OnePlus has vowed to never settle and in this endeavor they have been consistently pushing the envelope on design and specs that challenge flagships at a price that makes the market go crazy about them. The brand also has built a loyal following that rivals Apple and Xiaomi. They have their newest device out in the market – The OnePlus 6. I have used the OnePlus 6 for a while now and here is our review of this phone that has come to be the most expected smartphone of this year.
OnePlus 6 Design and Crafting: Best OnePlus device till date
Straight out of the bat, let me categorically tell you that this is the best designed OnePlus phone that I have seen and that is saying quite something given the long line of really well-built and designed OnePlus device up until now. OnePlus has till now been using metal to make very telling design statements in their devices. With the OnePlus 6, they have moved to an all-glass design where Corning Gorilla Glass 5 is the hero and the device looks exquisite. The metal rims that hold the glass front and back together is also polished to give it a glass-like finish. The phone feel amazing to hold and definitely makes heads turn when you pull it out of your pocket. The uninitiated may tell you that the rear end looks like the Samsung Galaxy S9 series and the front looks like the iPhone X, but given the very small leeway that brands have when it comes to design and form factor I would much rather say that it looks like the top end flagships of 2018 and I don’t see it as a problem at all.
Coming to what has changed in the OnePlus 6 when you compare it with the OnePlus 5T, everything is glass like I said above. The iconic Alert Slider that has now come to define the OnePlus experience has now moved to the right side of the phone from the left and sits right above the power button. The Volume rocker and the SIM tray sit on the left side. The SIM tray supports two Nano SIM cards as is the norm with OnePlus phones.The top of the front has a notch in the middle that houses the earpiece, the notification light and the front camera. The notch sits right in the middle of the top and is not as big as other phones that have it. Having said that, you have the ability to turn of the notch in the settings which blackens the entire top row so that you do not see the notch. While this is good of the notch is distracting, it really takes away the added screen real estate. Over time, I have come to appreciate the notch design and it does not bother me anymore.
The other major difference is in the placement of the dual camera setup in the rear, the OnePlus 5T has horizontally aligned cameras on the back and now the OnePlus 6 comes with vertically aligned dual cameras that are right in the middle of the back side. then there is the flash LED right below it followed by an eliptical fingerprint scanner that has now replaced the circular one that the previous version had. The slightly elongated fingerprint scanner actually reminds you of the front mounted fingerprint scanner that the OnePlus 5 had. The bottom side houses the 3.5 mm headphone jack, the USB type C socket and the single speaker grill.
OnePlus’ meticulous attention to detail is reflected in each of the OnePlus 6’s color variants: Mirror Black, Midnight Black and a limited-edition Silk White. For the Mirror Black and Midnight Black variants, OnePlus embedded a thin layer of film underneath the glass to create a sense of depth as light and shadow move on the device. A jagged texture was etched onto the film of the Midnight Black to produce a subtle S-shaped line when the phone is reflected in light. The limited-edition Silk White uses pearl powder to create a subtle shimmering effect.
We were sent the Mirror Black version of the OnePlus 6 with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB internal storage. The fact that it is called Mirror Black means that it has a reflective back side and I would recommend that you use one of the many well designed back covers that OnePlus has released with the phone. There is a soft silicone case available out of the box with the OnePlus 6. While this may not be the first phone that is made of glass or has a display notch, OnePlus has shown the design mettle and crafting detail that they have now come to be well-known for and in the overall build, crafting and feel department, the OnePlus 6 looks exquisite and is definitely a cut above the rest.
OnePlus 6 Display: More Bang at the same aspect ratio
With a 6.28-inch Full Optic AMOLED 19:9 display – OnePlus’ largest-ever screen – the OnePlus 6 offers an immersive viewing experience, while keeping a similar form factor to that of the OnePlus 5T. Due to the presence of the notch and its edges, the OnePlus 6 screen now measures 6.28 inches which is marginally higher than the 6.01 inches on the OnePlus 5T. Like I said earlier, there is a display setting that lets you mask the notch, and I did not experience any sort of trouble with trouble with any full-screen apps or even video players. The screen resolution is 1080×2280, which is well below the Quad HD resolution that is prevalent today but that change is hardly perceptible to the human eye, and it’s extremely unlikely that you will feel like you’re losing out on anything in real life though. So absolutely no issues there at all. The screen is pretty vivid and the viewing angles are quite good. The ability to switch screen calibration from RGB, sRGB to DCI-P3 through the settings is pretty nifty to have. The auto-brightness setting was a tad bit on the aggressive side and personally, I preferred to not have it on. Sunlight legibility is not an issue at all and the display stands you in very good stead even under heavy usage. One of the best displays in the market now on and Android phone I would say.
OnePlus 6 Software: Oxygen to your mobile life
The OnePlus 6 ships with the now widely popular Oxygen OS which is one of my favorite Android skins till date. The whole idea of Oxygen OS is the fact that it is there but stays out of your way. Oxygen OS in my opinion is only flavor of Android that does not heavily obfuscate the stock experience. There are many people who believe that OnePlus ships with stock Android and that is the biggest complement to Oxygen OS. While it is light, there are subtle customizations that OnePlus users now love. Some of the good ones are
- There is full gesture support for navigation and it works pretty well, after moving to this, I am now unable to imagine going back to the navigation bar.
- It has one of the fastest implementations of face unlock in the Android world
- Apart from navigation, there are gestures like flip to silence and three finger screenshot that are pretty practical and thoughtful
- Oxygen Os supports a lot of third party icon packs that you can use right out of the play store
- The zero screen which is called the shelf gives you easy access to things that you do most often on your phone
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Oxygen OS is one of the biggest reasons why the OnePlus 6 is as fast as it is
OnePlus 6 Camera: Practical Workhorse
The OnePlus 6’s dual camera system features a 16MP main camera, supported by a 20MP secondary camera. With an f/1.7 aperture, the 16MP main camera has been bolstered by a 19 percent larger sensor and OIS for outstanding performance in a range of lighting conditions. With Advanced HDR, OnePlus’ improved High Dynamic Range algorithm, the OnePlus 6 brings out shadows and enhances lighting in photos. Portrait Mode will be available on the OnePlus 6’s front camera as well as its rear. Using AI, the front camera is able to apply a depth of field effect to selfies. This feature is coming soon in an OTA update. Newly added bokeh effects, including circles, hearts and stars offer new ways for users to customize their portraits. The OnePlus 6 marks the introduction of OnePlus’ Slow-Motion mode, which can capture high-definition video frame-by-frame with astonishing detail, ensuring users never miss the action.
The enhanced bokeh mode in the rear cameras is very visible and the edges of the subject are very clearly demarcated in pictures and the blurring of the background looks very thoroughly professional. With the increase in the pixel size, OnePlus has managed to make the low light pictures look a lot better. The photos are good and the colors are rendered very crisply. Pictures taken with the HDR mode are very vivid and I now have the mode on for all my pictures. The algorithm sometimes does over correct colors but overall the results are very nifty and good. Here are a few sample picture taken with the OnePlus 6, please note that the images have been resized for the web.
OnePlus 6 Performance: The Speed You Need Indeed
Addressing a common pain point among smartphone users, OnePlus has worked on ensuring its phones remain as fast and smooth as the day they came out of the box. OnePlus achieves this goal through a combination of powerful hardware and intelligent software which work seamlessly together. The OnePlus 6 is powered by one of the most powerful processors on the market, the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845, which improves performance by 30%, while being 10% more power efficient. Coupled with the Adreno 630, which is 30% faster than the previous generation, the OnePlus 6 is a powerhouse for everything from streaming HD video to playing graphically intense games.
With up to 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, the OnePlus 6 effortlessly switches between multiple apps running at the same time without a single second of lag, allowing users to multitask with ease. The OnePlus 6’s dual-lane storage, based on UFS 2.1, ensures faster app loading and read/write speeds. There are three storage variants 64 GB that is the default and you have the higher end 128 GB and 256 GB options available for the OnePlus 6.
I put the OnePlus 6 through what people would easily call the smartphone hell, I had 35 apps running in parallel and there were heavy games among them too. There was a democratically large amount of video streaming and music streaming also, All this was done day in and day out. The phone literally gobbled up everything without even a hint of stutter or lag. But then, this is what we expect from OnePlus. This time, with the OnePlus 6, they have taken fast to an altogether new level. This phone is arguably the best performing Android phone that I have seen till date. Faster than your fastest expectation
OnePlus 6 Battery And Call Quality: Topping the charts again
The phone comes with a 3300 maH battery and it supports the super fast dash charging that OnePlus is now famous for. I was able to get a clear day and a half on above average usage with a good mix of WiFi and 4G for streaming and gaming. Dash charge is definitely a plus. A day’s power in half an hour stands you in good stead when you need juice on the go. While OnePlus has missed a trick by not supporting wireless charging as the body is glass, I understand that no wireless charging can match the speed of Dash charge. The call quality was crystal clear and there were no issues. The 3.5 mm headset socket delivers good quality output when connected to earphones. VoLTE support is smooth and seamless. Like all OnePlus phones, this is a truly global phone that you can carry wherever you travel as it has support for all the bands across the world. The phone runs cold most of the time and there was absolutely no heating that was seen in my usage so far.
Price and Availability
The OnePlus 6 will be available in an early access sale on Amazon.in, oneplus.in and OnePlus experience store in Bangalore on 21 May, 2018 at 12:00 pm. The device will be available for open sales across all channels starting May 22nd, in 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage and 8 GB RAM and 128 GB options and retail at INR 34,999 and 39,999 respectively in Mirror Black and Midnight Black color options.
The OnePlus 6 x Marvel Avengers Limited Edition that will be available with 8 GB RAM and 256 GB storage will retail at INR 44,999 and will go live on sale starting May 29th. The limited-edition Silk White with 128 GB of storage will be available for purchase on June 5th at INR 39,999.
Verdict: OnePlus 6 is the best Android experience you can buy
Given the top end specifications, features, camera and optimizations that the OnePlus 6 brings to the table with premium glass build and multiple color variants – this phone is a must buy and gives you the best Android experience of the year. Glass, Class and a whole load of speed.