The Complete OnePlus 6 Review – One Notch Up!

The OnePlus 6 is an exceptional phone at its price!

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OnePlus 6 Review

OnePlus has captured the imagination and loyalty of a lot of Indian smartphone users. Starting out with its unique partnership with Cyanogen, OnePlus has come a long way in India. Where Cyanogen was the main attraction in this first-of-its-kind partnership, it has long since been broken. But it hasn’t affected OnePlus who is still going strong in the low-cost premium smartphones segment.

OnePlus smartphones are some of the most eagerly anticipated smartphones in the market. Their premium build quality, latest hardware, a clean software experience and reasonable prices are some of the reasons the brand has amassed a cult-like following.

Their latest offering, the OnePlus 6, doesn’t disappoint on any of these fronts. It is a future-ready smartphone that has enough grunt to battle it out with the heavyweights of the market.

Exceptional Build Quality

OnePlus 6 - Exceptional Build Quality
OnePlus 6 – Exceptional Build Quality

The build quality has never been an issue on a OnePlus smartphone. All their smartphones are well put together and give a reassuring feel in the hand. Happily, the OnePlus 6 continues this tradition. Experimenting with textured materials with the first two iterations and metal with their next four ones, the latest offering is covered with glass on both sides.

This led many to believe that the OnePlus 6 would be featuring wireless charging on board. With its elongated form factor, the OnePlus 6 manages to fit a bigger 6.28-inch display in a body that is almost the same size as its predecessor. Of course, they had to make some concessions for this.

The glass sandwich sits around a metal frame which gives support to the whole structure. Where all the previous OnePlus flagships featured a matte finish, the OnePlus 6 sports a glossy finish, thanks to the glass back. While the glass could render it slippery for some smaller hands, it will sit comfortably in most hands.

Another problem the glass back brings with it is fingerprints. The glass back collects fingerprints like a magnet and the black colour makes them visible very prominently. The white version will be better in this regard as fingerprints and scratches do not show up easily on a white background. Those who still prefer black will have to use a case or keep a cleaning cloth handy and be prepared for a lot of scrubbing and polishing.

All in all, the OnePlus 6 is an extremely well-built phone that belies its pricing and is better looking than most of the smartphones available today.

OnePlus 6: Detailed Specifications

The specifications-list of the OnePlus 6 reads like that of a smartphone costing double than what it actually costs.

Dimensions 155.7 mm x 75.4 mm x 7.75 mm (H x W X D)
Weight 177 gm.
Network Compatibility FDD LTE Bands: 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/17/18/19/20/25/26/28/29/66

TDD-LTE Bands: 34/38/39/40/41

TD-SCDMA Bands: 34/39

UMTS (WCDMA) Bands: 1/2/4/5/8/9/19

GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; CDMA: BC0/BC1

SIM Dual SIM; Nano SIMs; Dual Standby
Memory/Storage 6 GB RAM + 64 GB Storage; 8 GB RAM + 128 GB Storage;

8 GB RAM + 256 GB Storage (Avengers: Infinity War Special Edition)

Expandable Storage No Support For Additional External Storage
Display 6.28-inch Full HD+ Optic AMOLED Display; 2880 x 1080 Pixels; 402 PPI; 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 5; 19:9 Aspect Ratio; 83.8% Screen-to-Body Ratio; Supports sRGB & DCI-P3
OS Version OxygenOS 5.1.3 based on Android 8.1.0 Oreo
Chipset Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845
CPU: Octa-core (4 x 2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold + 4 x 1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)GPU: Adreno 630
Battery 3300 mAh, Li-Po; Non-Removable Battery; Dash Charging
Camera Primary Camera:

Primary Sensor: Sony IMX 519; 16.0 Megapixel; f/1.7 Aperture; 1.22 µm Pixels; 27.22 mm.

Secondary Sensor: Sony IMX 376K; 20.0 Megapixel; f/1.7 Aperture; 1.0 µm Pixels; 27.22 mm.

Dual LED Flash; Portrait Mode; Pro Mode; Panorama; HDR; HQ; Dynamic Denoise; Clear Image; RAW Image; PDAF; Geo-Tagging; Touch Focus; Face Detection.

Video: 4K at 60fps; 4K at 30fps; 1080p at 60fps; 1080p at 30fps; 720p at 30fps.

Super Slow Motion: 1080p at 240 fps; 720p at 480 fps.

Time-Lapse; Video Editor; OIS; EIS.

Secondary Camera:

Sensor: Sony IMX 371; 16.0 Megapixel; f/2.0 Aperture; 1.0 µm Pixels; Fixed Focus.

Portrait Mode; HDR; Screen Flash; Smile Capture; Face Beauty?; Time Lapse.

Video: 1080p at 30fps; 720p at 30fps.

Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac; 2.4 / 5 GHz; MIMO 2 x 2; DLNA; WiFi Direct, Hotspot; Bluetooth V5.0; Supports aptX & aptX HD; A2DP; LE; NFC Enabled; GPS; GLONASS; BeiDou; Galileo; USB 2.0, Reversible Type C 1.0; Supports USB Audio.
Sensors Fingerprint Sensor, Hall, Accelerometer, G-sensor, RGB, Electronic Compass, Gyroscope, Ambient Light Sensor, Proximity Sensor, Sensor Hub.
Other Features 3 Microphones With Noise Cancellation, Supports AANC, Dirac HD Sound, Dirac Power Sound 3.5mm Audio Port.

With a spec-list like this, the OnePlus 6 is a highly desirable smartphone that goes head-to-head with the best flagships available in the market at half the price. It has no problems in keeping up with the demands of smooth everyday usage. The 8GB RAM may feel like overkill, but it is there waiting to pitch in whenever it is called upon to do duty.

Display: One Notch Up?

The display of the OnePlus 6 is big, bright and beautiful. This is also the first OnePlus flagship that has a notch in the display. This trend started by the iPhone X is fast catching up in the Android world. It is a bit controversial as the public opinion is sharply divided on the issue.

The notch makes it easier to accommodate the front camera, the proximity and ambient light sensors and the notification LED on a smartphone which has no top bezel. Some people don’t mind the notch while it bothers some others. But, OnePlus has made it easy to hide the notch for people who do not like it.

Hide The Notch!
Hide The Notch!

The display on the OnePlus 6 is gorgeous and bright. It is an Optic AMOLED panel which renders the deepest blacks and saturated colours. The screen can be further calibrated using available presets or manually.

As usual, the phone has a dedicated Night Mode and Reading Mode which make sure that the harmful blue light is filtered out in low-light or during extended usage. The intensity of both these effects can be adjusted manually for best results. The AMOLED panel also allows for ambient display which displays the clock, battery percentage, a customised message and incoming notifications.

Display Calibration, Night Mode & Reading Mode
Display Calibration, Night Mode & Reading Mode

Once again, OnePlus has got their display right. Though it is “only” a full HD+ display, it delivers where it matters the most, brightness and clarity.

Hardware: A Strong Heart & A Long Life

The OnePlus 6 has the latest flagship processor from Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 845, which is an octa-core processor that delivers a stellar performance with a long battery life. Adreno 630 GPU takes care of the graphics. As of now, there will be two versions available in India;

  • 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage
  • 8GB RAM + 128GB Storage

There will be an Avengers: Infinity War special version available that will have 8GB RAM and 256 GB internal storage. The one which we have with us is the 8GB RAM version. OnePlus highly optimises their Oxygen OS to deliver a smooth performance. The OnePlus 6 feels fast and fluid in everyday use. No matter however many apps are open in the background, it doesn’t slow down.

The OnePlus 6 was being expected to feature an under-display fingerprint scanner. But it has a regular fingerprint scanner located at the back which is still fast and accurate. It’s the same story with wireless charging. When it emerged that the OnePlus 6 has glass on both the sides, it was expected to bring along wireless charging, the first on any OnePlus smartphone. It is a surprising omission. But, it does support the excellent DASH charging which is the fastest fast-charging system available today.

While we tried only a few games, all the latest games will have no problems. The ones we tried had a smooth gameplay and no frame drops. The gaming performance of the OnePlus 6 is top-notch. But there is one issue that is carried over from the OnePlus 5T. It is easy to completely cover the speaker while playing. But your experience could vary depending on how you hold the phone while playing.

Gaming On The OnePlus 6
Gaming On The OnePlus 6

Which brings us to the audio performance. Though the OnePlus 6 has only one speaker, it gets really loud while gaming and consuming media. Sound quality is nice and clear, but it lacks depth. Taking calls on loudspeaker won’t be a problem as we tried with good results.

The OnePlus 6 more than justifies its price with an impressive list of specifications that you would find on more expensive smartphones.

Software: Clean & Fast

The OnePlus 6 is powered by the latest version of Oxygen OS that is built upon Android Oreo 8.1.0. It is closer to a stock Android experience with many useful features baked in that are missing on stock Android. From handy shortcuts to take screenshots to a system-wide dark theme, the list is long and useful. Introduced in the last update, navigation gestures also make their way to the OnePlus 6.

These gestures replace the traditional Android navigation buttons and in our humble opinion a better way to get around the phone. When gestures are activated, the navigation buttons are switched off. The gestures are very handy and easy to remember.

  1. Swipe up from the centre of the bottom edge to go to the home screen from wherever you are.
  2. Swipe up from either side of the bottom edge to go one step back.
  3. Swipe up from the centre of the bottom edge and hold mid-way to open the recent tasks.
OnePlus 6 - Navigation Gestures
OnePlus 6 – Navigation Gestures

These take some time to get used to, but once they are mastered, they seem very natural and logical. The gestures are especially useful during one-handed use.

The Shelf is still a useful addition. It resides in the left-most home screen and is home to most-used apps and frequent contacts. Users can even add widgets and shortcuts to their favourite apps. But, it can be turned off if users find it distracting.

Rest of the OS is as before, clean and super fast.

Camera: Dual Vision

The camera on the OnePlus 6 is also eagerly awaited. Ever since the word got out of a magazine cover being shot with the OnePlus 6, photography enthusiasts have been eagerly awaiting its arrival. The dual camera setup at the back is comprised of a 16-megapixel primary camera backed by a 20-megapixel secondary sensor. This time both cameras have a bright f/1.7 aperture which will aid in low-light photography. There’s a dual-LED, dual tone flash for extremely low light situations.

The camera supports three aspect ratio while capturing a photograph;

  1. 4:3
  2. 19:9
  3. 1:1

HDR can be turned on manually whenever required or it can be set to auto to let the camera decide when the situation warrants it. The dual-lens system supports 2X lossless, optical zoom.

Photography Options - OnePlus 6
Photography Options – OnePlus 6

The dedicated Portrait Mode blurs out the background for a pleasant Bokeh effect and it works beautifully. Pro Mode allows tweaking settings like;

  • ISO
  • White Balance
  • Shutter Speed
  • Focus
  • Exposure

This mode gives full control to the user to change settings as they see fit. But a majority of users won’t use this mode as the full auto mode is a very strong performer. The Pro Mode also displays a live histogram and an electronic level in the viewfinder.

The Pro Mode On OnePlus 6
The Pro Mode On OnePlus 6

Finally, the OnePlus 6 supports 60 FPS in 4K video recording. The Super Slow Motion allows users to capture videos at 240 fps with a 1080p resolution and at 480 with a 720p resolution. Even though the resolution seems paltry by today’s standards, slow-motion videos at 480 fps really look gorgeous.

Photos capture a good amount of details and the colours are fairly accurate. But the photos tend to be a bit on the warmer side. The rear camera setup sports OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) as well as EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation). Together they make for beautiful videos that are smooth and jerk-free.

The 16-megapixel, fixed-focus selfie camera also supports the Portrait Mode. It supports Face Beautification, Smile Capture and Screen Flash to light up selfies in low-light or darkness. It also supports HDR. The front camera manages to take beautiful selfies, but it is not a wide-angle lens. So group selfies might get tricky.

The selfie camera also serves one important function. It aids in Face Unlock feature which was introduced with the OnePlus 5T. It is fast and accurate as ever.

The cameras on the OnePlus 6 do not disappoint and can compete against the best of them.

OnePlus 6 Camera Samples

OnePlus 6 - 4:3 Aspect Ratio
OnePlus 6 – 4:3 Aspect Ratio
OnePlus 6 - 19:9 Aspect Ratio
OnePlus 6 – 19:9 Aspect Ratio
Extreme Close-Up
Extreme Close-Up
Portrait Mode 1
Portrait Mode 1
Portrait Mode 2
Portrait Mode 2
The Colours!
The Colours!
Natural Colours
Natural Colours
Panorama Capture
Panorama Capture

To Buy Or ‘Not’ch To Buy?

The OnePlus 6 is a great phone! Very few other manufacturers can offer this sort of value for their smartphones in the premium segment. It has the heart of a warrior. OnePlus’ optimisation and some very practical additions like the DASH charging, makes one forget the few shortcomings this phone has.

But those who have recently bought the OnePlus 5T may want to give this one a skip. Other than the upgraded cameras, a slightly bigger display with a notch and an upgraded processor, it is essentially the same phone. The software is the same and the user experience will be similar. The OnePlus 5T is no slouch in the performance department either!

This is an excellent phone for somebody who is new to OnePlus devices or anyone looking to upgrade from the OnePlus 5 or below.

The OnePlus 6 will be available to buy online from May 22, 2018, from Amazon India and the OnePlus India website. It will be available in two variants.

  1. 6GB RAM + 64GB Storage variant will cost Rs 34,999/-
  2. 8GB RAM + 128GB Storage variant will cost Rs 39,999/-

Though the OnePlus 6 is the highest-costing OnePlus smartphone till date, it costs much lesser than comparable smartphones with similar specifications. The phone will wow you with its performance and photography skills.

To conclude, we can safely say that the OnePlus 6 is one of the best value for money smartphones available in the Indian market today.

"The Complete OnePlus 6 Review – One Notch Up!", 3 out of 5 based on 4 ratings.
  1. NetGuy says

    But why why why haven’t they made a “dock” like DeX for Galaxy, or a VR headset like GearVR for it?? :( Those are Killer add-ons…

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