Best price: OnePlus 6 for $489.99 in review – Forget the Notch

The OnePlus 5T was just a few months old and the new flagship OnePlus 6 was introduced. Can OnePlus really improve enough in six months to justify a new smartphone? Or should you prefer the ever cheaper OnePlus 5T? Here you can read everything you need to know about the new “Flagship Killer”!

OnePlus 6 Impression

Technical specifications

Display 6.28 inch Full HD+ (2280 x 1080) AMOLED Display with 402 PPI & Gorilla Glass 5
Processor Snapdragon 845 Octa Core Processor @ 2.45 GHz & 1.8 GHz
Graphics chip Adreno 630 @ 710 MHz
Memory 6GB / 8GB LPDDR4X @ 1866 MHz
Internal memory 64GB / 128GB / 256GB UFS 2.1 2-Lane
Main camera Sony IMX519 16 MP with f/1.7 aperture & OIS/EIS + Sony IMX376K 20 MP with f/1.7 aperture
Front camera 16 MP with f/2.0 aperture
Battery 3.300 mAh with Dash Charge 5V/4A
Connectivity USB-C, WLAN-AC, BT 5.0, LTE, GPS/GLONASS/BDS, Dual SIM
Features Headphone jack, Face Unlock, Fingerprint sensor, Notification slider, Water resistant
Operating system Android 8.1 Oreo with OxygenOS 5.1 interface
Dimensions 155.7 × 75.4 × 7.75 mm
Weight 177 g

Design & processing: stylish glass back without practical advantage

The dimensions of the flagship are 155.7 × 75.4 × 7.75 mm and it weighs 177 g. This makes it 0.45 mm thicker and 15 g heavier than the OnePlus 5T. The extra thickness as well as the extra weight is probably due to the new material for the back. Contrary to rumours to the contrary, the back is made of Gorilla Glass 5, but unfortunately the OP6 does not support wireless charging despite the glass back.

OnePlus 6 Design

The first time you hold the OnePlus 6 you immediately notice a clear difference to the OnePlus 5T – the phone is even more comfortable in your hand, but it is incredibly slippery! The transition from glass to metal frame is very “soft” and you can hardly feel any real edges. If I had to choose, I’d rather have OP6 in my hands. Unfortunately, I and certainly many of you always have a case around your valuable smartphone. Especially with a glass back, this is also recommended, but this makes it difficult to appreciate the good workmanship in everyday life.

OnePlus 6 colour variants
The OnePlus 6 in special Silk White, reflective Mirror Black and matt Midnight Black. Also a red version will be released on July 2nd.

The same applies accordingly to the stylish design. Personally, I find the Midnight Black version with matt glass more appealing than the Mirror Black version we received, but both certainly have their fans. The main reason for my tendency is the incredible vulnerability to fingerprints associated with the mirror finish of the Mirror Black version. But even this variant looks good, as long as it stays clean.

OnePlus 6 Fingerprints
Here you can also see the fingerprint vulnerability of the OnePlus 6

All in all, both design and workmanship are back at the very highest level. Personally, however, I’m not a fan of changing to the back of the glass. Clearly, OnePlus wants to look modern and contemporary and currently the glass backs are absolutely trendy. But the glass offers no added value in the form of Qi-Charging and has the effect that I take the beautiful mobile phone out of its case even less often. Glass remains glass and will break much more easily in the event of an unfortunate fall than metal. How do you see the trend on the glass back?

Display: Beautiful with notch that takes getting used to

Let’s get back to the measurements. The height of the OP6 could be reduced by as much as 0.4 mm, even though the display has grown by 0.27 inches. OnePlus was able to perform this “miracle” by using a display notch. Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, explained in an interview the reasons for choosing Notch, which, at 19.616 mm x 7.687 mm, is considerably smaller than on the iPhone X or the many clones.

They decided on the Notch because they want to offer the user as much screen as possible. However, since the announcement met with a lot of criticism in the own forum, there is now the possibility to black out the display left and right of the notch to hide it.

OnePlus 6 Display

But OnePlus kept its word and installed the company’s largest display to date in the OP6. The display measures a full 6.28 inches diagonally. With a resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19:9 this means a pixel density of 402 PPI. Of course, it is again an AMOLED display which OnePlus has been using since the X of 2015.

The panel is bright, rich in contrast and the colour mode can be changed according to personal taste. Standard” with high color saturation, sRGB, DCI-P3, an adaptive model that should adapt to the environment and a completely user-defined mode are offered. So there should be something for everyone.

OnePlus 6

Now we come to Notch. The OP6 is my first smartphone with such a notch at the top of the screen and I was accordingly sceptical. Aesthetically I still find it absolutely not appealing and find the approach of the Mi Mix 2S much better.

Nevertheless, after just a few minutes of use you “forget” that it is there. Of course you can still see it, but it just doesn’t bother you. The default setting for apps is that they don’t run in full-screen mode and are simply the notification bar to the left and right of the notch. Especially in comparison with the Xiaomi Mi 8 you can see again how small and negligible the notch of the OP6 is.

Hardware & Performance: High-End as expected

So far OnePlus has always used the best Snapdragon chip and we will not break with this tradition this year either. For the “Speed You Need” the Snapdragon 845 is used. The Octa Core processor clocks at 2.45 GHz (4x Kyro 385 Gold) and 1.8 GHz (4x Kryo 385 Silver) and thus satisfies even the strongest power user. For games like PUBG Mobile, the Adreno 630 GPU will provide flagship performance. In the benchmarks, OnePlus 6 is at eye level with the Mi Mix 2S and Mi 8.

OnePlus 6 PUBG
With the OnePlus 6, the Chicken Dinner is virtually pre-programmed 😉

There are three different versions of OnePlus 6 for working and mass storage: A high-end version with 8 GB working memory and 256 GB mass storage, a medium version with 8 GB Ram but “only” 128 GB memory and the cheapest version, which is equipped with 6 GB RAM and 64 GB memory. This is the first time three memory configurations have been offered. The memory is not expandable in all three cases, but it is lightning fast.

OnePlus 6 Benchmarks
The benchmarks underline the absolutely smooth operation.

Our “small” version with 6GB had an average of 2.5 GB free of the 15GB/s fast RAM, so nothing jerks or you have long loading times. Also the mass memory with 750MB/s read speed is above average. Only the writing speed did not want to be measured. The app installation times also speak for a fast writing speed. So if you are a power user or just very impatient, you won’t want to give the OnePlus 6 back.

Latest Android 8.1 with clever additions

On the software side, one relies on Android 8.1 Oreo with its own OxygenOS 5.1 interface, which is quite close to Stock Android. The security patch is also quite up-to-date as of May 2018. Currently there is even a developer preview of Android P available.

Apart from the topicality of the software, OxygenOS can also convince in its performance. No other launcher (except maybe the one on the pixel) runs as fast and smooth as OOS. This is partly due to the fact that OnePlus does not change as much in Stock Android as e.g. Xiaomi at MIUI.

OnePlus 6 OxygenOS Software

The few changes or additions that OxygenOS brings along are always useful in mine and fortunately always optional. For example, you can find the “Shelf” on the left of the home screen. Here you can store all kinds of widgets, notes or frequently used apps in an endless “shelf”.

There are also plenty of useful settings. This way you can assign double and triple keys or draw different letters on the off screen to quickly start an app. You can’t believe how quickly you get used to drawing a simple “V” to quickly start the flashlight. In addition to Google Services (Play Store etc.), only OnePlus Switch for easy mobile phone switching and the community app are pre-installed, but both can be easily uninstalled.

Good photos, but not a big jump from 5T

Two cameras are installed on the rear side. The number of megapixels and aperture sizes remain the same with 16 and 20 megapixels and an aperture of f/1.7 each. Thus, portrait shots with a bokeh effect are possible again. The main camera also has optical image stabilization. However, it is questionable why the secondary camera is only used for portrait mode this time. With the OnePlus 5, this allowed a double zoom, while with the OP5T it is used for low-light shots.

OnePlus 6 Camera

Main Camera: Wasted Secondary Camera

The camera was at 5 and 5T a decent jump forward from 3/3T. Such an improvement from the 5T, which I use myself, can hardly be seen on the OP6. But that also means that the OnePlus 6 comes with a very good camera. This triggers extremely quickly, no matter whether a normal, an HDR or a portrait photo is taken. The colours and contrasts are nice and strong, but not unnatural.

A new feature is the possibility of recording one-minute slow-motion videos. You can choose between 480fps at 720p and 240fps at 1080p. Just make sure that the scenes are quite bright, otherwise the result is rather sobering. Normal videos can be recorded in 4K at 60fps.

OnePlus 6 Bulldog
Even without portrait mode, a beautiful natural bokeh is created.

OnePlus 6 Kicker

OnePlus 6 no HDR
Even without HDR, the colours and contrasts are just right.
OnePlus 6 HDR
HDR mode makes little difference in good light. Only the light rays on the corner of the seat can be seen better.
OnePlus 6 DealDoctor
The OnePlus 6 still gets a lot of light out of this dark scene, but starts to whiz out the back.

Better & faster portraits

Thanks to the Snapdragon 845, portrait shots can now be taken much faster in succession. The first one just renders in the background and you do the next one. The recordings themselves can also keep up with a Mix 2S or Mi 8 and in my opinion also look more natural thanks to the less blurred background. Nevertheless, the secondary camera should have another purpose other than “only” to be used for the portraits. In the OnePlus 6T I would like to have a wide-angle camera like LG.

OnePlus 6 Portrait

As a new “feature”, OnePlus has also added the so-called Light Bokeh mode to the 6. This should make circles, hearts or stars from all light sources in the background. As you can see on the photos, Jens is not convinced of the new function either.

OnePlus 6 Light Bokeh

Front Camera / Selfie Camera

The front camera is absolutely unchanged to the OP5T. The Sony IMX371 sensor with 16 MP and an f/2.0 aperture works here again. Accordingly, the selfies are just as good as their predecessor. With correct colors, lots of details and sharpness, the Selfies easily position themselves in the top 3 of the China phones.

New are the Portrait-Selfies, which rely exclusively on software. These also work surprisingly well and are quite respectable. However, the class and edge detection (especially in the hair area) of the Xiaomi Mi 8 is out of reach.

OnePlus 6 Selfies

Battery and running time of the OnePlus 6

Despite the enlarged display, the battery remains at 3,300 mAh. In the PCMark Work 2.0 battery test, the OP6 thus comes to 7 hours and 37 minutes, which is rather an average value. In practice, however, I can easily get through the day with it. With easier use there is also enough battery power left for another half day.

OnePlus 6 Battery Dash Charge

But when you need to recharge, it’s faster than on any other smartphone. Thanks to Dash Charge, the OnePlus 6 can go from 0% to 60% in just 30 minutes and to as much as 95% in an hour. This also eliminates the classic “overnight charging”, as you can simply plug in the OP6 in between or briefly in the morning. Once you get used to this charging speed, you don’t want to miss it anymore.

Connectivity: Everything covered

Like its predecessor, the OnePlus 6 will once again make (almost) everyone happy when it comes to connectivity. For example, the increasingly rare headphone connection can still be found next to the USB-C connection. LTE, AC-WLAN, NFC and Bluetooth 5.0 are also on board. As before, there is a dual SIM slot for two nano SIM cards but no memory expansion.

Oneplus 6 USB-C

Telephony works excellently in terms of clarity, reception and volume. Very good is also the support of GPS, Beidou, Galileo and GLONASS. The navigation on foot and in the car went smoothly and was very accurate.

Missing IP rating & wireless charging

You can still use the fingerprint sensor placed on the back of the phone to unlock it. In the old OnePlus tradition, this is incredibly fast and reliable. Only the new shape and thus the reduced area initially causes slight hitting difficulties.

OnePlus 6 notch

The very fast Face Unlock is also included again. Not as safe as the Mi 8, but so fast you don’t even notice it. If I kept a tally sheet, I probably unlocked the OnePlus 6 more often with my face than with my fingerprint.

Furthermore, the notification slider is also available again to quickly switch between the volume modes. For the first time, however, it is now on the right-hand side, which represents a clear improvement for all right-handers.

OnePlus 6 Notification Slider

What is new is that OnePlus 6 is officially promoted as water-repellent. So it should survive a short fall into the sink or an overturned glass without damage. However, it is explicitly stated that you should not take it into the pool and an official IP rating is not to be found anywhere, too bad! Even wireless charging is still absent despite the glass back.

OnePlus 6 Scope of Delivery
Thanks to the supplied silicone cover and pre-installed protective film, the OP6 is directly protected against accidents.

Conclusion: Top Notch?!

Overall, the OnePlus is once again a clear flagship. Processing, display, performance and connectivity are all strengths of the OP6. notch is of course a matter of taste, but at least you can “hide” it and it is one of the smallest on the market. The missed chances are really negative for me, namely the Qi-charging and the IP-rating, both of which are missing. If you can overlook this and make friends with a glass back, you will certainly not regret the purchase.

The price for the cheapest version is slightly higher than that of the predecessor. Nevertheless, the OnePlus 6 is convincing overall and I can make a recommendation. However, upgrading from a 5T is hardly worthwhile.

What do you think of the OnePlus 6? Who will win in the Battle OnePlus 6 vs. Mi Mix 2S vs. Mi 8?

To the gadget
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Alex

Part of the China-Gadgets Team since 2016. I love China-Smartphones and all accessories that surround them.

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