Review: OnePlus 6T (video)

One of the most anticipated phones from OnePlus is the 6T. Thanks to OnePlus, I am able to get my hand on one for a quick review. For this review, I will focus on the camera features, especially the “Night” mode.

The review set that I am using is OnePlus 6T in midnight black with 8GB or RAM and 128GB of storage (S$988).

What’s In the Box

Here is the content inside the box. You will get accessories like the soft casing and USB-C to Phone Jack cable. And of course, you will get the charging brick and the infamous red cable.

Based on my understanding, the phone will continue to charge normally even when you are using it during charging. Most modern phones might throttle the charging if it is being used.

Front

There is no button on the front. You will see a droplet-like notch. And the screen is almost to the edge (almost bezel-less).

Here is the close up of the notch that houses the front-facing camera.

Here is the “chin” at the bottom.

One of the features of the 6T is the in-display fingerprint sensor. It is near the bottom center of the screen.

Back

It has 2 rear cameras. The midnight black is really non-glossy and less prone to fingerprints.

Here are the rear cameras in close up.

Side

On this side, it has the SIM card tray. It is quite difficult to see.

Here is the close-up.

On this side, it has a slider switch which I think is unique.

You can slide to set the phone to silence, vibration mode or normal mode. I find this useful as it is easy to switch between modes.

Bottom

On the bottom, it has the speaker grill and the USB-C port.

Top

On the top, it is clean.

First Impression

The UI is very minimalist, which I like. It has a “OnePlus Switch” feature allows you to switch from an old phone to the new OnePlus 6T easily. I have not tried it but I can imagine it can bring some relief for a first timer to switch from a different OS or user interface to OnePlus 6T OxygenOS.

Camera

Photo

For photo taking, I am particularly interested in the “Night” mode. These few photographs were taken at Manjanggul Cave, Lava Tube in Korea, Jeju Island.

It is very dark inside the cave. Therefore, it is almost impossible to use the standard mode to take pictures. All these 3 photographs were taken using the “Night” mode. Once the shutter is triggered, it will take a second or two for it to be completed.

From the results, you can see that trails from moving objects (human in this case) but the surrounding is sharp. If you observed closely or zoomed into the pictures, you can see sharpening of the images.

And these two pictures below are taken using “Night” mode at my balcony in low light condition. In low light, the camera had a hard time to focus. The first picture is out of focus.

The second picture below is in focus after some tries.

Overall, I see sharpening, lost in details and noise when using the “Night” mode. However, without night mode, I am definitely not able to take these pictures.

Here are the pictures taken with “Portrait” Mode. Note that for some phones, they will try to detect a human face before activating the Portrait Mode. For the 6T, objects taken in this mode can have the depth of field.

Portrait Mode with Rear Camera

Portrait Mode with Front Camera

Although the OnePlus 6T has only a single front-facing camera, it is capable of Portrait Mode.

Portrait Mode with Front Camera with Beauty Mode (full)

This, in my opinion, is subjective. Like it or hate it. You can turn it off.

Unfortunately, there is no way to manipulate the depth of field. It is fixed.

Normal Mode with Front Camera

Overall, in normal light condition, the camera is able to perform well.

Video

This video was taken in Korea, Seoul at night. I set the camera to full HD. Did you notice the jello effect from the video?

There is one thing that I observed while taking this video. It seems to shake a lot. However, when I reviewed the video, it has been stabilized. I suspect that it is using software to stabilize the video and the results is a stable video but with the jello effect.

In my opinion, this video is unusable. The jello effect is too much.

Summary

For the price of S$988, the specs are pretty good. It has a large 6.41-inch AMOLED screen, 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM and an in-screen responsive fingerprint sensor. I do wish that there are more colors (currently, only Mirror Black and Midnight Black).

User-interface (UI) wise, it is very responsive. With its clean look, I find it pleasing to the eyes. As mentioned above, I am very interested in the camera. Unfortunately, the camera system falls short of my expectation in the low-light section. The video, in low light, is unusable with the jello effect. It also struggles to get focus on objects in low light.

Design-wise, it has a modern design and in-line with its clean look. However, I hope to see wireless charging or waterproof feature in the hardware for future editions.

Overall, a good phone with a good price point.

PS: I guess some might not agree with the price point as the initial “beauty” on OnePlus phone is the attractive price. Since the first edition to the current one, the price has creeped up to almost S$1,000. This is already high for most people if you compare it with the first edition (in 2014) that has pricing of just US$299 and US$349 for 16GB and 64GB respectively.