Android and interface

  • Gets Android 9 Pie with OxygenOS out of the box
  • Smoother custom ROM on Android
  • Close to stock

The OnePlus 6T runs the latest version of Android from first boot - Android 9 Pie. OnePlus continues to put a layer of the OxygenOS on top, and why not, it's one of the key contributors to OnePlus' successful run. 

The company sticks to the core of Android and makes some really useful tweaks to the OxygenOS. For example, to access your app drawer, it’s a simple swipe up from the bottom of the display, which feels like a seamless way to open the menu, rather than a tap. There are new gestures to get rid of the navigation keys and have a seamless gesture control to move around the phone. Like a simple swipe up from any corner of the screen takes you to the previous screen, swipe up and hold takes you to recent apps and swipe up from any screen takes you to the home screen. It's a minor change, but it's an enjoyable experience when you get used to it.

There is minimal bloatware on the OnePlus 6T, you only get a variety of apps- a calculator, calendar and similar, apart from Google's suite of apps. The overall feel from the icons to the way you use it, it feels refreshingly clean. 

OnePlus claims apps boot up quicker on the 6T thanks to a feature called Smart Boost. This stores the data of your frequently used apps, making them a touch quicker to launch, but it’s only between 5-20% faster, and we can’t say we’ve noticed much difference in day to day use. 

This is how the fluid OxygenOS UI looks

This is how the fluid OxygenOS UI looks

There is, as usual, a gesture section in the settings menu, where you can assign off-screen actions dedicated to a particular task -  for example, you can lock the phone by double tapping anywhere on the home screen, or tap the screen with three fingers at the same time to take a screenshot. 

Then there is Parallel Apps, which enables you to clone certain apps, allowing you to log in to two different accounts. Supported apps include Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Skype and Snapchat. 

I personally am a stock Android person,  and out of all the custom ROMs, it's just the OxygenOS that works for me without any issues. It's a balanced skin, performance-wise and visually.

Movies, music and gaming

  • Lots of storage for your media
  • Better gaming performance than the top flagship phones around

First off, you get an immersive 6.41-inch AMOLED panel to consume video and games. It is not as good as Sony or Samsung, but it is not inferior either. With more screen, watching videos on this phone becomes even better. 

The only talking point here is the missing 3.5mm jack. That could be a big deal for OnePlus fans, but practically, it does not affect the audio output. you get a 3.5mm to USB Type-C connector in the box so that you can use your older pair of headphones. But we can't deny the fact that they are easy to misplace and you cannot listen to music while charging your phone (unless you have a Bluetooth headphone). 

There's just one loudspeaker at the bottom, but it's fairly loud and clear. But yes, Pixel 3 and the iPhone X-series offer a much more immersive loudspeaker experience than the 6T. 

I am a regular PUBG Mobile gamer and despite having options like the Note 9 and Pixel 3 with me, I use the OnePlus 6 (now 6T) as my primary for gaming. All the smartphones I named above offer stunning graphics, smooth touch control and good displays, but the end experience feels better on the OnePlus. These handsets show sign of lags and frame drops after prolonged sessions, but the 6T is very consistent with the performance. So, there are no worries for those frustrating kills while you are dealing with the frame drops. 

On top of it, Gaming Mode from the OnePlus 6 has returned to lock the brightness level and restrict your notifications. 

There’s plenty of room for your games and other media too, with the entry-level configuration of the OnePlus 6T offering 128GB of storage. That’s more than enough for most people, but if you want even more you can opt for the 256GB model. But it's worth noting that it doesn't support a microSD card in case you want to put your old content into your OnePlus. 

Performance

  • Top of the line Snapdragon 845 chipset
  • Paired with 6GB or 8GB of RAM

Whether it was gaming or multitasking between apps, the OnePlus 6T handled everything we asked of it with ease – it feels like the company has gotten better at optimizing its software for the processors being used. In terms of performance, this is the most accomplished OnePlus handset yet, capable of handling anything you throw at it.

I intentionally did not run a benchmark on this one as the OnePlus 6 scored 9100 on Geekbench 4 and was superbly snappy, so I just didn't try it. I have seen phones getting high scores on Benchmarks and then failing to offer consistent performance over time, which is not the case with the OnePlus 6T, yet. 

That said, we didn’t notice any issues with performance in day to day use – if you want a phone with cutting-edge power then there's only the iPhone X-series that can help.

Verdict

OnePlus has reiterated at several occasions that the 'T' variants of their handsets are not successors but just an update to the existing lineup. If we ignore OnePlus' values for a minute and look at the OnePlus 6T as a new device, there's hardly any flaw at Rs 37,999. Instead, there are compromises (which Apple iPhone users would be aware of). 

Compromises include the missing headphone jack, slightly heavier body and a cool but comparatively slower mechanism to unlock the phone. These compromises are a part of technological advancements is arguable, but what we get for the given price is not a bad deal. There are cheaper alternates like the POCO F1, Asus Zenfone 5Z, LG G7 ThinQ, but all of them have a list of compromises that is longer than of the OnePlus 6T. 

If you think OnePlus 6 was a well-suited device for your usage, the OnePlus 6T is a better overall offering. It’s difficult to find any real fault with this phone. If you want solid battery life, terrific power and cutting-edge features like the in-screen fingerprint scanner, the OnePlus 6T is made for you.