Since the company's inception half a decade back, OnePlus has been coming up with some compelling devices, giving flagship smartphone a run for their money. The latest being the OnePlus 6T, which is the company's mid-year refresh model. With some incremental updates over the 6 that includes a water-drop style notch, in-display fingerprint scanner, bigger battery and more, is the OnePlus 6T worth the money?
In-display fingerprint scanner: Housing fancy new tech, the 6T features an in-display fingerprint scanner, which worked flawlessly. Unlike Vivo NEX that failed to register my fingerprint scan, the one on 6T was quick and accurate. All I had to do was place my finger/thumb against the animation highlighting the sensor and follow the instructions. In just a few seconds, it managed to successfully register the finger impression and I had a 90 per cent success rate for unlocking the phone. However, unlike the capacitive sensor at the rear of the phone, this takes a little longer to unlock (a second or two).The animation around the sensor is bright and vivid, even if the screen's brightness is set to a lower level. As this technology isn't common in smartphones yet, unlocking the phone in public definitely attracted some curious eyes. I was also able to choose from three animation effects - Cosmos, Wave and Stripe. Talking about the security, OnePlus clarified that fingerprint data points are saved in the Qualcomm Snapdragon trust zone, which is also the same as the capacitive sensor data. In addition to the in-display scanner, I had configured face unlock (not as secure as Apple's Face ID). Combination of the two offered a smooth unlocking experience.
Design and display: With an 89 per cent screen-to-body ratio, the 6T has an all-glass front with curved edges. A 6.41 inch- Optic AMOLED display with 19:5:9 aspect ratio dominates the front. There is a small water-drop style notch at the top that houses three-in-one ambient/distant RGB sensor and front-facing camera. There is also an option to turn off the notch area under display settings.
The screen with 2340x1080p resolution is super bright to look at. The experience of watching videos over an edge-to-edge display can be enjoyed on the 6T as well. OnePlus ensures that the screen can be calibrated as per users' liking as I was able to choose between sRGB, DCI-P3, Adaptive and custom colour. The sleek panels houses SIM tray and volume button on the left, power button and alert slider, and Type C charging port along with speaker grill at the bottom. In order to install a larger battery and implement Screen Unlock, OnePlus has removed the headphone jack.
The rear houses a raised vertical dual camera module followed by the OnePlus logo. Made of all glass, the OnePlus 6T weighs 185 grams and is 157.5mm tall and 8.2mm thick. It sits comfortably in hand. However, the soft finish makes it a little slippery to hold.
UI, Gestures and Performance: OnePlus devices run Oxygen OS that is built on the latest version of Android - 6T comes with Oxygen OS version 9.0.5 build on Android 9, minus bloatware. The overall user interface is very neat and looks familiar as it is very close to stock Android. All the apps are neatly placed in the app drawer. The Smart Folders feature automatically assigns the name to the folder when moving apps and Smart Tags shows relevant tags such as recent searches, tourism, social, etc. when tapped on the search bar of the app drawer. Complementing the user interface are the navigation gestures that replaces the traditional navigation keys.
These include swipe-up from bottom to go to the home screen, swipe-up and hold to see recent apps and a swipe-up from either side to go to the previous screen. These gestures are intuitive and addictive. OnePlus has also integrated assistant app and those who wish to use the power button to activate assistant will have to turn on the feature from the settings.
Once activated, pressing the power button for more than half a second activated Google Assistant. OnePlus 6t is powered by the best in the business - Qualcomm 845. My review unit was the second variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage and was able to handle gaming, streaming videos with multiple apps running in the background with ease. While there wasn't any lag while playing games or using the phone, it heats up while playing certain games.
Camera: The vertical dual camera setup at the rear of the 6t includes a 16-megapixel Sony IMX 519 sensor, f/1.7 aperture, OIS+EIS main, and a 20-megapixel Sony IMX 376K sensor, f/1.7 aperture. It is same as on the OnePlus 6 launched earlier this year in May.
The camera does a pretty impressive job at capturing details and retaining colours from the primary lens. The secondary lens helps in capturing Portrait images. The Portrait mode is easy to use and manages to perfectly blur the background. The camera UI in itself is neat and simple - swiping up from the bottom displays more camera options, which includes Pro Mode, slow motion, time-lapse, panorama and the night mode.
OnePlus has addressed the concerns about low-light photography by adding Nightscape mode that using machine learning helps in capturing better low-light images. It's like a Pro mode for capturing images at night but a user needs not play around with manual settings. The Night mode automatically adjusts shutter speed and ISO while capturing an image. The images captured with the Night mode on takes a little time to process and results in slightly better shots with less noise. But it is nowhere close to the images shot using Google Pixel 3XL.
Battery: The 6T packs in a 3700 mAh battery that easily lasted me a day with still some juice left. Even with heavy usage, it should be able to suffice a day's use. Even with the 6t, OnePlus hasn't incorporated wireless charging but it supports Dash charge for quick charging.
Verdict: With the 6T, OnePlus raises the benchmark yet again. For the price it comes, OnePlus 6t is a powerhouse with no big compromises.