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OnePlus 6T/6T McLaren Edition Review - Affordable Premium Powerhouse!

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OnePlus continues to bring flagship performance at affordable prices but this year the company decides to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack. Is it still worth it?
OnePlus 6T/6T McLaren Edition Review - Affordable Premium Powerhouse!
The McLaren is beautiful!

The highlight changes on the 6T from the 6 is the larger display that encompasses most of the front. The 3.5mm headphone jack was removed which gave way for more space for a larger battery 3,700mAh battery.

Display Quality

Look at how small the notch is!
Look at how small the notch is!

The OnePlus 6T carries a 6.4-inch FHD Optic AMOLED 2340 x 1080 resolution at 403 ppi with 2.5D curved screen and is Gorilla Glass 6 protected. It reduces the size of a notch significantly that it's almost never there compared to the 6.28-inch display of the OnePlus 6.
  The display is bright with vibrant colors and deep contrast. It is bright enough to be readable under direct sunlight. I could be brighter though. 

You have the option for several color calibration like sRGB, DCI-P3 and the like. 

It is made of OLED so burn-in is a concern that can only be confirmed after extended use. If you do not want the risk of burn-in we suggest looking elsewhere.

On the display settings, you will find the adaptive screen toggle, auto rotate toggle, night light (eye comfort), display size, and more.

It also has 10 points of touch that make it perfect for apps that uses multiple touch interactions at the same time like games or productivity tools.

Audio Quality

Symmetrical Speaker grill design but only one single bottom firing speaker!
Symmetrical Speaker grill design but only one single bottom firing speaker!

Stereo speakers are becoming standard for flagships yet the OnePlus 6T retains a single bottom firing speaker with a deeper, cleaner and detailed sound signature compared to the OnePlus 6; however, the 6's speaker is slightly louder at maximum volume than the 6T.

At max volume, there is minimal distortion and we are very happy with the audio quality, we just wish it was a little louder. The placement at the bottom also makes it easy to muffle the sound from the speaker when holding the phone in landscape when watching videos or playing games in full screen.

OnePlus has decided to leave out the 3.5mm headphone jack on the 6T and does provide a USB Type-C to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle.

For Bluetooth, connection is mostly stable. It is compatible with our Bluetooth keyboard, track pad, pure acoustics Bluetooth speaker and our laptop.

The microphone quality is good with voice calls and voice recording with good clarity and decent volume.

Battery

The improved battery of the 6T!

In our usual PCMark battery test the OnePlus 6T was able to withstand 11 hours and 26 minutes of continuous load while in our daily use where we used the phone while connected with LTE and WiFi all day.

Improved battery life!

That is impressive considering we are using text messaging, calling, social media, e-mail, web surfing, YouTube streaming, Grab and Waze, it was able to last more than 13 hours. We unplug the phone from the charger at 8AM and arrive home at 9PM with 10 to 15 percent battery left.

This is impressive given the large size 1080p display and the Snapdragon 845.

The OnePlus 6T has a 3,700mAh battery with 5V 4A Fast charging (formerly Dash Charge) that charges the battery from 0 to 100 percent in 80 minutes. The Mclaren has the same capacity but with a 30W Warp charging that charges 0 to 100 percent in 50 minutes.

Camera

The OnePlus 6T McLaren camera interface!
The OnePlus 6T McLaren camera interface!

The dual rear cameras of the OnePlus 6T is made up of a 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX519 sensor and a 20MP f/1.7 Sony IMX376 sensor that both support PDAF, 2x zoom, OIS, EIS, and LED flash.

The standard video, photo, portrait and night mode are easily accessible. If you want to access the other modes like Pro, HDR, time lapse and the rest you have to swipe up on the "^" indicator. 

The Pro mode is the same as the one in OnePlus 6 which allows for manually selecting the following: ISO 100-3200, white balance in Kelvin, shutter speed 1/8000th of a second to 30 seconds, focus and exposure compensation.

The autofocus acquires and snaps on subjects quickly especially in well lit situations. It struggles in very low light situations.

The introduction of the Nightscape mode which OnePlus themselves say that they based on Huawei's implementation is nearly as good as the one found in the Huawei P20 Pro and Mate 20 series but with a long saving time.

After you press the shutter and it compiles the different exposures, it usually takes under 10 seconds to finish. An OTA update arrived and managed to remedy it down to under 4 seconds. Aside from this, we like where OnePlus is going with this feature.

The images from the the OnePlus 6T is a slight improvement over the OnePlus 6. We feel that the images are good enough in both day light and low light for most people but will still struggle when compared side by side to flagships like the Mate 20 Pro, Note9 and the like. Otherwise for the price, it is very good.

We did notice that in low light, the telephoto sensor has noticeably more grain and is than the standard camera sensor.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight standard lens
Daylight standard lens
Daylight tele lens
Daylight tele lens
Main lens close-up
Main lens close-up
Tele lens close-up
Tele lens close-up
Night mode 1
Night mode 1
Night mode 2
Night mode 2

For selfies, The OnePlus 6T carries a 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX371. As expected, it has the face beauty mode.

It is one of the better cams for selfies. It performs well with good color and contrast with sharp details. The low light is noticeably grainier than the day light though and softness is prominent because of the slower shutter speed along with the noise reduction.

You can use the screen flash in low light.

Overall a good performer for the price you are getting it.

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Indoor selfie
Indoor selfie
Lowlight selfie
Lowlight selfie

See also: OnePlus 6T: First Camera Samples

The OnePlus 6T can shoot: 4K 60fps, 30fps; 1080p 60fps, 30fps; 720p. It even has slow motion and shoots: 1080p 240fps and 720p 480fps. 
The footage from the OnePlus 6T is nearly the same as the OnePlus 6. Footage is sharp with vibrant colors and deep contrast. 

There is some grain but is mostly noticeable in low light. The audio recording is also good given that it is from the phone. Sound is crisp and well separated with acceptable noise cancellation. The stabilization is good but not the best. It struggles with sudden movements and micro-jitters like most stabilization.

Video Samples


Performance

OnePlus 6T benchmarks!
OnePlus 6T benchmarks

The OnePlus 6T and 6T McLaren has a Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor with up to 8GB RAM for the standard unit and up to 10GB RAM for the McLaren edition. In our AnTuTu and GeekBench benchmarks the RAM difference did not result in a noticeable difference. The AnTuTu score 294,979 while in GeekBench single-core score is 2,375 and multi-core score of 8,823.

Strong scores!

The benchmarks are impressive considering these are not far from significantly higher priced phones like the ROG Phone from ASUS.

In our daily use, it is one of the snappiest and responsive phone we've tried yet. Navigating through menus, features, apps and settings are a breeze.


In games, we were able to play games like PUBG and NBA at 1080p with smooth and consistent frame rates at the highest settings without a problem. 

After playing for an extended period, the phone becomes warm but not alarmingly hot.

The UI

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Oxygen OS UI
The OnePlus 6T McLaren Oxygen OS UI

The OnePlus 6T is running on the latest version of OxygenOS that is based on Android 9.0 Pie and it is still one of our favorite skin ever.

In our line of work where we receive and use phones multiple times in a month, very few UI's make us say "WOW that's fast" or "Wow that is simple but useful!" OxygenOS is one of our most favorite skin because of how fast, how easy it is to use and navigate through and  how it adds useful features. 
Unlike most skins, it has little to no bloatware or duplicate apps. The added features are the same from the OnePlus 6. Each is minor or subtle but very useful. We recommend visiting our review of the OnePlus 6 here to read more.

Other features

The phone has face unlock and in-display fingerprint scanner. It has the old school pin or double tap to wake feature. The In-display fingerprint scanner replaces the fingerprint scanner at the back of the phone on the OnePlus 6. However, because in-display scanners are still not as quick or as accurate as dedicated scanners. The Face Unlock on the OnePlus 6T is still one of the fastest and most accurate on the market but at the cost of security. It doesn't have an the added benefits of a flood illuminator or an Iris scanner.

It also has USB OTG support, Gyroscope and GPS/GLONASS.

4G LTE, 3G, HSPA+ work well when there is good reception. Lastly, this phone comes with WiFi, GPS, and dual SIM slots. It has good GSM signal connectivity most of the time.

Pros - Good Value for the price, large immersive display with small notch, better battery over OnePlus 6, Warp Charging is one of the fastest in the market, Nightscape levels up camera from competition
Cons - No 3.5mm headphone jack, single speaker only, no wireless charging

OnePlus 6T Specs

Display: 6.4-inch FHD Optic AMOLED 2340 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved screen and Gorilla Glass 6 protection at 403 ppi
CPU: 2.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor w/ Smart Boost
GPU: Adreno 630
RAM: 6GB/8GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 128GB/256GB UFS 2.1
Back Camera: 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX519 sensor + 20MP f/1.7 Sony IMX376 sensor w/ PDAF, 2x zoom, OIS, EIS, and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX371
Battery: 3,700mAh w/ OnePlus Fast Charge
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ Oxygen OS
Connectivity: WiFi, 4G LTE Cat 16, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, daily water resistance, USB Type-C, Colors: mirror black, midnight black, thunder purple
Dimensions: 157.7 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 185 g
Price: PHP 31,990 (6GB RAM/128GB ROM), PHP 33,990 (8GB RAM/128GB ROM), PHP 37,490 (8GB RAM/256GB ROM)

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition Specs

Display: 6.4-inch FHD Optic AMOLED 2340 x 1080 resolution w/ 2.5D curved screen and Gorilla Glass 6 protection at 403 ppi
CPU: 2.8GHz 64-bit Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor w/ Smart Boost
GPU: Adreno 630
RAM: 10GB LPDDR4X
ROM: 256GB UFS 2.1
Back Camera: 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX519 sensor + 20MP f/1.7 Sony IMX376 sensor w/ PDAF, 2x zoom, OIS, EIS, and LED flash
Selfie Camera: 16MP f/1.7 Sony IMX371
Battery: 3,700mAh w/ 30W Warp Charge
OS: Android 9.0 Pie w/ Oxygen OS
Connectivity: WiFi, 4G LTE Cat 16, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, daily water resistance, USB Type-C, Colors: mirror black, midnight black, thunder purple
Dimensions: 157.7 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
Weight: 185 g
Price: PHP 39,990

Verdict

The OnePlus 6T and OnePlus 6T McLaren are both great phones for the price with a long list of flagship features for a fraction of the price. If you can live with a single speaker, without a 3.5mm headphone jack and without wireless charging, than this is a good option if you want to save money but want the performance of a flagship device.

If you are choosing between the standard edition and the McLaren, we recommend getting the McLaren if you really like the design and if you want the Warp Charging, the braided USB Type-C cable, the trophy, the picture book and the prestige. (Or if you have money to spare)

Build/Design - 4.25
Display - 4.25
Audio - 4
Battery - 4.25
Camera - 4.25
Performance - 4.5
Average - 4.25/5
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