ANDROID UPSTART OnePlus isn’t one for surprises. Thanks to the company’s own spoilers, along with the huge amount of online leaks building up to Wednesday’s launch, the firm’s new OnePlus 6 has few unexpected treats in store.
As expected, the long-teased flagship features a refreshed glass design, a souped-up 6.28in screen with iPhone X-style cutout and a bunch of under the hood upgrades including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor, which the firm claims will offer a 30 per cent performance boost compared to the last-gen OnePlus 5T.
There are few major upgrades compared to OnePlus’ last flagship, though, and despite rumours of added IP67 waterproofing and wireless charging, neither of these made it into the final product. So, is it worth the upgrade? Read on to hear our first impressions of the OnePlus 6.
Design and display
At 6.28in, the Full Optic AMOLED screen on the OnePlus 6 is the largest on any OnePlus phone yet, and with its 2280×1080 resolution and pixel density of 402ppi, it’s also the highest-resolution (albeit just).
While the screen doesn’t offer the same pixel density and overall clarity as its rivals – it’s a stunning display, offering strong brightness levels, punchy colours and great viewing angles, even when used in direct sunlight. It also offers the same near bezel-less design as many of its more-expensive competitors, with OnePlus ridding of the top and bottom bezels still present on its 5T predecessor.
This means that despite it’s bigger screen size, it offers the same overall footprint as the OnePlus 5 and 5T. There’s, naturally, a compromise though, as the OnePlus 6 is the latest in a long line of Android phones to sport an iPhone X-style notch up top for housing its 16MP front-facing camera and speaker. OnePlus boasts that the cutout is smaller than that on Apple’s flagship (woo) and is promising that a future OTA update will allow users to hide it.
Design-wise, the OnePlus 6 is the first OnePlus phone to arrive glad completely in glass, which has been beefed-up by a layer of Gorilla Glass 5. There are three colour options on offer – Midnight Black, Mirror Black (which we’re testing) and a luxurious Silk White version, hat has a layer of crushed pearl (oo-er) baked into its chassis to give it an iridescent sheen.
In hand, the OnePlus 6 feels just as luxurious as its higher-end rivals, although we do miss the satisfying cold metal feel of the OnePlus 5T. The handset’s added heft adds to the premium feel, although that’s soon lost once the rear of the phone is coated in fingerprints and smudges. On the plus side, the glossy rear is perfect for using as a makeshift mirror.
There have been a few other design tweaks too, with OnePlus shifting the Alert Slider to the right-hand side the phone, redesigning the fingerprint scanner and opting for a vertically-aligned camera on the rear of the phone.
Although, as we previously mentioned, there’s no added IP67 or IP67 waterproofing, OnePlus tells us that the handset offers “improved water-resistance” compared to its predecessors, which means it should survive the occasional drop in the toilet. Thankfully, we’re yet to put this to the test.
Software and performance
Under the hood, the OnePlus 6 packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU (naturally), 8GB RAM (or 6GB, if you opt for a 64GB model) and a 3,300mAh battery. While we’re yet to put the handset’s battery life to the test, we can tell you that the device is impressively slick — nothing we’ve yet thrown at the device has caused it to show any signs of slow down.
Software-wise, the OnePlus 6 comes powered by Android 8.1 Oreo, topped with the latest version of OnePlus’ impressively-unobtrusive OxygenOS. On the firm’s latest flagship, this introduces iPhone X-style gestures for speedily navigating the OS, along with new a new version of OnePlus’ Gaming Mode and improved camera features (more on that in our full review).
Face Unlock is also included, and if our time with the OnePlus 5T is anything to go by, the feature is very convenient but feels somewhat lacking security-wise compared to the likes of Apple’s Face ID tech.
The OnePlus 6’s new vertically-aligned camera comprises a main 16MP sensor (that’s now 19 per cent bigger than before) and a secondary 20MP lens. While this isn’t too dissimilar to the setup on the OnePlus 5T, OnePlus’ says the new position of the camera has enabled it to re-introduce optical image stabilisation – a feature last seen on the OnePlus 3T.
Although the OnePlus 6 doesn’t offer ‘Super Slo-Mo’ functionality like the Galaxy S9, the handset’s upgraded the camera setup allows users to record one minute of slowed-down footage – compared to the industry-standard of 0.2s. While this will result in around 6 minutes of footage, OnePlus is equipping the OnePlus 6 with a new video editing tool for chopping down.
It may not offer many surprises, nor many major upgrades compared to its predecessor, but the OnePlus 6 is shaping up to be a strong competitor in the ever-crowded Android smartphone market. Although more affordable than many of its rivals, the handset offers a premium design, impressive display and… well, that’s about all we’re allowed to say for now.
Check back next week for our full review of the OnePlus 6. µ
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