It’s fair to say that on the racetrack, McLaren has seen significantly better days. Once the toast of the F1 paddock, in recent years the team has struggled with performance, engine suppliers and much more besides; in the season just gone, the team spent most of its time at the back end of the grid. The days of Lewis Hamilton and Ayrton Senna winning championships seem like very long ago indeed.
However, McLaren’s legendary achievements in the realm of motorsport – as well as its continued fame as a creator of insanely expensive consumer sports cars – means that its name still carries some weight with petrolheads all over the world, hence the fact that OnePlus has teamed up with the British marque to release a special edition of its popular OnePlus 6T handset.
On the surface, it looks very much like the standard 6T, which is, of course, a revision of the existing OnePlus 6. However, it benefits from a funky new design which features a carbon fibre back panel and a seriously cool “Papaya Orange” (the official colour of McLaren) accent which catches the light beautifully. The OS has also been given an orange makeover.
In the box, you also get a bright orange braided charging cable, official snap-on case and an individually-numbered block of plastic which features a genuine piece of McLaren-developed carbon fibre, just like the material that goes into building the company’s F1 cars. There’s also a massive book which details the history of both OnePlus and McLaren, and if you use the phone’s camera, you can view AR clips within the book itself – a very neat touch indeed.
On the tech side of things, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is very much the same as the standard 6T, but it has 10GB of RAM this time around – an insane amount of memory for a smartphone. Also new is what OnePlus is calling ‘Warp Charge 30’, which can give you a day of usage on a single 20-minute charge.
That could be something of a game-changer for many people, as waiting for your phone to charge is one of life’s little annoyances. With only 20 minutes required to almost fully top up the 6T, it doesn’t even matter if you forget to put your handset on charge at night – you’ll still have time in the morning to make sure you’re full of juice.
The OnePlus 6T was unveiled at a spectacular launch event at McLaren HQ, and went on sale yesterday, costing £649 in the UK – that’s quite a hike on the £499 it costs for the bog-standard OnePlus 6T, but still around £100 less than the iPhone XR and Google Pixel 3. Not bad for a phone which has a better screen than the iPhone XR and the same processor as the Pixel 3.
The end result is a phone that drops in just in time to become one of 2018’s most desirable pieces of kit – if you find this under your tree at Christmas, you can feel very smug indeed.