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OnePlus 7 Pro vs. OnePlus 6T: Should you upgrade?

Best answer: The OnePlus 7 Pro is undeniably a better phone than the OnePlus 6T across the board. But it's much more expensive, and the OnePlus 6T is neither old nor short on performance and features — it offers the same core experience as the 7 Pro. All of which makes this upgrade really tough to recommend.

Pricey upgrade: OnePlus 7 Pro (opens in new tab) (From $670 at OnePlus)

What do you get with an upgrade to the OnePlus 7 Pro?

The OnePlus 6T came out just six months before the 7 Pro, but the company has made substantial upgrades in that time. The OnePlus 7 Pro marks a new higher level of hardware design and quality, and it's apparent as soon as you set eyes on the phone and then pick it up. It feels more substantial, with a bit of extra quality in subtle ways. The design stands out, too — most so in the Nebula Blue color, but even in Mirror Gray. But the quality isn't just skin deep; the OnePlus 7 Pro has stereo speakers for great audio separation and more volume, and the haptics are dramatically improved from the 6T.

The OnePlus 7 Pro's display is dramatically improved in all aspects, but there are jumps throughout the hardware.

It can be argued that the biggest hardware improvement is in the 7 Pro's display, which just blows the 6T's away. It's larger and has curved edges, sure, but those things aren't anywhere near as important as all of its qualities. The panel is now QHD resolution, which adds considerable crispness to text and images. It's also dramatically brighter, which is important any time but is invaluable in direct sunlight where you can actually use the 7 Pro without issue. And then you get to the 90Hz refresh rate, which dramatically smooths out all motion on the screen — whether you're gaming, or just scrolling through Twitter. 90Hz is a perfect match for the fast-and-smooth OnePlus software, and it just completes the experience. After seeing a OnePlus 7 Pro's screen, it's really tough to go back to a 6T.

Underneath that display, you also get a much-improved fingerprint sensor. Even though it's still optical, it's a next-generation component that's over 30% larger and much faster. Less precision is needed in your placement and angle when unlocking, and while it still isn't quite as fast as a capacitive sensor, it's darn close now. The new triple camera setup on the 7 Pro is a step up from the 6T, primarily with the main camera in terms of crisp details. But don't feel too left out not having the new wide-angle camera or 3X telephoto camera — they don't add as much to the experience as you'd think.

OnePlus 7 ProOnePlus 6T
Operating SystemAndroid 9 Pie
OxygenOS
Android 9 Pie
OxygenOS
Display6.67-inch Fluid OLED
3120x1440 (19.5:9)
Gorilla Glass 5
6.41-inch AMOLED
2340x1080 (19.5:9)
Gorilla Glass 6
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM6/8/12GB6/8GB
Storage128/256GB128/256GB
Rear Camera 148MP, f/1.6
1.6 μm pixels
OIS, EIS
16MP, f/1.7
1.22 μm pixels
OIS, EIS
Rear Camera 28MP, f/2.4
1.0 μm pixels
OIS, 3X telephoto lens
20MP, f/1.7
1 μm pixels
2X telephoto lens
Rear Camera 316MP, f/2.2
117-degree lens
n/a
Front camera 116MP, f/2.0
Fixed focus
16MP, f/2.0
Fixed focus
SecurityOptical in-screen fingerprint sensorOptical in-screen fingerprint sensor
AudioUSB-C
Stereo speakers
USB-C
Single speaker
Battery4000mAh3700mAh
ChargingWarp Charge 30WFast Charge 20W
Water resistanceNoNo
Dimensions162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm
206 g
157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm
185 g
ColorsMirror Gray, Nebula Blue, AlmondMirror Black, Midnight Black

But the 7 Pro isn't all new — it is still a OnePlus phone after all, and the 6T is less than a year old at this point. That means most of the core experience of using the phones will be the same no matter which you have. OxygenOS runs fantastically on both phones, and even though the 7 Pro has higher-end specs, you wouldn't notice it coming from a 6T. For the next year to come, you'd be hard-pressed to find any difference in real-world usage between them.

The 7 Pro has a larger 4000mAh battery, but its larger display, which is brighter and has a higher refresh rate, cuts right into that extra power. Battery life is effectively the same as the 6T, though we've noticed faster drain when actively using the screen for extended periods. But the 7 Pro has the bonus of the new Warp Charge 30W charger, which comes in the box, and charges even faster than the 20W the 6T tops out at.

Should I upgrade to the OnePlus 7 Pro?

OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 6T

Looking purely at what the OnePlus 7 Pro offers compared to your current OnePlus 6T, it's an easy upgrade decision. The 7 Pro has better hardware all around, a dramatically improved display and better cameras. It also has nice-to-have features like stereo speakers, improved haptics, and a much faster in-display fingerprint sensor. It also has the same fantastic OxygenOS software experience as the 6T, so your transition would be seamless.

The OnePlus 7 Pro is an easy upgrade in terms of its quality and capabilities — but only if the cost isn't a factor.

But we don't make buying decisions in a vacuum — we have to consider the price as well. The OnePlus 7 Pro's base model is $120 more than the 6T's, which is nothing to sneeze at. Even if you sell your OnePlus 6T on a site like Swappa (opens in new tab), you're only going to net about $300. That means you're about $400 short of the base model OnePlus 7 Pro, which is a lot to spend on a phone less than a year after you got your OnePlus 6T.

If you question the cost of the upgrade at all, then don't force yourself to upgrade to the OnePlus 7 Pro (opens in new tab). The OnePlus 6T offers the same core features and software experience, and will get software updates for a considerable amount of time — your phone is still great, and won't be left behind. Perhaps the OnePlus 7 Pro's successor will be the one to get instead.

Andrew was an Executi