OnePlus has unveiled the OnePlus 6T, a follow-up to the OnePlus 6 released back in May. As with past T series phones, OnePlus doesn't reinvent the wheel with this new release, repeating many of the same features that made the OnePlus 6 such an attractive smartphone.
But there are some noteworthy changes in this latest phone, including an in-screen fingerprint sensor an even bigger display and some camera improvements.
Here's what's different with the OnePlus 6T compared to its predecessor.
OnePlus 6T vs OnePlus 6: Specs Compared
|Screen Size (Resolution)
|6.4 inches (2340 x 1080)
|6.28 inches (2280 x 1080)
|Underneath front display
|On back of the phone
|16-MP (f/1.7), 20-MP (f/1.7)
|16-MP (f/1.7), 20-MP (f/1.7)
|6.2 x 2.94 x 0.32 inches
|6.13 x 2.97 x 0.30 inches
If you wanted to unlock your OnePlus 6, you could either use the phone's Face Unlock feature or reach around to the fingerprint reader on the back of the phone. Those methods return with the OnePlus 6T, but the location of the fingerprint sensor has changed. It's now on the front of the phone tucked underneath the display.
Other phones have tried this, of course, but none of them have been available to U.S. consumers. And in our testing, the 6T's approach is one of the better implementations of this technology that we've seen so far. The 6T's sensor recognizes fingerprints almost instantly as opposed to earlier versions of the in-display sensor that always suffered from some delay.
The 6T's screen is slightly bigger than before — 6.4 inches to the OnePlus 6's 6.28-inch screen. The resolution on the new phone (2340 x 1080) is a little bit sharper than it was before, too.
But that's not the biggest change from the AMOLED screen on the OnePlus 6. The display on the new version of OnePlus' flagship is marked by what isn't there — or at least by what there's less of.
To squeeze in more screen real estate, the OnePlus 6 adopted an iPhone X-esque notch at the top of its display — a love-it-or-hate-it feature that phone makers adopt in order to offer extended screens while still finding a place for the front-facing camera on their devices. The OnePlus 6T's notch is decidedly less prominent.
OnePlus went with a tear-drop design reminiscent of the notch on the Essential Phone. The bottom bezel on the new phone is a little less prominent, too, though you're more likely to notice the change to the notch's design
On paper, the specs for the OnePlus 6T cameras haven't changed at all from what you got with the OnePlus 6. You sill get 16- and 20-megapixel lenses on the back of the phone, plus a 20-MP selfie cam upfront. The big camera changes with the 6T come in the form of software improvements.
The 6T offers a Night mode, which lengthens the exposure time to capture more detail in low-light settings. OnePlus also promises improvements to the Portrait mode feature on its phones. In our testing, we noticed some improvements with the shots we captured using the OnePlus 6T, though the quality of the camera remains the biggest trade-off you'll have to make if you opt for OnePlus' phone over a higher-priced flagship like the Pixel 3.
And don't feel left out if you bought a OnePlus 6 earlier this year. Those updated camera capabilities are coming to your phone later this year via a software update.
There are a few other differences between the OnePlus 6T and the 6, though they're mostly at the margins. The new phone's base model ships with 128GB of storage, twice the amount you got with the base model OnePlus 6. The 6T features a bigger battery, too (3,700 mAh vs. 3,300 mAh in the OnePlus 6). The latest version of Android, Android 9 Pie, is shipping with the OnePlus 6T, but that update already rolled out to OnePlus 6 users.
Pricing and Availability
Outside of the fingerprint sensor and notched display, the biggest change to the OnePlus 6T may be in how you buy the phone. Previous models have only been available unlocked from OnePlus, but with the 6T, the phone maker is teaming up with a wireless carrier to offer the new device.
T-Mobile will start selling one version of the phone later this week (Nov. 1). You'll be able to buy a OnePlus 6T with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $579. A trade-in deal with 30 eligible phones can knock $300 off the cost of your phone through monthly credits on your T-Mobile bill. OnePlus will continue to offer unlocked versions of the 6T, too.
Previous T series updates have meant a slight increase in the cost of OnePlus' phone, and the 6T is no exception. The base model of the OnePlus 6 debuted at $529 earlier this year. The 6T costs $20 more, but you are getting double the storage, plus the embedded fingerprint sensor and redesigned notch as part of that price increase.
Photo Credits: Tom's Guide
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.