OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition | Review
Celebrating its 5th anniversary, OnePlus recently announced a collaboration with Formula 1 giant, McLaren, launching the OnePlus 6T McLaren edition priced Rs 50,999. “Salute to speed” is the justification for it, and for the most part, the two complement e
ach other perfectly. Both brands are icons of speed — One on the race tracks and the other, in the hands of people. While many thought the collaboration would simply mean another sexy colour variant, OnePlus took us by surprise, packing the most amount of RAM in the phone ever. 10GB worth of memory is the highlight of the device, apart from the 30W fast charging which OnePlus rechristened as Warp Charge.
A word about the tests
The tests we used to measure the performance of the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition are a combination of synthetic and extreme real-world scenarios. There’s nothing out there in the smartphone space that can really leverage so much RAM. Even Android 9 Pie’s resource management doesn’t have the provision for so much RAM and as a result, even if you keep 50 apps open (hypothetically), it won’t make any difference as Android will start killing the apps after say, the tenth app you launch.
With that in mind, here’s how the OnePlus 6T McLaren edition performed in our tests:
Test 1: Synthetic Benchmarks
The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition was made to pass through the usual rounds of benchmark tests. The results were a little surprising and we spent some time figuring out why. Turns out the 8GB+128GB OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple edition performed better than the 10GB OnePlus 6T McLaren edition on all the three popular mobile benchmarks — AnTuTu 7.0, 3DMark Slingshot and Geekbench Single Core and Multi Core tests.
While the difference weren’t all that big, it dampened our expectations from the McLaren branded phone. On AnTuTu 7.0, the McLaren edition scored 293811 while the Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T scored 295197, a difference of around 1386 points.
On Geekbench Single Core, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition scored 2302 against the regular OnePlus 6T’s 2375, a difference of 73 points. Even on multi-core tests, the McLaren edition charted 8691 as compared to the Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T’s 8856, ahead by 165 points.
Even on 3DMark Slingshot, the OnePlus 6T McLaren gave a score of 6198 against the 8GB OnePlus 6T’s 6359, a difference of 161 points.
The difference, even though negligible, was quite baffling. Everything in the OnePlus 6T McLaren edition is the same as the regular variant, save for the RAM under the hood. At least, that’s what OnePlus advertised. It was also easy to figure out that even the benchmark apps couldn’t put so much RAM into use. However, investigating deeper into the scores, we figured the RAM module on the McLaren edition, despite having a larger memory, is slower than that on the OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple.
On AnTuTu, the RAM score of the OnePlus 6T McLaren came up to 3381 while the 8GB OnePlus 6T scored 3390, a difference of just 9 points. That’s just an arbitrary number you can say, but that difference in score was corroborated by Geekbench’s findings.
In the single-core tests, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition had a memory latency higher than the 8GB OnePlus 6T. Anyone remotely familiar with how computers work will know a higher latency is never a good thing. Furthermore, the memory bandwidth on the OnePlus 6T McLaren edition is lower than the 8GB variant. All this, despite having a larger amount of available memory. The difference was the same in the multi-core tests as well, and we presume, that’s the reason behind slightly lower scores on synthetic benchmarks.
Let’s simplify the concept of RAM for you guys. To begin with, the software available for the device needs to be able to exploit it, which in the case of Android smartphones isn’t available. However, let us understand why the higher capacity and slower speed of the RAM isn’t a good thing. Think of RAM as the size of a room and the speed of the RAM as the number of doors in that room. RAM as the name suggests is Random Access Memory which means data comes in and out of RAM as and when you use the phone. Keeping our room and door analogy in mind, a large room with more doors (the 8GB RAM variant of the phone) will always be more efficient than a larger room with fewer doors. Remember, data needs to go in and out of this room as fast as possible and even though the size of the room is important (8GB or 10GB RAM), so is the speed at which it can enter and exit the room.
Winner: 8GB OnePlus 6T Thunder Purple
Test 2: Batch edit JPEG files
Synthetic benchmarks, as the name suggests, are artificially induced scenarios that run the same instruction set on every device to offer a standardized measurement. While it helps in comparing two similar devices, real-world usage isn’t always taken into account. That’s why we devised a performance test of batch editing JPEG files. It’s a good measurement of RAM performance as more available memory is always good for such tasks.
We divided the test into four parts — One batch with 40 images, another with 80, then with 120 images and finally, with 150 images. For every batch, we applied a preset Cross-Process filter to the images and batch processed them, and recorded the time it took for both the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition and the 8GB variant to complete each set.
Here are the results:
In this case, it’s clear that the 10GB RAM on the OnePlus 6T McLaren has some impact on the processing. The higher memory allows the phone to store more data in real-time for the processor, and as a result, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition completed each test round, around 3 seconds faster than the 8GB variant.
Winner: OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition