Not content to end the year with just three different 6T options, OnePlus has announced a new special edition of the phone co-branded with storied automotive racing company McLaren. The OnePlus 6T McLaren edition is much like the 6T that was released earlier this fall, but it comes with more RAM, an even faster wired charging system, and a special black-and-orange color scheme. The phone will be available starting on December 13th in North America and Western Europe for $699 / €699. It will arrive in China, India, and the Nordics at a later date.
Nearly $700 is a steep price for a OnePlus phone, which are typically priced very aggressively compared to other high-end Android phones. The standard OnePlus 6T starts at $549 for 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. To justify its price tag, the McLaren edition has 10GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, and OnePlus’ new Warp Charge 30 wired charging. It ships in orange McLaren-branded packaging along with a special orange and black USB-C cable and headphone dongle, a McLaren-branded case, a piece of actual carbon fiber encased in an acrylic block, and a hardcover book highlighting the history of McLaren’s racing efforts.
On the outside, the McLaren 6T has a fluorescent orange highlight along the bottom edge of the phone’s frame, and a glossy black finish with a carbon fiber pattern weave under the back glass. Otherwise, it has the same design as the standard 6T, including the edge-to-edge display with small teardrop notch and dual rear camera system.
OnePlus has also given the McLaren edition some software tweaks, such as a black and orange theme (have you noticed a trend yet?) and a special animation when the in-screen fingerprint scanner is used to unlock the phone.
Aside from the slight increase in RAM, the main difference between the McLaren 6T and the run of the mill model is the new charging system. OnePlus says the new Warp Charge 30 charger can refuel the McLaren 6T’s 3700mAh battery up to 50 percent faster than the Fast Charge (formerly Dash Charge) system on other OnePlus phones. It sounds a lot like a rebranded version of the Super VOOC system that debuted on the Oppo Find X Lamborghini in October, which was able to charge that phone to full in just 35 minutes, though OnePlus maintains that Warp Charge and Super VOOC are different technologies.
Fast Charge is already one of the fastest wired charging systems available on any smartphone, so making it even faster is impressive. The company says only the McLaren version of the 6T will achieve the fastest charging speeds with the included charger; other OnePlus devices will default to standard Fast Charge speeds when plugged into it.
Still, the standard 6T already charges very quickly and with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, it doesn’t have any shortage of memory to play around with. That means that the $70 difference between the McLaren edition and the normal 256GB 6T largely goes towards the unique branding and accessories that come with the McLaren version. Is that enough to justify the cost? For some hardcore McLaren fans, possibly.