OnePlus 6 hands-on: A first class smartphone – Hardware reviews

OnePlus is all about first-class smartphones and a loyal and honest community. Can the OnePlus 6 meet the community’s expectations of a top smartphone while attracting new fans? Our first hands-on review will share our first impressions.



OnePlus 6 release date and price

In the past year, OnePlus has achieved historical records. In India, OnePlus’s market share is expected to be an incredible 48%, while last year’s turnover increased to a whopping 1.4 billion US dollars. These are impressive figures. In 2016, OnePlus had just 700 million dollars of turnover.

As impressive as the figures are, the future for OnePlus will be all the more difficult. After all, the Chinese manufacturer releases a flagship and T model every year. So if OnePlus wants to continue its rapid growth in 2018, the OnePlus 6 has to please the community and convince new fans at the same time. But the competition isn’t sleeping, primarily Honor and its new Honor 10, which was just recently released and has the potential to convert OnePlus fans.

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The OnePlus 6 will be available in these three color options in the future, with only the Mirror Black version (above) being available from the start. / © AndroidPIT

Starting May 22nd the OnePlus 6 will be available regularly via the manufacturer’s website and most likely also via Amazon. OnePlus hasn’t informed us about the price yet, but as the leak on May 14th revealed, the version with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage will probably be around 600 dollars. OnePlus will additionally offer a variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage and another with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The available colors include the glossy black version known as Mirror Black, which will be complemented by a midnight black version at a later date. In addition, a limited Silk White version is also planned, which OnePlus has said will have a pearly aesthetic.

More smartphone monotony

With the One Plus 6, the Chinese manufacturer has jumped onto the bandwagon with its glass back, a design feature that many smartphones have opted for recently. They had to think of something original with the matte black version. We didn’t have the devices yet in our hands for our hands-on and small details in the workmanship may still change before sales start. All in all, the OnePlus 6 is well manufactured.

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As announced: the OnePlus 6 has the notch in the display. / © AndroidPIT

But loyal OnePlus fans have to get used to the slider for notifications, because instead of placing it on the left side, it’s now on the right. OnePlus has also changed the arrangement of the dual camera on the back, because it’s now in the middle of the back and in line with the fingerprint sensor.

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The notification slider is now on the right side of the frame. / © AndroidPIT

Technically top notch, but also boring

When it comes to technology, OnePlus users are used to being served the latest top hardware. This is also the case for the OnePlus 6. It comes with a Snapdragon 845 from Qualcomm, including the Adreno 630 graphics unit, UFS 2.1 memory, which consists of LPDDR4X modules. In addition, there’s a 3,300 mAh and a 6.28-inch Full Optic AMOLED display. The engine in the OnePlus 6 is the Snapdragon 845. It’s worthwhile to look at our reviews for the Sony Xperia XZ2, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S and LG G7, since these three smartphones are similarly equipped, with small differences in memory, display resolution, or memory.

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If the OnePlus logo were removed, the OnePlus 6 might pass as a pimped out Oppo R15 Pro. / © AndroidPIT

In terms of the camera, the OnePlus 6 is better equipped than its predecessor, but almost like with all of its technical components, the OnePlus tends to borrow from other manufacturers. As my colleague provocatively described during his camera review for the Oppo R15 Pro, OnePlus took the camera from its sister company and implanted it the OnePlus 6. The combination of the Sony IMX 519 main image sensor and the IMX 376K isn’t new. We’re not certain to what extent OnePlus has more effectively optimized the software in comparison with the Oppo R15 Pro. You can read about what the camera hardware is capable of in the camera test for the Oppo R15 Pro by my colleague Luca.

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With mono speakers, a USB Type-C port and headphone jack, OnePlus has everything on board. / © AndroidPIT

Our early conclusion

At first sight this is a typical OnePlus smartphone. You’ll be overjoyed by the technical data and targeted price. If you look at just these two criteria, there is nothing comparable from Sony, LG, HTC and co. Just on paper, the OnePlus 6 will convince some fans because of its performance and software.

In terms of camera hardware, the module borrowed from the OppoR15 Pro has proven to be technically very promising, but Oppo’s software seemed to prevent better results. We’ll have to see how much the OnePlus software can still tickle out of the hardware. But you’ll have to be patient and wait for our comprehensive final review. It’s unknown if OnePlus still has work to do on the software.

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