There’s plenty of love stories better than Twilight.
Popeye and Olive Oyl, the government and taxes, tech and us. The list goes on. Smartphones have been cashing in some of this tech TLC by pairing up with automative brands for years now with bedmates like Huawei and Porsche, Oppo and Lamborghini. A few UI and design tweaks later, they’re slapped with tags that can spike your BP and everyone involved calls it a day.
OnePlus has done it different, pairing up with McLaren for its newest limited edition smartphone. From the special box it comes in all the way down to the device’s core, the brand’s been careful to honour the McLaren badge its latest smartphone carries while still staying true to its core philosophies.
Although it may look similar to the standard 6T, the McLaren Edition has been given a tasteful sprinkle of Papaya Orange themed design, 30W Warp Charge and a colossal 10GB RAM (the first smartphone to release globally with that kind of horsepower under the hood). Take it for a spin then, shall we?
Design: Papaya spice
Without mucking about with the standard 6T’s design, the McLaren Edition 6T retains the curved Gorilla Glass back, flat glass front and a tiny notch. It all starts to get interesting under the surface of its skin with a subtle carbon fibre pattern that appears in just the right reflections. The iconic McLaren logo sits around the back with a faint shine that glimmers as well.
It’d be incomplete without the automotive brand’s trademark Papaya Orange thrown into the mix which we’re happy to report has been integrated in a fashion that’s bordering fine art. The sliver of orange tint runs along the bottom edges of the phone which fades and narrows as it stretches to the top of the device. It almost flirts with ambient light leaving an orange trail at various angles.
Dive into the box and the theme continues strong with a USB-C charging unit that replaces the trademark red cable for a bright tangerine woven cord paired with a plug similar to the standard 6T’s. The bundled 3.5mm adapter fits right in with orange exteriors as well.
There’s even a McLaren logo made from F1AA grade carbon fibre cast in perspex. True collector’s item, this. The phone itself is neatly nestled inside a book documenting McLaren and OnePlus history. Sets the mood for what’s to come just right.
Screen: Same deal
OnePlus has fitted the 6T with a tasty 6.42in Super AMOLED so that remains with all its skills such as excellent contrast, sRGB / DCI-P3 colour modes giving it a natural eye-warming look. The teardrop notch is a neat touch but we’re happy to send it packing through the settings. Underneath, the in-screen fingerprint scanner is the fastest one we’ve seen and OnePlus assures us it’ll get better with time.
The Ambient Display is a handy tool that takes full advantage of the AMOLED’s abilities to display vital info in monochrome mode. These include time, battery level and a few recent notification icons every time you move the device.
Software and performance: all the way to 10
With Android 9.0 straight out the box, the McLaren Edition 6T has its software shenanigans up to speed as well (pardon the pun). Internals are carried forward from the 6T save for a cracking new 10GB RAM which is a first for any smartphone launched globally. Not that the standard 6T is a slouch of any sort, but the McLaren Edition brings excessive savagery to the table that’s got you covered well into your purchase.
Camera: steady over speed
You still get the same 16MP main sensor on the back matched with a secondary 20MP unit. The depth mode adds a touch of DSLR-esque flair while the handheld ultra night mode does its duty in all sorts of poor lighting conditions. Shoot at up to 4K 60FPS glory that uses optical image stabilisation to take the edge off the handshake wobble. Slow-mos can be ramped up all the way up to 480FPS @ 720p or 240FPS @ 1080p.
Battery life and fast charging: Race to the finish
Goodbye Dash Charge, enter Warp Charge 30. It’s another star of the show in the McLaren Edition 6T and what a show it is. It juices up the phone at blistering speeds (OnePlus claims up to 50% power in just 20minutes of charging). It is the fastest smartphone charging we’ve ever experienced and manages to pull off this feat without overheating during feeding time.
OnePlus even ensures the charging stays steady through heavy usage such as gaming. Sounds too good to be true, but so far, we haven’t incinerated any internals so… It really pushes the theme of the collaboration to a whole new level and we’re thoroughly impressed.
One Plus 6T McLaren Edition Verdict
The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is a glorious celebration of smartphone seduction meeting speedy savagery. In typical OnePlus fashion, the brand’s pulled off this epic feat without burning a gaping hole in any pockets. We’re down for any time such a thing ever happens.
What you get essentially is a standard 6T with some design upgrades, the fastest charging ever and 10GB RAM. The latter’s a bit excessive but some wise person said there’s no such thing as too much power. Look it up. We’ll wait.
Either ways, it’s our favourite car phone mash-up and if you’re truly willing to spill the extra change to get a OnePlus phone spiced up inside and out with a touch of Papaya tones and race-winning automotive charging, we say go for gold. Or in this case, orange. Not nearly as catchy though, is it?