The LAB - A Hobbyist Review of the OnePlus 6T

  1. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 4, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Falk Thieme , Nov 4, 2018 :
    Part 2 - Screen Unlock: I’m Glad We Have Options.

    Welcome back to Part 2 of my review of the OnePlus 6T! Today I will take a closer look at the methods for unlocking the screen on the 6T. Let me start off by saying that all the usual and expected unlock methods, such as password, pin, pattern, or smart unlock are still there and unchanged. So if you are into those methods, good news.

    Also, the Face Unlock feature that we have been used to from OnePlus devices of the recent years remains unchanged- precise and lightning fast. I could not really determine any noticeable difference between unlocking my OP5 and the 6T using my face. I press the power button, and the screen lights up- unlocked. To this day, this is one of my favorite features of OnePlus devices and the main way how I unlock my phone.

    However, OnePlus Face Unlock has its commonly known drawbacks: it uses the regular front facing camera instead of an array of other sensors, making it less secure than other biometric unlock methods. In fact, it works so well that it recognizes your face even when you would think that it is too obstructed. I have no problem unlocking my phone while brushing my teeth, and I have even been able to unlock my OP5 a few times despite wearing sunglasses. I would have never thought that there is enough data to be collected when half of my face, including my eyes, is not visible. However, that has not yet occurred to me on the 6T. Further, Face Unlock does not work in the dark, unless you allow your phone to flash you with a bright light and accept that it takes a bit longer. It is an option, but I don’t necessarily recommend it.

    And that is where the other option comes into play, probably one of the most anticipated features of the OnePlus 6T: The Fingerprint Sensor under the AMOLED panel. For this part of the review I have to divide my thoughts clearly into pros and cons, otherwise I feel like I might get lost:

    First off, the PROS:
    • I have always preferred my fingerprint sensor to be on the front of the device. I know that having it on the back where your index finger might rest naturally already is pretty convenient, but I use my phone quite a bit while it is laying on a desk and I am not always willing to pick up my phone to reach a sensor around back, or lean forward so that the front facing camera can pick up my face. So, seeing the sensor on the front is a big plus in my book. (Also, seeing some sort of a fingerprint sensor remain at all while pushing the boundaries of an all screen phone, instead of limiting the user to only a facial unlock feature is appreciated)

    • The location is actually a bit more convenient for me than on my OP5. The sensor is now a bit further up on the device in the lower third of the screen, and not at the very bottom of the device within the home button, making it a bit easier to reach with my thumb while holding the phone in one hand.

    • The sensor is NOT visible under any remotely normal conditions! I had been a bit concerned whether the outline of the sensor might be visible in bright sunlight or in certain situations when the screen is turned on. Instead I have only been able to slightly see it when I pointed my OP5 flash light at the screen under a certain angle and looked at the screen from a pretty low angle, as can be seen in the picture below. What was also pleasing to me once I did find the sensor, is that it is very small (although in the end, having a larger area, such as the lower third of the screen as one large sensor would be even better, but that is just a wish for the future). So, in the end, the sensor itself has not bothered me or interfered with my use of the phone at all.
    • It works in the dark and it is more secure than the Face Unlock feature. Although the sensor is an optical sensor, the screen between the sensor and your finger lights up bright green to illuminate your fingertip, making it possible to work under any lighting condition. Also, since the fingerprint can be set up for certain apps additionally to the device unlock, it perfectly supplements my beloved Face Unlock to increase the security for apps where it matters to you, such as your personal email or your PayPal app.

    • I appreciate the feature in itself. I am a sucker for technology and innovation. While the OnePlus 6T is certainly not the first phone to implement such a sensor under the display, it is still one of the very few on the market, and from what I have seen so far, possibly the best implementation of the sensor yet. Knowing that manufacturers have worked on these technologies only for a little while now and that they have been appearing on phones here and there over the course of the past year makes me extremely excited to see where this technology will go with a couple more years under the belt and the knowledge that can be drawn from thousands and thousands of people using it on a daily basis.

    • It impresses! The 6T is not the first phone in the world to use a sensor under the display but it has not yet appeared on any of the big big phones in the U.S., meaning that you can definitely boggle your friends’ minds when you pull out your phone and unlock it on screen. This might not matter to you but it is a fun little feature for some.
    Now onto the CONS:
    • In my eyes, it is not quite there yet. OnePlus says that they have been holding back on the technology at least since the 5T a year ago to make it better and make it live up to the speed expectations of their users. Seeing it on the 6T still seems a bit rushed to me at this point, possibly to bring it to the market while the competition is still scarce. Now, don’t get me wrong. It works great and it is fast, compared to capacitive fingerprint technologies from a few years ago, when they were still developing. But it is nowhere near the speed that I am used to from my capacitive sensor on the OP5, which definitely was one of the fastest on the market. Just like with the Face Unlock feature, I have been used to my phone lighting up instantly unlocked when I touched the sensor.
      To OnePlus’ credit, they are not trying to convince anyone that it is as fast as their previous technologies and in well over half the cases, the sensor is pretty quick to the point where the read time does not bother me at all. I can confirm that peak speeds for me feel pretty much in line with what OnePlus is claiming. However, the occasions where I have my finger rest on the reader for a whole one or two seconds at times, occur too often. In order for me to love the fingerprint sensor as much as I did on the OP5, it needs to work every time or near every time, and that is just not the case for me at this point. Nonetheless, the reader is heavily software-reliant and has already been getting better through updates in the past ten days that I have had the phone. So I am hopeful that within the next couple of weeks or months, the experience using it will get a lot more pleasing and as I stated above, with a couple more generations under its belt, this technology will be amazing. I am sure of it.

    • An optical sensor, at least at this point, is not as accurate and secure as a capacitive sensor that we have been used to up until now. However, the likelihood of someone unlocking your phone with their finger is still extremely low.

    • It is BRIGHT! The entire screen of the 6T is able to go significantly darker than that of my OP5 which I am really thankful for, since the lowest brightness setting on my OP5 was really not satisfying when I used it while laying in bed (and the fact that it would turn darker when the battery saver turned on, but it would not let me manually chose that brightness level was never something I could or wanted to accept). Further, the green light emitted by the screen right between the sensor and your finger is necessary to be at full brightness, in order for the optical sensor to properly scan your finger, and that is okay. That being said, however, I would think that the prompt on the lock screen or the Ambient Display (the fingerprint logo prompt can be seen on the Ambient Display below), as well as the animation around the sensor while you are touching it, would be at the same brightness level as the one you have currently selected for your screen. Instead, the prompt and the animation is always very bright, which can be bothersome at night when I am forced to use the fingerprint instead of the Face Unlock. Since I have heard this concern from others as well though, I am pretty positive that OnePlus will tweak this in a future update.
    • As discussed in my Unboxing review, the addition of the fingerprint sensor under the display is one of the reasons OnePlus gives for removing the headphone jack this time around, next to the increased size of the battery.

    • So far with capacitive sensors there has always been a physical location on the device to place your finger, which you could technically feel without looking. Now, I need to look at the device either to unlock it using Face Unlock, or to make sure that my finger is in the right spot on the display. I would imagine muscle memory to be pretty precise with the location at some point, but I could also see it misfire quite often. As a student in college, this makes it much harder to unlock the phone under the desk :wink:.

    Other Thoughts:
    • There is in total three different animations around the area of the sensor whenever you place your finger on it, while it is scanning. I could see OnePlus adding more animations as time goes, to allow for further customization but only time will tell. "Cosmos" is kind of a greenish-turquoise halo effect that looks really cool actually. I use this one. "Wave" is a circular wave-pulse in the same color-scheme. And finally, "Stripe" is a small band that keeps circling around the sensor, almost like a fast moving throbber, with some purple, pink, and blue accents.
    • I am not sure what the maximum amount of fingerprints is that you can save in the secure space of your phone, assuming that there is a reasonable maximum number, but I currently have both of my thumbs and index fingers saved. Your performance might be better if you have only one fingerprint saved, since it would only have to match it against one sample, but this is really just me guessing. I have not experienced any performance differences with different amounts of fingerprints saved.

    • A few days ago, OnePlus added a feature where you can keep holding your finger on the screen after your phone unlocks, which will bring up a small shortcut menu that you can customize to your liking with different apps or services. I think it is a very neat feature and works great once the menu appears, but there is a noticeable delay between the screen being unlocked and the menu popping up, so I have not found myself using it at this point. Hopefully OnePlus will update this feature to work faster. I don’t think that it could be 100% instant though since people would then constantly launch the first app in the menu. There does need to be a delay to allow you to release your finger from the screen upon unlocking the phone. It remains to be seen what will happen with this feature. Noteworthy is that this feature is called “Quick Launch” and is found within the “Utilities” section of the settings, not within “Display” or “Buttons & Gestures”.

    To conclude my review of the Screen Unlock options: As I titled this part, I am glad that we have options. I am a big fan of OnePlus’ Face Unlock feature and primarily use it, and like to supplement it with a fingerprint for increase security in certain apps or for dark conditions. However, if I was in the position to choose between a fingerprint sensor on the back of the device, where I don’t like it as much, but where it would be faster, more consistent, and where I could have retained the headphone jack (again, this is hypothetical since the sensor is not the only reason), and the fingerprint sensor under the display, I would chose the fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. I think the technology will improve significantly over time and my opinion will change accordingly, but for the time being I would have liked OnePlus to wait with the feature a bit longer.

    I hope to get my Camera Review done by tomorrow so stay tuned for that. Thanks again for your time. Cheers!

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

  2. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 5, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Falk Thieme , Nov 5, 2018 :
    Part 3a - Camera: Looking Crispy!

    Hello everyone and welcome back to Part 3 of my review of the OnePlus 6T. Today’s topic will be the camera(s), probably my favorite topic out of the bunch. Up front just a bit about me and who I intend this review to be for. If you are currently owning a OnePlus 6 you may very well skip this part of my review, since the camera modules on the 6 and 6T are identical. Unless, of course, you haven’t dug deep into your camera app yet, or would like to read my bit on Nightscape, since that will be coming to your OP6 very soon. For everyone else coming from other brands altogether, or from an older OnePlus device like me: Welcome!

    For the purpose of this review I am mostly focusing on hand-held shots. The vast majority of people use their phone cameras as they are, without the help of tripods or gimbals. If you do use a tripod, you probably know a bit more about photography already and might pick the Pro Mode over other modes in the camera. Also, all images in this part of my review are unedited whatsoever, except for one image of the milky way that I shot with my OP5 for comparison.

    About myself: I love taking pictures of landscapes and night skies in particular, but generally anything interesting looking. In fact, one of the reasons why I decided to go with the OP5 when I last switched phones a bit over a year ago was the Pro Mode OnePlus had to offer. I knew that the OP5 had a good camera- not the best on the market, but the manual options and features it had to offer impressed me tremendously. Thus far on my journey as a hobby photographer (which you can follow on Instagram @falk_ya if you would like :wink:) I have always been an advocate of the idea that the best camera that you can have is the one that you always have with you, your phone. Cameras in mobile phones have fundamentally developed over the last years and are closing the gap towards actual cameras, at least for the average user’s purposes. There is a ton to be explored in mobile photography, and especially with OnePlus devices, and it is a great way to get started on understanding how cameras work, if you are into that.

    I would like to preface this review with: I am impressed with what the camera on the 6T has been able to give me over the last couple of days! So far, the image quality has been vastly superior to the one on my OP5 in my eyes. While the OP5 gave me awesome looking pictures overall, the images from the 6T are just crisper and so much sharper and that is what has amazed me the most so far. Editing on the 6T using Lightroom Mobile has also been a much smoother experience than on my OP5 due to the higher processing power. Importing, loading, and exporting images is seriously quicker now.

    If you are only interested in particular aspects of the camera over others, go ahead and scroll down to the respective sections, I will be addressing feature by feature separately, starting out with photos and ending with videos.

    Regular Camera and HDR

    This is the mode that first pops up when you open the camera app and it is what is probably most often used. All settings in this mode are automatic, even the HDR. You can enable manual HDR for this mode within the settings (I wish it was there when you open the app for the first time, but that is just preference). I have used HDR mostly in a sunset setting so far, and it has really helped me retain detail and colors in the darker areas. However, HDR is a feature that needs to be wanted. In certain situations, especially when shooting sunrises or sunsets I would sometimes recommend to turn it off, in order to get a clearer image with more dramatic shadows. However, if you want a well lit image in less than ideal lighting conditions, the 6T definitely delivers here: From left to right No HDR, HDR Auto, and HDR. This is also my only comparison between HDR Auto and HDR On. To me, I can see no difference in the picture itself, it might just mean that you can decide yourself whether you want to apply HDR, or whether you will let the phone decide that.


    In this instance, the left image has No HDR, and the right image does. There is clearly more color and detail in the shadows and it shows how HDR can be your friend in poor lighting conditions.


    Finally, this image as well has No HDR on the left, and HDR on the right. It once again shows how much detail can be retained in the darker areas of the frame in poor lighting conditions. However, this image also is an example for what I meant when I said that sometimes it might be better to leave HDR off. It comes down to preference but I think that having as few detail in the bridge as possible to increase the mood and punch of the picture, might look more pleasing in the end.


    Overall Sharpness and Zoom

    As I have already stated above, I’ve been vastly impressed with the image quality and sharpness of the 6T, especially in comparison to my OP5 where I already felt like it was decent enough.These next four images are shot using the regular photo mode. The image on the right is digitally enlarged from the original file on the left to give you an idea of some of the detail that you can achieve when shooting in good lighting conditions.


    Looking at macros, this sharpness in the images really comes to shine as well. However, here you have to pay close attention to distortions at the edge of the frame. As long as you don’t go too close and stay as far away so that the center of the frame or your subject is focused, you will be amazed with the detail you can get out of these macro shots on the 6T!


    I really love the image below and I was so glad when I stumbled upon this leaf. The detail in the water droplets, especially when I look at this image on my phone, is really high. In the original version anyway, the tiny bug that is on the leaf is extremely clear. However, this is one of those examples where you can really see how very local the focus is when shooting macro, and how fast the image can get distorted going towards the edges, when you look further up and down the leaf in the magnified version. Overall once again, I am very pleased with the crispiness of the camera on the 6T and I would definitely recommend the phone if that is something you are specifically looking for.


    Finally, I took a picture of my friend’s cat. I know many people love taking pictures of their pets so that is why I included this. Especially when indoors you really need to make sure that your pet is sitting still (obviously), but when you can catch your pet in one of those rare still moments, the amount of detail in the fur is impressive. This image was taken indoors with less than ideal lighting conditions, and yet, the camera was able to pull off a great image in my eyes.


    Onto the Zoom. Coming from the OP5 I was used to having a slight optical zoom within the second camera around back. The 6T still features a secondary lens, however, it is now only used for depth analysis when using the portrait mode. Although I would generally prefer the second camera on the back to be used for something completely different, such as an ultra-wide, a macro, or a monochromatic sensor, etc., at least having a slight optical zoom for landscape photography was a large benefit for me on the OP5. Zooming in on the 6T still works to a degree, despite its digital nature, due to the overall better image quality and sharpness compared to the OP5, but personally I would not go past the 2x toggle given to you right on the screen. You can still get away with a digital 2x magnification, but beyond that, your image will really start to lose detail. Below you can find two comparisons between a 1x image on the left, and the same image using the 2x toggle on the right. After all, it does not make a difference if you digitally enlarge before taking the image, or after, so getting a larger image just for good measure is what I would recommend here. Using the optical zoom on the OP5 might not nearly be an as much used feature as the Portrait Mode, but since I personally don't use Portrait Mode hardly at all, I really could see better ways of using a secondary camera taking up space on the back of the device.



    Portrait Mode

    Portrait Mode is definitely an interesting feature for me, to say the least. For one, I rarely ever take portraits to begin with, since I am much more focuses on landscapes, and I also was not the biggest fan of the quality of the Portrait Mode on my OP5 up until now. I think that on the 6T, the Portrait Mode is vastly improved over my OP5, which is good. As you can see below, it is doing a really decent job in these good lighting conditions, especially when looking at the whole picture. When you really blow up the image and look closely at the border between the hair and the background, which is usually where the bokeh effect has its hardest time, really only the very right part of the border is somewhat unsatisfying, but it is hard to spot when looking at the picture as a whole. Maybe I will start using this feature with the 6T more in the future.
    On a different note, considering that the secondary lens on the back of the phone is now solely dedicated to improving the Portrait Mode, I think there is still a lot of headroom for OnePlus in this department, especially when stacked up against the portraits taken on other devices that only use a single camera around back.



    Also, the bokeh effect in itself is pretty good in my eyes and it works also pretty well on random objects, such as these artwork tree stumps in my town. In this case, I have to say that I really do like the blur of the background and that it adds quite a bit of depth and focus on the subject to this picture. (A regular image is on the left, while the right image has the Portrait Mode applied)


    Finally, on the topic of Portrait Mode, there is different sub modes within this feature that are labeled with icons. I have to admit that I am unable to comprehend the reason and purpose of their existence. Below you can see a regular portrait image on the left, then a portrait image with the “bubbles icon”, then with the “hearts icon”, and finally with the “stars icon” on the right. As far as I can tell, these modes didn’t change anything about the image itself, besides adding their respective shape as a sort of stamp in the brightest spots of the image (where the clouds shine through the roof of the bridge). This really reminded me of applying stickers to my photos back when I was using the Sony Ericsson K800i. Maybe you know how to apply this feature “correctly” but I can only recommend to not use it.



    Personally I have two use cases for the front facing camera on my phones. One is to unlock it with Face Unlock, and the other is to snapchat people. On a side note, Snapchat on Android is still to this day a sad little cousin of Snapchat on iOS- however that is not really something OnePlus is to blame for. In fact, the selfie camera on the 6T is actually quite good, I just don’t usually take selfies. From that perspective, I can really only compare the sample shots below between each other and to what I have heard other phones can do. I personally like photos of myself to be as crisp as possible, which is why I have no use for a Beauty Mode or any other sort of smoothing. The image on the right is taken with Beauty Mode cranked to 11. It is not pretty but for people who like that look, it is there. The image in the center is taken with the now available Portrait Mode in the front facing camera. I think that having a bokeh in selfies can definitely add to their quality, but then the border between the foreground and the background really needs to be seamless. Since there is only one camera available on the front of the device, the Portrait Mode is definitely not as good, I find, as when using the regular cameras. It works okay but there is definitely hard edges along the border where there should be hair and it is also not really something I could see myself using in the long run. On the very left is just a regular selfie. It is not the best on the market, but there is quite some detail to be had when it comes to my stubble or the pores on my face. I would call it good for what it is. For me, the focus is definitely on the rear cameras.


    One thing that I do have to note here though is the fact that due to the newly designed notch on the 6T, the front facing camera is now dead center on the phone and I am a HUGE fan of that. So far, the center of pretty much every phone has been taken up by the earpiece speaker and the front facing camera was always somewhat off to either side. I always felt as if that caused some slight distortion on the side of my face that was further away from the camera and made especially inverted selfies look extremely odd. Having the camera in the middle has made this ever so slight adjustment for me and I am very happy about that.


    To be frank with you, I have never been a fan of panoramas on my OP5. As probably most other phone users, I usually take a panorama without the help of a tripod and even if I tried extremely hard to keep the phone level, I would always get vertical jagged lines all the way across my panoramas where it would repeat sections of my image and thus cause a cluster and a broken horizon line, as you can see in the image right below (the worst part of the image is cut out again on the right). That meant for me that my panoramas were usually okay at first glance if taken in as a whole, but whenever I started looking a bit closer, which is one of the usually amazing things you can do with panoramas, I was just disappointed.


    Not so with the 6T! I have tried taking panoramas multiple times now and none of them showed a similar issue to what I was experiencing with my OP5 (possibly the Optical Image Stabilization helps here?). I was able to spot tiny little anomalies in the branches of a small area of a tree in the panorama below, but besides that, they have been flawless. I am looking forward to taking more panoramas with my 6T in the future and I can only recommend the phone in regards to this feature.

    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

  3. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 5, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Falk Thieme , Nov 5, 2018 :
    Part 3b - Camera: Looking Crispy!


    Nightscape is one of the more prominent features of the OnePlus 6T and it will be coming to the OP6 through a software update as well, making the cameras on the two phones finally completely identical, to my knowledge.

    I actually had a quite questionable experience using Nightscape, however. Looking at the name, one would assume that it is specifically for taking pictures in dark environments. So I went ahead and did just that.


    I took the above and the two following pairs of images (Regular image is always on the left, Nightscape on the right) all hand-held, which is again the way I expect most people to use the phone. What I noticed right away is that the image taken with Nightscape appears brighter. But that is about it. Nightscape has in my experience so far increased both the ISO and exposure time, making it much more susceptible to movement within the frame and increasing noise through the higher ISO. As it appears to me, the software then applies a thick layer of noise reduction to combat that, and ends up giving me a bright, but unsharp and washed out colour blend. While especially the statue in the first image, and the Halloween decoration two images down are crisp and sharp in the regular image, they are completely blurred in the Nightscape version and there is almost no detail in the textures to be had.



    Looking at the image below, I did take this particular one using a tripod (although it was very windy which still made the images come out somewhat blurry). Had it been calm and the images were completely sharp, I would give the win here slightly to the Nightscape version on the right, just because that image was able to retain more color in the street lights. However, it is amazing how close behind the Regular image on the left is!


    Finally, I thought to myself that I needed to try a scene with more light in it. Although the feature is called NIGHTscape, most of the images in the launch event on October 29th were taken in a dawn or dusk setting in a bigger city, where there is also more lights in the subject. Now, I do not have a bigger city available at hand, so a local park at sunset had to do. But once again I felt let down by Nightscape. Since there was actually some light to work with, I was able to use HDR in the regular image on the left, making it far brighter and the colors much more accurate to what they were that evening, than the darker and once again less detailed image on the right.


    Knowing OnePlus I am very confident that there will be further software updates (since this is purely a software feature that is all it takes) to improve Nightscape in the near future. But as it stands at this point for me, I recommend using HDR for images where there is any daylight whatsoever, and to use the regular mode for darker scenes. You might say, if I do use a tripod I can reduce the shake during the longer exposure while using Nightscape, which will make this feature awesome. However, I would much rather use Pro Mode instead. Turn down the ISO, turn up the exposure time (given that you have a still composition) and enjoy the benefits of a RAW file while you are at it. Nightscape has the potential to be awesome in the future but it just isn’t there yet in my eyes, which brings me to:

    Pro Mode

    Now, Pro Mode remains the exact same, as far as I can tell, to what we have been seeing in OnePlus devices for some time now. You are able to shoot RAW images (.DNG files), you have a handy histogram and level, and you have access to quite a wide range of ISO, White Balance, Shutter Speed, Manual Focus, and Exposure. I have loved this feature in the past and it is one of the main reasons for why I went with the OP5 a little over a year ago.

    Here is my one big critique of the Pro Mode: Thank you OnePlus for the level, it is crazy helpful in the dark, but why on earth is it in the center of the screen and not in the center of the FRAME? I have had this question using my OP5 and it remains unchanged on the 6T. During daylight hours this might not be a big deal since it really just shows you if you are leveled or not, but at night, when I cannot tell the difference between the frame and the app interface, it completely throws me off. Using a grid layover definitely helps with that but since the level is literally like a crosshair, I constantly find myself centering what I believe to be my subject on the center of the level, ending up having a completely lopsided image. This might be more of a personal problem and really doesn't take away from the awesome quality of images that you can get out of Pro Mode, but it is frustrating and so easy to fix.


    Unfortunately I have not yet been able to go in an area with darker skies since I got the 6T a little over a week ago, but I have included an image I took of the milky way with my OP5 below. This just comes to show what this tiny little camera is capable of and usually people will not believe me that this didn’t come off of a DSLR camera. Keeping in mind that thus far the image quality on the 6T has been vastly superior to my OP5 overall, I am confident that this same image could look even better with the 6T and makes me look forward to the next time that I will be able to go out there. If you are into mobile night sky photography, which granted is a pretty niche interest, the OnePlus 6T should be a no-brainer!


    Google Lens

    The last topic on the photo side of things in this review is the addition of Google Lens to the camera app on the OnePlus 6T (Google Lens has been available reaching back as far as the OP5 in beta versions I believe, but it is not yet on my OP5 and I am not sure about the newer phones before the 6T). I would call this feature… fun! I have not yet quite figured out what to really use it for, but as a tech enthusiast, it is a lot of fun to play around with and see what AI is capable of at this point.


    I suppose you could use it to find out the make and model of an old car, which I could see to come in pretty handy at a car show,


    or you could use it to find out what that fruit or vegetable in front of you is called. With all of these use cases, I have found Google Lens to work pretty flawlessly, which is great news.


    What I was probably the most impressed with was its search on a McDonald’s Big Mac. While the Big Mac is one of the most iconic burgers on planet Earth, I imagined it would still just look like a burger to the AI. I am not sure if the sesame gave it away, since it seemed to latch specifically onto that spot in the image (the colorful dots seem to be the spots where the in-depth analysis takes place), but it did give me the option for McDonald’s Big Mac! What is ironic though is the fact that it gave me the option “Veggie burger” before “McDonald’s Big Mac”, but it is still impressive.


    Where Google Lens really shines is when the images have some sort of text in them, since text is obviously much easier to be recognized. As can be seen in this image, Google Lens instantly brought up the correct product and where to buy it. I suppose this might be easier for some compared to googling the name of the product manually, but its effectiveness in a case like this remains questionable to me. Regardless, the feature is extremely intuitive and has worked spot on for me so far, which is good. Thumbs up!


    Regular Video

    Unless you are trying to film a lecture or presentation for extended periods of time, where the image quality also isn’t of utmost importance, I recommend using the 4K setting at 60FPS. OnePlus phones today have quite a lot of storage available and if you can find the space at all on your phone, using the best setting here will really help you to get better footage. Especially with the 60FPS enabled I felt like the video was so insanely smooth, compared to the 4K 30FPS from my OP5. There was no delay or lag, no shakiness (also in large parts thanks to the Optical Image Stabilization of the main lens. Thank you OnePlus!), and no stuttering. Below you can find a sample video I shot whilst hiking down a pretty steep and rocky path. I wasn’t really paying attention to holding my phone stable, just to give you an idea of what the stabilization of this phone can do and how amazing the video looks in the end. It really reminded me of action camera footage in a way and I am sure that I will be using the video feature much more than I did on my OP5. Considering the situation I was in, a video while walking down a sidewalk will be buttery smooth.

    Also, the auto focus while shooting seemed really on point to me, and the detail while shooting with these settings was amazing to me. Pay close attention to how quickly the rocks up close are in focus and how sharp they are. Of course these videos will always look the best right on the screen of your 6T, but I think that they definitely hold up watching them on larger screens as well.

    Slow Motion

    Slow motion comes in two variants on the OnePlus 6T. There is 1080p at 240FPS and 720p at 480FPS. Especially the latter is quite amazing to watch if you have never really experimented with slow motion before. The trade off, however, is obviously the image quality. Even though you will get very slow moving footage, it will not be very detailed and instead of just filming at a lower resolution, the image is actually cropped into the frame of a regular video, as it seems. So you need to be aware that you might need to step further away from whatever you are trying to shoot than what you are used to. Nonetheless, especially for athletes or anyone trying to slow down fast movements to analyze them, this feature is fantastic. Noteworthy is also that the video preview that is generated will automatically select the section of the video that has movement in it and allow you to crop it, which wasn’t the case on my OP5.


    Time-lapse is a feature I have not yet found myself using. However, I do see many awesome applications for this, be it to shoot a sunrise or sunset, clouds rolling over a mountain top, the tide coming in, or rush hour in a big city. In case that matters to you, the Time-lapse automatically creates a video at six times the speed of reality. I have an example of not quite rush hour, but some cars going through the intersection outside my kitchen window, below, just to give you an idea. I think it would be great if this feature was available in 4K, but it is still creating a nice video.

    That shall be it for today. Congratulations to anyone who has come all this way. I apologize for this behemoth of a post, but as I said, this is my favorite part of the review and I really wanted to give a conclusive in-depth showdown of what is possible with the cameras on the 6T. Thank you again so much for your time! I will see you again for my next post on battery performance!

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018

    cenon415, DFD10, loco-cork and 13 others like this.
  4. aris
    Jelly Bean Nov 5, 2018

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  5. Drewbikscube
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 6, 2018

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  6. B1541513816863
    Cupcake Nov 6, 2018

    B1541513816863 , Nov 6, 2018 :
    Nice Unboxing... !
    A bit lengthy but comprehensive... ;D
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2018

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  7. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 7, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Falk Thieme , Nov 7, 2018 :
    Part 4 - Battery: So much Juice!

    Hello everyone and welcome back to my second to last review post about the OnePlus 6T (I will post about other thoughts and my conclusion hopefully tomorrow). Today I will be talking about the battery on my OnePlus 6T.

    First off: I was made aware that I made a little mistake when talking about the zoom in my previous camera review. I thought that the secondary lens on the back was still a telephoto lens, but I was mistaken. I have revised that part, so if you are interested, you can find the updated version above.

    Onto the battery: The non-removable battery in the 6T has a capacity of 3700mAh, which is up 400mAh or about 12% from previous OnePlus devices (which, as previously mentioned, was part of the reason for the removal of the headphone jack on the 6T). With increasing screen sizes (and more pixels due to the increasing aspect ratio), this change has definitely been necessary in my eyes, and I am tempted to say that the battery size improvement actually surpasses the increased power consumption of the bigger screen, compared to my OP5, which is great. Additionally, processors in phones are becoming more power efficient and newer Android versions usually also come with efficiency improvements. Due to these factors, my 6T has seemed to be significantly more power efficient than my OP5, especially while in standby overnight. I usually lose about 3 to 4% of charge while sleeping for 6 to 7 hours (with sleep standby optimization, ex. Turn off network).

    I only moved my SIM card over from the OP5 a few days after receiving the device, when I had enough time to get the phone properly set up. After that, I started recording my battery performance, since it definitely is affected by being connected to a cellular network. That is why I have only gotten to eight full discharge cycles at this point in time (screenshots of the battery information page at the end of my discharge cycles are right below). However, these eight cycles already paint a pretty good picture in my eyes. I chose to record my battery performance either at the 24 hour mark, although realistically “a day’s battery” is closer to 22.5 hours, since charging takes about 1.5 hours (I normally drain my battery almost completely and charge until it is pretty much full, which has so far not negatively impacted my OP5’s battery to my notice).



    The days when I made it to the 24 hour mark reflect my average use pretty well, but I think my average use might still be a bit higher than many of yours. On average, on the days that my 6T made it to that 24 hour mark, I had 16.6% of my charge left, while having an average of 5 hours and 39 minutes of screen-on time (SOT). On one of the days, I actually had a SOT of 7 hours and 12 minutes after 24 hours, while still having 22% of my charge left! These numbers have really impressed me. Of course, there is a couple of outliers where my 6T fell just short of the 24 hour mark, or was off by several hours, but these days were when I was mostly outside taking pictures for my camera review, had significantly higher cellular network usage, or listened to my OnePlus Type-C Bullets for an extended period of time, which brings me to some of the tasks that (obviously) will tax your battery significantly, in my observation.

    Probably the most obvious battery drainers (and this goes for any phone) are your camera, and your screen brightness. Just by turning it down, especially when indoors or at night (I usually have my brightness so low that I have to turn it up before opening Instagram, in order to have a great experience there), you can increase your battery life by quite a bit, if you have a high SOT. One other thing I noticed, but that I can’t blame OnePlus for, is that Snapchat always seems to be my biggest battery hog at the end of the day. However, while I do use the camera for it from time to time and send picture snaps, I mostly chat with people in text form in the app. Yet, the app drains so much battery that I feel like the camera must somehow be running in the background whenever the app is open. Just something to be aware of, this might be a non-issue for you. Lastly, and this might be an issue closer related to OnePlus, whenever I listen to music for a few hours with their Type-C Bullets, my battery life is terrible (in comparison) on those days. I don’t have experience with USB Type-C earphones on other devices for comparison though, so for now this is just my observation with this particular phone.


    Although I am a big proponent of the headphone jack, I have to say that thus far I have not run into the occasion where I needed to charge the phone when I really actually wanted to listen to music. I think this is in large parts due to the larger battery and how good the battery life on the phone has been for me so far. I just spend a lot more time unplugged, during which I can use the Type-C port to listen to music. Also, the Fast Charge technology that we are used to from OnePlus is unchanged and amazing. The charge brick that comes with the phone still delivers 20W (4A at 5V) and charged my 6T from about 2% to 50% in 30 minutes, to 90% in 65 minutes, and topped it off in 85 minutes. Having a large battery like this one charge all the way so quickly (As you can see towards the top end of the charge, the charging speed slows for battery health purposes. So you could easily unplug at 85 or 90% and be done charging VERY quickly) is really a blessing for me and serves as a band aid on the sore spot created by the missing headphone jack.

    Three other things connected to the battery and charging that I have noticed with this phone:
    • As you probably know, the OnePlus 6T still does not feature wireless charging, despite its glass back. It would be nice to see this in the future, to solidify the phone’s stance on the market, give you more options, and justify the use of glass on a quite frequently dropped object.
    • As addressed previously, there is no notification LED anymore on the 6T, most likely due to the small size of the display notch. While this does keep me in a way from constantly becoming distracted by a blinking light in the corner of my eye while doing homework, I did like the fact that I could see on a glance from across the room if I had a notification from a certain app. Additionally, the red or blue charging light (depending on if you used Fast Charge or an alternative charging method) and the green battery-full indicator are now history as well, which is a bit more of a problem for me. You can check your charge on the Ambient Display, but it is a change for sure.
    • Once again, the camera does not allow you to use the flash when the battery is “low”. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a setting to turn this off and to be honest, I can’t see the “flash” LED taking up that much power. I wish there was an option to turn off this battery savings measure, especially since the flashlight works just fine when the battery is low (which might still mean another several hours of phone use for you due to the large battery).

    That’s all I have to say about the battery on the OnePlus 6T today, I hope this was informative to you and I want to thank you once again for your time. Come back tomorrow for my other random thoughts on the phone, as well as my conclusion to this review! Cheers!

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018

  8. maarten_lisboa
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 7, 2018

    Falk Thieme and Bouncer71 like this.
  9. Bouncer71
    OnePlus 7 Pro Sample Shot Photographer Nov 7, 2018

    Bouncer71 , Nov 7, 2018 :
    Quite impressive and comprehensive Camera review...
    I can't think of what you have left out...
    Even Panorama Mode is there... ;D
    Thank you... ! 8D

    You're right, the Bokeh Forms turn bright blurred light dots in the background into those patterns...


    Used on a scene like this the effect would probably look better... ;D

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  10. MansomaniacYT
    Cupcake Nov 7, 2018

    MansomaniacYT , Nov 7, 2018 :
    I don't know what you mean by stuck with One Plus? I mean my 6T is literally the best smartphone ever. It has almost zero flaws.

    love you One Plus! And that's a wonderful review!

  11. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 7, 2018

    Falk Thieme , Nov 7, 2018 :
    thank you, appreciate the feedback!

    Bouncer71 likes this.
  12. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 7, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Falk Thieme , Nov 7, 2018 :
    Part 5 - Other Thoughts and Conclusion: It’s a Good One!

    Hello and welcome back to the final part of my review of the OnePlus 6T! Today I will first be taking a look at some other random aspects of the phone that I either noticed after already posting a previous review, or that just didn’t relate very well to the other parts. After that, I will come to my personal conclusion about the phone, at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
    • You probably know how notifications on AMOLED screens just light up the actual notification text while your phone’s screen is turned off. There is some apps where this works just fine on my 6T, and then there is others that actually light up the entire lockscreen and appear within a whole field, as it usually is the case on the lit-up lock screen. I am not sure why that is or how to fix it.

    • As far as I noticed, besides the usual Google services apps on Android and the necessity apps like your gallery, address book, and camera, there was only two apps preinstalled: the OnePlus Community app, as well as the OnePlus Switch (which is actually really useful and deserves a spot on a new OnePlus device). So I was pretty content on the bloatware side of things.

    • The quality of the loudspeaker on the 6T is significantly improved over the one on the OP5. It goes similarly as loud, but the sound is much richer, has more base, and doesn’t sound like it is coming out of a can any more at high volumes. This has made it enjoyable to actually just use the phone for ex. listening to music while in the shower. However, I first thought that this improvement could partially be due to the assumed second speaker that is now at the bottom of the device. I later found out that in fact, the right speaker grill at the bottom is only a decoy for symmetry purposes. Then again, I do agree that the phone would have otherwise looked odd and that if they had been able to fit a second speaker in that corner of the phone, they most likely could have fit a headphone jack. It was just a bit deceiving at first.

    • I am not entirely certain about other OnePlus devices but should you plan on buying the OnePlus Type-C Bullets or other USB Type-C earphones, you can only listen to them on the OP5 by turning on OTG Storage. That means that the headphones do work but are not really recognized by the phone as such, which disables your audio tuner and audio enhancement, giving you a potentially less pleasing sound experience. They work great on the 6T though, and that is the phone that they are really meant for.

    • This is more of an App developer problem, but something you should be aware of when wanting to buy a phone with this tall of a screen. Certain apps will have problems displaying certain content properly. While the SHOWTIME app seems to be locked to a 16:9 aspect ratio (it will show even ultra wide movies only in that 16:9 window on your screen), Instagram stories seem to crop into the picture instead of displaying the full story on just part of the screen (see below), and the Facebook Messenger chat heads float at an imaginary screen border in landscape applications like Clash of Clans (2nd image below).


    Now, finally at long last, onto my conclusion about the OnePlus 6T (thanks for bearing with me up to this point :wink:). As I have said before, if you are coming from a OnePlus 6, the differences between these two phones are so marginal that I cannot recommend upgrading. The “T” editions are always incremental updates to the “full versions” and are in my eyes only viable for people with older phones. However, even coming from a 5T, I would make the case that while the 6T is of course a whole generation newer, I think the use and feel of the phone would not be all that different for the average user. For people with a OP5 or older, that is where I think you will really start to notice the difference. The screen alone is what has made my OP5 feel seriously outdated when I pick it up again to play some Clash of Clans on it, while in contrast its performance and battery life isn’t groundbreakingly different. The OnePlus 6T will definitely feel more modern than most other phones on the market and features like the screen or the fingerprint sensor under the screen (performance aside) will get you some looks.


    Looking at the phone from a value perspective and whether it is a good buy overall: Having the modern and premium feeling design with the enormous screen, the fingerprint sensor under the display, the great performance (and large entry-level storage), the more than satisfactory cameras (and the functionality of the Pro Mode in my case), the larger very well performing battery, OnePlus Fast Charge, great software support and frequent updates, as well as the headphone adapter, the pre-applied screen protector, and a generic rubber case all in the box makes me personally think that this phone is a fantastic device at its price point. It lacks wireless charging, a notification LED, an official IP water resistance rating, a headphone jack, and possibly some minor features you might be used to from significantly more expensive phones. But it is in my eyes at least 95% of the way there, for in some cases, half the price.

    I can definitely recommend this phone, especially since I think that some of my personal dislikings are fixable in future software updates. Had OnePlus not sent me the review unit, I would definitely consider buying the OnePlus 6T. On that note, thanks again to OnePlus for this adventure. It has been dozens of hours that I put into this review and it was exhausting, but it was a tremendous amount of fun to get this opportunity to do what I love and tell you about my thoughts considering the phone. I hope you enjoyed it, too! One last time, thank you so much for your time! Cheers, and NEVER SETTLE!

    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018

    shuvodeep, KaaosJ, DFD10 and 10 others like this.
  13. Drewbikscube
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 8, 2018

    Drewbikscube , Nov 8, 2018 :
    loved your review and final thoughts ! this was an excellent read !

    meatandy and Falk Thieme like this.
  14. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 8, 2018

    Falk Thieme , Nov 8, 2018 :
    thanks Drew! hope to get caught up on all the other reviews here soon!

    Drewbikscube likes this.
  15. edoardo11
    Gingerbread Nov 9, 2018

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  16. pelicaano
    The Lab - OnePlus 6 Reviewer Nov 9, 2018

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  17. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 9, 2018

  18. Pinttas
    Honeycomb Nov 9, 2018

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  19. meatandy
    Oreo Nov 9, 2018

    meatandy , Nov 9, 2018 :
    You had some nice insights to wrap up your review , thanks for all your work . Enjoy your new device.

    Falk Thieme likes this.
  20. Falk Thieme
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Nov 9, 2018

    Falk Thieme , Nov 9, 2018 :
    Thanks Andy for all your feedback throughout!

    meatandy likes this.