In the battle for best stock Android flagships, there are really only two choices: Google Pixel phones and OnePlus phones. Although the latter isn't true stock Android, it is impressively close and usually paired with more impressive hardware than the Pixel lineup. The latest is the OnePlus 6T, which will be a bit controversial for fans this year.
With the exception of its first launch back in 2014, OnePlus has released two phones each year. After the OnePlus X, the company decided to focus on flagships only and created the T series lineup, a mid-year upgrade inspired by Apple's S series. Typically, OnePlus uses this series to add a few changes to the previous phone. The changes are usually minor and not enough for owners of the predecessor to upgrade. However, because the T series comes out around the same time as the Pixel lineups, it presents itself as a better alternative to the Pixel series.
The OnePlus 6T can best be described as both an upgrade and downgrade from the OnePlus 6. There are some notable improvements over its predecessor such as display and battery size. The problem is, for the first time ever, OnePlus will remove a component that they used to market as an advantage over their competition. This will probably be a dealbreaker for some, but if you look past this omission, OnePlus remains one of the best phones on Android, and in some ways a better Pixel than the Pixel 3.
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The OnePlus 6T will include an even larger 6.4-inch AMOLED display. After removing the headphone jack, OnePlus was also able to push the battery to an impressive 3,700 mAh. They will include an in-display fingerprint scanner, a first for the series and one of the only US-released phones to include this feature.
Finally, this will be the first OnePlus device to get official US carrier support. OnePlus will be making a variant for T-Mobile which they will sell in stores. OnePlus will also work as an LTE-only device on Verizon Wireless, another first for the company.
OnePlus 6T was announced on October 29, 2018. Pre-orders start on November 1, with the phone officially shipping on November 6.
- Release date: November 6, 2018
- Preorder date: November 1, 2018
- Announced: October 29, 2018
The OnePlus 6T will come in two capacities, 128 GB and 256 GB with varying RAM capacities. Both variants support UFS 2.1, which uses 2 lanes for writing and reading data.
- Storage available: 128 GB and 256 GB
- Expandable storage: no
As with each of its previous release, OnePlus once again raised the price of their latest phone to $549 for the 128 GB variant utilizing 6 GB of RAM, $579 for the 128 GB model with 8 GB of RAM, to $629 for the 256 GB 6T with 8 GB of RAM.
However, for those wanting the T-Mobile variant, there is a deal going on starting November 1. If you trade in one of the 30+ eligible phones, you can get $300 off. Be aware that T-Mobile is only selling the Midnight Black version of the phone, which starts at $579. This is still a bargain but to be clear, the $300 will come as a bill credit, spread over 24 months. If you notice, the trade-in list includes every OnePlus device ever created, making it easy for OnePlus owners to upgrade their devices.
However, not all phones will provide you $300 off. Newer phones on the list will give you the full discount whereas older phone will discount based on their age and condition.
- Price: $549 (128 GB/6 GB RAM), $579 (128 GB/8 GB RAM), $629 (256 GB/8 GB RAM)
The OnePlus 6T utilizes the same basic design and materials found on the OnePlus 6, which features an aluminum frame with a glass rear panel. Just like its predecessor, however, the rear panel only serves to add to the aesthetics of the smartphone, and does not have a wireless charger underneath.
- Frame: aluminum and glass
- Finish: mirror black, midnight black, thunder purple
OnePlus has forgone the implementation of an official IP rating for the 6T, partly because of the costs associated with obtaining IP certification, which would inevitably bring its price up for the consumer. As such, OnePlus has engineered the 6T to be more water and dust resistant than its predecessor, though we don't know we don't know to what degree due to the lack of an IP rating.
With the addition of the larger screen comes a slight increase in length from 6.13 inches to 6.20 inches. OnePlus managed to reduce the width and depth by a few tenths of an inch, which makes the phone easier to handle. Finally, with the inclusion of the large 3, 700 mAh battery, OnePlus 6T is a bit heavier, increasing its weight by 0.11 ounces.
OnePlus 6T has rearranged the layout of its buttons, opting to put the Alert Slider to the right edge instead of the left. As a result, the power button is a bit lower down the edge as well. The volume rocker is on the left edge by itself, making the right edge the ideal edge to face the ground when watching videos in landscape.
- Height: 6.20 inches
- Width: 2.94 inches
- Depth: 0.32 inches
- Weight: 6.5 ounces
- Dust/water resistance: Unrated
- Supported carriers: T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Wireless
- Infrared blaster: no
OnePlus is releasing the 6T with the latest version of Android, 9.0 Pie. This should come as no surprise to anyone, as the OnePlus 6 was part of the Android Pie Beta program and is currently running this version of Android as well. Android 9.0 Pie is a pretty big update, with gesture control navigation and new security improvements.
- Version: Android 9.0 Pie
The 6T is running OxygenOS 6.0 on top of Android 9.0 Pie. This is fairly light skin that retains the majority of the visual design of stock Android with a few added enhancements. This new skin is a bigger deal than updates in the past, as OnePlus changed the design of the UI. There are over 500 different enhancements that OnePlus has done throughout the phone to improve performance and make sure user has the fastest and smoothest experience yet. Some of these changes include the ability to finally choose specific accent colors for themes, improved Do Not Disturb mode that better reflects Android 9.0 Pie changes, and an improved Gaming mode.
- Version: OxygenOS 6.0
OnePlus is once again increasing the size of the display, pushing it by .1 inch to 6.4 inches. With the larger screen comes a new resolution, 2340 x 1080. The panel is once again Optic AMOLED, a Super AMOLED that's calibrated by OnePlus to a different color temperature and contrast.
But what will catch the attention of most users is the much smaller display notch. Borrowing from the design of the Oppo R17, OnePlus is using a water drop notch which houses the front-facing camera.
- Screen size: 6.41 inches
- Screen resolution: 2340 x 1080 pixels
- Total pixels: 2,462,400 pixels
- Pixel density: 402 ppi
- Screen type: Optic AMOLED
- Notch: yes
- Screen-to-body ratio: 86 percent
- Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
- Minimum brightness: N/A
- Maximum brightness: over 600 nits
- Refresh rate: 60 Hz (60 Hz for touch-sensing)
- Color temp: N/A
- Color gamut: 100.63% sRGB
The OnePlus 6T should perform very similarly to its predecessor. Besides the under-the-hood enhancements to the software, there really isn't much difference between the 6T and the 6. Both use Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, the SoC of choice for 2018 flagship phones. It will also once again come with either 6 or 8 GB of RAM.
- Memory: 6 GB or 8 GB RAM
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Die size: 10 nm
- CPU frequency: 2.8 GHz (Gold) + 1.8GHz (Silver)
- CPU cores: 8 (4 Gold + 4 Silver)
- GPU: Adreno 630
- GPU cores: 4
One of the biggest upgrades to the OnePlus 6T is its larger battery, which weighs in at a whopping 3,700 mAh. This not only makes it larger than the OnePlus 6, but it also outdoes Google's Pixel 3 XL. With OxygenOS already amazing battery management, this should translate to a day and a half of battery life (if not more).
- Battery: rechargeable lithium-ion
- Capacity: 3,700 mAh
- Wired charging: yes, Fast Charge (20 W)
- Wireless charging: no
The OnePlus 6T increased the resolution of the front-facing camera from 16 MP to 20 MP. The aperture is also lower at ƒ/1.7 which will give it enhanced capabilities when taking selfies in low light conditions.
- Resolution: 16 MP
- Aperture: f/2.0
- Zoom: no
- Flash: no, screen flash
- Image stabilization: yes, electronic image stabilization
- RAW support: no
- Object detection: N/A
- Formats: N/A
The rear camera is essentially the same as the one found on the OnePlus 6 from earlier this year. It's a solid camera for still photos, though.
- Resolution: 16 MP + 20 MP
- Sensor size: Currently unknown
- Aperture: ƒ/1.7 and ƒ/1.7
- Zoom: 2x optical zoom
- Flash: yes
- Image stabilization: yes, optical and electrical
- RAW support: yes
- Lens cover: sapphire crystal or whatever it is
- Object detection: yes (face)
- Formats: JPEG, PNG
As for video capabilities, again, it's the same as the OnePlus 6 from earlier in the year, which was a more than capable shooter.
- Resolution: 720p, 1080p, and 4K
- Max frame rate: 720p at 30fps, 1080p at 60fps, and 4K at 60 fps
- Slow motion: 720p at 480fps and 1080p at 240 fps
- Time-lapse: Currently unknown
- Photos: Currently unknown
- Zoom: Currently unknown
- Flash access: Currently unknown
- Image stabilization: Currently unknown
- Object detection: Currently unknown
- Autofocus: Currently unknown
- Audio: mono, stereo, or 3D sound
- Formats: MP4
The biggest change that OnePlus fans will notice is the subtraction of the headphone jack. The same port that has existed in every phone since the OnePlus One is finally no more, despite OnePlus marketing it as an advantage for years. Therefore, you are stuck with a dongle if you wish to use wired headphones (though OnePlus has a wireless headphone called Bullet Wireless which "Fast Pairs" with the OnePlus 6T).
The OnePlus 6T supports both Dirac HD Sound and Dirac Power Sound. Both are audio enhancements which combine several different technologies for improved performance on smaller speakers. However, the speakers are still not stereo, providing all audio from a single bottom-firing mono speaker.
- 3.5 mm headphone jack: no
- Stereo speakers: no
- Mics: Currently unknown
- Max speaker volume: Currently unknown
OnePlus 6T supports the same list of file types supported by the Android OS.
- Audio: MP3, AAC, AAC+, WMA, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, WAV, FLAC, APE, OGG, MID, M4A, IMY
- Video: MKV, MOV, MP4, H.265(HEVC), AVI, WMV, TS, 3GP, FLV, WEBM
OnePlus 6T has the usual set of sensors. There aren't any sensors included for better health detection or air pressure.
- Accelerometer: yes
- Ambient light: yes
- Barometer: no
- Color temperature: no
- Compass: yes
- Gravity: no
- Gyroscope: yes
- Hall: yes
- Infrared: no
- Laser: no
- Pedometer: no
- Proximity: yes
GPS is standard for a modern day smartphone in 2018. There aren't any additional components to improve quality.
- GPS: yes
- aGPS: no
- Glonass: yes
- BeiDou: yes
- Galileo: yes
- QZSS: no
The 6T includes the usual connectivity technology, such as Wi-Fi (up to 802.11ac) and Bluetooth 5. The 6T does include support for dual nano-SIMs.
- Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2x2 MIMO
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- NFC: yes
- Cellular: Dual nano SIM
- Port: USB Type-C
For the first time, OnePlus will have official carrier support in the United States. You can now walk into a T-Mobile store to try out and purchase the OnePlus 6T. The 6T will have a special variant for the third-largest wireless carrier in the US which supports all its LTE bands, including the new LTE Band 71 (the SIM-unlocked version also supports LTE Band 71).
The OnePlus 6T will be the first OnePlus phone to also include the LTE Band 13. What's special about this band is that it's used solely by Verizon Wireless in the United States, with the remaining LTE Bands being shared between AT&T and T-Mobile. Recently, Verizon has been accepting LTE-only phones, such as the Asus Zenfone V, that don't have CDMA radios. And with VoLTE and RCS Messaging, both calls and texts are possible.
- FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/ 19/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66/71
- TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41/46
- TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
- UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
- CDMA: BC0/BC1
- GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
The most noticeable difference between the 6 and the 6T is the latter's lack of a separate fingerprint scanner. Look on the back cover and you will see only the dual rear cameras and the OnePlus logo. Does OnePlus believe their Face Unlock is secure enough to replace the fingerprint scanner? No. Instead, they opted for an in-display fingerprint scanner, which places the scanner below the screen.
Screen Unlock (what OnePlus is calling their implementation of the technology) is a newer technology that just hit the mainstream audience with the Vivo X21 UD. One big advantage is that it brings back the front-facing fingerprint scanner, which wasn't possible recently as OnePlus reduced the bezels. OnePlus also improved the technology by developing their own algorithms to decrease screen unlock time by nanoseconds. The result is a screen which can unlock in 0.34 seconds, or about the same speed as the OnePlus 6.
- Fingerprint scanner: yes (in-display)
- Face scanner: yes (using the front camera)
- Iris scanner: no
- Manual authentication: Password, PIN, passcode, pattern, swipe
OnePlus will include a dongle for those still using wired headphones. Additionally, you can purchase the $19.95 OnePlus Type-C Bullets Earphones which were announced alongside the device. These new earphones connect using USB Type-C and include an enhanced DAC for improved audio. Not the same as adding the headphone jack, but it's something.
- OnePlus 6T
- Screen Protector (pre-applied)
- OnePlus Fast Charge Type-C Cable
- OnePlus Fast Charge Power Adapter
- SIM Tray Ejector
- Type-C to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter
- Welcome Letter
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety Information