OnePlus 6T

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Price: £499 inc VAT from fave.co/2OjuZUR

When you fol­low tech and smart­phones closely the con­stant on­slaught of new, sup­pos­edly bet­ter mod­els com­ing out can be numb­ing. It can also wrongly con­vince you that you need to up­grade your phone that is six, 12, or 20 months old. The OnePlus 6T is one such phone.

It is a very good smart­phone, but it’s not much of an up­grade from the OnePlus 6 that launched just five months be­fore it. It has the same pro­ces­sor, same ba­sic de­sign, very sim­i­lar dis­play and comes in two of the same colours. If you own a 6, you do not re­ally need a 6T. And you might not even want one, ei­ther.

But for the rest of the world, for the nor­mal peo­ple out there, this is one of the best phones you can buy. It just isn’t, in con­text, any­thing new or ex­cit­ing. But maybe that’s just to­day’s phones in gen­eral.

De­sign

The OnePlus 6T looks a lot like the OnePlus 6 and we com­pare them here. But for a mo­ment, let’s pre­tend the 6 doesn’t ex­ist.

The 6T has a pre­mium glass de­sign and you can have any colour as long as it’s black: Mir­ror Black (gloss) or Mid­night Black (matte). It’s gen­tly curved on the back and is a com­fort­able weight to hold, though the curve cou­pled with the tini­est of cam­era bumps means it does rock when used flat on a table.

It has a dew-drop shaped notch at the top of its large 6.41in dis­play that houses a cam­era, while the speaker is a slit right on the top edge of the phone. We had to ad­just how we hold the phone for calls to line it up to our ears prop­erly, but this is an is­sue with many notched phones that don’t house the speaker in a top bezel.

The back panel houses dual cam­eras and the OnePlus logo, while the an­tenna lines are hid­den in the alu­minium frame.

With a USB-C port and no head­phone jack in all black, the OnePlus 6T suf­fers a tad from the black rec­tan­gle syn­drome of mod­ern smart­phones. In a line up, it blends in with the LG V40, Pixel 3 XL and Sony Xpe­ria XZ3 as an all-glass black slab.

The loss of that head­phone jack jars more than with other man­u­fac­tur­ers since it was only five months

prior to the 6T’s re­lease that co-founder Carl Pei stood on a stage to an­nounce the OnePlus 6 and claimed peo­ple still re­ally wanted one. OnePlus told us it was time to re­move it on the 6T, in part to fit the in-screen fin­ger­print sen­sor.

The com­pany is be­tween a rock and a hard place – its fa­nat­i­cal com­mu­nity prob­a­bly wants a head­phone jack but the wider pub­lic don’t ac­tu­ally care en masse, ev­i­dent in the ac­cep­tance of iPhones with­out jacks since 2016. It’s the lat­ter mar­ket that OnePlus des­per­ately needs to sell to now to break into the main­stream, helped by new op­er­a­tor part­ner­ships.

Re­mov­ing the head­phone jack to fit in a snazzy new piece of tech is the de­ci­sion. But the big ques­tion is, like with the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, does the sen­sor ac­tu­ally work?

The short an­swer is yes, com­plete with funky soft­ware an­i­ma­tions. It’s not quite as fast as most de­cent phys­i­cal fin­ger­print sen­sors, in­clud­ing the one

on the OnePlus 6. On the 6T it worked through the fac­tory-in­stalled screen pro­tec­tor, which we then took off to test again and it seemed fine. It just takes that split sec­ond longer than you might ex­pect.

We also ended up re-train­ing the phone twice to read our thumbs and then it seems fine. It’s less good at edge de­tec­tion than phys­i­cal sen­sors and you have to place your thumbprint quite flat. But it’s amaz­ing that it even works in the first place, and it’s se­cure enough to use for bio­met­rics.

It’s not as fast as face un­lock, which we found our­selves us­ing more and even works well in the dark, but you’ll still need to rely on the fin­ger­print sen­sor for se­cure trans­ac­tions and app au­then­ti­ca­tion.

It’s no­table that OnePlus still won’t give the 6T an of­fi­cial IP rat­ing, though it did tell us the phone is ‘wa­ter re­sis­tant’ and uses sil­i­cone rings and foam in ports and but­tons to pre­vent wa­ter dam­age. Dur­ing our test­ing, our 6T unit took an ac­ci­den­tal tum­ble (in a case, thank­fully) into a toi­let. Apart from be­ing ashamed at our bath­room habits, at least we know the phone can sur­vive such a dunk.

This is a slick phone and we pre­fer the matte black fin­ish to the gloss op­tion, but like most other black slabs out there it’s noth­ing new and comes at a time where smart­phone de­sign has been re­ac­tive to the iPhone X. This notched dis­play with no home but­ton or phys­i­cal fin­ger­print sen­sor is ev­i­dence of that.

Pro­ces­sor, mem­ory and stor­age

What the OnePlus 6T def­i­nitely has go­ing for it (like all pre­vi­ous OnePlus phones) is its high-end specs for a

OnePlus has re­placed the head­phone socket with an in-screen fin­ger­print sen­sor

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