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OnePlus 6 hands-on: Slick looks come at a higher price


A gorgeous new design coupled with powerful specs. It's been only six months since the launch of the OnePlus 5T, but today the company is pushing out a new device that both packs the latest top specs and manages to one-up its earlier design. As you probably saw a little earlier, the new OnePlus 6 is yet another flagship that stuffs plenty of processing power into an elegant package, with its slogan promising to deliver "the speed you need. " It also happens to be OnePlus' most expensive phone to date, with a base price starting at $529 to make up for the extra work put into its gorgeous glass design. From afar, this new device is unmistakably OnePlus. Save for the dual cameras that are now sensibly centered on its back, the OnePlus 6 feels almost identical to the 5T. The rounded edges and subtle curvatures are further highlighted on the Mirror Black edition, with its surprisingly convincing ceramic look, courtesy of a five-layer coating on the Gorilla Glass 5 panel plus some extra polishing on the metallic frame. In fact, when I place it side by side with my actually ceramic Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, the OnePlus 6 makes that phone look dull. And its curves ensure that the material finish really shines. That said, if you can't stand fingerprint smudges, then you may want to consider the other two flavors of the OnePlus 6. Both Midnight Black and Silk White feature a matte finish, which apparently is achieved with a corrosion process similar to the one applied to Apple's glass trackpads. The result is a silky smooth finish -- almost like the "baby skin" feel on the legendary OnePlus One. The company then took it a step further by adding some visual tricks. By embedding a thin textured film below the glass, the Midnight Black shows off an S-shaped line along the back when viewed from a certain angle. The Silk White is even more bonkers, with pearl powder -- yes, pearl powder -- sprinkled underneath the glass, which gives off a subtle shimmering effect when you play around with the device. I probably wouldn't even mind the rose gold frame on the white option. OnePlus continues to deliver a stunning AMOLED display, now stretched to a 19:9 ratio (at 6.28 inches) as it goes all the way to the top. The trade-off here is the small notch, but that's been growing on me -- it's just nice to have that extra screen real estate inside a phone that's the same size as the 5T. I can expand the screen even further by replacing the Android navigation bar with gesture controls. They may sound familiar: Swipe up from the center of the chin to go home, swipe up and hold to see recent apps, and swipe up from either the left or the right side to go back. iPhone X users will already be familiar with some of these gestures, and likewise for those who have already been trying out the Android P beta. While the screen's 2,280 x 1,080 resolution isn't the Quad HD+ (2,880 x 1,440) upgrade that I was hoping for, this is still plenty, given the overall display quality. Besides, this also gives OnePlus some leeway to keep its OxygenOS (based on Android 8.1) super snappy, and so far the phone certainly runs incredibly smoothly in general. Another notable -- but less obvious -- upgrade is the 16-megapixel f/1.7 main camera, which now sports slightly larger pixels for better low-light performance, along with optical image stabilization (at last!) to reduce blur. The challenge will be whether these spec bumps transfer to better photos -- a weak point for previous OnePlus phones. I'll be taking a closer look when I review the new flagship. For video, the OnePlus 6 can shoot 4K at up to 60fps -- doubling the frame rates on the two earlier models -- while still supporting electronic image stabilization, along with super slow motion at 480fps in 720p or at 240fps in 1080p. OnePlus' unique tri-state alert slider has moved to the right side -- although I'm not sure why. It now toggles between Ring, Vibrate (instead of Do Not Disturb) and Silent. You'll also find the same built-in 3,300mAh battery, which is backed by OnePlus' Dash Charge technology, although, oddly enough, the company decided not to add wireless charging under the glass back, so that's one feature you'll find only on pricier flagship phones. Oh, and about those new OnePlus earbuds: The Bullets Wireless' magnetic trick did a good job of keeping the wires from tangling up during my brief hands-on time with it. I wish there were a way to adjust the length of the cables so I could put the remote control in a more accessible spot, though. It hangs right by my jaw, and when reaching up for it I almost always knock the earbud out of my ear. I enjoyed wearing it as a faux necklace for a bit, and it's certainly not a bad-looking accessory. Having said all that, gorgeous design aside, the rest of the phone is a relatively standard affair. On top of the Snapdragon 845 processor, which has proven to be quite the beast in other recent smartphones, you get to choose a combination of 6GB of RAM with 64GB of storage ($529/£469/€519, Mirror Black only), 8GB of RAM with 128GB of storage ($579/£519/€569, all three editions) or 8GB of RAM with 256GB of storage ($629/£569/€619, Midnight Black only). The OnePlus 6 may not be the same bargain that the series used to offer, but very few competitors carry such features and specs at these prices. This is the most premium smartphone OnePlus has made, by a big margin. You'll be able to grab a unit starting May 22nd, with the limited-edition Silk White to follow on June 5th. I'm completely in love with the OnePlus 6's design. New features on the software side are a little light, but at least OnePlus chose not to waste effort on AI gimmicks. Instead it's focused on making a phone that can realistically go toe-to-toe with devices that are hundreds of dollars more expensive.

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 OnePlus.com 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.