Dash Charge is still great, if slightly restrictive
A well-thought-out version of Android with great extras
Camera still needs improvement
Missing a few ‘flagship’ features
Review Price: £469
6.2-inch FHD+ screen
16MP + 20MP cameras w/ OIS
16MP front camera
3300 mAh battery, Dash Charge
What is the OnePlus 6?
It’s impressive how that in less than five years, OnePlus has gone from releasing phones barely anyone had heard of to having a glitzy launch party at the Olympic Stadium in London. The OnePlus 6 is the brand’s best phone yet, and it’s competition to the Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone X and LG G7.
Much of what makes the OnePlus 6 feel extra special is the completely new build and design. It’s now made almost completely of glass, which curves around the rear and feels fantastic. There’s a rim of metal sandwiched between the glass to add some rigidity.
My first impression when I took it out the box was that it looked and felt like the offspring of a Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone X.
There’s a highly polished black version that’s gorgeous but a real fingerprint magnet, plus there’s a more conservative Midnight Black matte-finished model, and a stunning white-and-pinky-gold variation that sadly won’t arrive until after launch. OnePlus told me the latter version was made with powdered pearl dust, and while that sounds like the beginnings of a mythical witch’s brew, it does give the phone a jewel-like finish.
There’s been a switch-up in other classic OnePlus design aspects, too. The alert slide is still present, but it sits on the opposite side, and the fingerprint sensor is now an oblong shape, perched beneath the centrally positioned dual cameras. The alert slider lets you easily jump from silent to loud mode without unlocking the phone, and I miss it a lot when using a phone that isn’t from OnePlus. I’d love to see more phones have one.
Despite being heavily rumoured in the run-up to launch, the OnePlus 6 doesn’t hold an IP-rating for water-resistance. However, the company has said that while the device holds no official rating, much work has been done to improve its protection against water. These come by way of extra seals around the ports and between the screen.
I’m still slightly confused, though, by the lack of an official IP rating. Maybe the company is trying to save some cash by not officially garnering an IP rating; similar to the way it previously lacked the necessary codecs to play HD content from Netflix and Amazon.
The bottom line is that, despite the lack of IP rating, OnePlus appears confident that if you leave your phone in the bathroom while you’re having a shower or the device is caught out in the rain, it will be fine.
On the bottom of the phone you’ll find a 3.5mm headphone jack – always nice to see and getting rarer by every phone launch – alongside the USB-C port for charging.
OnePlus 6 – Screen
The launch of the 5T in late 2017 appeared to be OnePlus’ quick response to the trend of the time, which was reducing the bezel and stretching out the display. With the OnePlus 6, the company jumps on another trend: the screen ‘notch’.
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The small cut-out at the top of the 6.3-inch display is fine, but I still can’t really understand the reason it’s here. There isn’t anything special going on inside the notch – just a regular 16-megapixel sensor, speaker and LED – and it simply feels like a device trying to imitate the iPhone X. It’s likely that most flagship phones in 2018 will sport a notch, but I still don’t really know why.
At least the notch doesn’t really interrupt anything when you’re using the phone. Apps either blank it out completely or comfortably deal with it by altering the UI, while further support and tweaks will come in Android P.
Thankfully, the display itself is excellent, and if you really despise the notch then there’s a software update that will enable you to cover it up. The 2280 x 1080 (FHD+) OLED panel is bright, sharp and very colourful, with great viewing angles. It doesn’t seem to suffer that much with the usual shift to yellow tint that’s ruined many OLED displays over the past year either.
It would have been nice to see OnePlus increase the overall resolution of the screen to quad-HD, considering every OnePlus phone to date has packed a 1080p resolution. The issue with this again comes down to price, and of course whether the trade-off in battery life is worth that extra resolution.
If you’re not satisfied with the default colours on the display, the OnePlus 6 also enables you to tweak endlessly. The default setting out of the box is a little white and saturated for my liking, while the Adaptive mode toggles between various settings depending on what you’re doing. My pick is the DCI-P3 mode, which is softer on the eyes and displays a nicer range of colours.