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OnePlus has made its name crafting and hawking very desirable smartphones that offer great value for money. The 6T, the company’s latest and greatest unit, is no different from its predecessors in that it’s yet another drool-worthy phone.

As a matter of fact, we’ll go out on a limb and say that this is one of our favorite Android phones, bar none!

Care to discover why? Stick with this review and you’ll find out!

Big bruiser

With the 6T, OnePlus has come up with a phone that’s sure to please those with an eye towards making their next phone a big one.

First off, this is no minuscule phone, measuring 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm and weighing 185g. Its screen is the largest the company has ever put in any of its phones – a whopping 6.41 inches on the diagonal, a hair shorter than the iPhone XS Max’s display. It’s a big, bright, and beautiful FHD+ Optic AMOLED screen with 2340 x 1080 resolution (~393 ppi) and a 19:9 aspect ratio. This is a stunning display that rivals those found in competing flagship phones, even those twice the price. And it’s made from Corning Gorilla Glass 6 to help ensure that it stays beautiful no matter what its users put it through.

Although its predecessor the OnePlus 6 came with a notched display, the 6T now boasts an OPPO-esque waterdrop-style notch. (And you can even hide it if you so desire – just check out the Notch Display option under Settings, where you can just tick the ‘Hide Notch’ option to eliminate it.)

The display is further distinguished by the addition of a fingerprint sensor that sits within it. We were pleased to find out how fast and efficient said sensor was – it was lightning fast and nearly always accurate.

So, if you’re into screens or displays, you’ll come away impressed with the 6T. It is a big phone for sure, but you can bet that its screen makes the most of that chassis.

As for the rest of the phone, it’s a nicely designed swathe of metal and glass that perches very comfortably within one’s hand. Fit and finish is excellent – this phone feels every inch a true flagship phone.

Oh, and one more thing; the 6T does away with a 3.5mm headphone jack, so those of you in the market for a phone with one of these will need to look elsewhere, sorry about that. (At least you do get a USB-C adapter, if you don’t mind using one, in a jazzy bright orange and white colorway.)

Yeah, and speaking of colorways, buyers can pick from an almost too shiny and quite fingerprint-prone Mirror Black, the more sedate Midnight Black, the sophisticated Silk White, and the striking Red (our favorite by far).

Guts-y performer

Of course no smartphone nowadays should be judged only because of how good (or bad) its screen is. Fortunately for the 6T, the rest of it is really quite far from being bad.

Let’s start with its innards. The 6T is powered by Qualcomm’s zippy 2.8GHz Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor. Paired with the Adreno 630 GPU and either 6GB or 8GB of RAM, this processor confers flagship-level performance. We loved how slick this chipset combination felt – super fast and exceedingly capable whether we were doing mundane everyday tasks like texting or super intensive tasks like heavy gaming.

Of course this impression is helped by OnePlus’ great OxygenOS overlay atop Android 9.0 Pie, which we’ve found to be one of the best; buttery-smooth and stable no matter what we did, and enhanced significantly by great features including a Smart Boost app feature that improves app launch speeds by as much as 20%. And we especially appreciate the fact that OxygenOS is neither bloated nor forces users to put up with apps that, shall we say, aren’t really appreciated.

We also really love OnePlus’ commitment to deliver rapid Android updates to its users. In a world where many Android phone makers struggle to deliver updates in a timely manner, this company’s dedication to making such updates possible gets our definite nod.

We also liked the 6T’s camera set, even though it could be brought up to the level of some competing devices’ imaging sets. The phone’s main snapper is a dual 16MP and 20MP unit that has a quite decent f/1.7 aperture and also boasts key features such as phase detection autofocus as well as optical image stabilization. Up front, the 6T has a 16MP f/2.0 camera. In short, this is the same camera hardware this phone’s predecessor boasted.

Software-wise, though, it’s a different story. OnePlus saw fit to amp up the camera software, including through putting in new features like a Night Mode which lengthens exposure time in order to take in more detail when the camera is used in bad lighting.

All in all, the 6T’s camera is pretty decent – but it might struggle to compete with more accomplished competitors in this department, such as the iPhones XS, XS Max, and XR, and (most especially) the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, which offer just about the most capable cameras available in any smartphone today.

Okay, what about battery capacity? The 6T runs a 3,700mAh battery, which gives it enough juice to be used comfortably and confidently throughout one’s day. Our test 6T averaged around 10 hours and 5 minutes on a full charge, which isn’t too shabby given that we put it through moderate levels of usage for the most part.

The bottom line

The OnePlus 6T offers amazing value for an almost shockingly low price. It’s far better than most of its direct competition, and offers an excellent alternative to many phones almost twice its price. It’s not a perfect phone – its camera could be improved – but it really does run its competition very close. So close, as a matter of fact, that we actually find ourselves considering picking one up for our personal use… !

 

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