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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

OnePlus 6T first impressions: Design gets better but software and camera need work

OnePlus 6T is finally here. Let’s take a closer look at the new OnePlus flagship phone.

tech Updated: Oct 29, 2018 21:54 IST
Kul Bhushan
Kul Bhushan
Hindustan Times
OnePlus 6T is set to launch in India on October 30. Check out our detailed first impressions.
OnePlus 6T is set to launch in India on October 30. Check out our detailed first impressions.(HT Photo)

OnePlus’ ‘T’ phones are usually known for incremental upgrades. But the latest OnePlus 6T is an exception. This time around OnePlus hasn’t tweaked the specifications much instead focused on improving the design and adding new features.

At first glance, OnePlus 6T looks identical to the predecessor. But you look close enough you will start to notice the radical changes. The biggest change is the new waterdrop notch - a tinier and curvier notch that covers the front camera. Waterdrop notch, also known as teardrop notch, is certainly a lot better than the uglier boat-shaped cut out used by many Android players.

In the case of OnePlus 6T, what makes the notch better is the better optimised screen. The notch doesn’t cover up the screen when you’re watching a video on Netflix or YouTube. Of course, it means you’ve a relatively smaller screen to use, but it’s not really that bad. Apart from higher screen-to-body ratio, it has minimal chin. OxygenOS gives a few customisation options for the screen as well. For instance, you can permanently hide the notch or add the classic on-screen navigation buttons.

OnePlus hasn’t changed the screen resolution on OnePlus 6T. With a slightly larger 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED notched display, it still has 2340 x 1080 pixels resolution. Gorilla Glass 6 protection is a welcome addition. The screen quality is as good as OnePlus 6’s.

The problem, however, lies with the software. For instance, we faced major issues with adaptive brightness, a key functionality of the Android Pie. Just last week OnePlus rolled out a new firmware update to fix a few things, but evidently it hasn’t really elevated the experience.

We also faced issues with its in-screen fingerprint sensor which isn’t as fast and responsive as we had expected. The technology itself is at a nascent stage and very few phones like Vivo Nex have this feature. We are hoping the responsiveness will improve with future software updates.

OnePlus 6T has the latest Gorilla Glass 6 protection.
OnePlus 6T has the latest Gorilla Glass 6 protection. ( HT Photo )

OnePlus 6T also doesn’t get better in terms of camera. It has a new night mode which is supposed to improve HDR quality in an image. While OnePlus 6T delivers better quality in daylight, quality drastically deteriorates in lowlight conditions. The extra night mode also doesn’t really improve the quality except for brightening up the image. The image processing is also quite slow and needs you to keep the phone stable.

Night mode (R) adds more brightness and dynamic range to the photos.  The quality, however, is inconsistent.
Night mode (R) adds more brightness and dynamic range to the photos. The quality, however, is inconsistent. ( HT Photo )

With Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and up to 8GB of RAM, the performance on OnePlus 6T is satisfactory. We played a few graphic intensive games like Asphalt 9 and PUBG Mobile on the phone. OnePlus 6T handled these tasks with ease. The phone has auto optimisation for graphic intensive games. Considering OnePlus 6’s near excellent performance, we doubt OnePlus 6T will disappoint us on this front.

OnePlus 6T looks like a promising phone. But the company needs to work on the software and lowlight camera performance. Stay tuned for our detailed review. 

First Published: Oct 29, 2018 21:53 IST