OnePlus has been a very peculiar brand since it was launched a few years back. It has for most of this time been a one-device-at-a-time brand, focussing on its flagship for the year. So since the time of the OnePlus One, this startup has been fine tuning its flagship concept based on two things – user experience and value for money. It hopes to do the same with its latest flagship, the OnePlus 6.
OnePlus 6 specifications: 6.2-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display | Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor | 6GB/8GB RAM+64GB/128GB/256GB storage | 16MP+20MP (with OIS and EIS) and 16MP front camera | OxygenOS with Android 8.1 | 3300mAh battery |
OnePlus 6 price in India: Rs 34,999 onward
OnePlus 6 review
The OnePlus 6 has a design that is different from its predecessor, the OnePlus 5T, in three aspects: it shuns the metal body in favour of glass, and the dual camera set up is now vertical, and most importantly the display up front has the notch. The softer edges created by the glass blending into the thin metal frame, make the OnePlus 6 a phone that is very easy on the hand.
It does not feel like something that will slip off your hand, but still, with the glass back, I suggest you keep it protected with a good cover. The vertical dual camera module is prominent and reminds one of the Apple iPhone X. The fingerprint scanner is just under it. The notification slider has been moved from left to right, just above the power button, and the SIM slot moved to the left above the volume button.
Now, let’s come to the notch. I still don’t know why this is such a big talking point. And with the OnePlus 6, the largish 6.2-inch AMOLED display has been squeezed into the same chassis as the earlier phones. So there is more real estate that is sharper and brighter. Yes, there is the notch, which you fail to notice after a point, you just get used to it. Still, OnePlus is offering an option to completely hide the notch if you are willing to sacrifice a few millimeters of display.
OnePlus has been pushing speed as the highlight of its new flagship. And this is no surprise. OnePlus 6, by the company’s own admission, is not that phone that has one killer feature. It is a phone that has ground the edges of everything it has done so far to offer what it calls a “burdenless” experience to the user.
So the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor is whirring away in the background as you switch apps, run them together, shoot 4K at 60FPS or just decide to play a game that takes you longer to download than reach its finish line. Interestingly, in the one week I have used the phone, it has not heated up once, not even during benchmark tests which is a rarity. The benchmark tests, put the OnePlus 6 at the top, “above 99 per cent” of the devices out there in the market.
The dual camera is now much better. It is a 16MP+20MP combo where the latter is more the default. The camera is good in low light with the f/1.7 aperture. The subtleties of the night are captured well in the images. The portrait mode is good too, but very similar to what others are offering.
The colour reproduction is very natural and the photos don’t feel over processed. But where this camera takes the cake is with 4K videos, which it shoots at 60FPS. And it is not just about the clarity, it is also about how the camera shifts focus swiftly to keep its eye on the subject. The slowmotion is good too, but limited to Full HD. The software in the Pro Mode is one of the easiest I have used.
Talking of software, it is hard to ignore what OnePlus has done with the pure Android experience. The OnePlus 6 runs Oxygen OS 5.1.3, which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo. While most of the phone sticks to the pure experience, OnePlus has intervened where it thought things could be improved.
For instance, in the settings tray, while a tap will On/Off a feature, a long press opens up that specific setting. While using the Alert slider you can now see on the screen which mode you are in, and don’t have to decipher icons like before. You can make the navigation bar vanish and use gestures instead like on the iPhone X. Being an iPhone X user, I prefer this now.
While there is a glass back, OnePlus 6 does not support wireless charging. The company thinks Dash charge is still the best for its devices and is pushing the same tech with its latest flagship too. Since this has been there for a while now, I was expecting a small adapter than the one the company is packing in now.
OnePlus 6 verdict: Should you buy?
The OnePlus 6 is what I would call a no nonsense device. It does everything well and has not wasted time figuring out gimmicks. Frankly, I could not find any major flaws in the device. However, I am not sure glass is such a good idea, even with whatever Corning can offer. I have seen too many cracked phone screens to think this is the best material for a smartphone.
If you are on the the hunt for a Android flagship, the OnePlus 6 should certainly be on your radar. Given that it is still half the price of a Samsung or Apple flagship, the value for money proposition on offer is hard to brush under the carpet.
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