Got a OnePlus 5T? Should you upgrade to the OnePlus 6…or not – the reasons for both are the SAME!

On: May 24, 2018

“To upgrade or not to upgrade

Is the question

Whether it is nobler

In the mind

To suffer

The jibes and claims about an older device

Or by choosing to Never Settle

And buying a new OnePlus

End them!”

Thus may indeed have Shakespeare’s Prince of Denmark have pondered the choice between going with a new OnePlus 6 or staying with his OnePlus 5T. For let’s face it, the 5T is barely half a year old and remains a super smooth performer. So should one be swayed by the improved specs and flashy design – all topped off by endless hype, of course – of the OnePlus 6 or stick with the OnePlus 5T? It is not an easy question to answer.

Mainly because the five biggest reasons for grabbing the OnePlus 6 are the EXACT SAME as the ones for staying with the OnePlus 5T. Now, before you accuse me of being slightly insane or having partaken an intoxicant, just hear me out.

The following are the six reasons for anyone who has a OnePlus 5T to upgrade to a OnePlus 6, and well, they are also the reasons for you to stay with the 5T.

The glass back and new design

Get the 6: I mean, the new glass back just looks so incredibly classy, more in keeping with the other flagship phones out there.

Stay with the 5T:  Oh come on, glass smudges and gets scratched and no matter how much of Gorilla you put in it, Glass always takes a fall worse than metal does. Stick with the rock solid metallic 5T. And the 5T is not an eyesore, really.

The bigger display and notch

Get the 6: More display in a frame that is actually smaller than the previous one. And there is a notch too for the selfie camera and earpiece.

Stay with the 5T:  That extra bit of display mainly comes because of the notch. Anyway, both phones have AMOLED displays with 18:9 aspect ratio and full HD+ resolution. Honestly, what difference does it make to put the selfie camera and earpiece within or without a notch!

The better processor and all that RAM and storage

Get the 6: It is one of the few devices in the Indian market with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor. Add to that 6GB/8 GB of RAM and 64 GB and 128 GB of storage. This will have serious power, you know.

Stay with the 5T: Look, the Qualcomm 835 is not a bad processor and is not THAT old. Nokia just used it for the Nokia 8 Sirocco. Honestly, my OnePlus 5T is running smoothly even now. And I have the same RAM and storage options. Yes, I know there is a 256 GB edition of the OnePlus 6 too, but that is a limited Avenger’s edition and costs ~INR 45,000!

The improved cameras

Get the 6: They might have the same megapixel count (16 and 20 on the back, 16 in front), but the sensor on the rear camera is bigger, and there is optical image stabilisation (OIS) also, to ensure much better low light photography. And well, the selfie camera will get a portrait mode soon too.

Stay with the 5T: Hey, come on! OnePlus themselves spent so much time convincing us that Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS) was every bit as good as OIS. And honestly, I am more than content with the image quality on the 5T – yes, the 6 is better but it still is not in the Pixel 2 or P20 Pro class. And knowing OnePlus, the good folk will deliver portrait mode to the selfie camera on the 5T as well – see how quickly they made Face Unlock available across so many devices.

Better power management

Get the 6: It may have the same battery in terms of capacity (3300 mAh) but thanks to its newer processor, will manage battery much better. The battery easily sees through a day of use.

Stay with the 5T: Well, actually I could not see a massive difference in the battery lives of the two devices. Both got through a day easily. Both had dash charge support. I suspect the slightly larger display of the 6 drains away a bit more battery.

It has newer software and has Android P beta available for it

Get the 6: At the time of writing, the OnePlus 6 was launched with Oxygen OS 5.1.1, which has been since updated to Oxygen 5.1.3. Both are based on Android 8.1, but there’s more – those who get the  OnePlus 6 can also install Android P beta on it as it is part of the Android beta programme. Imagine getting futuristic software on cutting edge hardware.

Stay with the 5T: Well, the 5T has been updated to Oxygen OS 5.1.1, and indications are it will get Oxygen 5.1.3 relatively soon as well. Anyway, the changes between the two are not massive. And to be honest, I would rather stay with a stable Android O rather than try out a buggy Android P – I don’t invest in great hardware to run beta software on it!

It is water resistant

Get the 6: It will be ok if you use it in the rain. It has water resistance now.

Stay with the 5T: Oh yeah, without any IP ratings at all. Basically, it is ok in the rain but you gotta start praying if you drop it even in the tiniest puddle. No, I would rather wait for a properly water and dust resistant edition.

See what I mean? It is a puzzle worthy of a speech by a Digital Hamlet. Speaking personally, I really think that the OneOPlus 6 does bring a lot more to the table on paper, but in real life conditions, it is that said, it is really hard to note a massively different change in the two devices. The design is a factor but a divisive one – not everyone is a huge fan of notches and glass backs. For me, the biggest difference is in the cameras’ performance but that too mainly becomes evident only when you look closely at images or in low light shots – for social network fans, the OnePlus 5T remains a great snap and selfie generator.

So, should you buy the OnePlus 6 or stay with your OnePlus 5T? Well, if you love spec sheets and are very keen on the latest and greatest and/or all things glassy and classy, then the OnePlus 6 is a no brainer. However, if you have just bought a OnePlus 5T and are more a mainstream user than a geeky one, then you will not lose out a lot by giving the 6 a miss. If past experience is any indication, a more radical 6T might be coming your way by winter – with real water and dust resistance and maybe even wireless charging and a better battery.

To buy or not to buy? To settle or not to settle?

Don’t sweat too much. You won’t end up losing much either way.

Both phones are super propositions for budget flagship fans.

Nimish Dubey

Nimish Dubey has been writing on technology since 1999. He has contributed to a number of publications and websites including The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Mint, Economic Times, Outlook, and India Today. He is currently the Editorial Mentor at and a regular contributor to Indian Express. When not writing, he loves to read and listen to classic rock.