The OnePlus 6T is OnePlus’ latest flagship which aims to bring great features such as an under-the-display fingerprint reader, AMOLED display and high-quality camera in an affordable package – in an otherwise expensive phone market.
The design of the OnePlus 6T is extremely nice and high quality. The device has a glass front and back with metal sides, giving it a premium feel, although the glass on the back does feel a little slippery at times and it is also a bit of a fingerprint magnet.
The front of the device features a “teardrop” notch to house the camera and the device’s display which comes in at 6.4” with a fingerprint reader beneath it. Despite having a large display, the phone is still comfortable to hold and use and I also think the teardrop notch looks quite good and that’s all there is on the front.
The sides have a good layout with the power button and volume buttons on separate sides, with the volume button on the left and power on the right so you don’t accidentally press the power button instead of the volume button and vice versa – this has been an issue that I’ve experienced on some Android phones.
The left-hand side also has your SIM card slot, unfortunately, there’s no card expansion available so make sure you pick the correct amount of storage you’ll need when you purchase the device.
The OnePlus 6T also features a hardware silence switch above the power button. This is something that I find super handy, coming from an iPhone as I think hardware controls for silencing your phone are so convenient to use. The switch has three different modes, ringer on, vibrate only and fully silent. I really do wish that more Android phones had a physical switch like the 6T.
On the bottom of the phone is the USB-C port which supports fast charging and the speaker. The phone doesn’t have a headphone jack, which is one of the differences between the OnePlus 6 and 6T. There is a 3.5mm to USB-C dongle included in the box, no headphones though.
On the back of the device is the rear dual-camera array which I shall go into a bit more detail later in the review.
The display on the OnePlus 6T looks great. It’s a 1080p AMOLED display that comes in at 6.41” and provides a crisp viewing experience that also manages to get bright enough for the daytime and dark enough for night-time.
The display follows the body shape of the phone, giving it rounded corners and a small cut-out for the teardrop notch.
As the display is an AMOLED, it features bright whites and deep blacks – giving great contrast to content viewed on the display, colours are also well saturated, and OnePlus allows you to select between some different colour profiles on the initial setup of the device.
The colours of the display also look great, with them being well saturated and vibrant. Viewing angles for the display are decent, although when looking from more extreme angles I did notice a slight green tint.
The display doesn’t support being Always-On or HDR fully, but it does have support for the DCI-P3 colour gamut. HDR appears to work within the YouTube app, but not on any others at the time of this review.
The OnePlus 6T comes with Android 9 Pie running OnePlus’ OxygenOS 9 interface on-top. Pardon the pun, but OxygenOS is like a breath of fresh air compared to many of the other Android phones I have reviewed in the past.
OxygenOS’ interface has been barely modified from stock Android, so it runs really smoothly and fluidly. Instead of changing the interface drastically, OnePlus has taken the approach of adding extra functionality to Android such as the App Locker, Gestures and Shelf.
There are also two OnePlus apps installed out of the box, which is a pleasant surprise in comparison to many other phones which seem to bundle as much of the Play Store as they can.
Just like how you can swap out the navigation buttons for gestures, you can also black out the notch bar if you want to, although I think it looks pretty good stock.
Like most modern smartphones, the OnePlus 6T can perform well and provide a smooth and stable experience without any hiccups. The 6T delivers a good amount of performance, with fast app opening and loading times, games also manage to run smoothly and the 6gb or 8gb RAM make app switching smooth.
The 6T is powered by Snapdragon’s 845 processor with 4 high-speed processor cores and 4 lower speed processor cores. I would assume this is to help conserve energy and so the device would use the lower speed cores when it is not doing intensive tasks. Graphics are handled by the Adreno 630.
The device has a good range of connectivity options with Bluetooth 5.0, AC Wi-Fi and NFC, which supports Google Pay – so you can make contactless payments using your phone.
The speakers on the 6T aren’t that great and I was expecting them to sound better. They sound very tinny with very little bass and I am quite surprised that OnePlus don’t use the bottom speaker for lower-end frequencies and the earpiece for higher-end frequencies like many other Android smartphone manufacturers.
The fingerprint sensor isn’t as good as the one I tried out on the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, but it manages to read my fingerprint most of the time. One thing to note is that the display will go into full brightness momentarily so it can see your fingerprint. There’s also face unlocking on the device, but it uses the front-facing camera instead of more secure infra-red unlocking methods.
The OnePlus 6T has a dual-camera array featuring 16MP and 20MP cameras on the back to assist with portrait mode.
The camera does a good job of capturing the environment around it, with good amounts of dynamic range for overcast days – which there are a lot of at the time of writing this review. Overall the images look decent with them all being correctly exposed and able to provide good amounts of detail when zooming.
The camera app also has a night shooting mode which allows you to take a long exposure image of around 3 seconds. This worked well and comes in useful if you’re looking to take some photos during the night.
The camera manages to shoot up to 4K video electronically stabilized with 60fps options not being electronically stabilized. The footage that comes out is extremely smooth after it has been processed, when recording it looks a little shaky but once it is previewed in the Photos app, the footage looks great.
The front facing camera looks great, there’s no annoying face smoothening going on and it even manages to get a nice background blur going on sometimes.
The camera app is simple enough to use and has a pleasant interface for navigating between different modes, the 6T also supports high-framerate slow-motion video.
The battery on the OnePlus 6T is 3,700mAh – which doesn’t make it the largest battery out there, but it also isn’t the smallest.
It was able to get me through a day’s use – which is browsing on some social media apps, listening to some music and maybe watching some videos. I’d say the battery is too small to go for two days, but this is where quick charge comes in handy.
Unfortunately, despite the glass back of the device, it doesn’t support wireless charging which is a big shame, but I suppose cost-cutting measures like that keep the cost of the device down.
If you’re looking for a smartphone that costs less than £500, the OnePlus 6T manages to deliver a well-built phone with a pleasant software experience at that price tag. If you are looking for a new phone or an iPhone alternative, I’d highly recommend the OnePlus 6T – I’ve really enjoyed using it.