OnePlus 6

Price: £469 inc VAT from fave.co/2x12Z4Z

Android Advisor - - Contents -

IDe­sign

t’s four years since OnePlus re­leased its first phone, and the firm is al­ready on its eighth hand­set. The OnePlus 6 ar­rives a point where notches are all the rage and while it might not have ev­ery fea­ture a phone can have, it’s still an amaz­ing deal. If you’re fa­mil­iar with the OnePlus 6’s pre­de­ces­sor, the 5T, then this isn’t a huge de­par­ture in terms of de­sign and build. It’s largely that phone with a col­lec­tion of tweaks and im­prove­ments.

The head­line news is that the phone is made from Go­rilla Glass 5, but has a metal bor­der with glass on the front and back. Three dif­fer­ent fin­ishes are avail­able: Mid­night Black, which has the clas­sic OnePlus look; Mir­ror Black is heav­ily pol­ished and has that quin­tes­sen­tial glass look and feel; while Silk White, has both white and pink tones thanks to crushed pearl along with a soft pow­der fin­ish to the touch sim­i­lar to the orig­i­nal OnePlus.

De­spite ru­mours of wire­less charg­ing – which re­quires glass to work – this is not a fea­ture of the OnePlus 6. The glass is there for a pre­mium look and feel only, and there’s a sil­i­cone case in the box to help pro­tect it.

The phone cer­tainly looks and feels like a pre­mium de­vice (and the an­ten­nas are more hid­den now), but there are down­sides. The de­vice is, for ex­am­ple, more slip­pery in the hand and, par­tic­u­larly with the Mir­ror Black model, the glass shows up fin­ger­prints.

We were hop­ing that this would be the first wa­ter­proof OnePlus phone, but un­for­tu­nately this isn’t the case. It does of­fer im­proved wa­ter re­sis­tance, so no IP rat­ing, but it will cope bet­ter in the rain or an ac­ci­den­tal drop into a pud­dle.

Some smaller things to note be­fore we move on in­clude the fact there’s still a head­phone jack and that the cam­era ar­ray, which still sticks out, has moved to the mid­dle of the phone above the fin­ger­print scan­ner – which is a slightly dif­fer­ent shape.

Fi­nally, the Alert Slider has moved to the right side of the phone above the power but­ton, so you can use it with your thumb – sorry left han­ders.

The OnePlus 6 is the same size as the 5T (156.1x75mm), but slightly thicker and heav­ier – 7.75mm and 177g aren’t bad, though.

Dis­play

De­spite hav­ing the same foot­print as the 5T, the OnePlus 6 of­fers a larger screen thanks to much smaller bezels – it’s now 6.28in rather than 6.01in. The phone uses with the same Op­tic AMOLED tech­nol­ogy, so the main dif­fer­ence is the notch at the top.

The res­o­lu­tion is slightly higher at 2,280x1,080 due to that ex­tra bit of screen and the new 19:9 as­pect ra­tio. That might be lower than the Quad HD res­o­lu­tions on more ex­pen­sive phones, but for most peo­ple this is plenty good enough.

Opin­ions on phones with notches are split, but we’ve found that you do get used to it and OnePlus

gives you the op­tion to hide it if you pre­fer. This makes the back­ground black, while still dis­play­ing icons that are dimmed, so it pro­vides a dif­fer­ent style.

The main goal here is to of­fer as much screen as pos­si­ble and an 84 per­cent screen-to-body ra­tio is a de­cent ef­fort. It just means that such a large screen can be tricky to use one-handed see­ing as our hands aren’t get­ting big­ger to match the trend.

Luck­ily, you can do things like pull the no­ti­fi­ca­tion pane down by swip­ing down in the mid­dle of the dis­play rather than hav­ing to reach right to the top.

Pro­ces­sor, mem­ory and stor­age

The OnePlus 6 comes with the lat­est Qual­comm Snap­dragon 845 flag­ship pro­ces­sor. The firm is known for pack­ing in a se­ri­ous amount of mem­ory and this

hand­set is no dif­fer­ent as you get ei­ther 6- or 8GB. There’s no mi­croSD card slot, but you get at least 64GB of stor­age as stan­dard. There are also mod­els of­fer­ing 128- or 256GB.

OnePlus’s tag line for the phone “The Speed You Need”, and there’s no deny­ing how fast it is. It’s no­tice­ably quicker in op­er­a­tion than many other phones and bench­mark re­sults are up there with (in some cases bet­ter) phones a lot more ex­pen­sive.

Con­nec­tiv­ity, au­dio and bio­met­rics

The OnePlus 6 comes with dual-band 11ac Wi-Fi, Blue­tooth 5.0 with aptX HD, GPS and NFC. It’s still a dual-SIM phone and the only change is that it’s now 4G Cat 16, which means it’s the first OnePlus

to get Gi­ga­bit speeds – you won’t see that in real life, though. Once again there’s a USB-C port, a head­phone jack and a sin­gle down-fac­ing speaker.

The rear-mounted fin­ger­print scan­ner has a slightly dif­fer­ent shape to that found on the 5T, but it’s ba­si­cally the same and works quickly. Most of the time, though, you’ll prob­a­bly end up us­ing Face Un­lock, which is ex­tremely quick, and even works well in low light.

Cam­eras

The cam­eras might have moved po­si­tion on the back of the phone, but they’re not hugely dif­fer­ent to the ones on the 5T. The OnePlus 6 still has dual cam­eras, one at 16Mp and the other at 20Mp. They are both Sony sen­sors and have an im­pres­sive aper­ture of f/1.7. The big­gest ad­di­tion this year is that the main 16Mp sen­sor now has op­ti­cal im­age sta­bi­liza­tion (OIS) and the sen­sor is slightly larger to take in more light.

There’s a tele­photo op­tion in the cam­era app for 2x zoom, though this doesn’t switch to the higher res­o­lu­tion sen­sor, it just crops the im­age. In­stead, the 20Mp lens is mainly used for the depth ef­fect of por­trait mode. You can take pho­tos in 4:3, 1:1 or even 19:9 to fill the screen, but it’s worth not­ing that as­pect ra­tio will look odd else­where.

The front cam­era is still 16Mp with an f/2.0 aper­ture and is able to record video at up to 1080p at 30fps.

We like how sim­ple and easy the app is to use, in­clud­ing chang­ing modes and set­tings.

As you can see in our sam­ples op­po­site, the OnePlus 6 per­forms very well. The cam­era of­fers

ex­cel­lent de­tail, colour, ex­po­sure and white bal­ance – in a range of con­di­tions, even low light. It’s not the best phone cam­era but at the price, you’re get­ting much bet­ter qual­ity than you would nor­mally ex­pect.

In terms of video, you can shoot at up to 4K at 60fps and re­sults are im­pres­sive with the OIS do­ing a de­cent job of smooth­ing things out. We would rec­om­mend shoot­ing in

1080p at 60fps for the best com­bi­na­tion of qual­ity and file size, though.

Slow mo­tion is all the rage right now and although the OnePlus 6 of­fers 720p at 480fps or 1080p at 240fps, which is half the frame rate of ri­vals such as the Sam­sung Gal­axy S9 and Sony Xpe­ria XZ2, you can shoot for up to a minute in one go mak­ing it eas­ier to cap­ture the mo­ment you’re af­ter.

Bat­tery life

Like the 5T, the OnePlus 6 has a 3,300mAh bat­tery. We’ve been fans of Dash Charge since it was first in­tro­duced and it makes an ap­pear­ance here. In our tests, it en­abled our test unit to reach whop­ping 55 per­cent from a 30-minute charge from a dead phone. That’s se­ri­ously im­pres­sive and for some users that could be a whole day of us­age as promised, if you’re not a heavy user that is.

Soft­ware

The phone comes with the firm’s own Oxy­genOS, which is a stock ver­sion of An­droid 8.1 Oreo. OnePlus hasn’t messed around with the in­ter­face and im­por­tantly you don’t get loads of bloat­ware. It does, how­ever, come with lots of lit­tle tweaks and ad­di­tions that have been around for a while, namely the Shelf which is a swipe away from the home screen. This pro­vides quick ac­cess to re­cent contacts and apps, as well as pro­vid­ing use­ful in­for­ma­tion such as data us­age and avail­able stor­age.

Cus­tomiza­tion is good, so you can re­ally use the phone how you like. This means you can, for ex­am­ple,

hide the notch, or change the font. The OnePlus 6 also gives you the op­tion to hide or even switch off the nav­i­ga­tion bar at the bot­tom of the screen. The lat­ter means you’ll use ges­tures that are avail­able al­ready on the 5T via a soft­ware up­date. They’re sim­i­lar to those used on the iPhone X and the ones com­ing in An­droid P, so you swipe up from the bot­tom of the screen to go home, swipe and hold to open re­cent apps and swipe from the right side to go back.

Ver­dict

The OnePlus 6 might not have ev­ery­thing on the ul­ti­mate phone tick list, but that doesn’t re­ally mat­ter. There are more ex­pen­sive phones on the mar­ket with ad­di­tional fea­tures like water­proof­ing and wire­less charg­ing, but those are lux­ury items which a lot of peo­ple won’t ac­tu­ally use very of­ten. What OnePlus

has done is nailed all the most im­por­tant stuff and made a phone that of­fers ex­cel­lent de­sign, specs and per­for­mance at a frankly ridicu­lous price. So for most peo­ple, the 6 is an ab­so­lute bar­gain. Chris Martin

Spec­i­fi­ca­tions

• 6.28in Full HD+ (2,280x1,080, 402ppi) AMOLED dis­play • An­droid 8.1 Oreo with Oxy­genOS • Qual­comm Snap­dragon 845 octa-core pro­ces­sor • Adreno 630 graph­ics • 6/8GB RAM • 64/128/256GB stor­age • 16- and 20Mp rear cam­eras, f/1.7, sup­port for 4K

video at 60fps • 16Mp front cam­era, f/2.0 • 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi • Blue­tooth 5.0 • 4G LTE (Cat 16) • Dual nano-SIM • NFC • Head­phone jack • Fin­ger­print sen­sor (rear) • USB-C • 3,300mAh non-re­mov­able bat­tery with Dash Charge • 156.1x75x7.75mm • 177g

OnePlus gives you the op­tion to hide the dis­play’s notch

Land­scape shot

Low light shot

The OnePlus 6’s OS is a stock ver­sion of An­droid Oreo

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