The new OnePlus 6 is a beast of a phone. With a top of the line processor, plenty of RAM, and more storage than you can shake your fist at, it seems like one of the best options for those who want to get a flagship-level device for quite a bit less than the competition.
Wasn’t that also the case with the OnePlus 5T, though? For a phone that launched just six months ago, it may be hard to decide if you should upgrade to the latest and greatest, or if the company’s best device of last year will do you just fine.
Let’s take a quick look at the OnePlus 6 vs OnePlus 5T.
If you’re paying attention to screen size alone, the new OnePlus 6 has the 5T beat by a small margin. While the 5T’s display is already quite large at 6.01 inches, the OnePlus 6 takes it up a notch with a 6.28-inch display, all in a slightly smaller footprint.
These are both 1080p AMOLED panels, so neither will be king in terms of resolution. There is only a slight change in aspect ratio, with the OnePlus 6’s 19:9 display up against the 18:9 panel on the 5T. The OnePlus 5T comes in at 1,080 x 2,160 and the OnePlus 6 inches ahead of it at 1,080 x 2,280. Taking resolution and aspect ratio into account, they both share the same pixel density of 402 ppi.
Nestled in the top of those displays are 16MP selfie shooters, and both are quite good. The resolution enables things like face unlocking which seems equally accurate and fast. Don’t expect it to be as secure as other forms of biometric security, but as far as convenience goes they are both equal to the task. While I didn’t notice a significant difference in selfie quality, the OnePlus 6 is set to get portrait selfie mode soon after launch, which is currently only reserved for a small variety of flagship phones.
The all-glass OnePlus 6 looks quite a bit more premium than its older sibling
The biggest differences are found at the rear when it comes to the OnePlus 6 vs OnePlus 5T design. While the 5T is encased in aluminum, the OnePlus 6 is wrapped in an all-glass chamber. This makes it slightly thicker, at 7.75mm, than the 5T’s 7.3mm. I’m actually a fan of the thicker design, since it makes the phone feel a lot sturdier, even if battery capacity is the same.
The Gorilla Glass 5 exterior used in the OnePlus 6 is quite solid, and OnePlus has added a layer of film to this phone to make it feel unique in the hand. Each color gets its own special film application too, so you’ll have a totally different experience depending on the model you get.
Both phones feature dual rear cameras at 16 and 20MP, but the OnePlus 6 has 19 percent larger pixels at 1.22 μm for better low-light performance. The OnePlus 6’s camera orientation has been rotated 90 degrees and centered on the back of the device, which will please lovers of symmetry and haters of the iPhone alike. The OnePlus 6 camera is also outfitted with optical image stabilization, giving it a smoother video experience overall. The OnePlus 6 also has the upper hand on video options and performance, giving users the ability to shoot 4K 60fps, 1080p 240fps, and 720p 480fps.
The OnePlus 6 camera has optical image stabilization and support for 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, and 720p at 480fps.
Both devices feature fingerprint readers on the back, but the OnePlus 6’s reader has returned to an oval shape more closely resembling the sensors on older OnePlus devices. Both sensors are equally fast, detecting your unique biometric footprint in under 0.2 seconds. I personally preferred the circular scanner on the 5T as it gave users a bit more vertical reach to work with, but it’s really not a big deal.
Turning to the specs, the OnePlus 6 wins out in a couple of categories, as should be expected. The OnePlus 6 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, while the 5T only has an 835. Both models feature options for 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The OnePlus 6 now also has a 256GB storage option, so if you’re a media buff you might want to go for the new device.
Access to the Android P beta could entice potential buyers
Both feature 3,300mAh batteries, and OnePlus says the Snapdragon 845 should increase overall battery life by about 10 percent. The ever-so-slightly bigger screen on the OnePlus 6 won’t be likely to decrease battery life more than the newer chipset increases efficiency, but either way, we wouldn’t expect vastly different battery performance between generations.
Both models run on OxygenOS based on Android 8.1 Oreo, but new devices are always supported longer, and the OnePlus 6 can even take part in the Android P beta program. This alone may be sufficient enticement to upgrade for those more interested in software than hardware. The new model also features a few new additions to the software, including an updated gaming mode which can limit bandwidth from background apps and gives you the ability to limit framerate or resolution in order to stay connected and keep your battery going. Some of these may also make it to the OnePlus 5T over time.
Both the OnePlus 5T and the OnePlus 6 offer dual-SIM options, but the OnePlus 6 is the company’s first phone to offer gigabit LTE. This won’t likely matter much unless you live somewhere like South Korea, but it’s nice to have a phone that could potentially get a nice network upgrade down the line, especially if you don’t plan to upgrade in another six month’s time with the OnePlus 6T.
At $529, the baseline OnePlus 6 is $30 more expensive than the OnePlus 5T. I don’t find this to be an exorbitant price hike based on the extra features you get. If you’re sitting on a OnePlus 3T or OnePlus 5, the jump is a no-brainer, but if you only just got a 5T there’s a lot less to make it worthwhile. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether or not the notched update is worth the jump, but there’s arguably not as big of a generational leap as you might need to justify upgrading.
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