While I’ve been very pleased with the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, other recent phones have disappointed me in various ways. The new iPhone models have rather terrible cellular reception, the LG V40 battery is a bit lacking, and the Huawei Mate 20devices are not available in the US. This is a great time for OnePlus to step up with the OnePlus 6T and its first time launching with a US carrier should lead to more awareness of the brand. We’ll see if the OnePlus 6T lives up to its potential.
After two weeks, I was very impressed to find the OnePlus 6T has the best cellular reception I have recorded on a phone in the past year, has a battery life that gets me through a full 18 hour day, has a small notch with a large display and minimal bezels, and is extremely responsive. It’s not perfect, but it’s close and for just $580 there isn’t another phone out there that offers as much at this price.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
- Display: 6.41 inch 19.5:9 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution (402 ppi) Optic AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 6
- Operating system: Oxygen OS 9 based on Android 9 Pie
- RAM: 6GB/8GB
- Storage: 128GB and 256GB options
- Cameras: 16-megapixel standard f/1.1 and 20-megapixel f/1.7 dual rear cameras. 16-megapixel f/2.0 front-facing camera.
- Wireless technology: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC
- Battery: 3,700mAh battery with fast charging capability
- Dimensions: 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm and 185 grams
- Colors: Mirror Black (only color for T-Mobile) and Midnight Black
One feature missing on the OnePlus 6T that may disappoint longtime OnePlus fans is the 3.5mm headset jack. Very few manufacturers include a headphone jack today so it isn’t much of a surprise it is not there and OnePlus includes a USB-C headset dongle in the box to help the transition.
The front of the OnePlus 6T is dominated by the 86 percent screen-to-body ratio AMOLED display that looks great to me. It isn’t as high of a resolution as we see on a Samsung Galaxy Note 9, but it’s nearly half the price too. There is a small notch, but it’s more like what we see on an Essential Phone rather than a Pixel 3 XL. You can use software in the settings to hide it too.
We also see the use of Gorilla Glass 6 on the OnePlus 6T and I have yet to see this on any other phone released to date. According to Corning, subjected to a new and rigorous test methodology in its labs, on average, Gorilla Glass 6 survived 15 consecutive drops from 1 meter onto rough surfaces and is up to twice as better than Gorilla Glass 5.
The first thing I wanted to check out is the new in-display fingerprint sensor and after a couple of weeks of use with hundreds of unlock actions, it has been performing well for me. Sometimes it takes a second or two to recognize my thumb, but the face unlock kicks in fast so the balance of face unlock and the in-display sensor works well. I have also used the in-display sensor to access my bank account securely on the phone and am pleased with this new technological feat.
The right side has the traditional three-way switch that is one of the most useful features on the phone and sets the OnePlus line apart from others. The power button is below this on the right side. The USB-C port is on the bottom, along with a very loud single speaker. The left side houses the volume buttons and SIM card slot with a mic opening up top. There is no longer a 3.5mm headset jack.
Dual cameras are arranged vertically on the back with a flash light below the cameras. There is no telephoto or wide-angle capability, but there is a new Nightscape mode for advanced low-light photography. It would be great to see telephoto and/or wide-angle support on the second rear camera, but the camera is one area of compromise at this price. Maybe with the US carrier release of the OnePlus 6T, we will see Moment release a case that fits this phone so we could use all of its fantastic lenses with it.