Thinking about pulling the trigger on the OnePlus 6T through T-Mobile? That’s not a bad idea, especially while the carrier is offering a killer trade-in deal, but there are some differences you’ll probably want to know about first. OnePlus has posted some of those details on their blog so you’ll know what to expect from the carrier model of the device.
You’d think they’d be the exact same phone, but nope. Not even OnePlus can escape that market trend.
As of right now, T-Mobile is only offering one specific version of the OnePlus 6T. It’s the 8GB/128GB Mirror Black model of the phone, and it only has one SIM slot instead of the usual dual-SIM compatibility. That means you’re getting the mid-tier version of the OP6T with more RAM, but not as much storage as the fully spec’d model. You also don’t get a choice in color, unfortunately.
Those are the mediocre things, so now let’s talk about the bad things.
T-Mobile and OnePlus are “committed” to offering a great software experience, but the carrier model of the phone won’t be getting updates at the same time as the unlocked phone. Those updates have to be certified by T-Mobile, so that’s going to cause a delay, however small. The carrier phone also isn’t eligible for the OnePlus beta program.
Of course you can always just unlock the bootloader and flash your own software on the phone, but you’ll have to have it completely paid off first. The phone is eligible for T-Mobile’s equipment installment plans, but until it’s been 100% paid you can’t unlock it for use on other networks, including Verizon. And until it’s been network unlocked, you can’t unlock the bootloader, which means no tinkering on a device that you haven’t fully paid for. And let’s be real, if you’re going to immediately pay off the device, you might as well buy it through OnePlus directly so you get more color and configuration options.
It’s very cool that T-Mobile is carrying the OnePlus 6T, and they’re probably the best carrier for it. But with all of that being said, US carriers still tend to muck up phone experiences, and that’s no difference here. If you don’t mind those drawbacks it’s definitely going to be a great phone that you can now set up on your plan with installment billing, but for the extreme power users, you’re probably going to want to stick to buying direct, at least for now.