Ever since its announcement recently, OnePlus 6T has become the rage, and for obvious reasons. We adore the OnePlus and its devices for the hardware and features they pack in for a reasonable price, and that’s the same with the OnePlus 6T too, which is already receiving an update to OxygenOS 9.0.4 with November security fix and improvements to Nightscape and Studio lighting features.
The OnePlus 6T isn’t the first phone to pack an in-display fingerprint sensor — it is in the US, though — but it’s a first true flagship to do so that comes with leading hardware with SD845 chipset.
But given how the market has shaped up since OnePlus 6 came out, we need to rethink whether OnePlus 6T still gives us a best value for money smartphone today. If you look at the devices like Poco F1 (from Xiaomi’ sub-brand, Poco) and Asus ZenFone 5Z, you know you can get the same hardware sans the tear-drop design and in-display fingerprint sensor for much less, which makes OnePlus 6T looks costly, something that’s rarely said for a OnePlus device.
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At the starting price of INR 37,999 ($515 approx.) for the OnePlus 6T, the Poco F1 looks like a real deal to go for. After pricing the base model at $549 (in the US) and its top model at $629 without making any other significant addition to the hardware from its predecessor, OnePlus seems to want to take advantage of all the good press it’s been getting of late.
Is the asking price justified? Is there an equivalent or better phone available in the market at a lower cost? Let’s consider all this is in detail below
One worthy contender that identifies itself as competition to OnePlus 6T in the mid-range segment is flagship-killer Xiaomi’s Poco F1 phone. It ticks all the boxes as far as overall performance is considered and is priced much more conservatively compared to OnePlus 6T. So, which one is the better option to buy this festive season?
Reasons to buy Poco F1 over OnePlus 6T
1. Humongous Price Difference
Xiaomi Poco F1’s base model featuring 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM can be purchased in India at the offer price of INR 20,999 ($285) till November 5th. In comparison, the base model of OnePlus 6T featuring the identical 6GB RAM and 128 GB ROM is set to make your wallet lighter by INR 37,999 ($515). This translates to the OnePlus being over 80% more expensive!
If that mere fact doesn’t sway you, probably nothing would! It is worth mentioning both the phones feature the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset with Adreno 630 GPU, meaning that both gaming and multitasking performance of the phones will be the same.
Additionally, Poco F1 also boasts of LiquidCool technology that, reportedly, keeps the CPU cool during intense gaming sessions.
2. Dedicated 3.5 mm audio jack
While most OEMs are slowly but surely phasing out the 3.5mm audio jack, and OnePlus 6T taking the cue too, Poco F1 phone still features it, much to the delight of audiophiles who can’t bear the idea of putting down their earphones/headphones even while charging their phone. OnePlus says their reasoning behind the removal of the audio jack was to accommodate a bigger battery, a myth we bunk in the next para.
3. Bigger battery
Yes, OnePlus 6T does have a bigger battery rated at 3,700mAh compared to its predecessor, OnePlus 6. However, Poco F1 phone manages to accommodate an even bigger battery rated at 4,000mAh despite housing a dedicated 3.5 mm audio jack. OnePlus surely won’t have the answer to this rebuttal! It thus makes you wonder whether to not include a dedicated audio jack was just a cost-saving maneuver from OnePlus.
4. Similar Camera Output
While on paper it might seem like the OnePlus 6T device holds an edge over Poco F1 phone, the ground reality is somewhat different. While OnePlus 6T sports a 16MP+20MP rear dual-camera setup, its results are comparable to the relatively humble 12MP+5MP rear dual-camera setup of Poco F1. The new additions, Nightscape, and Studio Lighting modes, on the OnePlus 6T, have largely disappointed during trials.
On the front, Poco F1 phone boasts of a high-resolution 20MP front-facing camera which is inarguably at par with OnePlus 6T’s 16MP front-facing sensor as they’re both capable of taking amazing selfies.
Reasons to buy OnePlus 6T over Poco F1
1. Superior Build Quality
This is where Poco F1 bites the dust when compared to OnePlus 6T. While OnePlus 6T features a glass body with an aluminum frame, the Poco F1 has a polycarbonate back, which seems outdated now. Clearly, this was one of the cost-cutting measures adopted by Xiaomi to deliver amazing specs at such a throwaway price. Nevertheless, if you were going to put on a protective case anyway, the build quality shouldn’t really matter that much.
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2. Enviable Design and Display
It is a fact that OnePlus 6T is a thing of beauty with its minimalistic teardrop notch atop a 6.41″ AMOLED screen sporting 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Poco F1 simply cannot compete with the former on this front with its big notch atop the marginally smaller and inferior 6.18″ IPS LCD screen sporting 18.7:9 aspect ratio.
3. In-display fingerprint scanner
One of the first OEMs to launch an in-display fingerprint scanner in the world market, OnePlus 6T looked all set to become a trendsetter. However, during a hands-on review, we found the entire system a little buggy. However, we do believe that the in-display fingerprint scanner promises to be more than just a novelty feature once perfected, which can be done through OTA software updates.
You can’t buy a device that’s not been released in your country, right? Okay, technically you could, by ordering the device from abroad or buy a warranty-less deal on sites like ebay, that;s hardly recommendable.
Thus, OnePlus 6T scores a point here. It’s available is many countries, including the US, while Poco F1 is available only in select countries, most popularly in India. So, if you are in the US, you have to buy the OnePlus 6T only.
Software is a draw!
OnePlus 6T and Poco F1 offer different yet impressive software experience
OnePlus 6T runs on OxygenOS atop Android 9 Pie out-of-the-box. In comparison, the Poco F1 phone runs on the MIUI 9.6 (MIUI 10 now, after the update) with POCO customization (slightly modified MIUI 10) atop Android 8.1 Oreo. However, Poco F1 looks all set to release the Android 9 Pie update which will soon make this advantage redundant.
Even though the OnePlus 6T offers you latest Android OS with stock-ish UI, you cannot downvote the Poco F1 for running MIUI 10 in spite of it running Android 8.1 for now. That’s because MIUI 10 is a very impressive OS in itself, one that can be said more pleasing to the eye. So, software is a draw in our eyes between these two great devices despite them running totally different style of OS.
So, which phone should you choose to buy given the choice between Xiaomi Poco F1 and OnePlus 6T?
If you’re price-sensitive, then Poco F1 currently offers the best value in the market. It is available for just INR 20,999 (about $290) during the festive sale that will last till the 5th of November for the same configuration that you in the OnePlus 6T for $37,999 in India. It will serve all your gaming, multitasking, and photography needs the same as OnePlus 6T would, definitely.
However, if you’re someone who is more inclined on aesthetics and don’t mind spending the extra money (a lot of extra money!) for additional features like the in-display fingerprint scanner, glas back, new tech in in-display fingerprint sensor, stock UI, and the new tear-drop design, then OnePlus 6T is the one for you.
What do you think about these two devices?