How to get Android Q beta 3 on compatible non-Pixel phones

It’s great to see Android Q beta 3 with so many new features, but it’s also great to see the beta open up to non-Pixel phones. Here’s how to get Android Q beta 3 for compatible non-Pixel phones.

Asus Zenfone 5Z

Zen UI

According to Asus, known issues include SD cards with exFAT format not being supported and no beep when the volume up or down buttons are pressed.

  1. Turn off your Zenfone 5Z.
  2. Hold down the Power and Volume Up buttons until your phone reboots.
  3. Connect your Zenfone 5Z to your PC.
  4. Download and decompress the Android Q’s image file.
  5. Double-click on “update_image.bat,” which starts the flash image command
  6. When the flash finishes, hit the Enter key to restart your Zenfone 5Z.

Essential Phone

Before we start, make sure to download the factory image. Also, download the fastboot tool from the Android SDK Platform-Tools package and add it to your path so the flash scripts can find it.

Finally, turn on OEM Unlocking and USB Debugging from within Developer options. To get to developer options, tap the build number multiple times until you see the “You are now a developer!” pop-up message.

  1. Connect your Essential Phone to your PC.
  2. Use the ADB tool to run the command adb reboot bootloader
  3. Reboot your phone while holding the Volume Down button.
  4. Unlock your bootloader.
    1. Run the command fastboot flashing unlock
    2. Use the Volume Down button to go to the YES option and press the Power button to confirm
    3. While your Essential Phone is rebooting, press and hold the Volume Down button to return to Fastboot mode.
  5. Flash your factory image.
    1. Unzip the previously-downloaded factory image and go to where you unzipped the files.
    2. On Windows, run the command flashall.bat
    3. On Linux and MacOS X, run the command
  6. Relock your bootloader
    1. You don’t have to re-lock your bootloader, though doing so improves security.
    2. Run the command fastboot flashing lock
    3. Go back to Fastboot mode and run the command fastboot flashing lock_critical

Huawei Mate 20 Pro

The twilight back of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

Keep in mind that you must have released at least one app on the Google Play Store and use a Huawei Mate 20 Pro to qualify. Also, your Huawei ID must be registered with the same email address used for your Google Play Store developer account.

Finally, the beta is available from tomorrow, May 8 through June 30. After registration, the first version of Android Q beta 3 will be pushed out this Saturday, May 11. Following versions will be pushed out every Tuesday and Thursday.

You can go here to learn more about possible restrictions.

  1. Open this link on your Huawei Mate 20 Pro.
  2. Download and install the Beta app from the aforementioned link.
  3. Log in to the app with a Huawei ID registered with the Google Play Developer account’s email.
  4. Sign up for the Huawei Mate 20 Pro Developer project.

LG G8 ThinQ

LG G8 ThinQ Review display

Before installing Android Q beta 3, LG advises device owners to do a factory reset of their devices. Also, known issues include the camera with limited functionality, SD cards over 32GB not being recognized, Wi-Fi hotspot not working, voice calls over a Bluetooth headset not working, and some apps on the Google Play Store not working due to Q-OS compatibility issues.

Finally, you’ll have to use LG Beta Downloader every time there’s an update.

  1. Download and install LG Beta Downloader v1.0 or later (only works on Windows).
  2. Start LG Beta Downloader and follow the displayed instructions.

Nokia 8.1

The Nokia 8.1 screen.

Note that the beta only supports models TA-1119, TA-1121, and TA-1128 and associated 00WW images. Also, you must go here to sign up for a Nokia account and add the Nokia 8.1 to your account. From there, you can request Android Q beta 3 for your device.

Nokia is cagey on exact instructions, so make sure to have a compatible Nokia 8.1 device and follow the on-screen instructions.

OnePlus 6/6T

Even though the OnePlus 7 series also supports Android Q beta 3, the phones aren’t out yet. We’ll update this section with any new steps once the OnePlus 7 phones launch.

  1. Download the latest ROM upgrade zip package from the specified server, which you’ll find below.
    1. OnePlus 6
    2. OnePlus 6T
  2. Copy the Rollback package to the phone storage.
  3. Go to Settings -> System -> System Updates.
  4. Tap the top right icon, then tap Local upgrade.
  5. Tap on the corresponding installation upgrade, then tap Upgrade -> System upgrade completed to 100%.
  6. After the upgrade is complete, tap Restart.
  7. Your phone will reboot into recovery mode to format user data, then reboot again after updating.

Oppo Reno

Oppo Reno Hands On rear glass panel

Oppo hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Oppo Reno. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Realme 3 Pro

Realme 3 Pro back of the phone

Realme hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Realme 3 Pro. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Sony Xperia XZ3

Sony notes that only versions H8416, H9436, and H9493 of the Xperia XZ3 support Android Q beta 3. Also, Sony advises that device owners factory reset their devices before flashing the software.

  1. Go here to download the latest version of the Xperia Companion app on your PC.
  2. Start the Xperia Companion app.
  3. Hold down the Alt key on your keyboard and click on Software Repair on the homescreen.
  4. Tick the checkbox My device cannot be detected or started, then click Next.
  5. Wait for the initialization to complete, then follow the on-screen instructions.

Every subsequent software update for Android Q will be an OTA update. As such, you don’t have to use the Xperia Companion app unless you want to return to factory settings.

Tecno Spark 3 Pro

Press render of the Tecno Spark 3 Pro.

Tecno hasn’t yet posted instructions on how to get Android Q beta 3 for the Spark 3 Pro. We’ll update this section once that changes.

Vivo X27

Press render of the Vivo X27.

Vivo notes that the first version will be released this month, with the second version releasing in early July. Once Android Q is available to the public, Vivo will no longer release beta updates.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo X27.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Vivo Nex S

Vivo Nex

As previously mentioned, there will be an update in early July. Vivo will end the beta program once Android Q is publicly available.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo Nex S.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Vivo Nex A

As previously mentioned, there will be an update in early July. Vivo will end the beta program once Android Q is publicly available.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Vivo Nex A.
  2. Copy the firmware package to the root directory of the Vivo X27’s storage.
  3. Tap on the software package, then select Start Upgrade when prompted.

Xiaomi Mi 9

Xiaomi Mi 9 hero shot

Xiaomi notes that there are seven known issues with Android Q beta 3 for the Mi 9. You can read the known issues below.

  • Alarm does not ring when the device is switched off.
  • Device restarts after user selects wireless projection device in the Wireless display.
  • Settings app stops running after user deactivates shortcut to mute device.
  • Settings app stops running when Gesture is selected in Settings.
  • File app stops running after refresh.
  • Unable to switch screen color in Settings.
  • Unable to add a fingerprint.

Also, you must opt-in through the fastboot method that’s listed in the steps below.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Xiaomi Mi 9.
  2. Download the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool.
  3. Unlock your device.
  4. Turn off your Mi 9.
  5. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons to enter Fastboot mode.
  6. Connect the Mi 9 to your PC.
  7. Double-click the downloaded firmware to decompress it.
  8. Open the file folder for the decompressed firmware and copy its path on the PC.
  9. Once the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool is installed, open MiFlash.exe and paste it into the address bar the firmware file folder path copied in the previous step.
  10. Click the first button (circled out in yellow) to refresh.
  11. Click the second button (circled out in red) to flash the firmware to your Mi 9.

If these steps don’t help you, you can download the Mi PC Suite. From there, put your Mi 9 in Fastboot mode, connect the phone to your PC, and select the firmware.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G logo

Xiaomi notes that there are seven known issues with Android Q beta 3 for the Mi Mix 3 5G. You can read the known issues below.

  • Alarm does not ring when the device is switched off.
  • Device restarts after user selects wireless projection device in the Wireless display.
  • Default print service stops after device connects to Wi-Fi to print photos from gallery.
  • Settings app stops running after user deactivates shortcut to mute device.
  • Settings app stops running after user selects “Gestures”.
  • File app stops running after refresh.
  • Unable to switch color in settings.
  • Settings app crashes after Automatic brightness is selected.

Also, you must opt-in through the fastboot method that’s listed in the steps below.

  1. Download the Android Q beta firmware for the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G.
  2. Download the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool.
  3. Unlock your device.
  4. Turn off your Mi Mix 3 5G.
  5. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons to enter Fastboot mode.
  6. Connect the Mi Mix 3 5G to your PC.
  7. Double-click the downloaded firmware to decompress it.
  8. Open the file folder for the decompressed firmware and copy its path on the PC.
  9. Once the MIUI ROM Flashing Tool is installed, open MiFlash.exe and paste it into the address bar the firmware file folder path copied in the previous step.
  10. Click the first button (circled out in yellow) to refresh.
  11. Click the second button (circled out in red) to flash the firmware to your Mi Mix 3 5G.

If these steps don’t help you, you can download the Mi PC Suite. From there, put your Mi Mix 3 5G in Fastboot mode, connect the phone to your PC, and select the firmware.

And that’s it! Let us know in the comments if you have any of the devices listed here and plan to install Android Q beta 3.

Latest beta for the OnePlus 5, 5T, 6, and 6T warns of overheating, and more

In its community forums, OnePlus announced Open Beta 31 for the OnePlus 5, Open Beta 29 for the OnePlus 5T, Open Beta 17 for the OnePlus 6, and Open Beta 9 for the OnePlus 6T.

Editor’s Pick

One notable inclusion is a warning whenever the device is overheating. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 is already a beefy chipset, so running incomplete software can lead to instances of the phone running a bit hotter than usual. It’s nice to get a warning when that happens, though your hands will eventually feel that warning.

Also new is the updated UI for the System Update screen within Settings. There’s no functional difference at play, though elements appear cleaner and more organized.

Screenshot of the updated system update screen from OnePlus
Screenshot of the updated system update screen from OnePlus

You can check out the complete changelog below. Download links aren’t yet available, but we’ll update this article once they go live on OnePlus’ website.

  • System
    • Display overheating device warning
    • New UI for system update
  • Quick reply
    • Supported more IM apps for quick reply in landscape
    • Apps don’t get paused when using quick reply in landscape
  • Community
    • Optimized search experience by adding search field and grouping search results in different categories
    • Improved the UI of Social page
    • Optimized log recording in Bug Report section
  • File manager
    • Added intelligent cleanup feature (India only/OnePlus 6 and 6T only)

NEXT: OnePlus ad in NYT references that U2 iTunes thing for some reason

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T: Price vs value

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs OnePlus 6T back

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost certain to be one of the best selling phones of 2019. It’ll also be one of the most expensive, but what if there was a premium smartphone you could buy instead that didn’t carry a premium price tag? Plenty of OEMs deliver affordable flagship smartphones, but none have garnered the same cult following as OnePlus — the Chinese brand from the BBK group that promises to “Never Settle,” delivering phones with top specs and stunning designs at relatively modest prices.

Editor’s Pick

The Android champion is returning to the ring with a whopping four Galaxy S10 phones, but we’ve decided to pit the vanilla Galaxy S10 against the OnePlus 6T to see whether the best value phone of 2018 can hang with Samsung’s marquee flagship.

It’s the Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T! Who will win? Let’s find out! 

Editor’s Note: Yes, we realize the Galaxy S10e is probably a closer comparison (price, etc) and we’ll likely be making that comparison in the not too distant future. Still, the S10 is considered the ‘base’ model, so we thought it would be an interesting comparison.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T: Specs and features

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is an absolute powerhouse and on paper is one of the most impressive phones in terms of raw specs to come from the South Korean giant to date. The OnePlus 6T is no slouch, though. OnePlus’ latest may be five months older than the S10, but it still boasts an impressive specs sheet.

Here’s a look at the Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T specs:

  Samsung Galaxy S10 OnePlus 6T
Display 6.1-inch AMOLED panel
3,040 x 1,440 resolution
19:9 aspect ratio
6.41-inch AMOLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
19.5:9 screen ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Processor 8nm octa-core Exynos 9820 / 7nm octa-core Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Adreno 630
Storage 128GB/512GB 128GB/256GB
MicroSD Yes, up to 512GB No
Cameras Rear:
16MP f/2.2 ultrawide +
12MP f/1.5 and f/2.4 dual pixel with OIS +
12MP OIS telephoto f/2.4

10MP f/1.9 dual pixel

Rear: Dual-cameras with 16MP and 20MP sensors

Front: Single 16MP sensor

Battery 3,400mAh
Charging Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
Wireless PowerShare
Warp Charge
Security Ultrasonic in-display fingerprint scanner, 2D face unlock In-display fingerprint sensor, Face Unlock
IP rating IP68 No
Headphone jack Yes No
OS Android 9 Pie with One UI Android 9 Pie with OxygenOS
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5
Cat20 LTE, 7CA, 4×4 MIMO
Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5GHz
Bluetooth 5.0
Dimensions and weight 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm
157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2mm

The most obvious differentiator between the two phones is the processor. The Samsung Galaxy S10 series is one of the first phones to bring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 SoC to the masses in the U.S. (Europe gets the Exynos 9820).

The OnePlus 6T, like so many from 2018, runs on the Snapdragon 845. The Snapdragon 845 is still a powerful mobile platform, but its successor does offer a tangible upgrade, though not quite the massive leap we’ve seen between previous Snapdragon flagship SoCs.

For the rest of the core specs, however, the OnePlus 6T goes pound-for-pound and sometimes beyond the Galaxy S10. The base model OnePlus 6T comes with 6GB of RAM, but this can be upgraded to 8GB RAM, or even 10GB RAM if you opt for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Speed Edition.

While you can go up to a ridiculous 12GB RAM on the S10 Plus, the regular Galaxy S10 sticks with 8GB for all variants. Turns out you don’t actually need more than 8GB RAM anyway, so there are no real complaints to be made here. The S10 has 128GB expandable storage as standard, which the OnePlus 6T matches (with no MicroSD card slot).

The Galaxy S10 has a 3,400mAh battery with fast wireless charging (15W) support. You can also reverse charge other phones and accessories — such as wearables or Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds — via Wireless Powershare. The OnePlus 6T doesn’t offer the latter, but it has a larger 3,700mAh cell and 20W fast charging the brand calls Warp Charge.

That’s the dull internal stuff out the way! Let’s talk features.

The OnePlus 6T was one of the first phones to hit the market touting an in-display fingerprint sensor. This initial batch of sensors, most made by Goodix, have been hit and miss across various phones. Samsung says it’s solved the problem and added further anti-phishing protection with an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy S10.

Samsung’s variation is slightly more consistent, but the OnePlus 6T’s implementation was far from the worst offender in the first place and has had multiple software updates since launch to improve its functions even further.

Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of speculation that the internal space taken up by the sensor was partly to blame for OnePlus ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack — a decision that stirred up no small amount of controversy.

Editor’s Pick

The Galaxy S10 may be bundled with true wireless earbuds for pre-orders, but Samsung still opted to retain the jack, which is a huge boon for audio connoisseurs. OnePlus users have to live with inferior USB-C audio, but it at least comes with an adapter and Dirac HD technology.

Elsewhere the Galaxy S10 inherits a bunch of hardware features from its predecessors, which OnePlus doesn’t try to match. These include Samsung DeX support, heart rate monitoring, and IP68 protection against dust and water, to name but a few.

The S10 also has a massive technical lead in the camera department and builds on the success of the Galaxy Note 9. We found the results to be a little soft in our review of the larger S10 Plus, which mirrors results from the S10, but there’s every chance this will be fixed in software updates.

Samsung’s flagship has a triple camera module which consists of a 12MP telephoto lens (f/2.4), a dual-pixel 12MP wide-angle lens (f/1.5 and f/2.4) with autofocus, and a 16MP ultra-wide lens at f/2.2 with fixed focus and a 123 degree FOV.

In addition, the S10 shooter is bolstered by AI via a neural processing unit (NPU) and can shoot video in 4K with an option to record in HDR10+. The selfie camera, meanwhile, is a dual-pixel 10MP snapper.

OnePlus made great improvements to the photography experience on its phones in recent years, culminating in the OnePlus 6’s dual-camera, with a 16MP main lens (f/1.7) with OIS and secondary 20MP depth-sensing lens, which is the same set-up found on its successor, albeit with a few post-processing tweaks.

Related: OnePlus 6T vs OnePlus 6: The many differences (and many similarities)

The camera is one of the few areas where the gulf between the two phones begins to show, but don’t be fooled: the OnePlus 6T has a perfectly solid camera. However, if you’re a pixel-peeper the S10 is the clear winner.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T: Design and display

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs OnePlus 6T at an angle

With the Galaxy S10, Samsung attempted to avoid any backlash against a notch with a variation on its Infinity Display design it calls Infinity-O, though it’s already widely called a punch hole display.

Samsung has essentially cut a hole in the display to house the selfie camera. It’s certainly a novel way to reduce the overall bezel size — the S10 has a huge 88.3 percent screen-to-body ratio — but it’s also drawn a fair amount of scorn from some prospective buyers.

The OnePlus 6T is the second OnePlus phone to launch with a display notch, however the second iteration slimmed the cutout down to a “waterdrop” style design borrowed from its BBK stablemate Oppo.

Punch holes still don’t completely fix the selfie camera issue facing bezel-less phones.

Display interruptions of any kind are a touchy subject for smartphone fans and you could quite happily argue neither option fixes the selfie camera issue facing bezel-less phones. This one comes down to personal preference and I’d strongly suggest you check out both phones in the flesh before parting with your cash.

Otherwise, the Galaxy S10 display is a 6.1-inch, 19:9 aspect ratio, Quad HD Plus AMOLED (550ppi), while the OnePlus 6T sports a slightly larger 6.41-inch AMOLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 1,080 x 2,340 resolution (402ppi). Both are constructed from Corning Gorilla Glass 6, but the Galaxy S10 wins overall with HDR10 and always-on display support.

Editor’s Pick

In terms of overall design, each device has a glass back and a metal frame, although the OnePlus 6T is slightly chunkier and far heavier than the Galaxy S10, weighing in at 185g versus the S10’s 157g.

You also get far more color variety with the Galaxy S10, which comes in Prism White, Prism Black, Prism Green, or Prism Blue. The OnePlus 6T is only available in either in the shiny Mirror Black or the matte Midnight Black, or Thunder Purple in selected regions.

Each phone also has its own unique design quirks. The Galaxy S10 has a (mercifully) remappable Bixby button, while the OnePlus 6T has a handy alert slider.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T: Software

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T camera

Samsung has seriously stepped up its software game with the Galaxy S10. It’s one of the few Samsung flagships to launch running the latest major Android update out-of-the-box. In addition to Android 9.0 Pie, it also features Samsung’s latest attempt to create the ultimate Android skin, dubbed One UI.

We’re a long way from the dark old days of TouchWiz. Samsung’s new UI has built on Samsung Experience to deliver an even more intuitive and less bloated skin.

There are still some niggles, however — most notably the continued presence of Samsung’s proprietary assistant Bixby, which isn’t exactly the most beloved digital assistant out there. Bixby received upgrades like predictive Bixby Routines, and the Bixby Home “feed” also returns on the left homescreen. Google Assistant is also jammed in there too.

Related: Galaxy S10 Plus vs Pixel 3 XL: The battle for Android’s soul rages on

In the other corner, OnePlus’ OxygenOS skin has been one of the main reasons people buy OnePlus phones since it debuted in 2014.

The OnePlus 6T’s stock-like look and feel continues that legacy, with truly helpful extra features like improved gestures, an app locker, parallel apps, and much more. That’s in addition to the best of Android Pie, as well as Google Assistant as the phone’s sole friendly AI companion.

OnePlus strives to keep its phones as up-to-date as possible, while Samsung has a patchy history with delivering updates on time. OnePlus is also incredibly open about upcoming updates, often ports new software features from its latest phones to older models, and is very welcoming to community feedback on its forums, Reddit, and other social platforms.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T: Price and which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus vs OnePlus 6T back on shelf

If you’ve come this far you’ve probably spotted the gargantuan elephant in the room: I haven’t talked about price.

The Galaxy S10 range maxes out at an eye-watering $1,599 for the largest Galaxy S10 Plus model. That max total will no doubt rise even higher when we get price confirmation for the Galaxy S10 5G.

The base model regular Galaxy S10 costs $899, which looks far more reasonable in relative terms. Until you see the OnePlus 6T’s price tag.

The cheapest OnePlus 6T variant is priced at $549, or if you want to match the Galaxy S10’s RAM count, that figure increases to $579. That’s still a whopping $320 savings over Samsung’s new phone. Even if you factor in the free Galaxy Buds available to pre-order customers, you’re still looking at almost $200 extra over the OnePlus 6T.

The million dollar question (or in this case the $320 question) is: does the Samsung Galaxy S10 earn that higher price tag? Yes for some. No for others.

You’re getting one of the best Android phones money can buy, no matter your budget.

It all depends on what you want from your phone. If you want an incredibly powerful handset that delivers, and then some, on all the essentials, with a stylish design and streamlined, yet highly customizable software, the OnePlus 6T offers far more bang for your buck.

Value is relative, however. For so many millions who flock to the Galaxy S series every year, the Galaxy S10’s triple-lens camera, industry-leading display quality, and overwhelming quantity of innovative, often best-in-class hardware features will once again justify the extra premium.

Whichever you choose, know you’re getting one of the best Android phones money can buy, no matter your budget.

What about the Galaxy S10e?

Before we close out I want to give a brief mention to the Galaxy S10e, Samsung’s cheapest Galaxy S10 variant and a brand new addition to the S family tree.

Compared to the regular Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus, the S10e ditches the telephoto lens in favor of a dual rear camera. Its smaller 5.8-inch display also receives a bit of a downgrade, going from a 1,440 x 3,040 resolution to 1,080 x 2,280. This, along with a few necessary overall design changes, reduces the retail price to $749.

If you desperately want a Samsung Galaxy S10, but can’t stomach the price jump between an affordable flagship like the OnePlus 6T and the regular model, the S10e is worth considering.

Personally, I don’t think the price reduction is significant enough to lose any ground in the two areas (display and camera) Samsung phones have excelled at, it’s by far the best value Galaxy S10 model pound for pound.

Which phone would you pick in the Samsung Galaxy S10 vs OnePlus 6T showdown? Let us know in the comments!

Affiliate disclosure: We may receive compensation in connection with your purchase of products via links on this page. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. See our disclosure policy for more details.

This week in Android: MWC 2019 is coming

Samsung Galaxy S10 ceramic white leak MySmartPrice

MWC 2019 is fast approaching, and we’re expecting it to be a big show. Of course, we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S10 right before the event, and Xiaomi will unveil its Mi 9 on the same day, which we’re positive is not a terrible idea. Except it is. Once we get to MWC, we’ll see LG’s next flagship, complete with a loudspeaker screen. Plus we’ll see OnePlus’ 5G phone prototype.

Back on the home front, we have to wonder why we’re spending $1,000 on phones when we have some great $500 options. Meanwhile, OnePlus is making huge inroads in the United States — as is Google.

Here are your top stories for the week

1:00 – 5 reasons why you absolutely shouldn’t miss Mobile World Congress this year

From 5G to folding phones, OEMs will be bringing it all to MWC 2019. We can’t wait to see what’s coming.

20:35 – Why I hope AT&T loses the 5G E lawsuit

AT&T is full of $%!^.

29:55 – OnePlus 7: Here’s what it needs to take on the best

There are a few ways we think OnePlus could really up its game and stand toe-to-toe with the big boys…

OnePlus is now a top-five high-end smartphone maker in the US

…but maybe it doesn’t have to, because it seems to be doing pretty well where it is.

We’ll get our first look at a OnePlus 5G prototype at MWC 2019

Plus, OnePlus will have a new 5G phone to show off at MWC.

44:15 – Opinion: These are my 7 essential smartphone features

What makes or breaks a smartphone is pretty personal, so C. Scott Brown is laying out his must-haves. Vote for yours!

Meanwhile, here are some stories we couldn’t cover on the podcast

OnePlus 6T vs Honor View 20: Pushing back against the $1,000 smartphone

When you have two tough competitors at this price point, you have to wonder what all the four-digit price tags are for.

Google Pixel is fastest-growing US smartphone brand, but context is key

The Google Pixel 3 is a great phone and this sounds like great news, but how great is another question.

LG G8 ThinQ to pack OLED screen that can be used as an amplifier

It used to be a rumor, but now LG has confirmed that the LG G8’s screen will work as a loudspeaker. It might also have a bottom-firing speaker, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Google is getting more serious about making its own chips

Google has picked up over a dozen new microchip engineers of late. Are gChips Google’s new processors?

Who wants to win a Pocophone F1?

This week, we’re giving away a brand new Pocophone F1Enter this week’s Sunday giveaway for your chance to win!

Don’t miss these videos

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How much faster is the OnePlus 6T McLaren’s Warp Charge 30?

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition Warp Charge cable

One of the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition’s key differentiators from its regular sibling, other than the $70 price difference, is the introduction of 30W “Warp Charge 30” technology. This speedy bit of tech promises to power up the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition to 50% in just 20 minutes. On paper, it sounds a lot faster than the OnePlus 6T’s standard 20W fast charging.

To find out if this bit of technology is worth the extra cost, we stuck the two phones side by side and charged them up using the chargers and cables provided by OnePlus. I kept track of both the charger’s output wattage and charging times to give us a bigger picture of how the technology works.

Warp Charge vs Fast Charge

First, let’s deal with the claim OnePlus makes inside the case of the McLaren edition. The text claims that Warp Charge 30 can power the phone up to “50% capacity in just 20 minutes”, at least under the company’s lab test conditions.

This seems to be bang on in our testing, although you’ll have to leave the phone alone during this time and turn off battery-sapping features like GPS. Warp Charge managed to fill 50 percent of the 3,750mAh battery in 20 minutes and 5 seconds. That’s clearly better than the regular OnePlus 6T, which managed 38 percent in that same timeframe.

Graphy of OnePlus 6T Warp Charge time and speed

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition hits peak charging wattage at about 25W, making good on its extra capabilities. However, this 25W peak appears only when the battery is quite low. Warp charge offers just a temporary burst of current to kickstart a recharge, hitting around 5.6 amps, before returning to a safer and more familiar level after about the first 15 minutes of charging.

Warp Charging only speeds up the charging process when the battery level is below 40 percent. Afterward, the charging curves ascend at identical rates on both phones. The end result is that the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition can fully charge in one hour flat, while the regular model takes an extra 21 minutes.

Warp Charge offers faster charging when the battery is below 40 percent

The regular OnePlus 6T caps out at about 15W, providing up to about 3.8 amps of current at 4 volts when the battery is essentially empty. After the initial juice up, both phones’ charging power is much closer together, ranging between 15 and 12 watts as the battery charges up. The last five percent or so sees both fall to approximately 3 watts.

If you’re worried about temperature, the McLaren Edition’s internal temperature readings peaked at 33.5oC during charging. Meanwhile, the regular OnePlus 6T hit 32.6oC, so there’s only a margin of error difference between the two and neither phone approaches unsafe charging temperatures.

A note on compatibility

Warp Charge 30 is a McLaren Edition exclusive and you can’t obtain this faster-charging speed just by plugging a regular OnePlus 6T into the faster charger. It still charges quickly, but not at full Warp Charge capabilities. Similarly, if you plug the McLaren model into a regular 6T charger, you’re stuck at 20 rather than 30W charging.

There are a few reasons for this. First, the McLaren Edition has a modified battery protection structure to deal with the extra current. This makes the phone safe to use with faster charging without overheating the battery. Secondly, the new charger and cable itself are designed for higher current. The wiring is thicker and the charging scheme actually uses more wires and USB pins to handle up to 6 amps of current.

With that in mind, you’ll want to charge up the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition with the cable and charger provided in the box. As it’s a proprietary standard, you won’t obtain the same Warp Charge capabilities with third-party cables and chargers.

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition

Quicker pit stops

At just $70 more, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition and its little extras might be a tempting buy for those looking for a slightly more premium experience. Unfortunately, we found that the extra 2GB of RAM makes no difference to the performance of the more expensive handset. 10GB RAM is overkill for anything that you can throw at a modern smartphone.

The value proposition is better with Warp Charge 30. There’s a tangible difference to overall charge times, with the McLaren edition knocking off about 20 minutes to full capacity. More importantly, though, Warp Charge offers more power for charging when the phone is nearly empty. Hitting 40 percent in the first 15 minutes and 70 percent after 30 minutes means that just a short charge should give you enough juice to get through the day.

The regular OnePlus 6T charges quickly enough for most people. However, the McLaren Edition really starts to give the fastest charging phones, such as the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and Oppo R17 Pro a closer run for their money.

OnePlus 6 and 6T open beta updates bring app and display improvements

On its forums, OnePlus announced Open Beta 2 for the OnePlus 6T and Open Beta 10 for the OnePlus 6. The OnePlus 6T received Open Beta 1 a little over a week ago, so this is a quick turnaround for the flagship smartphone.

The updates include app and display improvements for both phones, along with bug fixes and system stability improvements. Interestingly, those in India also get a caller ID feature that should help them identify unknown callers.

Editor’s Pick

Before you download the updates, remember that this is beta software. If you’re okay with the quirks that usually come with beta software, you can go here to learn how to install it on your OnePlus 6 or 6T.

If your OnePlus 6 or 6T is already running open beta software, the new update will arrive as an OTA update. We will provide download links once they are available.

In the meantime, you can check out the changelog below:

  • System
    • Improvements for screen brightness control
    • Confirm PIN without tapping √ for app locker
    • Improved color adaptation for navigation bar when using third-party apps
    • General bug fixes and system stability improvements
  • Phone
    • Added the caller identification feature (for India only)
    • Improved UI for Call History
  • Gallery
    • Added create a collection, copy and move photos features
    • New illustrations and design on blank pages
    • General bug fixes and overall experience improvements
  • Launcher
    • Added recommended tools in Toolbox
    • Improved UI for category tags in app drawer

OnePlus 6T update tracker: OxygenOS 9.0.10 rolls out to unlocked variant

Welcome to the OnePlus 6T Android update tracker page. This page covers all major software news for the OnePlus 6T and will be updated regularly with new information.

Editor’s Pick

Since the OnePlus 6T is the first device from OnePlus to launch in both an unlocked and a carrier variant, this is the first time OnePlus fans have had to deal with certain models getting updates much faster than others. This OnePlus 6T updates hub will hopefully help you understand when you’re getting an update and what it will contain.

We recommend you bookmark this page so you can stay up to date with the very latest OnePlus 6T updates.

SEE ALSO: Android 9 Pie update tracker

OnePlus 6T vs T-Mobile OnePlus 6T

There are two versions of the OnePlus 6T: the global, unlocked model you buy directly from OnePlus and the T-Mobile exclusive variant. Both devices look the same and feature the same hardware specs, but there are some notable differences.

You can read the full description of the differences in our summary article here, but the basic differences are listed below:

  T-Mobile Unlocked
Dual SIM Card No Yes
Carrier Locked Yes No
Bootloader Unlock Yes (per T-Mobile guidelines) Yes
Software Updates Source T-Mobile OnePlus
Pre-Installed Apps T-Mobile + OnePlus apps OnePlus apps

OnePlus 6T Latest Updates

OnePlus launched the OxygenOS 9.0.10 update for the unlocked variant of the OnePlus 6T on December 20, 2018.

The update brings the December 2018 security patch and a few bug fixes and improvements. Now, the T-Mobile variant is stuck on the November 2018 security patch while the unlocked variant is up-to-date.

The OxygenOS 9.0.10 update has the following fixes and upgrades:

  • Updated Android security patch to 2018.12
  • Improved Wi-Fi stability for better connectivity
  • Face Unlock improvements
  • Improved Nightscape performance

Consult the table below to see the latest available OxygenOS versions for the unlocked and T-Mobile variants:

  T-Mobile Unlocked
Latest Update Date December 11, 2018 December 20, 2018
Latest Update Version OxygenOS v9.0.1 OxygenOS v9.0.10
Android Base Android 9 Pie Android 9 Pie

Previous Unlocked OnePlus 6T updates:

  • December 3, 2018: Update to OxygenOS 9.0.7
    • Addition of a special audio tuner for Bluetooth earphones
    • Improved Bluetooth stability for better connectivity
    • Optimized stability for Wi-Fi connection
    • Optimized standby power consumption
    • Fixed display issues for lock screen wallpaper
    • General bug fixes and improvements
    • Improved performance for slow-motion videos
  • November 21, 2018: Update to OxygenOS 9.0.6
    • Improved unlocking experience
    • Optimized standby power consumption
    • Fixed issues with adding APN on Verizon network
    • Fixed issues with no notifications from Play Store
    • Optimized image processing
    • General bug fixes and improvements
  • November 6, 2018: Update to OxygenOS 9.0.5
    • Improvements for Screen Unlock
    • General bug fixes and improvements

Previous T-Mobile OnePlus 6T updates:

  • December 11, 2018: Update to OxygenOS 9.0.1
    • Updated camera app
    • Updated in-display fingerprint sensor algorithm
    • Fixed Google Play Store download notification issues
    • Optimized face unlock
    • Optimized hidden Wi-Fi AP login UI
    • Optimized unlock speed with live wallpapers
    • Improved audio quality
  • November 20, 2018: Update to OxygenOS 9.0.0
    • Google monthly security updates
    • Various bug fixes and system improvements

If you’ve received an update we’ve missed, hit the comments below or Tip us!

Your OnePlus 6T should sound great thanks to this audio tech

The back of the OnePlus 6T.

  • The OnePlus 6T may lack a headphone jack, but OnePlus has delivered a few audio enhancements anyway.
  • The brand enlisted the help of Dirac to offer two audio tuning solutions.
  • These audio optimizations are also available on earlier OnePlus devices.

The OnePlus 6T is one of the best bang for buck smartphones of 2018, offering plenty of horsepower, and an in-display fingerprint sensor. But you won’t find a headphone jack here, which leaves the OnePlus 6 as the last OnePlus phone with the 3.5mm input.

But the company is perhaps hoping to soften the blow with news that it has once again teamed up with Dirac to deliver “two breakthrough digital audio solutions” on the new phone. The duo confirmed that the OnePlus 6T features Dirac HD Sound and Dirac Power Sound.

Dirac HD Sound is used to optimize sound for earphones, including the OnePlus Bullet earphones. The Dirac website says this tech corrects “impulse and magnitude frequency response” in order to provide better quality audio. The Swedish firm claims that this is better than equalizer-based solutions that apparently try to mask poor-quality audio playback.

Meanwhile, Dirac Power Sound is a set of technologies for the speaker that delivers “natural and pure sounding music even at high volumes.” Other claimed benefits include better bass, and “overall sound quality improvements.”

Editor’s Pick

It’s not the first time we’ve seen this tech on a OnePlus phone though. A Dirac representative confirmed that the two optimizations are also available on the OnePlus 6 and “a few previous versions” too. The representative added that these enhancements are custom-tuned for each phone. This obviously won’t bring the 3.5mm standard back to the OnePlus 6T, but you should theoretically be getting a similar level of audio fidelity via USB Type-C.

Want to know more about Dirac’s audio tuning tech on OnePlus phones? Our own Robert Triggs had an in-depth look at the optimizations following the OnePlus 6 launch. Have you made peace with the move to drop headphone jacks? Give us your answer in the comments section.

NEXT: Gionee on verge of bankruptcy as chairman loses $144m at casino

We asked, you told us: The OnePlus 6T was your favorite phone from #phonepocalypse

It might already be November 10, but it doesn’t feel that way after the #phonepocalypse that we just had last month. While we knew to expect big announcements from Google, OnePlus, Huawei, and LG, unveilings from Razer, Samsung, and Nokia kept us on our toes.

While there were still some phones announced in October that we didn’t include in this poll, these seven flagships were some of the heavy hitters unveiled in that 31-day period. So we asked, which handset was your favorite phone from #phonepocalypse?

What was your favorite phone from #phonepocalypse?

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This was a tight race, but the results aren’t all that surprising. Coming in first, we have the OnePlus 6T with 31 percent of the vote. The Huawei Mate 20 / Mate 20 Pro and Google Pixel 3 / 3XL come in second and third place with 28 percent and 19 percent of the readers voting for it.

While we thought that the OnePlus 6T would be in the top three phones from #phonepocalypse, we didn’t expect it to come in first due to the amount of dislike for the removal of the headphone jack. Seemingly, the smaller teardrop notch and in-display fingerprint sensor were enough to bring it into the lead.

But let’s not forget the other players in this week’s poll: the LG V40 ThinQ, Nokia 7.1, Razer Phone 2, and Samsung Galaxy A9. The V40 didn’t do that well this week with only 10% of the votes despite it retaining a headphone jack and a large battery. At the end of the day, it shows that customers do want a good software experience, and that’s something a lot of people don’t find on LG’s phones.

No one anticipated the Nokia 7.1 and Samsung Galaxy A9 to get many votes, but it is shocking that the Razer Phone only received four percent of the vote. This might show that most buyers want their phones to do more than just focus on gaming.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the comments from this week’s poll. As you might imagine, it was hard for everyone to come to a consensus on which phone was the best:

  • OnePlus 6T > Huawei Mate 20 / 20 Pro > LG V40 > Galaxy A9 > Pixel 3 / 3 XL > Nokia 7.1 > Razer 2
  • The Mate 20 Pro might be a little beastlier than the 6T, but dang it all if I can’t have TWO 6Ts and a couple of sets of headphones for the price of the Mate 20 Pro. There isn’t THAT much of a difference to warrant the price. There just … isn’t. 
    Editor’s Pick
  • The slider phones are my favorites. The best phone is the Mate 20 Pro but money for value wise is the 6T
  • Nokia 7.1 : The notch finally made it to Nokia 😥😢Pixel 3/XL : 4GB Ram in 2018 ? On a 800 bucks flagship ? 😞 Plus the notch on the XL is purely 🤮 but nice stereo speakers. 🐼What happened to Panda ? “Not pink” is the same color as Apple’s “Just gold”🤬 buy yeah the best camera in the businessLG V4O : Amazing phone, killed by the Notch 🤮Razer phone 2 : Great phone, RGB light, Tough build quality, and finally decent photography 💯Samsung A9 : the camera layout is the only attraction here, and Pixel Proved than anything more of an optical zoom nearly useless 🤷

    Huawei Mate 20/P : The K980 was, at least to me, the main attraction of the phone, as the first 7NM cpu on an Android, and among the fastests of 2019. But it can barely keep up with the S845. So it’s a big NO. Plus there’s a NOTCH here too ,🤮

    6T : a great phone, Nice Waterdrop Notch, maybe the best UD fingerprint in the business. Probably still the best bangs for the bucks. 📱💰

That’s it for this week, everyone. As always, thanks for voting, thanks for the comments, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the results below.

OnePlus 6T review: Fundamentally great

The OnePlus 6 is one of my favorite Android phones ever. The hardware is simple and streamlined, providing a blank slate for its incredible software. The OnePlus 6 nails the fundamentals first, before adding complexity to the system.

The OnePlus 6T is largely the same, with a few key differences. The changes the 6T makes are few and far between, but its improvements are big ones — as is its one new downside.

It’s impossible to review the OnePlus 6T without consistently comparing it to the OnePlus 6. While this review will focus on what’s new with OnePlus’ new flagship, it will also compare it to the last device, which is less than six months old.

Read our full OnePlus 6T review to find out more.

OnePlus 6T review notes: I’ve been using the OnePlus 6T on Project Fi’s network in the U.S. and Canada for 11 days. Our OnePlus 6T is running Android 9.0 Pie and OxygenOS version 9.0.4 on the October 2018 security patch. We’ll refrain from adding review scores until we can put the device through our full suite of tests.

The OnePlus 6T review unit was provided to Android Authority by OnePlus.

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OnePlus 6T review: Design

I’ll be upfront: I like the design of the OnePlus 6 a bit more than the OnePlus 6T. While there isn’t a huge differential between the two, it’s the small things that give the OnePlus 6 the edge for me. The 6T is a bit thicker, with a more defined curve to pack a bigger battery. OnePlus says users will enjoy the curve in their hand more than the flat design of the OnePlus 6. Personally, I’m not one of those people, but the 400mAh of extra battery capacity makes this design change just about worth it.

The display of the OnePlus 6T has a slightly smaller bottom bezel than the OnePlus 6, but honestly, the delta is hardly noticeable. The biggest physical change seen on the front of this device is the new teardrop-style notch.

OnePlus 6T vs OnePlus 6

While the OnePlus 6’s notch was quite small in its own right, the 6T reduces the notch even further, resulting in an obstruction hardly larger than the single front-facing camera. OnePlus managed to shift the earpiece into the frame of the device, allowing for a noticeably reduced notch. I didn’t think this would make that big of a difference, but it was definitely noticeable while watching fullscreen content.

Related: Best OnePlus 6T cases and accessories

On the bottom of the device you’ll find a USB Type-C port and two speaker grills. Sadly only one of the grills is real. I really would have loved to see stereo speakers on this device, and the fake speaker grill seems like a pretty major waste of space. I suppose we’ll have to hope for one in the OnePlus 7.

I don’t buy OnePlus’ reasoning for removing the headphone jack.

OnePlus has also removed the headphone jack, apparently to increase battery capacity and make the sound chamber bigger. I don’t really buy this reasoning. I understand we now live in a world where the headphone jack is as good as dead in mobile devices, but it’s frustrating having one less company keeping it alive.

OnePlus 6T screen outside

OnePlus 6T review: Display

The OnePlus 6T sports a 6.41-inch optic AMOLED display with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 and a pixel density of 402ppi. If you’re worried that 1080p isn’t good enough, don’t. You probably won’t notice the difference between 1080p and 1440p unless you’re watching content specifically tailored for that resolution, and almost all mobile content looks great in 1080p.

The phone also offers a variety of different screen calibration modes upon setup, including system default, sRGB, DCI-P3, Adaptive mode, and a user-defined custom calibration profile. I left it on default, but you can always toggle these modes on and off if you want to try a different setting.

The display of the OnePlus 6T is also technically brighter than the OnePlus 6, but again the delta is hardly noticeable. The screen looks good in nearly all situations, and it doesn’t have much trouble in direct sunlight. OnePlus also offers extra features like reading modes to help you use the screen more comfortably in the evening and before bed.

OnePlus 6T cameras and back

OnePlus 6T review: Performance

OnePlus’ phones are all about being fast and smooth, and the 6T delivers on this promise. OxygenOS has been one of the most lightweight versions of Android for a while now, offering a few extra features and optimizations to make OnePlus’ phones feel fast. I never saw any significant frame drops during my time with the device, and things like Gaming Mode help give an extra boost of performance when you need it.

Also read

In benchmarks, the OnePlus 6T performs admirably, even beating out the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 in our testing.

We put the 6T through Geekbench 4, AnTuTu, and 3DMark benchmark tests. You can see the results below.

OnePlus 6T Benchmark
OnePlus 6T Benchmark
OnePlus 6T Benchmark

Geekbench 4 gave the OnePlus 6T a single-core score of 2,368. In comparison, the OnePlus 6 scored 2,454, and the Galaxy S9 scored 2,144. The OnePlus 6T achieved a multi-core score of 8,843, while the OnePlus 6 scored 8,967, and the Galaxy S9 scored 8,116.

OnePlus 6T Benchmark
OnePlus 6T Benchmark
OnePlus 6T Benchmark

The OnePlus 6T scored 4,697 in 3DMark, while the OnePlus 6 and Galaxy S9 scored 4,680 and 4,672, respectively.

OnePlus 6T Benchmark
OnePlus 6T Benchmark
OnePlus 6T Benchmark

Finally, the OnePlus 6T scored 292,266 in AnTuTu, compared to the OnePlus 6’s 262,614 and the S9’s 266,559.

OnePlus 6T back outside

OnePlus 6T review: Hardware

OnePlus doesn’t skimp on hardware. The 6T runs the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 as the last generation, with 6 or 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of storage to boot. It’s interesting that the company would maintain the same core specifications as the OnePlus 6, but it improved on a few other departments instead to keep the device worth buying.

You’re trading a headphone jack and some thickness for more battery, an in-screen fingerprint reader, and a smaller notch.

OnePlus bumped the battery capacity in the OnePlus 6T from 3,300 to 3,700mAh, which it says should increase battery life by about 20 percent. Technically this is only a 12 percent capacity increase, but software improvements in RAM management help boost the 6T’s total screen-on time.

I frequently got around eight hours of screen-on time, some of the best battery life I’ve ever had in a smartphone. 

OnePlus 6T Battery Life
OnePlus 6T Battery Life

This is some of the best battery life I have ever had in an Android phone,  and the OnePlus 6T doesn’t even have a monster battery like the 4,000mAh Razer Phone 2 or 4,200mAh Huawei Mate 20 Pro. Software adjustments aiding in RAM management are being pushed to the OnePlus 6 as well, so its battery live should improve too.

OnePlus 6T fingerprint reader

Probably the most highly marketed addition to the OnePlus 6T is the in-screen fingerprint reader. This optical reader shoots light up at your finger to read your print. It completely replaces the fingerprint reader on the rear of the device and works for logging into secure apps, as well as unlocking the device.

Unfortunately, this scanner is often rather slow and sometimes inaccurate, though it’s definitely much better than first-generation readers in phones like the Huawei Mate RS. The technology still seems to need another generation to mature before it is as seamless as traditional fingerprint readers. OnePlus says this should get better over time, learning your fingerprint as you use it. I haven’t found this to be the case during my 11 days with the device, but I hope the success rate gets better after a few software updates.

Related: Best Bluetooth headphones for your headphone jack-less OnePlus 6T

As mentioned before, the OnePlus 6T jettisons the headphone jack, replacing it with a fake speaker grill. This move doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but OnePlus said it needed that space for a bigger battery and larger sound chamber. OnePlus also said it had been planning this move for a while and thought now was the right time. User polls would strongly suggest against that, but it is what it is.

OnePlus 6T camera app

OnePlus 6T review: Camera

The OnePlus 6T has two cameras on the rear — one 16MP main shooter with a f/1.7 aperture and OIS, and a secondary 20MP shooter primarily used for depth sensing. The front-facing camera is 16MP.

OnePlus hasn’t actually updated the camera hardware in the OnePlus 6T, but it made some adjustments to its processing and portrait algorithms, as well as adding a new Night Mode setting. The OnePlus 6’s camera wasn’t exactly bad, but it seemed a bit desaturated and soft compared to its competitors. This remains true here, though I definitely noticed better color and sharpness in better lit scenarios.

OnePlus 6T Sample Photo

While photos are definitely flatter than other mobile cameras on the market, I personally prefer this kind of processing to overly punchy, highly saturated sensors. Sharpness is good but not overdone like many mobile cameras right now.

The 6T struggles pretty badly in dimly lit scenarios. To reduce noise, the sensor will add a lot of smoothing, which makes images pretty muddy. To get around this, OnePlus has added a new “Night” mode, which takes a long exposure to increase sharpness and dynamic range. If you were hoping this mode would magically turn night into day like Night Sight on the Pixel, you will be sorely disappointed. This mode definitely aids in sharpness a little bit, but it’s hardly noticeable.

OnePlus gloated about this feature quite a bit, mentioning how its two-second exposure was much shorter than most other night modes on the market. While this is technically true, it takes about four or five seconds to fully process, which is still pretty long.

OnePlus 6T selfie
OnePlus 6T selfie

The front-facing camera on the OnePlus 6T is a bit soft. In both standard mode and portrait mode it tends to smooth out skin. This could look good in some circumstances, but here it just looks artificial. It’s also even more desaturated than the rear camera and tends to wash faces out.

OnePlus 6T Portrait Mode
OnePlus 6T Portrait mode

Portrait mode, on the other hand, is quite good. Cutouts are generally solid, though accuracy can be hit or miss at times. In the examples above, you can see how the camera had trouble with the subject’s ears when photographed against a similarly-colored wall. Even so, I’m happy with the sharpness in this mode.

Specialized portrait modes are coming, but have not yet materialized, so we’ll have to wait and see how well they work.

OnePlus 6T night mode
OnePlus 6T night mode

Finally, we get to night mode, which OnePlus designed to help with dynamic range and sharpness in dimly-lit scenes. This definitely seems to be the case, and it is actually quite good at preserving highlights. The mode will also give you more detail where night scenes would generally be a bit smudgy, which is nice to see. This is effectively the same result as Google’s HDR+ mode which takes almost no time to process though, so I really think they should just add this processing into the default auto mode.

Check out our full gallery below to see a wide variety of samples from our review period, or you can pixel peep them in full resolution here!

OnePlus 6T screen outside

OnePlus 6T review: Software

OxygenOS is my favorite skin of Android ever. It hasn’t changed much since the OnePlus 6, but I don’t really care. The 6T launches with Android 9.0 Pie, with some updated navigation gestures to make the phone a bit easier to use, and some background optimizations.

The first improvement is something called Smart Boost, which takes advantage of the extra RAM OnePlus  crammed into the device to store key app data in memory, allowing them to open between five and 20 percent faster. Because two of the three models OnePlus offers have 8GB of RAM, there is plenty of extra memory to be had. Even the 6GB model likely handles this fine.

OxygenOS is my favorite skin of Android ever.

Smart Boost works on apps selected by OnePlus — primarily a selection of gaming apps, though more optimized apps are planned for the future. It would be nice to see some kind of system-wide or user-selected app data storage, but that probably won’t happen. Either way, it’s a clever way to utilize unused hardware.

OnePlus has also updated its Gaming Mode by allowing for transparent floating message notifications. Gaming Mode has traditionally blocked all incoming notifications and messages to allow for a distraction-free experience, but OnePlus now allows for more customization around what gets through.

Besides those changes, there isn’t a lot new here. Android Pie offers updates too numerous to explain in this review, so we suggest you head over to our dedicated Android 9.0 Pie review to see what all the fuss is about.

All of these software tweaks and improvements will be coming to the OnePlus 6 as well.

OnePlus 6T specs

  OnePlus 6T
Display 6.41-inch AMOLED
2,340 x 1,080 resolution
19.5:9 screen ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Octa-core, 10nm, up to 2.8GHz
GPU Adreno 630
Storage 128GB/256GB
UFS 2.1 2-LANE
Cameras Rear cameras
Main: 16MP, f/1.7 aperture
Secondary: 20MP, f/1.7 aperture
Video: 4K resolution video at 30/60fps

Front cameras
Main: 16MP, f/2.0 aperture
EIS: Yes
Video: 1080P video at 30fps

Audio USB 2.0 Type-C
No headphone jack
Bottom-facing speaker
Dirac HD Sound
Dirac Power Sound
Battery 3,700mAh battery
Fast Charge (5V 4A)
IP rating N/A
Sensors In-screen fingerprint sensor
Ambient light sensor
Electronic compass
Sensor hub
Network LTE: Supports 5xCA, 64QAM, 256QAM & 4×4 MIMO,
up to DL CAT16 (1Gbps)/UL CAT13 (150 Mbps) depending on carrier support

NA/EU: FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/30/32/66/71
TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41/46
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
CDMA: BC0/BC1GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

CN/IN: FDD LTE: Band 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/1213/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/66
TDD LTE: Band 34/38/39/40/41
TD-SCDMA: Band 34/39
UMTS(WCDMA): Band 1/2/4/5/8/9/19
GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz

Connectivity Wi-Fi: 2×2 MIMO, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4G/5G
Bluetooth 5.0, support aptX & aptX HD
GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, Galile
SIM Dual nano-SIM slot (single on T-Mobile model)
Software OxygenOS based on Android 9 Pie
Colors Mirror Black, Midnight Black
In-box USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter
Screen protector (pre-applied)
Translucent phone Case
OnePlus Fast Charge Type-C cable
OnePlus Fast Charge power adapter
SIM tray ejector
Quick start guide
Safety information

OnePlus 6T podcast!

OnePlus 6T price and availability

The OnePlus 6T is available now from and T-Mobile in the United States. This is actually the biggest news of the entire launch, as this is the first time a OnePlus device has been widely available in the United States through a carrier.

You can walk into any of the 5,600 T-Mobile stores throughout the United States and buy the device today, though it will only be available in the 8GB and 128GB model for $579. Keep in mind the T-Mobile variant is a different SKU, meaning you’ll likely get software updates a bit slower than if you bought the device directly from OnePlus.

Check out our dedicated article here to see the differences between the unlocked and T-Mobile models.

The pricing of the OnePlus 6 is as follows:

  • 6GB RAM /128GB Storage— $549
  • 8GB RAM /128GB Storage— $579
  • 8GB RAM/256GB Storage — $629

Global pricing and availability can be found right here.

OnePlus 6T screen on windowsill

OnePlus 6T review: Final thoughts

Starting at $549, OnePlus’ latest flagship is still one of the best deals you can get on a smartphone right now. No other manufacturer has perfected the marriage of hardware and software quite as well as OnePlus, and even Google is still having issues optimizing its vision of Android for its hardware.

It’s impossible to review the OnePlus 6T without comparing it to the OnePlus 6. The two devices are so similar, there is no way I can recommend upgrading to the OnePlus 6T if you already own a OnePlus 6. Both phones have almost the exact same specifications, save the battery and in-screen fingerprint reader. The 6 will even get all the software improvements in the 6T.

If you’re on something like a 5T or older, very few devices offer the speed and power of the OnePlus 6T for under $600. This phone is even more of a steal if you take advantage of T-Mobile’s trade-in deal to get the 8GB and 128GB model for just $279. That’s basically robbery for a device of this quality.

As usual, you won’t be disappointed with OnePlus’ new phone. It doesn’t have specialized features like an S Pen or a 40MP camera, but it nails the fundamentals to a higher degree than nearly any other device in the Android ecosystem. If you’re looking for the best value on a U.S. carrier right now, the OnePlus 6T is it.

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