We are entering the 7th generation with the brand new OnePlus 6! “The Speed you need” is the motto to which the fastest smartphone processor in the world lives up. The camera is getting better and the display is getting bigger – but with the same dimensions. Two changes are probably more due to current trends: the rear is now made of glass and the display can now take up almost the entire front because of the notch in the screen.
The now seventh smartphone by OnePlus can already be counted to the flagships all over the world. The new OnePlus 6 follows current trends, but also retains the brand’s strengths: the slim and strong Oxygen OS, features requested by the community. Besides Apple and Xiaomi, OnePlus also has the strongest fan base. The only problem is, as with the two predecessors, the price. OnePlus used to be a badass flagship killer – now the price is almost on the same level with the competition: for the glossy black version of the OnePlus 6 with 6+64GB you have to pay 519$, the matt black version costs 569$ and white-and-gold is just as expensive and limited. Does the OnePlus 6 hit the nail on the head or is it “just another flagship”?
Design & build quality
The new OnePlus 6 is now made of glass with a metal frame – on request you can also get a real eye-catcher with the mirror black rear side. With the OnePlus 5 and the 5T one could still complain that, for a flagship, they were just too simple in terms of design. This is no longer the case with the new OnePlus 6: if you don’t stand out with the gigantic 6.28-inch 19:9 notch display, then the gloss y rear or the large dual camera unit will do it.
Versions of OnePlus 6
You can choose between different colours and storage versions; which one will be your new smartphone depends on your taste, the demands and your budget:
|Mirror Black||Midnight Black||Silk White|
|black – glossy rear||black – matt rear||white– matt rear|
|6+64GB / 8+128GB||8+128GB / 8+256GB||8+128GB|
|510$ / 766$||670$ / 790$||757$ – limited/ sold out|
At the OnePlus 6 launch event we were able to try out the glossy black and matt black versions. Most of the users should get along well with 64 gigabytes of storage space – not to mention the main memory – and they can save the extra 100$. As beautiful as the shiny rear is, covered with fingerprints, it’s not anymore! This is the advantage of the matt back version. The glass is slightly roughened and the unloved fingerprints are hardly noticeable. The matt glass also feels different. Nevertheless, a clear advantage for the matt black version. Even less fingerprints can be seen on the white version, which is however limited. The 1+ 6 in “Silk White” is sold in limited quantities in waves: on the OnePlus website you can see the next date and then you must react fast. But as long as the white OnePlus 6 sells well, most interested parties should be able to get a copy. Other special editions of the flagship can already be found online: the “Avengers Edition” – already, the OnePlus 5T in the “Star Wars” Edition was something special.
However, since we have a dual-glass smartphone here, it is unfortunately also susceptible to falls – a case / a protective cover is almost obligatory. Which means the fingerprint-problems is also solved. We have chosen the thinnest and lightest protective case from the OnePlus store, the Carbon Case (not to be confused with the thicker Bumper Case). It is made of Kevlar, with 11g it is 8g lighter and the thickness grows to only 8.8mm vs. 9.5mm compared to the second slimmest case from the 1+-store. Costing 26$, it is not cheap, but it is one of the best cases on the market and we can highly recommend it.
The OnePlus 6 seems enormous at first glance, almost like a Phablet, although its dimensions have hardly grown at all compared to its predecessors. The form factor and the display ratio have now changed completely within one year, which is very beneficial for the screen-to-body ratio:
|OnePlus 6||OnePlus 5T||OnePlus 5|
|155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8 mm / 177g||156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm / 162g||154.2 x 74.1 x 7.3 mm / 153g|
|6.28-inch/ 19:9||6-inch / 18:9||5.5-inch / 16:9|
|98.4 cm² / 83.8%||93.7 cm² / 80%||83.4 cm² / 73%|
With almost the same dimensions, you now get 0.7cm² more display with the new OnePlus 6, but numbers only tell half the truth. In practice, the 1+ 6 is a whole size bigger than the comparatively compact 1+ 5: it is much more massive when holding it in the hand and the display also looks very opulent. The operation with one hand is possible for the most part, but I used it more frequently with both hands than I did with the predecessor.
The arrangement of the buttons is now different with the OP6: on the right you find the power button and a slide switch for Sound, Vibrate and Silent; on the left there is the volume control. What remains the same is the bottom side and, of course, the 3.5mm headphone jack. Next to it, you can find the USB-C connector and a mono speaker as well as one of the two microphones – the other is located on the top.
OnePlus 6 is not an outdoor smartphone, and it also has no IP certification. The casing is well protected against splash water and heavy rain as well as a short water bath. If you take it in the pool with you, the display will not react anymore. Here other flagships do better – supposedly the problem is the 3.5mm jack port. The front is almost completely occupied by the display, the only thing that stands out here is the notch. The incision remains quite narrow compared to the iPhone X and Mi 8: it includes fewer sensors, the auricle and the front camera. You won’t find an infrared sensor or a light to unlock in the dark. The discreet “OnePlus” logo and the unit of vertical camera, flash and fingerprint sensor are on the rear.
The design, concept and build quality of the OnePlus 6 are completely unique. On the one hand, it should have been a bit smaller, like the OnePlus 5, and the switch to glass instead of metal is understandable but in my opinion a disadvantage. On the other hand, the phone stands out from the competition with a narrow notch, a different arrangement on the rear and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The design is great and finally has charisma. Design and build quality are at the highest level: flagship class.
- OnePlus 6
- transparent black silicone protective cover, with matt sides
- screen protector (already attached)
- Dash Charge charger
- red-and-white USB-C charging cable
- operating instructions, warranty card, etc.
The display is probably the most debated aspect of the new OnePlus device: the full-screen display with a screen-to-body ratio of 83.8%. The diagonal measures 6.28 inches in 19:9 format. The combination of a sharp AMOLED screen with high-contrast colors and Full HD+ resolution of 2280 x 1080 pixels and 402 PPI creates an incredibly sharp and vivid image on the display. Individual pixels are not recognizable and distorted colors only appear from an unusual viewing angle.
The display is protected by Gorilla Glass 5, and there was also a screen protector attached to our device. A total of 10 points of contact are recognized simultaneously and even fast typing persons do not push the touchscreen to its limits. The AMOLED display is important for the notch: it can also be hidden in the options. Then you can hide it between the symbols on a black background, which shouldn’t be a big thorn in the critics’ side either. With an IPS-LCD display you would notice it more. Oxygen OS now includes options to replace on-screen buttons with gesture control. “Home” and “Last Apps” are the same known commands, only for “Back” you have to swipe up from the bottom left or right. The gesture control works well and represents a good alternative. But I prefer the virtual keys for OP6. It works faster, there is enough screen space and in addition the buttons can be assigned with several functions by holding them down or double-tapping them.
Compared to the other flagships, the OnePlus 6 now simply has the largest screen area and the screen-to-body ratio is also remarkably high.
The new OnePlus 6 houses the fastest new mobile processor on the market! The Snapdragon 845 secures any speed you need. The Octa Core clocks with four Kyro 385 Gold Cores at 2.8 GHz and 4 Kyro 385 Silver Cores at 1.7 GHz. The graphics calculations are done by the Adreno 630 GPU in the SoC. In combination with the 14GB/s fast 6GB or even 8GB of RAM and Oxygen OS you get probably the fastest smartphone in the world! The benchmark values are on the same level with the competition, sometimes a little above the Mi Mix 2S:Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result 3D Mark Result
The UFS 2.1 memory reaches 725 mB/s reading and 229 mB/s writing in the test and is insanely fast – new apps are installed within an instant. During operation, approx. 2.3GB of the 6GB RAM of our test device is free. In order to avoid the feeling that the OP6 could jerk, apps in the cache are closed after some time. Nevertheless, multitasking can be used very efficiently. The Adreno 630 GPU has no problems with whatever game of the App Store, and the temperature is kept within limits even after an hour of gaming. Gamers, power users and everyone who hates to wait will love the Oneplus 6 – we can confirm the motto “The Speed you need” to 100%. In the end, the performance of the smartphone is more important than how strong the hardware is in theory (benchmarks).
System – awesome Oxygen
OnePlus 6 offers OxygenOS in version 5.1.6, which is based on Android 8.1. The security patch is still quite up-to-date with May 2018. The reason why OnePlus has so many fans is probably rooted in the beginnings of OnePlus, which was based on Cynagon Mod at that time (today Lineage OS). The result was Oxygen OS, probably the fastest Android launcher on the market today, which still runs just as smoothly a year later. This brings us to the predecessor: the OnePlus 5 in the version 5.1.2 runs just as fast as the OP6 with SD845, although even in one point it is one step ahead: it is simply unlocked a millisecond faster. In the developer options, all animations can be deactivated under “Drawing” – this way the command is implemented as quickly as possible and you can see the speed more clearly in comparison with other devices.
Otherwise, the OnePlus 6 with Oxygen on Android 8.1 offers the clean Android experience only available on Google Pixel devices. The system is not filled with additional functions, hubs and widgets on the interface – swiping to the left you get to the “shelf”, where you can take notes and arrange widgets, contacts and everything possible in one stream. The look is not 100% Android like, but just as slim. There are many settings in Oxygen OS. Here you can configure your smartphone, assign keys twice, adjust display, alarm slider, status bar, font… there is a lot to configure. Even cool functions like cloning apps – for example using Whats App twice at the same time with Dual SIM – are implemented.
Besides MIUI, Oxygen is clearly the best launcher, but they are fundamentally different. The OnePlus 6 and Oxygen OS don’t invite you to play, but you can use your smartphone incredibly efficiently and extremely fast – even a year later!
Long-term use of OnePlus
One point when talking about smartphones is the long-term use, because often you are left in the lurch after a short time as far as the update policy is concerned, and also the battery simply breaks down. I don’t want to praise OnePlus to high heaven here, as every company is interested in sales, but they’re doing quite well. How else could you build up such a large community? On the one hand there will be updates: the philosophy of the manufacturer has been consolidated from the OnePlus 3 on and the latter and the OnePlus 3T both received an update to Android 8.0 only two weeks ago , including a few functions (Face Unlock for example) which were initially only intended for the OnePlus 5 and 5T. In addition, we have run our PC Mark Akku Benchmark again on the OnePlus 5, after one year of use. Instead of 10:14 it was now 9:18 – a value with which we are completely satisfied, because most batteries can only be simply “kissed goodbye” after 2 years.
The OnePlus 6’s camera is guaranteed to succeed: the app is very simple and you can easily start taking pictures. The successful camera setup takes care of the rest, and produces very beautiful photos. On the rear you have the Sony IMX 519 sensor with an aperture of f/1.7 and a pixel size of 1.22 µm. It has a resolution of 16 megapixels and the sensor is electronically and optically stabilized (OIS & EIS). The second sensor of the dual camera is an IMX 376K with 20MP, an aperture of f/1.7 and a pixel size of 1.0 µm and enables 2x lossless and 1.6x optical zoom.
- Bokeh shots are “cut out” cleaner and the OnePlus hardly zooms in here, so that you can also stand close to the motif
- The contrast is almost in the golden mean: Samsung usually exaggerates here, Huawei is quite realistic
- When you zoom in, some structures and details that are not in focus get washed out.
The camera app is very easy to use: on the left videos, in the middle normal photos and on right bokeh shots (front and rear); swiping up, you have further modes to choose from (slow motion, pro mode, time lapse, panorama) and in the bar above you see the quick settings. The simplicity is the key here because you can take beautiful photos very quickly without having to make many adjustments. On the other hand, the possibility to challenge yourself artistically is a bit missing.
In addition, the OnePlus 6 delivers outstanding flagship quality! The company’s focus has never been on photography, but with the OnePlus 6 you can confidently leave your heavy camera at home. In a flagship comparison with the Xiaomi Mi 8, Mi Mix 2S and a Samsung S8 we will see where the differences lie. A little teaser with the Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S – I would say the more expensive flagship wins:
The performance in low light / low light or backlighting especially is more convincing with the OnePlus 6: The Mix 2S plunges too quickly into high ISO values or “can be dazzled”. Instead, Xiaomi has the better software.
The front camera or selfie cam has a Sony IMX 371 sensor with an aperture of f/2.0, a pixel size of 1.0 µm, electronic image stabilization/EIS and a resolution of 16MP. The selfies are really impressive: the colours are neutral, but beautiful; details can be seen well and the picture in itself seems harmonious. Quite new are the bokeh shots which can be taken with the front camera; it only works since a short while ago and was made possible by an update. The bokeh selfies are very professional – if you don’t know the bokeh effect. Compared to Xiaomi, however, there are still a lot of mistakes. Here and there the hairstyle is washed out or sometimes a hand can be blurred. Still, we got 4 persons on a Bokeh-Selfie and could also take a bokeh photo at night.
Videos are just as easy to handle: in the app you can select up to 4K with 60fps and the stabilization does its job very well. As it is currently trendy: Slow motion videos can be recorded with 480fps at 720p and with 240fps at 1080p and also cut them immediately afterwards. However, be careful that there is always enough light when you record videos, otherwise the recordings become very dark. The auto focus could also work faster with videos – the focus is absolutely not comparable to photo mode.
Comparison with the predecessor
A different form factor of 16:9 to 19:9 and a better camera were clearly in the foreground of the generation comparison– let’s see how the comparison between OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 6 turns out with regard to the camera. comparing normal photos you have to search for the differences with the (digital) magnifying glass: the OnePlus 6 takes a bit sharper pictures with more details. In addition, surfaces and structures appear too soft with OnePlus 5 (grass areas, sky). Looking at macros, it looks different again, because the clearer contrast of the predecessor is very respectable.
One advantage of the smart core, the NPU, the Snapdragon 845, is that bokeh shots are rendered in the background and you can take the next one right away. The bokeh shots look very different in comparison: OnePlus 5 zooms in more clearly and the background is more blurred. This makes the outlines of the OP6 look better – but the two phones do not differ much. This also applies to the sharpness of the focused object. Only colours appear even more powerful with the new OnePlus.
Regarding the selfies, OnePlus only worked on the software: the colors now appear more natural and the background is sharper with the OP6. OnePlus 5 can’t take bokeh selfies, which however can still change. To make it short: the camera of the successor is not significantly better – better yes, for example the bokehs or details and structures, but it is not a decisive argument.
EU/USA: LTE band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66, 71
Asia/India: LTE band 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 66
With 25 LTE frequencies you get good reception worldwide. Band 30 (USA – AT&T), 32 (not in use) and 71 (USA – T-Mobile) are not supported by the Chinese version. But even if you are in the USA more often, this is not a problem, because here especially the following frequencies are used, which are supported by both versions:
B12, 28, 29 – 700; B4, 66 – 1700; B2, 25, 39 – 1900 and B1, 4, 66 – 2100 MHz.
Another reason why the manufacturer is not using a glass rear is the reception. To ensure the latest transfer rates (Cat16), glass is better than metal. This can also be seen in the WIFI and GPS signals. With the OnePlus 6 I could never complain about reception. The SAR value is 1.33 W/Kg head and 1.38W/Kg body. The smartphone supports two Nano SIM cards at the same time – however, you have to do without the memory expansion via MicroSD, so you have to estimate how much memory you need before the purchase.
With OP6 you can navigate with the help of GPS, A-GPS, Beidou, Galileo and GLONASS, additionally an e-compass supports the navigation. After waiting some time, you also get a fix insinde buildings, outside the position is determined within a few moments to 5m precise. Navigation is very accurate when you are on foot, and on the motorway the OnePlus 6 never lost reception on our route.
For now, you can forget about VoLTE and WIFI calling. This has always been an annoying topic at OnePlus. The flagship of course supports both – as all phones do already since the OnePlus 2, but it may not be supported by mobile phone providers in your country. Even without VoLTE it is very easy to make phone calls with the smartphone. At the highest volume, a slight roar comes out of the loudspeaker, the own voice is transmitted very clearly and interfering noises are filtered. Telephoning via the large loudspeaker works just as well, but it could be louder. In general, the mono speaker is one of the weak points of a flagship smartphone. For videos on YouTube I always have to turn up to half volume. A stereo setup with the help of the loudspeaker of the auricle would have been very useful here.
You can solve this problem by using the 3.5mm headphone jack, where you can adjust the sound via the audio tuner. Headphones, like the Xiaomi USB-C InEars for instance, are recognized at the USB Type-C port, but only if OTG is activated beforehand. Having Bluetooth 5.0, you get even more possibilities, but in the test we especially noticed the fast connection to devices which were already paired with the phone. If you possess compatible headphones, the sound via aptX/aptX HD is very good. NFC is also available and can be useful sometimes. The smartphone supports dual Band Wi-Fi (2.5 & 5.0 GHz) with ac standard. With 2×2 MIMO, you can theoretically reach twice the data throughput (1734 mbit/s). The WiFi throughout is satisfying and the range is also very good because of the glass rear. You are offered quite a high number of sensors, although one or the other (however mostly provided by the competition) is missing (e.g. infrared-sensor). The 3 standard sensors, accelerometer, gyroscope, hall sensor and sensor core (?) are provided. To unlock the Oneplus 6, the fingerprint sensor on the rear is available. In the usual OnePlus manner, it works “lightning fast”, and thus faster than the competition. Only because of its position it loses a few points in the ranking. Alternatively you should save your face data to be able to use Face ID. The technology only works with the selfie camera and not in the dark, but quite fast. It is even faster than the display can react: look at the OnePlus 6, press the power button and before the screen is turned on, it is usually already unlocked. It’s not super safe, however, because you can trick it with a printed photo.
In contrast to the display, the size of the battery has not grown: in the OnePlus 6, a 3300mAh battery still provides the necessary energy to get through the day. Unfortunately, the PC Mark battery benchmark now shows a 10% worse result. If the predecessors still managed over 10 hours, OnePlus 6 only reaches 8:49 hours. That’s not bad, considering you have quite the monster display. Spread over the day, you can easily reach a display-on time of 7 to 8 hours, depending on your usage profile. With my 2.5-3 hours a day, I usually only had to charge the OnePlus 6 every other day. One hour of Netflix streaming (now again in Full HD ) at the highest brightness consumed only 8% (in 2 hours 15%) – which is really very good! Other smartphones consume almost twice as much of the battery.Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours
One of the / or perhaps even the most powerful quick charging technology is available for recharging: Dash Charge – but due to legal disputes it is currently not called like that. If you use the power supply and also the nice red cable, the LED lights up blue and instead of the charging symbol a small flash signals the quick charging technology. At up to 5 volts and 4 amps, the battery can reach 70% in 35 minutes and 90% in 55 minutes. With Fast Charge, it takes almost 1:10h from 0 to 100% – impressive. Since several cells are charged simultaneously, the OnePlus 6 does not get particularly warm either.
Conclusion and alternative
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*Prices include shipping and toll. Intermediate changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs possible. Prices last updated on 15.12.2018