OnePlus 6: Holistic flagship experience at half the price

New Delhi: Since the release of OnePlus 3, Smartphone maker OnePlus has embraced the strategy of launching two smartphones each year sans fancy gimmicks, focusing on building strong hardware backed by top-notch chipsets.

OnePlus 6 is the latest iteration from the company which is a first in the OnePlus’ line-up to feature a refreshing all-glass design — a radical change from its predecessors.

OnePlus 6 price in India starts at Rs 34,999 for the 6GB RAM+64GB storage variant while the 8GB RAM+128GB variant is priced at Rs 39,999.

The smartphone comes with a flagship processor, retains the company’s proprietary “Dash Charge” and up to 8GB RAM.

We reviewed the 8GB RAM+128GB variant. Let’s find out if it’s worth the penny.

The company has done away with aluminium back for good and the glass-finished rear of “mirror black” OnePlus 6 looked dapper. The way it caught light when we held it up in hands was incredible.

However, the matte “midnight black” variant, with a much softer finish, also looked every bit premium.

In fact, it was easy to mistake OnePlus 6 for Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, courtesy the centre-aligned, vertically stacked, dual-primary cameras with a fingerprint scanner right below, placed on a gently curved rear.

The company has retained the 3.5-mm headphone jack which flagships like Google Pixel 2 XL gave a miss.

OnePlus 6, with a 6.28-inch AMOLED display and a long 19:9 aspect ratio, gave a lot of screen space. The enormous screen was crisp, with great viewing angles and sunlight legibility.

The device is the latest to capture what seems to be the smartphone trend for 2018 — the “notch” — wherein the top of the display cuts into the screen to accommodate the earpiece, sensors and 16MP front camera.

The device retains dual 16MP + 20MP primary camera set-up (like the one we saw in 5T) and marks the return of Optical Image stabilisation (OIS).

The company has added a new Sony imaging sensor this time and the secondary camera now is used entirely to add “Bokeh” or background blur effect to portrait shots.

The images came out sharp with a nice amount of saturation and contrast.

OnePlus’s camera app is one of the simplest and easy-to-use. The camera in the new device is a significant improvement over OnePlus 5T especially in low-light conditions.

The 16MP front camera took some decent selfies. OnePlus has promised that the front shooter would get a portrait mode in a future update which should further appeal to most users.

The device has also got an upgrade to slow motion recording, from 120fps to 480fps at 720p.

OnePlus 6 is the first in India to house Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 845 chip that is coupled with either 6GB RAM+64GB storage or 8GB RAM+128GB/256GB internal storage.

The device runs OnePlus’s customised version of Android “OxygenOS” which is based on Android 8.1 Oreo OS. It was refined and handled heavy tasks with ease, matching those with Google Pixel 2.

The company’s propreitary “Dash Charge”, as always, was a delight and fully charged the battery from zero to 100 per cent in around 80 minutes.

OnePlus 6 has the “Alert Slider” return to adjusting between ring, vibrate and silent modes, unlike what we saw in OnePlus 5 and 3 where the silent mode was replaced by the DND mode.

The physical “Alert Slider” has been positioned to the right side and we found it more useful this time.

What does not work?

The device is splash resistant but misses out on an IP rating for better weather-proofing.

The 3,300mAh battery is the same that we saw in OnePlus 5T which, sadly, drains faster in OnePlus 6.

The lack of wireless charging, despite having a glass sandwich design, could also be a put off.

Conclusion: With some much-needed improvements in the design and camera department, it is safe to say that OnePlus 6 is a blazing fast smartphone with a top-notch chipset that gives most features of a capable flagship at a considerably lower price.