It’s a very exciting time to be a OnePlus fan right now. The OnePlus 6T is on the horizon with the launch event less than 3 days away. Looking back, the ‘T’ variants of OnePlus phones have always been better than the regular ones, similar to Apple’s ‘S’ variant. Therefore, the OnePlus 6T has a lot of people excited, rightfully so. However, is it worth an upgrade, or worth buying if you’re not a OnePlus user? Let’s find out.
What to expect from the OnePlus 6T
Rumored specs for the OnePlus 6T have been on the internet even before the OnePlus 6 came out. Some of them seem reasonable whereas the others seem absolutely absurd. For example, there was a rumor that the OnePlus 6T would have IP68 water certification and a triple camera setup. However, since OnePlus is all about keeping the price low, those two things are totally out of the question.
They’re not totally out of the question as the company might introduce these two features on perhaps the OP7 since these features are now becoming standard for flagship smartphones. However, as far as the T model is concerned, keep in mind that the T model offers small upgrades, not substantial ones. Therefore, it’s unreasonable to think that OnePlus would go out of their way to include an extra camera sensor alongside an IP rating.
Processor, camera, and RAM
With that said, there are some specs that seem reasonable with a few having solid reasoning behind them. As far as the main hardware goes, we shouldn’t really see any difference in the camera lens or the processor and RAM. It’s rumored that the front camera will be getting a bit of improvement but that’s it as far as the camera is concerned. Qualcomm hasn’t released their new Snapdragon 855 processor yet so we should expect to see the same 845 chip in the 6T as well.
Even 6 GB RAM was good enough on the OnePlus 6, 8 was overkill. Therefore, we shouldn’t really expect to see more than the 6/8 variants we’ve already seen. Moreover, bumping up these specs does increase the price, so it’s safe to say OnePlus won’t be keen on bumping up the price too much.
The confirmed specs
Apart from leaks and speculation, what’s confirmed? It was speculated for months that OnePlus would implement an in-display fingerprint sensor in the 6T due to other companies like Vivo having done it. Since Vivo and OnePlus have the same parent company, it seemed like a no-brainer that OnePlus would soon follow suit. That indeed is the case as OnePlus confirmed it in the teaser trailer for the 6T:
This image contains a lot of information. Starting from the most obvious, we see that the phone will have an optical in-display fingerprint sensor. The main issue many people have with it is that it’s not as secure and that it’s not as fast as the physical sensor. However, a company like OnePlus would have thought about these things before putting it on their flagship device.
Also, the marketing around the 6T has been so far around the phrase “Unlock the Speed”, which means that they’ve somehow made the optical sensor as fast as the normal one. Therefore, don’t expect a half-hearted attempt at an in-display sensor from OnePlus. Another good thing we see from this image is the dual speaker.
One main gripe that a lot of people shared for the OnePlus 6 was its single speaker. The speaker was not loud enough for many people’s liking and was easily covered with typical hand placement when watching a video. Since flagships usually come with dual or stereo speakers, it was unacceptable to see OnePlus 6 so inferior to other phones in the speaker department. It seems that OnePlus has listened to all that criticisms as we see the dual speakers in the photo above. Hopefully, it will provide good and loud sound to please the critics.
One last thing to take away from this sadly is the lack of a 3.5mm headphone jack. This will likely be the deal breaker for a lot of people but according to OnePlus, they did a survey where 60% of their community used wireless earphones. According to them, the jack was removed in order to facilitate a bigger battery, which is rumored to be around 3700 mAh. Despite the best wishes from OnePlus, this decision might haunt them, it remains to be seen how the general public reacts to this.
Another big change comes in the form of the display. The OnePlus 6 divided opinion amongst people when it became the first OnePlus phone to adopt the notch. The notch is loved by many, hated by many as well. Although OnePlus has given the option to turn off the notch on the phone, the overall attempt by smartphone companies is to get as high a screen-to-body ratio as they possibly can. Leaks surfaced about the 6T having a minimalistic notch, a tear-drop notch that’d just house the front camera unit. Here’s what that looks like:
Although this was a leak until now, tweets by OnePlus may suggest otherwise. The company takes a different approach when it comes to hyping fans up for their launch events. Instead of keeping everything a secret, they release small nuggets of info every day to create more hype. Here’s a tweet by OnePlus themselves:
According to this, we’ll be getting a bigger screen. I don’t think they’ll have actually increased the screen size. What they’re referring is to the increased screen-to-body ratio thanks to the new implementation of the notch. People will have more screen to use, that’s definitely what OnePlus is getting at here. At the end of the day, we’ll have to wait and see what OnePlus comes up with, not long to go now.
Is it worth it?
Of course, the final decision is up to you. The specifications are there, it’s up to you to decide. Looking at it from a comparative view, it depends on your current smartphone. If you’re an existing OnePlus user, then it depends which phone you’re using. If you’re using any OnePlus device other than the 6, then it’s definitely worth the upgrade.
The 6T will likely come with a USB Type-C to 3.5mm converter, so the headphone jack won’t really be a problem. OnePlus phones are known to have great battery life and if the jack was removed to facilitate a bigger battery, then that makes it even better. Furthermore, the removal of the jack will make the phone even more water resistant, despite not having an official IP rating. The 6 was highly water resistant, we expect the 6T to be even better.
Overall, it’s worth the upgrade if you’re using a previous gen OnePlus phone. However, if you’re using the OnePlus 6, then it’s not worth it. The OnePlus 6T will have the same processor, same camera and same RAM options. The only things that are considered “improvements” are the increased battery size, the display sensor, the tear-drop notch, and perhaps better camera result. What does better camera result mean? From a specs point of view, the 6T will likely have the same camera. However, OnePlus will likely have better image processing on the 6T, especially for low light shots. Here’s a tweet confirming this:
Of course, this could mean anything, perhaps even better lens. However, we’d like to go with the idea of better software than hardware considering the price factor. Other than that, the 6T will have a noticeable display change. Instead of the regular notch, it’ll have a tear-drop style notch, a minimalistic one. People have mixed opinions towards the notch, some hate it, some like it.
Although minimizing the notch will likely tempt people to purchase the phone, it’s still not worth it. Yes, you get a better implementation of a notch, better battery and perhaps better camera processing, but at what cost? You paid $520 or more for the OnePlus 6, are you ready to spend that much again just after 4 or 5 months? The new notch is cool, but the old one could be disabled, so if you didn’t like the notch it wasn’t a problem, to begin with on the OnePlus 6.
The battery has also never been an issue on any OnePlus device let alone the OnePlus 6. The 6 can easily give 5 to 6 hours of screen time and is a solid 1-day battery. Bumping up the battery by 400 mAh may or may not give much of a boost to battery life. Then there’s dash-charging, OnePlus’ super fast charging that comes with every phone. Even if you run low, you can top up your phone from 0-100 in an hour or from 0-60 in 30 mins. Therefore, the battery is not an issue at all. In isolation, the only thing that’s left is the camera, and let’s be honest, spending all that money for a slightly better camera is not worth it.
The OnePlus 6 is great, if you have it, then there’s no need to upgrade to the 6T. However, if you have any other OnePlus phone, then that’s a different story. Moreover, if you have another phone such as Huawei phone or Samsung phone, then the OnePlus 6T will likely be a viable upgrade since apart from the Mate 20 Pro and the latest iPhones, there aren’t many newer phones that’ll give the 6T a hard time.
The OnePlus 6T will be unveiled on 29th October, there’s not much time left now. Whether or not if it’s worth it depends on the current phone you’re using. In the end, the decision is up to you. If you feel that what the phone has to offer is worth your money, then, by all means, go for it. The OnePlus 6T is expected to have the same, otherwise a slightly more starting price than the 6. The rumored starting price is $550. We’ll have to wait and see.