OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition hands-on: Papaya orange highlights, Warp Charge 30, and 10GB of RAM

The OnePlus 6T is already one of the fastest and most capable Android phones available today. The special McLaren Edition provides more RAM, faster charging, and some other slick McLaren touches for $70 more.

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The OnePlus 6T, see our full review, is one of the best phones of 2018 and is one that I keep going back to. After a month with the 6T, it is clearly the best value available today with T-Mobile's $579 model satisfying the masses.

Also: OnePlus 6T review: Outstanding reception, solid battery life, and extremely fast performance make this one to buy

For the past week I've been using a special version of the OnePlus 6T, the McLaren Edition, and while it's not really something that 6T owners need to upgrade to, it is one of the coolest smartphones available today. Orange is my favorite color and the subtle way that OnePlus added McLaren's papaya orange to the bottom back edges, along with carbon fiber in the glass back, is awesome.

oneplus-6t-mclaren-13.jpg
Image: Matthew Miller (ZDNet)

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition includes the following specifications, features, and accessories that are unique to this $699 model. This price is $70 more than the 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage model and for that additional fee you get the following:

  • RAM bumped up to 10GB
  • Papaya Orange around the back edges of the glass with carbon fiber under the glossy black back
  • McLaren brand on the back of the OnePlus 6T
  • A special retail box with a book including McLaren and OnePlus coverage, including special AR pages
  • Warp Charge 30 adapter
  • McLaren branded matte black carbon fiber shell case
  • Papaya Orange colored braided cord USB-C charging cable
  • McLaren theme on the phone
  • Special McLaren fingerprint animation effect for the in-display sensor
  • McLaren startup animation when you first turn on the phone
  • Papaya Orange USB-C to 3.5mm headset dongle

Also: 8 impressive Chinese smartphones you've never heard of

Unboxing

Most retail packages are pretty standard today so I was pleasantly surprised when the review unit arrived from OnePlus. I opened up the standard brown cardboard box and then couldn't understand why the brilliant papaya orange package was so heavy. There is an outer slip that states Salute to Speed in bold black letters with the OnePlus logo in the bottom left and McLaren log with Speedmark in the bottom right. The back contains a label with the serial numbers and other licensing info from Qualcomm and McLaren.

Slipping off this orange cover reveals a carbon fiber black box. Lift the lid and the words Fast and Smooth appear under the lid with a book that has an orange spine and the words Salute to Speed. I usually like to dive right in and find the phone, but I recommend spending a few minutes to browse through this book.

Inside the book you will find text and images containing the history of both McLaren and OnePlus. I enjoy automobile racing and as an engineer I am fascinated by the mechanics behind racing. The very last page of the book is several pages thick and when you turn it over you will find the McLaren Edition OnePlus 6T embedded into the back of the book.

Take out the OnePlus 6T and marvel at the stunning papaya orange that transitions from black into orange around the outside edges and along the bottom. It is a classy orange with high gloss around it too. Angle the phone a bit and note the embedded carbon fiber design under the glossy black glass.

Continuing back in the box under the book you will find a glossy black and orange Warp Charge 30 A/C adapter with an orange braided USB-C charging cable to go with it. There is a short USB-C to 3.5mm dongle with the cable between them in orange color. A OnePlus 6T carbon fiber black cover is included with the McLaren logo on the lower part of the back.

Also: Pixel 3 vs. OnePlus 6T: Which Android should you buy? CNET

Lastly, a clear acrylic desk award decoration is included in the box. This piece includes and embedded McLaren logo, the Speedmark, recreated in McLaren-designed F1 AA grade carbon fiber - the same material used in the McLaren MCL33 2018 Formula 1 car.

Lastly, now that you have everything unboxed, turn on the OnePlus 6T and use the McLaren AR application to watch the images in the book come to life. There are color images and videos highlighting both McLaren and OnePlus companies.

Warp Charge 30

OnePlus used to call its fast charging technology Dash Charge and with the OnePlus 6T it was just labeled Fast Charging. With the McLaren Edition, this branding has evolved to Warp Charge. The OnePlus 6T I bought from T-Mobile includes a 5V/4A charger that equates to 20W. The McLaren Edition Warp Charge 30 means 30W provided with 5V/6A charger.

The heat and supply power is managed through the A/C adapter so that the phone does not experience excessive heat during rapid charging. OnePlus states that Warp Charge 30 provides a day's power in 20 minutes. The technology behind Warp Charge 30 is Oppo's Super VOOC (Voltage Open Loop Multi-step Constant-Current Charging).


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I've never seen a phone charge faster than this OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition and with such quick charging capacity, one soon forgets about slow wireless charging technology.

Initial impressions

If the additional RAM and Warp Charge 30 improvements weren't enough to justify the $70 premium over the standard OnePlus 6T, the unboxing experience alone might be worth that price. I haven't experienced anything like it and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. My family saw me unboxing it and were also very impressed with the retail package.

Also: OnePlus 6 review: Top-quality design

By default, the McLaren animation is selected for the in-screen fingerprint sensor and the McLaren orange text theme is set for the device user interface. I would love to have seen some race car sounds for notifications or maybe a car charger in the retail package too.

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition will be available starting on 13 December in Europe, North America, and India for $699 USD.

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