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

(Image credit: Android Central)

OnePlus 7T

Upgrading to a OnePlus 7T is an easy sell if you have an 18-month-old OnePlus 6. It's better in every way (aside from losing a headphone jack), with higher-end hardware, a nicer display, better cameras and better specs.

OnePlus 7T

Incredible value

Higher-end specs
Better battery life
Improved triple camera
Great 90Hz display
Same weak front-facing camera
Larger and heavier
No headphone jack

OnePlus 6

The OnePlus 6 is still a solid phone, and runs the latest OxygenOS software, but its design, display and cameras are showing their age compared to the super-capable 7T.

OnePlus 6

Hanging in there

Uses the latest software
Headphone jack
Still capable specs
Weak rear cameras
Short update future ahead
Clearly lower-quality display

Should you upgrade to the OnePlus 7T?

OnePlus refreshes its phone line every six months, so the jump from a OnePlus 6 to a 7T is an 18-month upgrade. That puts it in a relatively awkward position — you get the full generational updates that the 7 introduced, but not enough to make the 6 feel really out of date.

The 7T's display, camera, and battery life will all make you lean toward upgrading.

There are a few big changes in store for you if you upgrade. The 7T's new display is immediately noticeable: it's larger, brighter, more colorful, and most importantly ,has a buttery-smooth 90Hz refresh rate that just makes everything look better. Under the display is a new ultrasonic fingerprint sensor that's quick and easy to use. There's also a bigger 3800mAh battery inside, paired with the latest high-end specs for better battery life — with faster 30W charging as well.

Aside from the display, it's easy to argue the new rear cameras are the most worthwhile reason to upgrade. The main sensor is an all-new 48-megapixel unit with bigger pixels (through pixel binning) that takes much better photos with better brightness and contrast across the board. There's also an improved telephoto camera, and an additional ultra-wide camera. The whole combination is way ahead of the OnePlus 6.

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CategoryOnePlus 7TOnePlus 6
Operating SystemAndroid 10OxygenOS 10Android 10OxygenOS 10
Display6.55-inch Fluid AMOLED2400x1080, 90Hz6.28-inch OLED2280x1080
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 855+Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
Rear Camera 148MP, 1.6 μm pixelsf/1.6, OIS16MP, 1.22 μm pixelsf/1.7, OIS
Rear Camera 212MP, 1.0 μm pixelsf/2.220MP, 1.0 μm pixelsf/1.7
Rear Camera 316MPf/2.2117° lensn/a
Front Camera16MP, 1.0 μm pixelsf/2.0, fixed focus16MP, 1.0 μm pixelsfixed focus
SecurityOptical in-screen fingerprint sensorIn-screen fingerprint sensor
AudioUSB-CStereo speakers3.5 mm headphoneSingle loudspeaker
Battery3800 mAhWarp Charge 30W3300 mAhDash Charge 20W
Water Resistancenono
Dimensions160.1 x 74.5 x 8.1 mm155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75 mm
Weight190 g177 g

Of all the things that are the same or improved in the OnePlus 7T, there are just two downsides. The new phone doesn't have a headphone jack, and it's both larger and heavier than the OnePlus 6. Of course that larger size brings a bigger battery, a larger (and better) display, and new camera capabilities, but it is large and that's a consideration for some people. The headphone jack is purely a personal decision — some can handle using a USB-C dongle or Bluetooth, and some can't; though if you can't your options for a phone are rapidly diminishing.

There are also many parts of the 7T that are carry-overs from the 6.

There are also many parts of the OnePlus 7T that are really just carry-overs from the 6. The hardware is simply a different take on metal and glass — albeit a nice one. The new spec sheet is incredible for performance, but the differences aren't that noticeable considering how powerful the OnePlus 6 is itself, particularly when you take into account the OnePlus 6 is about to (or already has, depending on when you read this) get the Android 10 update. OnePlus phones are impressive in their ability to run new software almost as well as the brand new phones.

The OnePlus 6 still has plenty of life in it — especially considering its specs and the Android 10 update.

The biggest thing that might keep you from upgrading to a OnePlus 7T is that the OnePlus 6 is still a very capable phone. Yes it's falling behind on specs and features compared to the brand new 7T, but the OnePlus 6 still has plenty of life left in it. With the update to Android 10, it's using effectively the same software as the new phone, and the specs are still more than capable for the end of 2019.

The only question is how much you value the 7T's clear advantages. The display is much better, the battery lasts longer (and charges faster), and the cameras are a clear upgrade. You're also resetting the timer for future software updates, and buying into once again overbuilt specs that can easily last you another two years. This is all with the OnePlus 7T coming in at a great price. For $600 it's a fantastic value, and a purchase you may be able to justify now considering the age of the OnePlus 6. However, if you still feel your OnePlus 6 is getting the job done, give it another six months and make the two-year upgrade to the 7T's successor instead.

Andrew Martonik

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.