OnePlus is a brand that is really-really smart. They learn from others mistakes and pick up things that are popular today and are trending. Probably the reason why their smartphones do not carry a hefty price tag with them when compared to the Samsung’s and Pixels of the world. In simple words, the other companies do all the R & D and bring out new features and OnePlus just picks the popular ones and incorporate them in their smartphones with the latest hardware.
Now that is not a bad thing at all, we say it is the smart way and a win-win combo. The users get a brilliant phone, not a burning a hole in their pocket when it comes to price and OnePlus sells more phones than before with the least amount of expenditure. So what is this new smartphone all about? We spent some time with the new OnePlus 6 and this our review of the latest blockbuster.
Design and Blueprint
The OnePlus 6 is of the same size as OnePlus 5T, but has lot of new things going for it. To start with, the display on the OnePlus 6 is a 6.28-inch AMOLED touchscreen with 19:9 aspect ratio. This by far is the biggest that OnePlus has to offer featuring 84 percent screen-to-body ratio. We reviewed the Mirror Black version of the OnePlus 6 that has Gorilla Glass 5 on both front and the rear. The backside also has a thin layer of film under it to give the user a depth effect.
The front now also sports a notch, just like the one found on the iPhone X. However, is much smaller in width. This houses the ear speaker, proximity sensors and the front facing camera all cramped up just to give you that extra screen space on either side. The downer? Because of this you do not get to see all notifications icons on the sides. Yes, you can turn them off, but people like us tend to keep a lot of them on and this screen would just not show all of them. In the settings the users can also hide the notch display but we did not particularly like it since we lose out on display area.
As for the sides of the OnePlus 6, it has a metal strip running around it that is not the smoothest as found on the Samsung galaxy S9+ but does get the job done. On the metal trim, users will find the power and profile button on the right side, the dual SIM tray and the volume rocker key on the left, and a USB C port, single speaker grille and a 3.5mm audio jack at the bottom. Spin the smartphone around and you will find the dual rear camera setup with an LED flash underneath and a finger print sensor with the OnePlus logo.
Despite of its big size the OnePlus 6 is quite nice to hold and easy to access, even with one hand. We rarely found ourselves using two hands to manage it. The weight is just right and never did we once feel that this phone will slip out of ours hands. The only thing we didn’t like is that this shiny phone is a fingerprint magnet. So, one has to keep a microfiber cloth handy to clean it regularly.
Performance, Camera and Features
OnePlus 6 is one of the fastest smartphones available right now in the world. It runs the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset with Octa-core 2.8 GHz CPU, 8GB of RAM and the 128GB storage. Together they give this device the much needed kick and in many cases makes this smartphone faster than the Galaxies and Pixels. This is the reason we love OnePlus so much; they accord together the best hardware at mid-level pricing that makes the smartphone a drool worthy buy.
The OnePlus 6 has one of the brightest displays available right now, next to the Samsung Galaxy S9+. We enjoyed it thoroughly and playing games and videos on it was a pleasurable experience. It ran the most power and graphic hungry games like PubG at blitzkrieg pace with incredible detailing. The blacks on the OnePlus 6 are deep and colours are vibrant thanks to the latest Adreno 630 graphics processor on it. We ran the usual tests on the OnePlus 6 and the scores blew of the charts. It scored 244,436 points on AnTuTu benchmark and 8,983 points on Geekbench 4 multi-core CPU test and 13,633 on its compute tests. Putting it in the top 10 on the leader board.
A place where OnePlus 6 is not so great is the sound department. The single speaker is loud, but that is just about it. Somehow we prefer the OnePlus 5T’s speaker over the OnePlus 6’s. However, the inclusion of a 3.5mm jack makes up for it, since we can connect the wired headphone to it to enjoy movies, music and games. The OnePlus 6 is powered by a 3,300 mAh battery with fast charge support. We absolutely love it since it charges the phone in a jiffy and you can get a whole day’s worth of usage in a matter of minutes. The OnePlus 6 did last us for more than a day when fully charged. This included YouTube video browsing, voice calls on 4G network and a game or two here and there.
Jumping to its camera functionality, the image detailing from the rear cameras (20MP + 16MP) is quite good, you get crisp images during the day and in low light (both OIS and EIS is available here). But, when zoomed to 2X a bit of noise is visible. Videos can be shot in 4K at 60 FPS and is great outdoors, but indoors it suffers at times as they are not the sharpest.
Lot of shooting modes including portrait and our favourite the slo-mo mode is available that shoots HD videos at up to 480 frames per second. The front camera is powered by a 16MP Sony IMX 371 sensor with EIS and f/2.0 aperture. The images here were also nice indoors and outdoors, with good sharpness when clicking a selfie.
OnePlus 6 runs Android 8.1 out of the box and as soon as we unboxed it, connected it to the Wi-Fi, we were greeted with an update. That is how fast OnePlus plans to roll out security patches and updates. The Android OS has OnePlus’s OxygenOS skin on top of it. One does get the app drawer on this smartphone with some bloatware, which can be removed as one pleases. The interface is slick and good for one hand operations. Yes, some apps did get stuck once in a while, but we are sure these are teething problem and will be resolved in the next update.
Users have the option to remove the bottom touch screen buttons, which enables the users to get the full screen experience. So how does one go back or to the home screen? With screen gestures. Users can swipe from the bottom middle part to go back to the home screen or from bottom right/left to go back to the previous screen. These are similar to the ones found on the Apple iPhone X, but are not as smooth. To unlock the smartphone, the face-unlock as well as the fingerprint sensor work quite swiftly. Not once did these features trouble us.
Verdict and Final Thoughts
OnePlus 6 (8GB + 128GB) is priced at Rs 39,999 in India and is twenty to thirty thousand Rupees cheaper than the latest Samsung Galaxy S9 and Apple iPhone 8. It gives top end features at a lower price. Yes, the manufacturer does cut a few corners in the form of no IP67 or IP68 rating even though the company claims this smartphone is splash proof, no wireless charging capability and inclusion of just a single speaker. However, these are just a few cons in an ocean of pros. Overall, the OnePlus 6 does seem to be a worthy buy with the kind of performance it gives at this price point.
No wireless charging