Since the days of the 3T, OnePlus has started this routine of having two smartphone releases a year. Its realistically become the norm for smartphone makers ranging from LG to Samsung launching two flagships in a calendar year or even variations at the same time. With the 6T, OnePlus made great strives to change up the display giving us a smaller notch and even implementing some fingerprint tech underneath. Can the OnePlus 6T really be dubbed “Phone of the Year?”

Style

Radical design changes weren’t made to the exterior of the OnePlus 6T besides making it slightly taller and thinner than the OnePlus 6. I been using the Midnight Black version which has a smoky gray/black reflection to it on the back with a black border trim all around the phone. Depending how the light the color gradient will alter a bit. Phone isn’t all that slippery in hand and has a decent amount of weight but I been mostly using it with cases and swapping out.

Gone off the 6T is the headphone jack which might deter some to the 6 if it’s of importance to you. OnePlus like others feel great audio can be received from Type C but then we are entering the dongle life. I mostly went wireless to get my listening pleasure.

Other than that volume rockers and Dual Sim tray are on the left while power button and status slider chill on the right side. Once again a mono speaker is on the bottom and sounds the same as its predecessor. Nothing special and a bit tinny at times.

Hardware


1080p is still the name of the display game with OnePlus and you are just getting a slighter taller one with it being 6.4” and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. PPI is also still at 402. OnePlus managed to turn the rectangular notch bar they had into a teardrop which aesthetically fits the device better and just showcases the front camera. Consuming content on the 6T is still pleasurable and most won’t notice a difference. But I still want to see them get into higher res displays or give the option anyway.

One of the biggest features of the OnePlus 6T is the addition of the Screen Unlock via your fingerprint. OnePlus is one of the first to the market with this and takes some getting used to since the fingerprint sensor on the back is a goner. Many times I had put my finger in the back only to touch the camera.  When first released it was buggy and would take various presses to get it working. OnePlus has pushed out various updates and since then has worked seamlessly each time.

OnePlus brings over many of the killer specs from the OP6 that give the recognition it deserves such as a Snapdragon 845 processor, 6-8GB RAM options, as well as 128-256GB storage selections. Battery has been upped to 3,700mAh which is backed by the fastest charger mechanicals in the game with their Dash Charging.

OnePlus has long created smartphones that were GSM unlocked that only gave you access to mobile carriers AT&T and T-Mobile here in the U.S. This year they finally opened the flood gates to Verizon which has been a big wish for subscribers of Big Red. This is particularly impressive as the OnePlus 6T has Dual Sim 4G LTE capabilities. For the past month or so I been using it with a T-Mobile sim and a Verizon sim. Jumping from network to network has been a godsend for those times you are in an area and one service isn’t working as good. Of course, everyone doesn’t have two sims let alone from two different networks but if you do this is one of the best phones to take advantage of that opportunity.

Speaking of T-Mobile, OnePlus has gotten carrier support from them having their phones in stores and online for availability. It helps more consumers get face to face with the product and the price is good too at $579.99.

Software

This is where OnePlus has been become one of my favorite smartphones to work with. Its ability to listen to their fanbase and try and create the best OS possible is a delight. Oxygen OS feels like a light vanilla android skin but has so much baked underneath if you want to get your hands dirty. But even then, it’s very easy and accessible for android novices.

For starters the 6T (and its predecessors) are running Android’s Pie aka 9.0. They were one of the first out the gates and continue to update it frequently. You can’t even get Pie on the latest flagships such as LG, Samsung or Huawei.

Face Unlock is still awesome on here like the OP6 and feel like its more satisfying compared to Face ID on the iPhone XS.

If you like to mobile game OnePlus has a optimizing gaming mode to utilize the right tools. I don’t crazy mobile gaming on it aside from Fortnite here and there and some Candy Crush games (don’t judge me) but they hold up without a hitch.

Camera

OnePlus hasn’t changed their setup of cameras too much still utilizing 16MP/20MP lens for dual snapping abilities. I have found the camera to be slightly better on the 6T then the 6. It’s still great in broad daylight and well-lit areas but taking in low light areas you still won’t get results near the Note 9 or the Pixel 3 series. With the front you are still getting 16MP but OnePlus has added some “selfie” or portrait mode settings to give your photos some interesting touch ups.

Verdict

Even with the omission of the headphone jack, and still utilizing a 1080p display, the OnePlus 6T is arguably one of if not the best smartphone of the year(2018). If you get the most tricked out McLaren model at $699 u still under the bubble of the biggest flagships by at least $200-300 bucks and that’s just those companies base model prices. This brand continues to give the competition a run for its money giving you performance feats where others tend to falter.

OnePlus 6T is available starting at $549 in a variety colors and configurations.



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