OnePlus 6 Review After One Week Use: One of the snappiest performers around

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OnePlus is a company which provides unparalleled value for money with their smartphones, at least on paper. And it often translates to the actual user experience as well. After all, each of its flagships comes with high-end specifications at prices that can mostly be considered upper mid-range at best. OnePlus’s previous top end smartphones, OnePlus 5/5T, were fairly successful (especially the 5T) and people have been looking forward to what the company is going to do next.

And so comes the Oneplus 6, the company’s fastest and the slickest looking handset ever. In the typical OnePlus fashion, it is looking to conquer the premium segment with an incomparable dose of performance per dime. Powered by the Snapdragon 845 and a minimum of 6 GB of RAM, the OnePlus 6 responds at the blink of an eye. Yes, it is that quick, for the most part. And for the rest of it, it is as fast as you’d expect any smartphone with what can be described as an assortment of some of the best performance hardware parts available today.

OnePlus 6 is not perfect though, but its envious value for money preposition is hard to argue against. With so much going for it – Qualcomm’s fastest processor, trendy notch display, OIS-equipped main camera and all this at a mouthwatering price – perhaps the only reason to dislike the OnePlus 6 is either you simply don’t like Android or the phone doesn’t click with you for some reason.

OnePlus 6 notch

ONEPLUS 6 Specifications

Aluminium frame, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 front and back, splash resistant

Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (4x 2.8 GHz Kryo 385 Gold, 4x 1.8 GHz Kryo 385 Silver), 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, 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)

DESIGN & BUILD QUALITY

OnePlus 6 is the most sophisticated looking smartphone from the Chinese phone manufacturer. The front and back is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 while the frame is made out of aluminium. Secondly, the body from the backside curves a bit as it approaches the two sides creating a flowing bodywork overall. The phone looks strikingly beautiful in the Mirror Black finish.

OnePlus 6 design

To a bit of our surprise, the OnePlus 6 is not too slippery to hold and does feel reasonably secure to hold. Also, the display with the notch at the top (and curved corners) also adds its own share of contemporariness and seemingly brings a more modern appeal compared to the OnePlus 5/5T.

DISPLAY, SOFTWARE & USER INTERFACE

The phone is fast, yes, but it is the display which is possibly the most talked about feature of OnePlus 6. Even before the launch, there were multiple leaks showing the notched display. How one feels about the notch itself is a matter of personal preference more than anything, it does give the phone a trendy appearance that so many phone makers are vying for right now.

OnePlus 6 display

Even if that means that the phone ends up looking like an iPhone X’s cousin (which is the idea of course)! OnePlus does provides the option to turn the notch off making the display appear more typical.

Nevertheless, the display is very impressive and so far, I have only the good things to write about it. The colors are quite full of life and vibrant and now it supports DCI-P3 color gamut as well. To let our viewers know, DCI-P3 is basically a color standard used in the American film industry. This means only one thing – that DCI-P3 supported display, while it may not be the absolute best, is one of the best in business. With 6.28-inch dimensions, there’s plenty of room for viewing and the 1080 x 2280 pixels resolution keeps things sharp.

OnePlus 6 user interface
Home screen | App Drawer | Settings menu

With OnePlus intent on providing incomparable bang for buck, it is hardly surprising that the OnePlus 6 comes with Android Oreo 8.1 out of the box. It is coated with the Oxygen OS version 5.1.5 on top. This custom skin is quite thin and the user interface keeps the stock appearance more or less. For instance, swiping up on the Home screen brings up the App Drawer. There’s a Google search bar around the top part of the display. Swiping to right brings up the scrollable screen which shows recently opened Contacts as well as Apps.

PERFORMANCE (including Gaming)

The real deal!

It is the performance which remains the strongest point of any OnePlus handset launched so far. And this is the case with the OnePlus 6 too. This leads us to ponder over the fact that the phone is equipped with the latest and the fastest Snapdragon processor (845) and the best RAM numbers (6 GB or 8 GB).

OnePlus 6 benchmark scores
Geekbench | 3D Mark

Performance is snappy to say the least. The OnePlus 6 is one of the quickest responding smartphone that anybody can come across, even to the most demanding performance seekers. And this is how it should be, obviously, with the fastest Snapdragon processor onboard along with a minimum 6 GB of RAM. Combine this with the Full HD+ display on a big 6.28-inch screen which doesn’t really push the chipset (including the GPU) to its limits. We would in fact say that OnePlus is smart to provide the Full HD+ resolution instead of going any higher.

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Pretty much every user input – to open an app, screen navigation (on Home screen, Settings or an App) – is super fast and there’s no apparent lag or a hint of stutter throughout the UI. Even switching between various open apps (including a graphic heavy game) is not an issue for the most part.

OnePlus 6 performance

Gaming – A phone with a humongous display and a top-notch chipset (with the accompanying Adreno 630 GPU) will be expected to be as good in gaming as it is otherwise.  Our experience is that the gaming performance is good, but not the best or, more appropriately, not as impressive as the normal performance.

We do not understand why but running a car racing game like the Asphalt 8 did not deliver the super smooth performance that we were expecting. We do not believe that we set our expectations higher than we should given the specifications of the phone. Generally, the game ran smoothly enough but there were visible stutters while navigating through various game menus as well as during gameplay. These stutters are like momentary lags that last not more than a fraction of a second, but they are there consistently. Our issue is that we have experienced similar performance while running the same game in smartphones with mid-range specifications. Clearly, we expected the gaming experience to be better on the OnePlus 6.

Other quirks – Occasionally, we ran into a few minor issues while using the apps like Facebook and the Messenger. For example, coming across a number of pictures/images while scrolling an FB page would show those pictures enlarged (or zoomed in), however, clicking on any of those pictures would fix this behavior and the picture would appear in the correct aspect ratio to the screen. See the screenshot below for reference.

OnePlus 6 performance
Enlarged image on FB timeline | Image after tapping on it.

In another example below, I rotated the phone to the landscape mode in order to view a YouTube video, in that instance, the (FB) Messenger icon shifted to what was now the top right corner of the screen (originally, this would be the bottom right corner in the portrait orientation,) along with a truncated mirror image of itself. See screenshot for the reference.

OnePlus 6 performance with Android Oreo
Notice the Messenger icon (and its cut-off mirror image) near the top right corner of the image

These are random issues and I did not encounter them again during the one week use. Overall though, the performance of OnePlus 6 is immensely satisfying and many other high-end devices would find it hard to better it in the real-world usage.

CAMERA

In our one week of use, we would say that camera is possibly the biggest area where the OnePlus 6 needs considerable improvement. It is not totally bad, but leaves a lot to be desired in some situations.

Below are some camera samples:

Our observations reveal that there is a general lack of adequate sharpness and detail in all the samples we have taken so far. Secondly, the Exposure appears to be a bit out of control and the color reproduction is nothing very impressive either.

Furthermore, the HDR versions seem to enhance the detail in various images, but it is done at the great expense of noise or the grain effect. Also, the HDR algorithm is unable to control the Exposure and the overexposed sections in the non-HDR images remain so in the HDR images as well.

The most disappointing aspect of the OnePlus 6 camera is the terrible night time performance. It produces truly underwhelming night images and the HDR versions are even worse – there’s ton of noise and the images appear washed out or as if they were a bad painting.

The 16 MP front camera is nothing to write home about either. While the colors are acceptable more or less, there’s too much overexposure in case there’s good amount of light around.

All in all, camera is one aspect where we can say that the OnePlus 6 disappointed us.

BATTERY LIFE

Usually, it is the runtime provided by a battery which we are mostly interested in and it shall not be any different in the case of OnePlus 6 either. And the runtime in a single charge is pretty good. The battery is a 3,300 mAh unit which keeps the phone running for about 1 and a half days as long as the usage remains normal with no kind of heavy-duty tasking. Although, some light camera use for clicking pictures is absolutely fine.

OnePlus 6 battery life

Funnily enough, it is not the most interesting feature of OnePlus 6’s battery. It is its DASH charger and true to the name, it can charge the phone from 0% to 100% within 1 hour. Yes, you’ve read that right! And in 30 minutes of charge, the phone is up to 60%-65%.

All in all, we are absolutely satisfied with OnePlus 6’s battery life and the short amount of time the battery takes to get charged.

CONCLUSION

In our one week of use, we have only a single gripe with the OnePlus 6, and that’s the camera. In fact, we have seen better camera samples from the phones that are a segment lower. This is one area where the phone desperately needs improvement.

OnePlus 6 verdict

That said, OnePlus 6 will satisfy a large number of people with its snappy responsiveness and the ultra fast performance in most scenarios. We would like to point out here that the gaming performance can be improved as well.

So here it goes – if you’re someone who is a heavy camera user and expects some impressive looking images that do not demand much post editing then the OnePlus 6 is not for you. For everything else, this phone will keep you very happy for a good amount of time.

Do not forget that the starting price of OnePlus 6 is Rs 34,999 for the 6 GB RAM and 64 GB storage variant, which is the one we have been reviewing. And even with its clear shortcomings, there is no way that we won’t recommend this to people. OnePlus 6 gets our thumbs up.

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