Any new smartphone from OnePlus tends to create high levels of excitement. And this is mostly true for people who are looking for nothing but performance out of their smartphones. This is one Chinese phone maker which has successfully kept itself away from its counterparts purely by its work philosophy.
From its first smartphone to its latest, OnePlus has only delivered flagship-grade handsets. Its smartphones are fast and while they are not the absolute best, they are generally good in all aspects. The icing on the cake is they are sold at price points that seem feasibly impossible for other premium phone manufacturers to manage. In a parallel universe, OnePlus could be the Apple of the smartphone world.
OnePlus 6 is the latest and the fastest smartphone from OnePlus, and yes, we can say that it is its best as well. We have been using the OnePlus 6 for well over a month now and already presented its one-week review as well as an overall comparison with the Honor 10. Now, we are going to share its Pros and Cons, as well as some competition, and help you decide if it’s still the handset that deserves your money.
So read on…
OnePlus 6 – Specifications
– Aluminium frame, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, splash resistant
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6 GB RAM, 64 GB storage (or 8 GB RAM and 128 GB/256 GB storage), Adreno 630 GPU
– Android Oreo 8.1 with Oxygen OS 5.1.5
– 6.28-inch Optic AMOLED display, 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution, supports sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut
– Dual camera with 16 MP (f1.7) + 20 MP (f1.7) primary and secondary lenses. OIS for the primary lens only, PDAF, face detection, HDR. Front 16 MP (f2.0) with auto HDR.
– Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock
– USB-C port, 3,000 mAh battery with DASH charger
– Rs 34,999 (6 GB RAM/64 GB storage), 39,999 (8 GB RAM/128 GB storage) and Rs 44,999 (8 GB RAM/256 GB storage Avengers Edition)
PERFORMANCE – Let’s start from the phone’s strongest point. With the Snapdragon 845 onboard, OnePlus 6 response time is usually lightning-quick. Navigation through the user interface is a no-brainer and it is all just so smooth and snappy. Using the social media apps is a joyous experience too, scrolling through a page is quite effortless and the processor doesn’t seem to break a sweat. Even switching between the open apps (including a graphic-heavy game) is pretty smooth for the most part.
GOOD DISPLAY (with DCI-P3) – The huge 6.28 inches of AMOLED display delivers Full HD+ resolution which definitely aids in performance since there’s not too many pixels to push around (like in the case of Galaxy S9/S9+ for instance). Also, the display supports DCI-P3 color gamut which means better color reproduction overall. Particularly, this P3 setting helps in keeping the sharpness of colors to an overall acceptable levels. With default settings or even with the sRGB setting, we have noticed that the colors can often get a bit too sharp for the eyes (this is noticeable especially when looking at a number of app icons). Still, due to the DCI-P3 option (which many smartphones do not have yet), we believe the display deserves a positive nod.
DASH CHARGER – Other than the general performance, the DASH charger is OnePlus 6’s strongest point. This charger (including the bright red cable it comes with) can charge OnePlus 6 up to 60-65% in 30 minutes time while the 100% charge can be achieved within 1 hour. Just imagine how helpful that can be in a number of situations. Given that it is so good, we do not feel that the absence of wireless charging is any disadvantage for OnePlus 6.
IMPRESSIVE BUILD QUALITY – While the build quality and the fit-n-finish do not translate to better performance, it is an essential part of keeping a handset. If the phone is not well-built with flimsy finish or it’s just not good looking enough, you wouldn’t really like to keep it for long.
OnePlus 6 is the company’s visually most stunning handset to date and it comes in a beautiful Mirror Black finish (other options are Mightnight Black and Silk White). The build quality is typically satisfying and the phone is not too slippery to hold either. Overall, it looks as good as any flagship should.
INCOMPARABLE PRICE – With its performance notwithstanding, it is actually the price/performance factor of any OnePlus device which alone makes it a worthy purchase for many people. OnePlus 6 is no different either. Available at a starting price of Rs 34,999 for the 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage option, the OnePlus 6 is quite hard to argue against.
NEGATIVES (OR AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT)
GAMING PERFORMANCE IS A BIT UNDERWHELMING – It’s almost like a mystery, but the OnePlus 6 doesn’t perform as good in gaming as it does in general tasking otherwise. And by gaming, we mean indulging in some graphic-heavy games like Asphalt 8, PUBG and the kind (especially that are played online). Not something like Subway Surfers clearly!
In the overall comparison against Honor 10 (comes with Kirin 970 & Mali-G72 MP12 GPU), OnePlus 6 barely managed to outperform it which was surprising to us. Visually, we did not find much difference between the two phones in terms of framerate reproduction which is always a big aspect of gaming. To elaborate on that, it is not that the Honor 10 matched OnePlus 6, instead, we felt that the OnePlus 6 was unable to better the Honor 10 in gaming since both handsets consistently produced stutter-filled performance. However, we will still go with the OnePlus 6 in this aspect as well since we believe that with future software updates, gaming in OnePlus 6 can improve.
CAMERA NEEDS IMPROVEMENT – Generally, OnePlus 6 dual camera setup is alright, which basically means it leaves things to be desired. While captured images are nice in general, there’s lack of color accuracy and detail. OnePlus 6 camera appears to be a bit inconsistent in terms of these two aspects. Also, night time performance is quite terrible. While the normal (non-HDR) images are okay-ish, the HDR versions are quite noisy and do not seem to be taken from a flagship level phone.
Below are a few camera samples:
NIGGLING ISSUES – During our time with the OnePlus 6 we ran into a few issues which, although minor, caused irritation in its otherwise pretty satisfying performance. For instance, we experienced multiple crashes with Instagram and though the occurrence was random, it would occur as often as twice a week. Also, we experienced the same issue with the native messaging app as well, but it happened just once. This issue may or may not be specific to the OnePlus 6.
A NOTE ABOUT SOME OF THE COMPETITION
While the price to performance ratio puts the OnePlus 6 in a sweet spot against its competitors, let’s consider some interesting factors.
– Against a handset like the Honor 10, OnePlus 6 is a clear favorite. The Honor 10 retails at a price of Rs 32,999 which gives you, among its specs, 6 GB RAM and 128 GB storage. However, using the phone doesn’t really feel like it has a humongous 6 GB RAM. The RAM is clearly underutilized.
– Even with the fantastic pricing, OnePlus 6 may not be best choice for people who care about regular and fast OS updates. Also, for people who prefer pure Android experience (like me) will clearly look elsewhere. Probably Google Pixel 2 devices are a good choice here. Currently, the Pixel 2 devices are coming with Rs 8,000 cash-back offer on HDFC debit and credit cards which brings the price for Pixel 2 (in particular) down to Rs 45,000. Not a bad deal at all.
Nevertheless, there’s no denying that OnePlus 6 remains a worthy purchase irrespective of its competition. The inclusion of Snapdragon 845 along with 6 GB and 8 GB RAM options make it a future-proof device. And even though there’s the option to turn off the notch and turn the display into its conventional form, the upcoming Android P has native support for notch, so we can definitely expect some cool tricks around it too. Basically, the notch shouldn’t be a big problem for anyone.
Even with all its current shortcomings (all of which, we believe, can be fixed with future OS updates), the OnePlus 6 is a really good handset to have. And honestly, anyone with a decent knowledge of various photography apps can turn the otherwise lackluster images into impressive camera samples.