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Review

OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition Review: One for the die hard fans

The new OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition offers one of the most unique unboxing experiences. But does that make it worth the extra money? Here’s my review.


OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition 3.5 5
BGR Rating :
3.5/5

Highlights

  • The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition retails at Rs 50,999.

  • The key differences can be seen in the RAM and charging standard.

  • Die-hard fans of McLaren will love this, but most other users may not.

Lately, smartphone makers have been partnering automobile companies to launch limited edition devices in the hope of luring die hard fans. The latest to jump on the bandwagon is OnePlus, which recently teamed up with supercar maker McLaren. The result is the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition, which retails in India at Rs 50,999. So what does the extra Rs 5,000 get you, and is it worth paying the premium over the top-end OnePlus 6T? Here’s my review.

As we have seen with the previous special edition devices from the company, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition too is just a OnePlus 6T at its core. There are, however, a couple of differences that make it stand out. Since we have already reviewed the OnePlus 6T in depth, I won’t be rehashing every feature of the McLaren Edition. Instead, I will only focus on the exclusive bits.

A treat for McLaren fans

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition experience starts much before you put your hands on the device. The partnership between the companies has resulted in one of the most unique unboxing experiences you will have come across. The box features a carbon-fiber-like texture on the outside, and inside you will find a bunch of goodies along with the device.

First up is a heavy booklet, which lets you flip through the history, vision, and philosophies of McLaren. A cool little feature is the Augmented Reality (AR) app on the phone, which brings the pages in the booklet to life with videos and photo galleries. Embedded in the last page is the device itself.

Under the book is a case for the phone, a new Warp Charger accompanied by a bright orange braided cord, and a 3.5mm-Type-C adapter. But the coolest thing is a glass plaque featuring McLaren’s ‘Speedmark’ logo. This logo is made up of hand-crafted carbon fiber, similar to what is used on the 2018 McLaren MCL33 F1 car. Needless to say, this plaque will drive any F1 fan wild.

Restrained design

We now move on to the smartphone, which looks exactly like the standard OnePlus 6T, at least at the front. All the differences are at the back. Underneath the glass back panel is a subtle carbon fiber texture visible only at certain angles and fading to black at the edges. What stand out though are the McLaren logo, and the streak of Papaya Orange at the bottom edges. The logo gets a holographic effect, and the orange streak shines when the light hits it at certain angles.

The overall design is classy, but quite understated and a slight disappointment if I’m being honest. Whether it is F1 cars or supercars like the P1, McLaren is known for being a outlandish when it comes to design. It is clear that this design philosophy hasn’t trickled down to the OnePlus smartphone.

I couldn’t help but wish that there were more Papaya Orange elements on the device, such as a racing strip running down the middle. Even the Alert Slider is black, and could have easily stood out by sporting the orange color. Another miss is the kevlar case bundled with the device. While it provides ample protection, it hides everything that would otherwise make the McLaren Edition stand out from the standard edition.

Warp speed

The tagline for the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is ‘Salute to Speed’, and there is plenty of evidence of that on the device. The OnePlus 6T, with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and up to 8GB RAM, is no slouch by any means. So you would think that with a whopping 10GB of RAM under the hood, the performance on the McLaren Edition will be out of this world. But that isn’t really the case – at least not at this moment.

In day-to-day usage, there is hardly any difference seen. Yes, apps open and close quickly, multi-tasking is a breeze, graphic-intensive games are smooth, and everything just feels snappy. But that is the case even on the 8GB RAM model. Even the benchmark scores on the tests we ran didn’t show any major upgrade in performance. What 10GB of RAM does provide though is longevity. As apps and games become more resource-hungry over time, you won’t see your phone slowing down. But this is a long-term benefit, and one you’ll only really see the fruits of in about two-to-three years.

Another big difference is in the way you charge the McLaren Edition’s battery. Though the battery size is the same as the standard OnePlus 6T, the charging tech on the new device is called Warp Charge 30. In simpler terms, it is among the fastest ways to charge a battery.

Image Credit: Sambit Satpathy

In our in-depth test, we found that the Warp Charge is fast off the mark, and gets to 50 percent charge in 20 minutes. This should be enough to last a day. In comparison, the Dash Charger adapter was able to charge the OnePlus 6T’s battery to 35 percent in the same time. But in the dash (pun unintended) to the finish, the difference between the charging standards is negligible, since the speed on Warp Charge steps down to 5V/2A (10W) for safe charging near full capacity.

Watch: OnePlus 6T – Warp Charge Vs Dash Charge

Should you buy?

As mentioned, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is about Rs 5,000 more expensive than the standard top-end OnePlus 6T. So is it worth the premium? The answer is yes and no. If you are a die hard fan of McLaren and OnePlus, opting for the special edition is a no-brainer. From the experience point of view, you are getting the best of both worlds, and the extra Rs 5,000 feels like a small price to pay.

But if you are on the other side of the fence, it is difficult to wholeheartedly recommend the McLaren Edition. McLaren’s design philosophies haven’t really trickled down to the smartphone, and it feels like a missed opportunity. While 10GB RAM and Warp Charge are good features, they are not something that you are going to really miss even if you were to opt for the top-end model of the standard variant.

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  • Published Date: December 26, 2018 2:14 PM IST