Zit Seng's Blog

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OnePlus 6T Review

The OnePlus 6T is the company’s second smartphone to launch in 2018, a twice yearly launch schedule they had adopted since the OnePlus 3/3T in 2016. This fast pace allows OnePlus to bring new improvements to market fairly quickly. I reviewed the OnePlus 6 a few months back, and we’ll see what the 6T brings to the table.

Side by side, the OnePlus 6T is easily distinguished, having reduced the already-not-big display notch into just a teardrop. They achieved this while keeping the same 16 megapixel front camera. The new OnePlus 6T is also slightly taller, and just slightly thicker, its dimensions now measuring 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm. It is also slightly heavier at 185 grams (increase of 8 grams).

A big enhancement with the OnePlus 6T is with the fingerprint sensor. The back fingerprint sensor is gone. The OnePlus 6T features a cool in-display fingerprint sensor. It works well, but just not as quick as a conventional fingerprint sensor. I’m sure many people won’t mind waiting a fraction of a second longer, if not just to show off the cool technology to others.

Interestingly, the increased lag in getting the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone makes Face Unlock faster and more convenient. The facial recognition feature is unchanged from the OnePlus 6. It’s really fast at recognising faces and unlocking the phone. The 2D scan used in Face Unlock, however, may not be very secure.

Another big change is the absence of a 3.5 mm audio jack in the OnePlus 6T. There are two speaker grills at the bottom of the phone now. Many OnePlus fans are upset over the loss of the 3.5 mm audio jack, and even though OnePlus includes a USB Type-C to 3.5 mm adapter, it’s likely not enough to pacify those who prefer to use wired headphones.

The two speaker grills are supposed to offer stereo sound, but with its placement, I don’t think you’ll actually appreciate any stereo effects while consuming video.

Perhaps the one good thing resulting from dropping the 3.5 mm audio jack is that there’s more space for a larger battery. The OnePlus 6T has an appreciably larger battery, 3,700 mAh compared with 3,300 mAh in the OnePlus 6. In the Geekbench 4 battery benchmark, the OnePlus 6T reaped a score of 4540, a good margin ahead of the OnePlus 6’s 3,810.

The innards of the OnePlus 6T is otherwise pretty much identical to the OnePlus 6, having the same processor, as well as similar RAM and storage options. Geekbench 4 scores of both are about the same.

The buttons around the OnePlus 6T hasn’t changed. The dedicated mute slider, something that many people love, is still present on the right side of the phone.

The SIM tray on the left side accommodates two nano-SIM cards, great for travellers. The OnePlus 6T adds support for microSD expandable storage, something that was missed in the OnePlus 6.

On the back, the OnePlus 6T has the same dual camera setup as before, 16 MP sensor and 20 MP sensor, both with f/1.7 lens.

OxygenOS, a flavour of Android that OnePlus uses on their phones, on the OnePlus 6T is built on Android 9 Pie. Pure Android users should find the UI largely familiar. The software experience is slick. Given the flagship processor and amount of RAM on this device, the UI interaction is very smooth and fluid.

Apart from their Dash charger in the box, the OnePlus 6T also ships with a screen protector pre-applied on the device, and a protective case.

The OnePlus 6T brings several notable improvements over the OnePlus 6. The problem with twice yearly updates is that now OnePlus 6 owners are faced with the dilemma of deciding if the 6T is improved enough to be worth upgrading to. Both are excellent phones, and the OnePlus 6 is certainly not outdated.

There are still more things that I’d wish the OnePlus 6T had. I would prioritise an official IP-rating, which, along with wireless charging, is still missing. OnePlus does say the 6T is more water resistant than any of its predecessors, but I’m not sure if this is good enough to put my mind at ease.

OnePlus unveiled the 6T in October last year. It’s available in Singapore at the following prices:

  • OnePlus 6T mirror black 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage: S$898
  • OnePlus 6T mirror black 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage: S$988
  • OnePlus 6T midnight black 8 GB RAM and 128GB storage: S$988
  • OnePlus 6T midnight black 8 GB RAM and 256GB storage: S$1,088

Conclusion

The OnePlus 6T has enough notable improvements over the 6. The challenge for OnePlus 6 owners, however, is to determine if those improvements are worth the price of the upgrade.

  • Good robust design
  • Minimalist teardrop cutout for front camera
  • Bigger battery
  • In-display fingerprint sensor

Cons:

  • No 3.5 mm audio jack
  • No IP rating, no wireless charging

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