OnePlus has finally taken wraps off its next flagship killer and successor to last year’s OnePlus 5T, the OnePlus 6. This is the company’s first flagship smartphone of 2018 with a total of two expected. The device has been rumored for a number of months now and we finally have all the official information from OnePlus. The Chinese OEM unveiled the installment to its high-end line at a private live event this time around in the city of London. The event was confirmed just a weeks back and is a bit earlier than last year’s OnePlus 5 announcement. Here’s everything you need to know.
It’s May, and companies are launching new smartphones left and right. With addition to OnePlus, we have a new flagship from LG and an upcoming model from HTC expected next week. Perhaps most interesting is the fact that they’ll all compete against each other on the market this summer. The OnePlus 6 “The Speed You Need” event was a live event, not one of OnePlus’ signature online events. The company dove into full detail about its next smartphone including all the specifications, design and features. Though OnePlus forum posts and leaks revealed a lot, there were a few surprises that we’ll go into.
Many changes with OnePlus 6 will be noticed up front with the handset’s design. The device takes cues from past OnePlus models but varies by material between glass and metal. It incorporates a new front design that closely resembles many of today’s utmost high-end devices. OnePlus admitted to inspiration it received, but is doing what it believes is best for its customers. On back, the arrangement has changed with the camera set up, flash and fingerprint reader (now smaller). You should also know that the phone is a bit larger than the OnePlus 5T that came before it, though the footprint isn’t a massive difference. This is thanks to less bezel around the device, thereby increasing the screen to body ratio. All Android OEMs have been trying to do is maximize screen compared to body, so much so that removing the front-facing camera might be the next move. From the exterior, the device features a slight curve to fit into your hand, and adopts many modern trends. Our one concern is the fact that OnePlus 6 has nothing that really distinguishes itself from competitors in the crowded market, which could prove to be the enemy.
OnePlus 6 has a 6.3-inch Optic AMOLED display that retains a Full HD+ resolution. The aspect ratio is 19:9, which is taller and narrower than traditional 16:9 and the morerecent 18:9 standard. Colors will look true to life thanks to high contrast and improved outdoor visibility. Gone are all the unnecessary elements like the home button and enlarged bezels. And as we expected, there is a notch located at the top of the phone, which takes up a bit of space. This indicates OnePlus’ movement into more modern and trendy smartphone design. In fact, OnePlus and OEMs are not the only ones embracing the notch, Google’s Android P software overhaul adopts it and lets users tinker with different notch styles. If you don’t like it, there’s a setting in the software to disable it, but it will come at the cost of screen real estate.
Unlike past OnePlus devices, this one includes the latest Qualcomm processor, Snapdragon 845. The device is all about power and to back the processing speed is either 6GB of 8GB of RAM depending on the storage model you buy. Inside is a fairly large 3,300mAh battery as well as support for Dash Charging (fast charging) via USB Type-C. You’ll be able to pick from 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options.
OnePlus has improved the camera greatly over the OnePlus 5T, which was already a bargain for the phone’s price. OnePlus promises that the OnePlus 6 will be able to compete against today’s top mobile cameras including the one inside even Google’s Pixel 2. The device sports a rear-facing 16MP camera with f/1.7 and secondary 20MP lens with f/1.7. There’s also Dual LED flash. OnePlus says it will be great at taking low-light photos and be capable of smoother zoom. On front, there’s an improved 16MP front-facing camera with f/2.0. Camera software is also said to include new functions, but still trails much of the competition. Camera quality will be put to the test, so we’ll save our impressions before making any claims.
Preloaded on the OnePlus 6 is Android 8.1 Oreo, but perhaps more exciting is the fact OnePlus 6 can run the Android P developer preview from Google. In an experiment to improve Android fragmentation, Google is now allowing a few third-party OEMs to run the unreleased version of Android, a program that used to be limited to Google branded devices. OnePlus is in charge of the updates, and I believe you have to flash, but the option is there and this means OnePlus 6 will be first in line for monthly Android security patches and Android system updates. The only downside is that updates tend to slow down in their roll out after just six months when a new OnePlus phone comes out. Some of the features from Google in Oreo include new notifications, performance and battery improvements by further restricting background data, picture-in-picture mode, new adaptive icons, and system-wide auto-fill. Also on board will be the Google Assistant, which continues to gain new features and improve with time. Oxygen OS is the company’s skin on top of Android and the latest version (v5.1) comes installed on OnePlus 6. This includes some useful features. The design is very much like that of Stock Android, meaning you’ll get a clean and cohesive experience with lightning speed.
OnePlus incorporates a stereo speaker along the bottom of the device, which together is splash resistant. Around the device we have its charging port, side-mounted volume controls, power button, and standard 3.5mm headphone jack. A fingerprint scanner has also been included on back. Other specs include Bluetooth 5.0, Dual SIM and NFC. Even with all this good stuff, OnePlus 6 manages to include one of the more premium and durable metal builds on the market. But rather than explore new territory with OnePlus 6, the company has played it mostly safe with incremental improvements in chase of perfection. Whether you think OnePlus 6 is worth the upgrade is up to you.
OnePlus 6 will be sold unlocked at the OnePlus online store. Mirror Black and Midnight Black colors will be available from May 22 and a limited edition Silk White version will release June 15. There’s no invite system, but this is the only place you’ll be able to buy the phone at the point of release. OnePlus will most certainly introduce new colors over the next few months to keep themselves busy and consumers interested. Pricing starts at $529 for the base model, $579 for the 64GB model and $629 for the 256GB variant. This falls very much in line with previous OnePlus devices and is a competitive price below that of what the competition has set. In the past, this has sparked lots of sales for OnePlus by giving buyers more bang for their buck. Other Chinese OEMs now follow a similar strategy, so it’ll be interested to see how OnePlus positions itself to sell its latest smartphone and keep its momentum in the Android space rolling. Not to mention, OnePlus 5T released just six months ago and is still in most areas a great phone. Others who have tried to attempt the six-month release cycle have only failed doing it, though OnePlus will try to make it work again.
OnePlus will sell a bunch of accessories including replacement USB Type-C cables, OnePlus 6 cases, tempered glass screen protectors, headphones, backpacks, style covers, and various dash chargers to suit all your other needs. There’s also a brand new pair of Wireless OnePlus Bullets headphones that will retail for $69, sold separately. Once the handset goes up for pre-order, we will update you with the product links and all you need to make a purchase. For now, those interested can register for updates over at OnePlus.net. Be sure to let us know your initial thoughts in the comment section.
Stay tuned to none other than Droid Turf for all coverage out of the OnePlus 6 event, as we’re your one stop destination for extensive coverage of the Android Ecosystem.