OnePlus 6T Long Term Review: Still The Fastest Android Flagship

OnePlus 6T Front View

I have been using the OnePlus 6T as my primary driver since it’s launch and it has pretty much not left my hand since. One of the key measures of any flagship smartphone is how it does over a long period of time. OnePlus is known to make devices that perform the same from Day one to even a couple of years down the line. Here is my long term review of the OnePlus 6T

OnePlus has been ruling the roost as India’s top premium smartphone brand for a while now and that is all with very good reasons. The devices are sturdy, stable and reliable. They bring in a great mix of premium features at a price that makes them a great buy. The latest from their stables has been the OnePlus 6T that has been received very well globally. The device has been my primary productivity tool for months now. Let us look at how it has fared over a long usage period

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.

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition Rear Camera

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.

Long term usage has not induced any fatigue or stress to the hand and hence the design stands it in good stead even through months of usage. The phone is excellent even for one handed use. While a larger battery has been packed in, it does not make the phone unduly heavy. The materials used are also wear-resistant and still look good as new.

OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple Rear View

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.

In the long run, I can vouch for the fact that the fingerprint scanner actually learns your finger and it’s various features and unlocking the phone gets faster and better. 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.

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition In the Box

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. I hardly notice the notch now and the display has supported me well over the months that I have been using it.

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 Stabilizationwhile the front-facing camera is f/2.0 16 megapixel, with Electronic Image Stabilization.

OnePlus 6T Rear View

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. The camera has been consistently churning out pictures with crisp and realistic color with good details for me over the months.

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. Powered by the 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. What is more important is the fact that this speed difference has stayed the same from day one to this date on the phone. There is absolutely no deterioration of performance across months of usage with the OnePlus 6T.

OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple

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.

So in summary – months after the launch, the OnePlus 6T is still the fastest android flagship that I have used.

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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