Chinese smartphone company OnePlus announced its new flagship device, the OnePlus 6, last week to much fanfare in London.
With an all-over glass design and a powerful new processor, the OnePlus takes aim at smartphones double its price range.
Our tech writer, Amelia Heathman, has been playing with the OnePlus 6 for the last few weeks, here’s her verdict…
OnePlus 6: Design
This is the first OnePlus smartphone with an all-over glass body, following in the steps of Samsung with its Galaxy S9 range and the latest Apple iPhone devices.
It comes in three colours: Mirror Black, Midnight Black and Silk White.
We tried out the Mirror Black version which, though smooth and smart-looking, the sleekness of the mirror design is unfortunately broken up the Corning Gorilla Glass 5 screen protector.
I’ve always thought it was a good touch for OnePlus to ship its devices with a screen protector already. But in this case, the protector breaks up the smoothness of the new glass style.
As well, you find yourself spending half your time wiping off the fingerprints from the mirrored style.
OnePlus has kept the headphone jack for jack fans. Yet, as the device doesn’t ship with headphones anyway, I tested out the sound using Bluetooth wireless headphones, meaning the presence of the jack didn’t really make a difference.
OnePlus 6: Display
The OnePlus6 has a 6.28 inch full HD AMOLED display with 19:9 aspect ratio. This is where OnePlus has really improved on the 5T device, which has a 6.01-inch screen with 18.9 aspect ratio.
In order to achieve this, the company has almost done away with its bezels (the frame around the screen) settling on a tiny iPhone X-esque notch at the top.
There’s been a lot of criticism for other smartphone companies copying Apple with the notch but at the moment, it seems to be the only way to offer that full-screen experience.
In all honesty, you barely notice the notch when using the phone. Instead, those two spaces either side of the notch host the time as well as the battery or sound icons.
And when watching Netflix or swiping through photos is when you really benefit from that. It makes it hard to go back to devices like the iPhone 8, which though is only seven or so months old, feels outdated with its small screen and thick bezels.
OnePlus 6: Camera
When it comes to the camera, OnePlus has shifted the rear camera lens from the side of the phone into the middle. It features two lenses: one 16-megapixel camera with f.17 aperture, supported by a 20-megapixel camera.
This rear camera is fantastic. When trying out portrait mode and doing close-up photos, the clarity of the images is excellent.
When comparing the images taken on the OnePlus 6 to ones taken on an iPhone 8, the colours look deeper, richer and much more vibrant on the OnePlus.
A professional photographer’s verdict on the Huawei P20 Pro
The front camera is 20-megapixels, just like the OnePlus 5T though OnePlus says this will be getting an AI update to allow portrait mode in selfies.
For now, you can try out the bokeh effect to beautify your selfies, but be prepared to be a little freaked out at how doll-like you look.
As well, the front-rear camera allows for facial recognition unlock. OnePlus says this is one of the fastest on the Android market.
It is very fast, taking hardly any time to unlock, so that we barely used the fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone.
OnePlus 6: Software
Surprisingly for smartphone releases this year which are choosing to focus on the camera, the OnePlus 6 really stands out when it comes to the overall software and feel of the phone.
OnePlus’s OxygenOS skin builds on the original Android software, Android 8, that the phone is fitted with. It is optimised for speed, efficiently using the phone’s memory and light-weight apps.
It makes for an unbelievably smooth experience. Unlike some of the bloat you get on other Android phones, like Samsung, OxygenOs is easy to navigate and simple to use.
I’ve always found the problem with Android phones to be based on the software; often there are too many apps competing to do the same thing and unnecessary customisation needed at every step in the process.
But OnePlus strips this all away with OxygenOs, keeping it more in tune with Apple’s iOS software.
If you’re looking to make the change from Apple iOS to Android, than the OnePlus 6 is the way to do this.
OnePlus 6: Battery
Finally, let’s talk about the battery. Like previous iterations, the OnePlus 6 comes with the company’s Dash Charge technology which means you can charge your phone for 30 minutes and have enough power for a day.
Aside from fast charging, the phone holds its battery really well. You can easily spend a day browsing, watching videos and Netflix, and downloading apps and still have some juice to carry you over to the next day.
I’ve been a fan of the OnePlus smartphones for a while but the OnePlus 6 knocks it out of the park. The full screen design is great, the camera is excellent and the dash charge technology keeps your powered throughout your day.
For Android fans, the OnePlus 6 is a clear choice for an upgrade, over other more expensive models.
And if you’re an Apple fan which is looking to tread the Android waters, there is no better smartphone to try it with than the OnePlus 6.