The OnePlus 6T is quite possibly the most important smartphone launch ever for the relatively young company. Not only does the device feature some interesting new elements (such as an in-display fingerprint sensor), but it’s also the first OnePlus smartphone sold with a U.S. carrier partnership.
In no uncertain terms, there’s a lot riding on the success of the OnePlus 6T.
Android Authority fully reviewed the 6T, and we also published a few highly-opinionated articles about the device leading up to its official reveal. Now that all the dust has settled (and everyone has holiday smartphone purchases on the brain) it’s time to ask a simple question: should you or shouldn’t you buy the OnePlus 6T?
Let’s break it down. There are a bunch of reasons why buying the phone is a terrific idea, and an equal amount of reasons you might want to spend your money elsewhere.
Reasons to buy the OnePlus 6T
Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: the OnePlus 6T is an awesome phone. No, it’s not the perfect phone, but it is absolutely one of the best smartphones released in 2018. Here are six reasons why you should spend your hard-earned cash on this piece of hardware.
A recently-published set of survey results indicated while people from different age groups and backgrounds all have distinct preferences when it comes to what they want from a smartphone, what bound everyone together was battery life. We all want our phones to last as long as possible, and the OnePlus 6T is a beast when it comes to battery life. During his three weeks reviewing the OnePlus 6T, Android Authority’s own David Imel saw an average screen-on time of 6.5 to 8 hours on the device. That’s incredible, especially when you consider the phone’s 3,700mAh battery is not as large as in other devices like the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
Premium build and feel
The OnePlus 6T features a build of mostly glass, just like competitors like the Google Pixel 3 and the Samsung Galaxy S9. Despite the fact the OnePlus 6T is considerably cheaper than both those devices (which we’ll get to in a minute), the phone doesn’t feel “budget” in any way. In fact, OnePlus’ minimalist approach to the design of this phone makes it amazing to hold in your hand — or just sit looking pretty on your desk.
In-display fingerprint sensor
Since almost every smartphone on the market has a fingerprint sensor on the back, it might be a bit of a switch for you having the sensor on the front of the OnePlus 6T. However, the fingerprint scanner being in the display is a really cool feature and it just gets better and better the more you use it. There’s also a novelty to impressing your friends with the tech, as most will have never seen it before.
Immersive all-screen experience
Whether you’re a diehard notch hater or someone who doesn’t mind the controversial design element, it’s hard to deny the OnePlus 6T at least does the notch right. Whereas the display design of the OnePlus 6 is essentially a smaller iPhone X notch, the waterdrop notch on the 6T is so unobtrusive, you might forget it’s even there.
Dependable software updates
OnePlus is consistently great about issuing timely updates to its smartphones, and its highly-lauded OxygenOS Android skin is one of the company’s crowning achievements. When you buy a OnePlus 6T, you can rest assured you will get the latest updates fast. Expect an upgrade to Android Q (and perhaps even beyond) before many other devices will get it.
Great prices and great deals
Yes, the OnePlus 6T is the company’s most expensive base model smartphone yet at $549. However, that’s still a steal. This device easily holds its own against smartphones hundreds of dollars more expensive. Since this device is carried at T-Mobile, you can expect deeper discounts from the carrier as an incentive for you to sign up for wireless service.
Reasons to pass on the OnePlus 6T
Despite the previous section, the OnePlus 6T is far from perfect. To keep that $549 price point, OnePlus cut some corners. Depending on what you value the most, these six things might be deal-breakers.
In-display fingerprint sensor
This was listed as a reason to buy in the previous section, but it can be in both places. While the in-display fingerprint sensor is futuristic and cool, it is still early technology. This sensor is slower and less efficient than most other, traditional sensors you’ve used. OnePlus promises it will get better the more you use it, and the company has already issued software tweaks to make it more efficient, but it’s still not as good as what you’re used to.
The camera is good, but not great
If you’re a shutterbug always on the lookout for the best smartphone camera, the OnePlus 6T won’t work so well for you. While the camera on the 6T is probably the best the company has ever released, it still doesn’t match the standards set by something like the Google Pixel 3 or the Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
It’s a big phone with a tall screen
While the OnePlus 6T display is beautiful, it covers nearly the entire face of the device. As such, using the phone one-handed can be pretty difficult, even if you have big hands. If you’re resting the device in the palm of your right hand and want to get your thumb all the way up to the upper left corner, you’re probably going to have to shift your hold or use your left hand to get the job done.
No headphone jack or microSD slot
OnePlus hasn’t put a microSD slot into its devices since the OnePlus X, so no one expected the 6T to come with one — but the headphone jack? The removal of the beloved 3.5mm port sent shockwaves throughout the world of Android enthusiasts. If the inclusion of the headphone jack is a must-have for you, unfortunately, the OnePlus 6T isn’t going to work. For those of you out there who can deal, there’s a free USB Type-C headphone adapter in the box with the phone.
No wireless charging
Despite its all-glass design, the OnePlus 6T doesn’t have wireless charging capabilities. According to the company, OnePlus’ proprietary fast charging is partially to blame. Because fast charging is such an integral feature to OnePlus phones, the company doesn’t feel comfortable adding wireless charging until it can work as quickly and efficiently as wired charging. Until then, no wireless charging for OnePlus phones.
No IP rating
The OnePlus 6T has no official IP rating, so if you decide to take it for a swim you will most likely ruin it. However, despite its lack of an official rating, the device is very water resistant and will most likely survive some rain or even a quick drop into a puddle.
Don’t forget about the OnePlus 6
If you still can’t make a final decision on the OnePlus 6T, don’t forget about the OnePlus 6. It’s only seven months old and OnePlus is still selling the device (who knows for how much longer). You’ll lose the tiny notch and the in-display fingerprint sensor, but you’ll gain a headphone jack and spend a little less money for the base model.
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