OnePlus has never been the flashiest or most cutting edge — the Chinese company has mostly left that stuff to the Apples and Samsungs of the world. But in spite of some stumbles along the way, the upstart smartphone manufacturer has consistently delivered one of the best deals in mobile, a trend it most definitely maintains with the OnePlus 6. Due out on May 22, with a starting price of $529, the new handset continues the companys trend of definitely being ever-so-slightly behind the flagship smartphone curve, for the sake of keeping costs down. The handset does borrow a few cues from recent handsets, including, notably, the embrace of the top notch. The company concedes that the cutout is an inevitability on handsets these days, particularly with Googles newfound embrace through Android P. Though here it also arrives alongside the companys largest-ever display, measuring 6.28 inches, at a 19:9 aspect ratio. Of course, OnePlus decision to focus on a single handset at a time means a single size option. For some longtime fans, that might fly in the face of the companys never settle mantra, but at this point in the smartphone game, it probably makes the most sense for a company of OnePlus size to focus on a single model. Besides, the company has managed to fit a fair amount of screen into a relatively small form factor, keeping it roughly the same footprint as the OnePlus 5T. The design language has also been adjusted a bit, this moving to Gorilla Glass 5 on the back (same as the front), which looks nice and also makes it better for those radio waves to pass through. That backing comes in three different colors, including Mirror Black, Midnight Black and a snazzy Pearl White, which have limited availability, depending on the specific SKU. This being a 2018 flagship, the OnePlus 6 sports dual rear-facing cameras, though the orientation has shifted to vertical. The sensors measure 16- and 20-megapixels, with improved optical image stabilization and improved shooting in the low-light settings — not quite as low-light as offered up on the latest Huawei and Samsung devices, however; ditto for the slow-motion feature, which doesnt match the super-slow-motion offerings recently rolled out by Sony and Samsung. The front-facing camera is getting a software upgrade, as well, bringing the faux bokeh portrait mode to selfies, courtesy of some on-board AI. The phone maintains the super-fast fake unlock youll find on other recent OnePluses — as ever, the caveat there is not to make that the primary unlock method. Its not nearly as secure as handsets that use depth sensing to face unlock. Sure is fast, though. OxygenOS is still the heart of the software experience here. As ever, the key is keeping the companys proprietary Android skin as much in the background as possible, and using OnePlus actively online community as a sounding board for new features through the beta program. Theres not really a lot new to announce on the software front this time out, however, though the companys done a good job rolling out updates to handsets after release. Inside is a Snapdragon 845 — the latest flagship chip from Qualcomm. The base system is loaded with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. Another $50 will get you 8GB of RAM and double the storage. Bumping things up to 256GB of storage, meanwhile, will cost another $50.
A little earlier than its usual June refresh window, OnePlus has revealed its new flagship Android device today, the OnePlus 6. The most controversial aspect of the new design, the notch at the top of the 6.3-inch 19:9 OLED display, has already been the subject of a preemptive rationalization from the company, and fan demands have been answered with the added option to conceal the notch by putting a black bar on the screen around it. Though beloved by few, the notched design does have a significant upside in helping OnePlus fit a lot more screen into basically the same dimensions as its previous OnePlus 5T and 5 models. The OnePlus 6 is a little smaller than my 6-inch Google Pixel 2 XL, but it offers more vertical screen space and makes the Pixels bezels feel crude and chunky by comparison. Its not that the 6 lacks bezels; they just happen to be minimal and nicely designed. OnePlus interface is well-tailored to the notch, and the company has tested the top 1,000 Play Store apps to ensure they play nicely with it. Whether or not the notch is to your liking, you cant accuse OnePlus of moving to it without sufficient forethought. The other big change with the OnePlus 6 is the introduction of a new glass back, replacing the unibody aluminum case thats been the norm for OnePlus for a number of years. The companys press release says that this is the first in OnePlus line of flagships to feature an all-glass design, suggesting that the metal backs of the past are going to stay in the past. With this alteration, OnePlus joins the vast majority of smartphone manufacturers — companies like Apple, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, LG, and Huawei — in having glass on both the front and the back of its flagship device. Ive been told by a number of these companies that the general trend has been driven by the requirements of faster and more advanced LTE, making it increasingly difficult to produce a phone with a metal back. Although the OnePlus 6, replete with a notch and a glass back, now blends into the mass of Android phones out there, it does stand out with a number of its own unique strengths. Firstly, the software is clean, thoughtfully designed, and unfailingly fast. The OnePlus 6 was among the first Android phones to support the Android P beta, even before it was officially announced. OnePlus says that its committed to heeding and responding to its fans wishes, and its eagerness to deliver updates as soon as possible is a testament to that. The other thing, the one that matters a great deal more than its discussed on pages like these, is the price. Starting at $529 with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, the OnePlus 6 is once again a little more expensive than its predecessor, but also a lot less pricey than the typical Android flagship. Itll be compared to phones like the Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20 Pro, both of which cost hundreds of dollars more, but its priced right in line with the Honor 10. I think the OnePlus 6 has the quality of design, materials, and display to be held right up alongside the best Android phones on the market. Where I remain dubious with OnePlus is on the camera front, though the companys made positive strides by increasing the main sensor size of its dual-camera system by 19 percent (for a pixel size of 1.22μm). Optical image stabilization has been added to both rear cameras, and you can now shoot faux-bokeh portrait mode pictures with the front as well as the rear cameras. OnePlus is getting into the algorithmically reprocessed photo game by offering the option to turn the bokeh in a photo into various shapes like hearts and stars. Ive seen a demo of that, and, well, I guess Im too old to appreciate its value. Not many other things are different about the OnePlus 6. The signature OnePlus alert slider moves from one side of the phone to the other, which the company tells me was a simple matter of space considerations with the new phones layout. The headphone jack remains in place, though, and OnePlus says it has no plans to remove it anytime soon. I would have liked to see OnePlus add wireless charging with its shift to a glass back, but that hasnt happened, and neither has the addition of waterproof certification. OnePlus argues that the 6 has comparable water resistance to most modern flagships, and it was tested extensively for that, but Id still feel more reassured by having it adhere to the same universal standard as everyone else. Marketed under the slogan of the speed you need, the OnePlus 6 comes with a Snapdragon 845 processor, Adreno 630 graphics, and up to 8GB of RAM and a maximum of 256GB of UFS 2.1 storage. On one hand, its great that OnePlus can cram the latest and best specs inside a phone that retains a distinct midrange price (by 2018 standards). On the other hand, Im not convinced that OnePlus can actually use that fact to make its device stand out. The comparably priced Honor 10 also has a flagship processor inside, Huaweis Kirin 970, and it also offers a smooth and responsive experience. The rest of the OnePlus 6 specs are fairly predictable: 2280 x 1080 resolution, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 up front, 3,300mAh battery, Bluetooth 5, support for two nano-SIM cards, and Dash Charge fast charging. The one trend that OnePlus isnt entertaining with its new flagship (at least not yet) is offering a diversity of color options. Youll be able to buy the OnePlus 6 in either a glossy or matte black or a shimmery white variant. These colors correspond to particular specs: the mirror (i.e., glossy) black covers the $529 6GB / 64GB and $579 8GB / 128GB OnePlus 6, the silk white and the so-called midnight black will be at the $579 price point and spec, and therell be a $629 8GB / 256GB midnight black model as well. All variants of the OnePlus 6 go on sale May 22nd directly from OnePlus online store in North America, India, and across Europe. The European and UK pricing is less attractive than the USs, with prices starting at €519 / £469 for 64GB of storage, going through €569 / £519 for 128GB, and maxing out at €619 / £569 for 256GB.