I have been an admirer of OnePlus as a brand for the sheer tenacity with which it goes after the next flagship problem. Except for a OnePlus X blimp on its chart, this startup has done just one thing: offer its best flagship device for coming few months or year. This means it has been refining what it means to make a flagship smartphone and that clarity of though also shows up in its devices.
I have been lucky enough to have reviewed all OnePlus devices till date. Not all the OnePlus devices have been great in my books, but I have never had to doubt the intention of what any of those devices have set out to achieve. Step back and think about it, there is no other company in the smartphone space that pretty much does just one thing a year. It is almost like the Aamir Khan of smartphone companies.
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So when you open the box of the OnePlus 6, the latest flagship which will replace the OnePlus 5t, you know it won’t have features that will knock your socks off. But it will surely have all those features that you would expect in a flagship. And this is something OnePlus has done consistently since the OnePlus One.
OnePlus 6 unboxing and first impressions (not review)
Take the OnePlus 6 out of its box and a few things hit you: bright display with notch on top, glossy glass back and a curved edged that is easier to hold. The box — if you are into that sort of thing — is the same as before with the 5 being replaced by a 6.
Yes, the 6.2-inch AMOLED display is sharp and bright. But you will notice that it also has a notch on top as is the fashion with flagships these days. But then the notch is also more real estate all through. You know this phone is giving you more, though it is the exact same size as its predecessor. While the bezel is the same as before, the chin is thinner and hence the screen is moreish in more ways than one.
The next big change is the notification slider which has moved from left to right just above the power button. On the left, above the volume button, now rests the SIM slot. The body of the phone is now smoother, and that’s not just because of the glass. The glass of the ‘Mirror Black’ blends in better into the sides and there is a more accentuated curve. The glass on the back in shiny enough for you to see your face in. Which also means you will keep wiping it. I prefer the matte Midnight Black over this one.
Then OnePlus 6 does an iPhone X by going for a vertical dual camera rig. It is definitely more symmetric than before. The fingerprint scanner is just below, right under the flash. OnePlus has retained the headphone jack and opted not to push a second set of speakers anywhere else. That, of course, would have meant moving a lot of modules around.
OnePlus 6 runs Oxygen OS powered by Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box itself. Oxygen OS is pushing some very interesting new features and tweaks this time, still trying its best not to overpower the pure Android theme. However, we will do a deep dive into these later in our full review. The dual camera system is 16MP+20MP with an f/1.7 aperture in the primary camera. The front camera is also 16MP. Also, the camera offers top video capabilities like 4K at 60 frames per second.
There is of course a lot more to this phone. Over the next couple of week we will do a deep dive on various aspects of this new ‘flagship killer’. In fact, it would be wrong to call this a flagship killer, for now it is a flagship in every sense of the term.
How good the phone is will depend on the price. This is certainly going to be a bit more expensive than the OnePlus 5t as cost of material has gone up and OnePlus is not really in the discount game. With a price of around Rs 35,000, this phone should clearly be able to give a run for the money to other Android flagships which will struggle offer this price. However, there is competition from brands like Honor which seems to be playing the same game as One Plus by offering a good mid-range flagship.