From the get-go, OnePlus's strategy has been to emulate the industry's biggest mobile giants. That means offering the same specs and the same features. But there's always been one major difference: price.
Whereas the competition's devices were 800+ dollars, OnePlus phones were often half that. It's an approach that's helped the company build a sizable cult following in an industry where even major brands fail to survive.
These days, OnePlus isn't just surviving, but thriving. With each new release the company grows in stature, producing phones that are as good or better than the most popular devices out there. Frankly, it's been fun to watch the company go from scrappy upstart to confident contender.
The new OnePlus 6T is the culmination of everything the company has worked toward over the past few years. It's fast, beautiful, smart, elegant, powerful, and arguably the best Android phone we've seen all year, offering great software, a futuristic design, and all the specs you could ever want—all at an affordable price.
It's a price that could be hugely enticing for consumers over the holidays, especially in T-Mobile shops across the U.S. For the first time ever, a OnePlus phone will be available through a U.S. carrier, where it'll rub shoulders with the likes of the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9.
I don't think anyone has any expectation for the OnePlus 6T to be T-Mobile's best-selling device over the coming months, but its arrival is a big deal no matter how you slice it. And it's great for consumers, because it makes the OnePlus 6T more accessible to those who otherwise wouldn't get a chance to see the device in person.
If you do decide to pick up the OnePlus 6T—or if you're giving it some thought—here's what you'll get: a sophisticated blend of hardware and software. It's so well made that you'll wonder how it can possibly be so much cheaper than its more high profile rivals. We've said that before, but it's especially true as devices reach (and surpass) the $1,000 threshold.
It isn't just the OnePlus 6T's price that stands out. The device is the first major release in the U.S. with an in-display fingerprint sensor. Functionally, the fingerprint sensor works just like any other one you've used in the past few years. But it's beneath the display, allowing you to place your finger on the screen to unlock your phone.
It's a neat trick that's executed beautifully on the OnePlus 6T. Placing the sensor beneath the display means you don't have to find the sensor on the back. And it means the OnePlus 6T's screen can be even more expansive than the previous model's. It's as futuristic as phones get these days.
OnePlus executed it so well that the device feels like the blueprints for what the majority of Android devices be like in 2019. But you get to experience it today, in a device that's easy to buy and much more affordable than something like the iPhone XS and Galaxy Note 9.
That being said, it's not entirely future-proof. The OnePlus 6T lacks wireless charging and it's still not fully waterproof, for whatever reason. The camera also remains fairly average, though you'll get decent enough photos for social media, which is what most people care about these days.
If I were in the market for an Android phone, I would pick up the OnePlus 6T, even over the Pixel 3, which I love. The OnePlus 6T's design is terrific, performance is smooth, and it's more affordable than most flagships available here in the U.S. What more can you ask for?