The notch-bearer with a beefy set of specifications is the next addition to the long list of flagship killer phones by OnePlus. Yes, we’re talking about the successor to the much acclaimed OnePlus 5T – the OnePlus 6. With the lower (6GB) variant priced at Rs. 34,999, it’s a good choice for buyers wishing to save a few thousand compared to what they’d pay for higher-end phones like Galaxy S9 or the iPhone X.
You might want to note that this new installment by OnePlus isn’t perfect, and you do lose out on a few noteworthy features if you decide to settle for the company’s latest bargain. All that aside, the OnePlus 6, based on Snapdragon’s latest premium chipset, is indeed the fastest among all the other competing devices – even in a slightly higher price range.
Should you / shouldn’t you buy?
The Samsung-built 6.28’’ AMOLED panel in the OnePlus 6 is absolutely unrivaled in this price bracket. With a better resolution than its predecessors and a peak full-screen brightness of 574 nits, this phone is equally sharp and vibrant. The glass back, instead of an aluminum one – which was in the 5T version – does raise a few durability concerns, but the company claims that this will account for improved connectivity and data throughput.
It does reach a 60 percent charge within a matter of 35 minutes, but the catch here is that the rate of charging slows down on reaching a higher battery percentage mark. However, it does charge faster than any other smartphone. Only the LG V30 comes close, whereas the iPhone X can muster only about 45% in half-an-hour.
While it does include the top-of-the-line processor, it lacks some of the conveniences that many other flagships offer. For one, it lacks wireless charging – weird, considering the switch to a glass back – nor is there any actual IP-rated water resistance. OnePlus, although, claims that the device is splash-resistant, but we wouldn’t really recommend testing that out.
The cameras, on this device, are pretty decent for the price bracket, but they fall short when compared to, say, Google Pixel 2’s sharpness and image processing capabilities. So, if photography is your topmost priority, we’d recommend shelling out the extra bucks.
Upgraded processor, improved camera
Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, which is an upgrade over the previous installment’s processor, OnePlus 6 has stayed true to its tagline “The speed you need” – although, considering the phone is powered by the fastest mobile processor yet (as of 2018), you could probably tag it with “All the speed you’d want”. The base model is packed with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which can be stepped up to 8GB of RAM and 128/256GB of storage (the 5/5T topped out at 8/128GB).
The OnePlus 6 features a Sony IMX519 16MP lens – which, again, is an upgrade over OnePlus 5T’s IMX371 – with a f/1.7 aperture, OIS, and EIS. The secondary lens is the same, so your selfies won’t be much different. Although the phone is a fair bit more expensive than OnePlus’ initial installments, it’s still a ton cheaper compared to similar spec-ed rivals like iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, and Huawei P20.
A different (and Improved?) design and screen
And now, we get to its more controversial feature – the notch. Its screen extends upwards, to the sides where you’d usually find the top bezel of the phone, to accommodate the notch. Also featured in the Huawei P20, the notch isn’t really bothersome in daily usage. It can even be blocked using software options – something that works well on the AMOLED displays. The AMOLED display of the OnePlus 6 spans to 6.28” diagonally. At 75.4mm wide, the OnePlus 6 is ~1-2mm wider than a few of its competitors. However, the thin rounded sides do help in terms of ergonomics, making it convenient to use – however, the predecessor OnePlus 5T would still be voted a lot smoother. Using it one-handed might feel uncomfortable to some, seeing our hands aren’t getting bigger to match the trend of phone sizes.
The OnePlus 6’s frame is made of Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with metal border. According to the makers, the phone’s production involves more than 40 steps! There are three different finishes available, with each being fairly different from the others.
The Mirror Black is the most obvious choice – being the cheapest of the three variants – but it’s heavily polished, thereby giving it a quintessential glassy look and feel.
If you’re a fan of the original OnePlus look and feel, and long for the “matte black everything” feel of the earlier OnePlus devices, the Midnight Black variant is for you – it doesn’t feel glassy, but the glass does catch the light and looks impressive in almost any lighting condition.
Lastly is the Silk White which has a combination of pink and white tones – thanks to the crushed pearl along with a soft powder finish touch.
Display, software, and battery life
Featuring a slightly larger screen, the OnePlus 6 also offers a higher resolution at 2280×1080. However, even with the higher resolution, the FHD+ screen resolution keeps the performance snappy and the battery life long.
Being an AMOLED panel, the rendered black is dark, and inky colors are vibrant and rich. You also get to choose from a number of screen calibrations – default, sRGB, DCI-P3, and Adaptive. Both the sRGB and DCI-P3 deliver pretty neat gamut coverage, thereby making the display easier on the eyes. The peak brightness, however, is a letdown. Reaching only 415cd/m2, the screen might glare more than your liking on super-sunny days.
The phone runs the latest version of the Andoird OS – Android 8.1 Oreo – and that OxygenOS isn’t particularly heavily loaded with tweaks either. It does alter some aspects of the way the OS functions, but doesn’t come with many unnecessary pre-installed bloatware applications.
The battery life easily lasts a day and a half on regular usage (sometimes two). Although OnePlus hasn’t increased the battery capacity (3,300 mAh, still), nor improved the Dash Charge (since the OnePlus 3) – it still has a better stamina due to the efficiency of the new chipset. The bottom facing speakers are still as loud as the earlier OnePlus phones, and are enhanced by Dirac HD sound.
If you’re looking for an upgrade from a OnePlus 5T, the benefits do not justify the costs. For buyers of Oppo, Vivo, or Redmi (and brands in a similar price range) – spending this much doesn’t make sense. However, if you’re looking for high-end specs with a reliability rarely surpassed by the cheaper brands, this is the phone to go for.