing camera is f/2.0 16 megapixel, with Electronic Image Stabilization.
In my experience, the OnePlus 6T camera, whilst not at par with say an iPhone XS, does a brilliant job of churning out great pictures very consistently. The colors are all very well fleshed out and there is no over blown or saturated results. OnePlus claims that scene recognition has been added to the camera to improve image results in real life. . Overall, I am very satisfied with the OnePlus 6T camera results and I am able to very clearly see the nifty feature additions improving value for me. Here are a few sample pictures I took with the phone.
Let us talk about the performance of this phone now. OnePlus says that it can vouch that the OnePlus 6T is Fast and Smooth. This is not just about raw processing power, but about the optimization of hardware and software. The latest, most powerful platform, Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, with up to 8GB of RAM, creates an experience that continues to set the standard for performance in the premium space. The phone is blazing fast and is definitely one of the fastest Android implementations available. Multi-tasking with more than 20 open apps felt like a breeze and the device just stood up and gobbled every heavy app that I threw at it. Even heavy gaming was effortless and smooth. The phone features Smart Boost. Smart Boost improves app cold start speeds by up to 20 percent through storing data from frequently used apps in the phone’s RAM. The results are very evident and the speed difference is considerable and very noticeable.
Oxygen OS is the unsung hero of the phone and has more than 500 thoughtful optimizations that make the phone blazing fast and very smooth. The key advantage that Oxygen OS has is the fact that it stays out of your way. There is absolutely no bloatware at all and there are thoughtful customisations that add immense value. Oxygen OS improves upon Android 9.0’s gestures and do-not-disturb feature with further customization to block alerts and scheduling do-not disturb mode. There are a few other value adds that you will find in the OnePlus Labs section in the setting that help make your experience better and faster. You can do nifty things like automatically redirect calls to the speaker when you are gaming and have floating notifications with just text when you get messages as you are playing games. The UI also tells you to go do some stretches if someone takes a long time to answer your calls. The sleep mode battery optimizations are also very useful here.
Coming to the battery next. OnePlus 6T’s 3,700 mAh battery, which provides a 20 percent increase in battery life compared to OnePlus 6, can be charged for a full day of power in half an hour using the now popular OnePlus fast charge method. On a single charge with above average usage, with a healthy mix of 4G and Wifi with gaming, browsing and streaming thrown in, the phone lasts a full day and a half. If you are a conservative user, you can easily pull through two days with a single charge.
Call quality is excellent. There were absolutely no call drops of any kind. Let us now get to the elephant in the room, the absence of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. OnePlus has had to do away with it to add the in-display fingerprint scanner and the larger battery. The company has added Type-C to 3.5 mm adapter in the box to help you use your old headphones. Personally, after the advent of the Apt X CODEC, I am okay with wireless headphones and I found that the sound quality was excellent with OnePlus Bullets Wireless and I have no issues with it. I am also in favor of this futuristic move that is inevitable if you ask me.
The OnePlus 6T is available in Midnight Black and Mirror Black in three variants – 6/128 GB, 8/128 GB and 8/256 GB and will retail at INR 37,999 for 6/128 GB, INR 41,999 for 8/128 GB and INR 45,999 for the 8/256 GB variant. Online, it is an Amazon Exclusive and offline it is available at Croma and Reliance Digital Outlets.
The OnePlus 6T is a firm move by OnePlus into serious flagship territory and it ticks all the right boxes. The OnePlus 6T in my books is the fastest Android Flagship of the year.