OnePlus 6T Review: Performance, Quality And Price Leadership Again

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OnePlus 6T Design And Build Quality

In the age of heavily-notched displays (Google Pixel 3 XL, we're looking at you), the OnePlus 6T is perhaps the least offensive of any smartphone on the market right now with its "teardrop" notch. And, as with the previous generation OnePlus 6, the company's lightly skinned Oxygen OS over Android 9 Pie, does give you complete notch control, as you'll note in other shots below. 
OnePlus 6T Display Top

Also, while the OnePlus 6T's AMOLED display isn't exactly the highest resolution 6-inch+ screen in the smartphone space, it's more than competitive and has almost an industry first on board, at least for a mainstream smartphone brand. 

Looks Cool, But Just How Good Is The OnePlus 6T Fingerprint Scanner?

OnePlus 6T in display fingerprint reader

Behold the OnePlus 6T's in-display fingerprint scanner. This is an impressive feature actually, not only since it's a much cleaner design aesthetic, but it also takes some pretty innovative technology on board to make it work. OnePlus is one of the first production smartphones to offer the feature, though the Vivo X21 also introduced it earlier this summer. Either way, what matters here is how well this feature works and how much easier it is to use. In that regard, for us the jury is still out. In its current firmware version, it works reasonable well but there's a second or two delay while the fingerprint pad lights up and the scanner does its magic. You also have to target the small, round fingerprint area on the bottom of the display slightly more carefully than a rear or front-mounted physical fingerprint scanner, because the glass is one smooth, contiguous surface obviously. However, once you do that, you're treated to some cool, sci-fi looking scan animation mojo while your fingerprint is being identified. Unfortunately, in practice, it just doesn't function quite as quickly and accurately as existing in-body phone fingerprint scanners. There are more false rejects it seems, especially if you're one-handing it with your thumb, which is the most convenient approach for most users, we would imagine, and it's just not as quick to get the job done as we would have hoped. There's opportunity for OnePlus to improve this in future system firmware updates (we got at least three by the way in the course of this review, which is a OnePlus strong suit), but for now, we'd likely just rely on the OnePlus 6T's freakishly-fast and convenient face unlock, even if it's technically less secure.

OnePlus 6T top camera right edge
OnePlus 6T Display Movie Aquaman
What could be greater than a king? A hero.

But let's get back to that 6.41-inch bodacious AMOLED display that OnePlus strapped into the OnePlus 6T. If you want all the brightness, punch, saturation and pop that OLED screens are known for, you will not be disappointed here. As with the original OnePlus 6, the company has sourced an excellent display this time around and if you think for a minute you'll miss having 1440p resolution, just don't. This phone's 19.5:9 aspect ratio gives you a massive amount of vertical real estate in portrait mode and is as crispy at the pixel level as any Samsung or Apple phone on the market. In fact, it appears actually slightly brighter than the OnePlus 6 and if you leave it in default mode, versus working with OnePlus' built in screen calibration settings menu, you can blow your retinas out with some serious saturation, as seen above. For more accurate renderings, hit the Adaptive or DCI-P3 modes, but either way, this display delivers.

If you're a real pixel snob, it might not quite catch the Galaxy Note 9, but it's very close and after a day or two on this device, your eyes won't notice the difference. And yes, if that teardrop notch is still too much for you, the OnePlus 6T, like the OnePlus 6 before it, has firm notch control that stays out of sight if you want hide it. It's pretty much the best of both worlds in that regard. 
OnePlus 6T back bottom
OnePlus 6T back right edge

OnePlus 6T Camera back
The rest of the OnePlus 6T's design is simply just a slightly larger chassis version of the OnePlus 6. This is the Midnight Black version and it does a fantastic job of resisting fingerprints, with a finish that feels great and looks simply clean and premium. The 6T also has the same button and IO configuration as well, with a power/screen lock button and mechanical vibrate/silence/DND slider on the right side, a volume rocker and dual nano-SIM tray on the left. And yes we have no 3.5mm headphone jack on the bottom of the OnePlus 6T. I do so miss that analog audio jack and do not see why it's such a big deal to have it on board and available. Aside from that omission, the speaker configuration of the 6T is still a single down-firing driver but with another empty punch hole port to balance off the look. We will note that the OnePlus 6T does drive generally louder and more open acoustics versus the previous gen OnePlus 6. Music is clear with limited distortion, though it is lacking in low-end response, as you might expect.

In short, if you liked the OnePlus 6, don't mind losing that headphone jack, and want a slightly larger format design with a larger, gorgeous OLED display, you'll like the industrial design chops of the OnePlus 6T, in a big way. 

Let's look at software, user experience and camera, next...

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