OnePlus 6T Review: Everything is Better Than Before, But Familiarity Remains Strong
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The OnePlus 6 was already a great phone to own, and the subtle changes make the OnePlus 6T even better in many respects. However, it does so without feeling too different from the phone it succeeds.

There are flagship Android phones. Then there are Android phones positioned as flagship killers. And then there are the phones that start out in life as flagship killers, but eventually make the transformation to a flagship themselves quite successfully. Successfully, being the operative sentiment. If anyone has done it well, it has to be OnePlus. The journey started out many years ago with the OnePlus One, positioned as the proposition that cost much lesser than flagship phones (and it did) and yet offered the same top-notch performance and usability (which it did too). Over the years, OnePlus has pushed the price barrier with subsequent phones. With the OnePlus 6T, the transformation is complete. The trepidation, the careful first steps, weighing up the competition, learning along the way—all that has been done. This is as good a flagship phone as it gets, and it still costs lesser than a lot of flagship Android phones. OnePlus 6T base model now is 6GB RAM and 128GB storage, priced at $549, while 8GB RAM and 128GB storage option will cost $579. The higher-end 8Gb RAM and 256GB storage variant is priced at $629. But just how good is it really?

There is that conflict of emotions as you hold the OnePlus 6T. It feels petite, the shine adds a nice luster and you want to be very gentle with it. Yet, this is a very well-built phone, it won’t slip out of your hand, and isn’t going to get scratched easily only to then run around throwing a fit. This is a very slim phone, and fits very easily in the hand, even though it is 0.4mm thicker than its predecessor. There is a slight arc on the back panel, which goes with the way your hand will curve when trying to hold the phone. The mix of glass and metal blends well together, giving the OnePlus 6T a very sophisticated yet youthful persona. It weighs 185 grams but doesn’t feel like it. It feels lighter to hold. The Mirror Black finish is the shinier of the two Black colour options you can choose from (the matte Midnight Black being the other one). It is tremendous fun to see light reflect off it in unique contoured lines and angles (OnePlus refers to this as the horizon line), but for someone who is a bit finicky about keeping things spotless clean, the easy accumulation of fingerprints isn’t going to help with the stress levels. This isn’t entirely different from the shiny black finish on one of the variants of the predecessor, the OnePlus 6, and it is good to see OnePlus retain this design element. 

A lot has changed in terms of the display. The 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display is the largest ever in a OnePlus phone. This packs in the 2,340 x 1,080 resolution, 402 pixels per inch and has the tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It is hard to ignore the redesigned notch at the top of the display, which now has the teardrop design instead of the longer and wider cutout earlier. The biggest advantage is that it takes up much lesser space on the notification bar, and visually looks significantly improved too. That said, the entire appeal of the display actually comes through in earnest when you view a variety of content on this. The colours are balanced without either being too rich or too subdued, which makes this great for watching photos and videos on. The sharpness levels are adequate, which means reading becomes a comfortable activity. OnePlus themselves have offered a lot of tweaks and options in the display settings. First up, there is the screen calibration option that lets you switch between sRGB, DCI-P3, Adaptive Mode and Custom Colour mode—depends on which one you prefer. Then there is the addition of the Night Mode which reduces the blue light emissions by the display to reduce eye strain—this is handy if you are looking at the screen in a dimly lit room or just before you are about to hit the bed. If you will be reading a lot on the phone, there is the Reading Mode which turns off all the colour from the display, and text is significantly better to read on a monochrome screen.

Under the hood runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Depending on the version you pick, you will have this paired with 6GB or 8GB RAM. That is flagship-esque grunt to power the apps that you use and the games that you may play on the phone. What really helps is that the storage (irrespective of whether it is the 128GB or the 256GB variant) is the very fast UFS 2.1 type, which is significantly faster when it comes to data read and write speeds—that gives the OnePlus 6T a significant advantage over most of its rivals. We have already seen the benefits in the OnePlus 6, and faster storage is a tad more ignored in smartphones with the processor upgrades getting most attention. All said and done, the smoothness as you swipe around the interface or inside apps, the snappy response that you get when switching between apps and the cleanliness of the app drawer with no unnecessary third-party apps being preloaded on it, just makes for a very good smartphone usage experience.

A lot has changed in terms of the display. The 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED display is the largest ever in a OnePlus phone. This packs in the 2,340 x 1,080 resolution, 402 pixels per inch and has the tall 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It is hard to ignore the redesigned notch at the top of the display, which now has the teardrop design instead of the longer and wider cutout earlier. The biggest advantage is that it takes up much lesser space on the notification bar, and visually looks significantly improved too. That said, the entire appeal of the display actually comes through in earnest when you view a variety of content on this. The colours are balanced without either being too rich or too subdued, which makes this great for watching photos and videos on. The sharpness levels are adequate, which means reading becomes a comfortable activity. OnePlus themselves have offered a lot of tweaks and options in the display settings. First up, there is the screen calibration option that lets you switch between sRGB, DCI-P3, Adaptive Mode and Custom Colour mode—depends on which one you prefer. Then there is the addition of the Night Mode which reduces the blue light emissions by the display to reduce eye strain—this is handy if you are looking at the screen in a dimly lit room or just before you are about to hit the bed. If you will be reading a lot on the phone, there is the Reading Mode which turns off all the colour from the display, and text is significantly better to read on a monochrome screen. 

Under the hood runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Depending on the version you pick, you will have this paired with 6GB or 8GB RAM. That is flagship-esque grunt to power the apps that you use and the games that you may play on the phone. What really helps is that the storage (irrespective of whether it is the 128GB or the 256GB variant) is the very fast UFS 2.1 type, which is significantly faster when it comes to data read and write speeds—that gives the OnePlus 6T a significant advantage over most of its rivals. We have already seen the benefits in the OnePlus 6, and faster storage is a tad more ignored in smartphones with the processor upgrades getting most attention. All said and done, the smoothness as you swipe around the interface or inside apps, the snappy response that you get when switching between apps and the cleanliness of the app drawer with no unnecessary third-party apps being preloaded on it, just makes for a very good smartphone usage experience.

 
 
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