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Hands-on with the OnePlus 6: An all-glass, notched smartphone for $529

OnePlus' excellent metal phone design is dead, but it's still cheap, at least. OnePlus is back with its new flagship smartphone for 2018, the OnePlus 6. OnePlus has big changes in store this year, not all of which I would call positive. OnePlus' stand-out metal phone design—which has existed in the company's last four flagship smartphones—is dead. The company is switching to an all-glass design and a notched display. As a result, the OnePlus 6 looks and feels like a million other Android smartphones released this year. Like the iPhone X and several other new Android phones, the display has a cutout at the top housing the front-facing camera, earpiece, and other sensors.  This at least seems to be a well-executed version of a notched phone. The bottom bezel isn't nonexistent, but it is pretty small. The notch is small enough to fit inside a normal-height status bar, which means you don't have a tall, stretched-out status bar like the Essential Phone. The display is a 6.28-inch 2280×1080 Samsung AMOLED with a 19:9 aspect ratio. Thanks to the notched design, the OnePlus 6 fits more screen in a body about the same size as the OnePlus 5T. I was a huge fan of OnePlus' metal back over the years, and along with the Pixel line, it was the only flagship smartphone that hadn't given in to the glass smartphone trend. Glass backs are fragile fingerprint magnets, with the only benefit being wireless charging. The OnePlus 6 doesn't support wireless charging, though, so this is just a straight downgrade over last year's metal back. If you're looking for more RAM or storage, you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $579 (€569, £519). There's also a phone with 8GB RAM/256GB storage for $629 (€619, £569).  There are three colors—white, black, and black—and each color is limited to certain spec combinations and price points. I photographed the "Mirror black" version, which comes in the 6GB/64GB and 8GB/128GB loadouts. " Midnight Black" is supposedly a matte black (but still glass) version and comes in 8GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB versions, and a "Silk white" (white and gold) version only comes in 8GB/128GB. As much as I feel like the OnePlus 6 could be better with a metal back, for $529 it is still a hard phone to beat. It's the cheapest Snapdragon 845 device you can buy, and that will always make it worth considering. Another great OnePlus feature is the software package. While I wouldn't call it "Stock Android," it's a version that doesn't go out of its way to reskin every little piece of Android so it looks like a completely different operating system. OnePlus adds extra features, but overall, the UI follows Google's Material Design language and fits in well with Google's apps and the third-party app ecosystem. The bad part of the software package is still here, too: OnePlus doesn't have a concrete update commitment, only pointing to its past behavior as evidence of what kind of support the OnePlus 6 can expect. In the past, the company has been good about delivering monthly security updates for supported devices, but the length of support is a total crap shoot. If the OnePlus phone you buy ends up being unpopular with the masses, OnePlus could drop support early. This happened with the OnePlus 2, which got less than one year of major update support from OnePlus. The rest of the phone is much like past OnePlus devices. There's still a USB-C port on the bottom with 5V, 4A "Dash" quick charging. There's still a headphone jack and rear fingerprint sensor. There's still a three-position physical volume switch. OnePlus says the phone is "water resistant for everyday occasions, such as rain or an accidental drop in a puddle," but there's still no official ingress protection rating. As usual, a low price does a great job of muting any complaints we might have about the OnePlus 6. You could probably do better than the OnePlus 6, but not at this price point. We might not like the switch to all-glass, and we wish OnePlus would put a concrete update system in place, but as always, it's hard to argue with this much power for $529. The OnePlus 6 launches May 22.

OnePlus 6 launches with 6.28-inch display and all-glass body, on sale May 22 starting at $529

OnePlus officially unveiled one of its worst-kept secrets today, as the Chinese smartphone company lifted the lid on its latest flagship device. In the build up to todays launch event in London, countless leaks surfaced online, rumoring everything from colors and pricing to screen-size, release dates, and nuanced design details such as the notched display. When you throw into the mix some of the official specification confirmations presented by the founders themselves via forum posts  — well, todays launch may not surface too much more information than what avid followers already know. At any rate, we are now able to confirm all that you need to know about the OnePlus 6, including full specifications, launch dates, pricing, global availability, and everything in between. And we even managed to grab some hands-on time ahead of todays launch. actually launched a second product today: the Bullets Wireless Bluetooth earphones will go on sale for $69 from June 5. The OnePlus 6 represents the companys third flagship smartphone launch in less than 11 months, following the OnePlus 5 introduced in June and the OnePlus 5T in November. The transition from the OnePlus 5 to the 5T was not earth-shattering by any stretch, but those who held off for the November launch to upgrade their phone were treated to a taller device with slimmer bezels and more screen, while the camera also packed a better sensor for low-light conditions. The transition from the OnePlus 5T to the OnePlus 6 doesnt exactly usher in major wholesale changes, either, but it does bring a few nice surprises. At 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.75 mm, the OnePlus 6 is marginally wider and thicker than its predecessor, but its also 4mm shorter. Coupled with yet smaller bezels, however, the OnePlus 6 screen is an impressive 6.28-inches compared to the 6.01-inches of the OnePlus 5T. In short, what we have here is a shorter device with a noticeably larger screen — the companys biggest screen to date, in fact. OnePlus 6: Side-on screen viewYou will also note, however, that the OnePlus 6 now has one of those notches that every smartphone maker seems to be embracing — and this partly explains how OnePlus has managed to gain more screen space. OnePlus 6: The notchThe display resolution is also roughly the same on the OnePlus 6 at 2,280 x 1,080 pixels, though its aspect ratio is now at 19:9 compared to 18:9 due to the longer screen.  And it also comes with an Optic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, just like the OnePlus 5T. For those who care about heft, the OnePlus 6 weighs in at 177 grams, which is roughly 15 grams heavier than its predecessor. The OnePlus 6 is the companys first phone to feature an all-glass design, and while it feels more glasslike on the mirror black version, you wouldnt really know that the white and midnight black variants were cut from a similar cloth. OnePlus has used Corning Gorilla Glass 5 for its screen on previous devices, but with the OnePlus 6 it will use it on both the front and back. The devices feel smooth and slick in the hand for sure, but the glass structure could also have a positive impact on the phones performance: Glass is better than metal for letting radio waves pass through, which should mean that the OnePlus 6 performs better in terms of LTE, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth transmissions. OnePlus 6: All-glass designElsewhere on the phone, youll be pleased to know that the physical mute switch — a gem of a feature that is sadly lacking on most other Android phones — is still present and correct. However, it has been shifted from the left-hand edge to the right-hand edge. According to OnePlus, this decision was made for practical reasons — many people keep their phones in a flip case that opens with the hinge on the left, which made activating the mute switch difficult with the case closed. Now, you dont have to open the case to access the mute switch. Other than that, everything else pretty much remains the same — the USB-C charging port is on the bottom, sandwiched between the 3.5mm headphone jack (yay!) and the single speaker. OnePlus 6: Buttons and portsThe camera too has been given a little makeover, too, which well look at briefly now. OnePlus has made the (arguably) sound decision to move its dual-lens camera back to the middle of the device, away from the corner, where it lived until the OnePlus 5. The reason this is good is because those who like to take steady, two-handed, horizontal photos are less inclined to cover the lens with one of their fingers with the lens in the middle. But really, this all depends how you normally hold your phone when taking a photo. OnePlus 6: Camera is now in the middleIn terms of technical specifications, the OnePlus 6 sports a 16MP main camera on the back that is supported by a 20MP secondary camera. The company said that the main camera has been boosted with a 19 percent larger sensor, which should help with low-lighting conditions, and it has now been given the OIS image stabilization system compared to the EIS of the OnePlus 5T. Arguably the most exciting addition to the OnePlus 6s camera is that the 16MP front-shooter will now have portrait mode too, meaning you can capture better-looking selfies that have a depth-of-field effect that blurs out the background and keeps the main subject in focus. The OnePlus 6 also ushers in a new super slow motion mode that allows users to capture detailed HD video at up to 480 frames per second. And the devices new built-in video editor also brings native support for budding editors, allowing you to trim clips, insert loops, and add slow-mo effects. The OnePlus 6 now comes with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, up from the Snapdragon 835 chipset on the OnePlus 5T. When Qualcomm launched the 845 last year, it claimed that it would enable 30 percent more battery life compared to the 835, in addition to a 25 percent bump in performance. Translated into normal speak, this should mean that the OnePlus 6 is faster and more efficient overall. Elsewhere, the OnePlus 6 retains its rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, its dual-SIM (nano) support, and a 3300 mAh battery. As with previous handsets, the OnePlus 6 comes with its own flavor of Android, OxygenOS, which is usually devoid of much in the way of bloatware or crapware. And last week, Google announced that the beta version of its latest operating system, Android P, would be available on just a handful of devices at first — one of which was the OnePlus 6. As with its predecessor, the OnePlus 6 comes in a variety of colors and configurations; however, the big news this time around is that there is a brand-spanking new 256GB version. We knew that already, though. The upgraded phone comes in three colors — a limited edition silk white, midnight black, and the extraordinarily shiny mirror black. OnePlus 6: Mirror blackThe midnight black handset is available in two configurations, one with 128GB of on-board storage and another with 256GB. Both these devices come with 8GB of RAM. The white incarnation is only available with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage, but mirror black comes with a 8GB / 128GB and cheaper 6GB / 64GB version. OnePlus 6 lineupThe OnePlus 6 in all storage configurations will be available through in Europe, North America, and India on May 22, though the limited edition white version (128GB) wont go on sale until June 5. The company hasnt confirmed launch details for China and Hong Kong. OnePlus 6: AvailabilityBut pricing is what you really wanted to know, right? Here you go: VentureBeat will be putting the OnePlus 6 through its paces, so be sure to check back here in the coming weeks for our perspectives on the new OnePlus flagship.