OnePlus' latest collaboration is squarely aimed at Formula One fans, with the Chinese manufacturer teaming up with McLaren for a limited edition 6T. Car collaborations aren't new in the phone space — we've seen Huawei partner with Porsche in the past, and OPPO offers a Lamborghini edition of the Find X — and OnePlus is now looking to emulate the same with the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition.
Should you buy the OnePlus 6T or the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition?
McLaren is a name that should be immediately familiar if you've watched Formula One. While McLaren makes road cars, the brand is known primarily for its accomplishments on the track. With eight Constructors' Championships, McLaren is the second most successful team in Formula One, behind Ferrari. While the brand hasn't fared well in recent years, it is still one of the most recognized names in motorsport.
Haven't heard of McLaren and don't know what all the fuss is about? Amazon has a great miniseries on Prime Video that offers a decent introduction to the brand and the world of Formula One.
When I heard about the collaboration between OnePlus and McLaren, I was immediately excited about the possibility of a 6T decked out in McLaren's signature orange livery. The end result is a more muted affair, with the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition retaining the same black color scheme as the standard edition but with a Papaya Orange — as McLaren's color is called — band running around the lower two-thirds of the frame at the back. There's also a carbon fiber finish underneath the glass back that pays homage to the material that is a mainstay in motorsport today.
As an overall package, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is astounding.
The differences extend to the spec sheet as well. The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition comes with a staggering 10GB of RAM as standard, along with 256GB of storage. The 8GB verison of the OnePlus 6T is already one of the fastest phones in the market, and the 10GB edition adds more grunt. Another key change is the fast charger. OnePlus offered 22.5W fast charging for a few years now, and with the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition the company is introducing a Warp Charge standard that goes to 30W.
With Warp Charge, OnePlus says it's able to deliver a day's worth of charge in just 20 minutes, with the battery level going from flat to 50% in that time. There are changes on the software front as well — you get exclusive backgrounds and a McLaren theme that's essentially a dark theme with orange accents.
|Category||OnePlus 6T||OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition|
|Operating system||Android 9.0 Pie||Android 9.0 Pie|
|Display||6.41-inch Optic AMOLED, 2340x1080 (19.5:9)
Gorilla Glass 6
|6.41-inch Optic AMOLED, 2340x1080 (19.5:9)
Gorilla Glass 6
|Rear camera 1||16MP (IMX 519), 1.22-micron, f/1.7, OIS
4K/60, 720p/480p video
|16MP (IMX 519), 1.22-micron, f/1.7, OIS
4K/60, 720p/480p video
|Rear camera 2||20MP (IMX 376K), 1-micron, f/1.7||20MP (IMX 376K), 1-micron, f/1.7|
|Front camera||16MP (IMX 471), 1-micron, f/2.0||16MP (IMX 471), 1-micron, f/2.0|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS||Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, NFC, GPS|
Dash Charge (22.5W)
Warp Charge (30W)
|Water resistance||No rating||No rating|
|Security||In-display fingerprint sensor||In-display fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions||157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
|157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
|Colors||Mirror Black, Midnight Black, Thunder Purple||Papaya Orange|
2018 was the year of psychedelic gradient patterns and interesting new color variants, with OnePlus itself rolling out one of the year's most evocative designs in the OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple. In that context, I can't help but feel that OnePlus hasn't done enough to differentiate the 6T McLaren Edition from the standard model, particularly when you look at the brand's previous collaborations.
The OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition introduced the Sandstone White finish and had contrasting red and black accents that made the phone stand out. The OnePlus 6 Avengers Edition had a kevlar pattern at the back interlaced with gold accents for the alert slider and the logos at the back. The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition, meanwhile, just has the band running across the frame. It does look great on the phone, but a Papaya Orange 6T would've done more justice to the McLaren brand.
Come for the McLaren heritage, stay for the goodies.
But before you make up your mind, there's a twist in the tale. While the McLaren Edition doesn't stray far from the standard variant in terms of looks, what does differentiate it is the sheer amount of stuff you get in the box. There's a booklet highlighting McLaren's achievements — and an accompanying AR feature that's fabulous — and you get the 30W Warp Charge wall unit along with a braided cable as well as a USB-C to 3.5mm dongle, all decked out in Papaya Orange. There's also a carbon fiber-themed case in the box with McLaren's logo emblazoned at the bottom.
But best of all is a plaque featuring McLaren's Speedmark logo made out of the same carbon fiber that's used in the MCL33, McLaren's Formula One car that was driven by Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne for the 2018 season. The plaque alone should pique the interest of McLaren fans, and the accessories combined with the new features on the phone — the added RAM and 30W fast charger — clinches the win for the McLaren Edition.
The McLaren Edition costs $70 more than the standard 256GB variant of the 6T, and while the design itself is subtle, the package as a whole more than justifies the added price.
Hits all the right notes.
The standard version of the OnePlus 6T gets a lot right, and is one of the fastest phones in the market today. The software is refined, there's no shortage of power, and the AMOLED screen is one of the best you'll find in this segment. For $550, there aren't many devices that offer quite as much.
A classy homage to McLaren.
The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition takes an already powerful phone and gives it an added burst of speed. The phone is the first launching in global markets with 10GB of RAM, and the new 30W fast charger should alleviate any worries around battery life. Combine that with the McLaren goodies and you have a winner.
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