McLaren puts the pedal to the metal in special-edition OnePlus 6T

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition isn’t a superficial collaboration. While it shares a similar design and almost the same specifications as the standard OnePlus 6T, there are meaningful enhancements that not only make this powerful phone look gorgeous, but also offer improvements you’ll notice every day. If owning the OnePlus 6T has crossed your mind over the past few weeks, here’s why the McLaren Edition is worth considering.

What’s different?

There are five main differences between the standard OnePlus 6T and the McLaren Edition. First, you’re getting a box with a few other goodies, including a booklet commemorating OnePlus and McLaren; a plaque celebrating the McLaren Edition phone; a case; and a note from OnePlus CEO Pete Lau.

This is one of the only phones with a whopping 10GB of RAM.

The McLaren Edition also gets more storage than the base version of the OnePlus 6T — 256GB to be exact. Only the Midnight Black OnePlus 6T color comes with an option for that much storage. Even more unique is the whopping 10GB of RAM. That means it should be able to handle all the multi-tasking you can throw at it, but more on that later.

While it’s the same design as the standard OnePlus 6T, the McLaren Edition adds the iconic Papaya Orange color scheme to the edges of the phone. And finally, you get a faster charging system called Warp Charge 30. OnePlus’ charging technology is one of the fastest available, and it used to be called “Dash Charge.” This year, the company faced some legal and trademark woes surrounding the branding of its charging technology, which is why the name has changed to Warp Charge.

Warp Charge 30 on the McLaren Edition isn’t the same as Dash Charge on the OnePlus 6T. OnePlus specifically claims Warp Charge 30 delivers 50 percent recharge in just 20 minutes, which is faster than what we’ve previously seen from the company. This is all thanks to fresh battery design and an improved charging adapter. The cable you get is braided too, and both it and the adapter are the same Papaya Orange color to match the McLaren-themed phone.

Sports car flourishes

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition doesn’t look ostentatious. The glass on the back is glossy, but underneath in the center is a carbon fiber-like weave. It’s subtle, and you’ll need to shine it in the light to really see it. Similarly, the Papaya Orange accents around the bottom edges of the phone can be easy to miss at a first glance. It shimmers when caught in the light, and when this happens it looks beautifully elegant.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition doesn’t look ostentatious.

The McLaren logo sits at the bottom on the back, and that’s about it in terms of design changes between the McLaren Edition and the standard OnePlus 6T. The front is exactly the same, with the in-display fingerprint sensor and teardrop notch.

Turn the phone on and you’ll notice the McLaren Edition comes with orange and black-themed OxygenOS software. Pull down the notification drawer or open up the app drawer and you’ll see orange accents, instead of the standard blue. Don’t worry, there is a way to change the orange back if you’re not a fan (Settings > Display > Theme).

Super fast charging

The real reason we’re here, though, is to see exactly what Warp Charge 30 brings to the table.

oneplus 6t mclaren edition impressions 12

We plugged in the McLaren Edition and the standard OnePlus 6T with their respective chargers in the box, both starting at 0 percent. Within 20 minutes, the standard OnePlus 6T hit a mere 35 percent, but the McLaren Edition raced ahead with exactly 50 percent at the mark. OnePlus’ claim rings true.

We tested for 10 more minutes to get results after 30 minutes of charging, and the standard 6T reached 54 percent, while the McLaren Edition hit 68 percent. That’s fast, and a solid improvement. It’s a good reason to buy the phone, if you were already eyeing the OnePlus 6T.

But it’s not the fastest charging we’ve ever seen. We recently tested another car-branded phone — the Oppo Find X Lamborghini Edition — and it similarly comes with special “Super VOOC” technology. It managed to hit 100 percent in just 35 minutes of charging, meaning it leaves McLaren in the dust. Still, the Find X isn’t available in the U.S., and it also costs around $1,500 after converting the price. The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is much more sensibly priced.

So what about performance? Does the 10GB of RAM deliver any additional boost to the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition over the standard model? Not that we’ve seen. We’ve juggled through multiple apps and games at the same time trying to see if it would slow down either the 6T or the McLaren Edition, and both fared without flaw. We’ve already explored how much RAM a smartphone really needs, and you likely won’t see any valuable differences between the 8GB OnePlus RAM models and the new version.

Here are a few benchmark scores to supplement our findings. Keep in mind, OnePlus has been known to cheat in benchmark scores before, so take these results with a heavy grain of salt.

  • AnTuTu 3DBench: 296,927
  • Geekbench 4 CPU: 2,407 single-core; 8,936 multi-core
  • 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme: 3,728 (Vulkan)

Compare these to our OnePlus 6T benchmark scores, and the 6T fares a little better in Geekbench and 3DMark, though the McLaren Edition has a narrow win with AnTuTu. These scores are some of the highest we’ve seen with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which is the same chip powering most other Android flagship phones, from the Google Pixel 3 to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9. Benchmark scores don’t tell the full story, but you won’t have performance issues with the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition or the OnePlus 6T.

Should you buy it?

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition costs $699, which is $149 more than the base model you can buy. It’s available now for purchase, but should you get it? We think the fast charging improvements are impressive, and the Papaya Orange theme does offer killer looks. The extra storage and RAM is the cherry on top. If this special edition is within your budget, go for it, especially if you’re a fan of sports cars and McLaren. If not, you’ll be plenty satisfied with the OnePlus 6T, or any one of the phones in our best smartphones guide.

Check out our OnePlus 6T review our full impressions on the phone, including software, battery life, and camera. Both the OnePlus 6T and the McLaren Edition work on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon’s networks.

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