The McLaren OnePlus 6T has just been made official at an event hosted in McLaren’s headquarters, where the luxury automaker and the budget-friendly smartphone company inaugurated the start of their brand partnership. Speaking with The Verge ahead of the announcement, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei admitted that he was convinced the collaboration made sense after test-driving a McLaren 720S. To him, both McLaren and OnePlus are brands for “people in the know.” There are lots of other flashy cars you can buy, argues Pei, but you get a McLaren when you’re really into cars and the driving experience. By extension, the same thing goes for OnePlus: the two brands are both obsessive in their pursuit of speed.
So what’s uniquely McLaren about the McLaren OnePlus 6T? The answer is in the cosmetics: the 6T is still made of the same materials as its regular edition, but this one has McLaren’s signature Papaya Orange color subtly integrated into its design, and the glossy glass rear cover features a new carbon fiber pattern. You also get a special Salute to Speed book with the purchase of the phone. McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown is candid in saying that OnePlus is expert in building phones and that the design is all OnePlus’ work, with only a little assistance and inspiration from McLaren. But he promises McLaren has brought “content excitement” on the software front.
Keeping most of the regular OnePlus 6T’s spec sheet intact, the new edition adds two standout features that you can’t get on the original. First is 10GB of RAM, which is allied to 256GB of storage on the device. OnePlus notes that the McLaren OnePlus 6T will be the first globally released phone with 10GB of memory. The other major addition is called Warp Charge 30, which achieves extra-speedy 30W charging. A day’s power (read: 50 percent charge of the 3,700mAh battery) in 20 minutes is OnePlus’ big promise, though the company says the new tech will also deliver improvements in keeping the phone cool while charging and charging it faster while it’s still being used.
The McLaren OnePlus 6T will be available in North America and Western Europe from December 13th, to be followed shortly thereafter by availability in China, India, and the Nordics. The US price is $699 and the European price is €699 / £649. That makes it OnePlus’ most expensive phone to date, but also one of the most affordable from the stable of phones produced in partnership with luxury car brands.
OnePlus and McLaren have agreed on a long-term exclusive partnership, though neither is willing to yet disclose what that will mean for the future. When I asked about McLaren employees or customers potentially getting OnePlus phones, I was told “not this one,” which gives at least a little hint of the plans for what’s to come. For now, the two brands say that their association makes sense for both sides, and they’ll look for more opportunities to collaborate in the future.