When the OnePlus 6 was first announced, I had some mixed feelings because I expected so much. I expected an IP-certified water resistance rating and wireless charging among other things. But I took a deep breath and I realized, I can very easily get by without these features. I realized the phone is much more appealing than many of its competitors as it offers the core features that make for a great smartphone but without the premium price. A starting price of $529 is extremely appealing. Students can even get up to 10% off on OnePlus purchases, which I just found out about. That’s dope.
I’ve been using the OnePlus 6 for a solid week and have thoroughly enjoyed the phone. If you’re interested in specifications, you can click here for more information. But for the most part, I’ll gloss over the specs and simply share my impressions because chances are, you already know about the specifications.
First of all, the build is anything but cheap. It feels extremely solid and well-built in the hands. But I will admit, I did stick it into the included silicone case soon after I unboxed it to keep it free of scrapes and scuffs. In my opinion, a glass back is a turn-off if it’s not paired with wireless charging. But my guess is it will be added in the OnePlus 6T later this year. Thankfully, Dash Charging is available and it’s arguably the best fast charging standard on the market. I would often top this phone off as needed and not charge it overnight because it’s that quick and convenient.
The notch is relatively small but I still have mixed feelings. On one hand, I remember welcoming the notch because it fit in with the other 2018 smartphones. It’s kind of cool, new, and trendy but after using it for a week, that welcoming feeling has waned and I’m left with an obstructive portion of screen. What’s funny is the 1080p resolution still doesn’t bother me even though it’s one of the last premium smartphones to feature such a resolution. The panel itself has good brightness and excellent color vibrancy, saturation, and contrast. It is what really makes the difference for me, not the marginally better pixel density a QHD resolution would offer.
Also surprising is the camera. I have yet to test this camera in a multitude of environments but I find the quality to be on par with many of the high-end smartphones from the giants out there. The detail and colors look good without any edits and telephoto and portrait modes are nice to see, given the price of this handset. The security locks work really well too. You can choose between a fingerprint scanner, which is one of the fastest I’ve ever used and/or Face Unlock. Face Unlock is not as secure as Face ID on the iPhone X. Someone did manage to fool it with a picture of themselves but it is an option and it recognizes your face and unlocks the phone extremely quick.
One of my favorite phones of last year is the Pixel 2 XL, largely because of its software. The OnePlus 6 features OxygenOS running on top of Android Oreo but it’s very similar and the skin is extremely light and it adds only a handful of features, like various gestures and customizable options. It’s basically stock Android and you can even install the Android P beta on this device.
OnePlus has implemented a gesture form of navigation that I absolutely love. You swipe up from the bottom center of the screen to close an app and swipe up from the bottom left of the screen to go back an application. Meanwhile, if you swipe up and hold, it will open up the recent applications. It took me a little while to adjust but I love it because it frees up more of the display. I don’t even want to mention it because it goes without saying, it is lightning fast. The light skin, paired with a Snapdragon 845 CPU with 8GB of RAM is a recipe for quickness.
The battery life was very solid, offering a little over 5 hours of screen on-time; give or take depending on what you’re doing with this device. But once again, it’s a dash charging, fast-charging standard that really helps and comes in handy.
For the Android purist who wants all the core components of the smartphone without the unnecessary bells and whistles, you should really enjoy the OnePlus 6. It’s an extremely promising smartphone and I look forward to using it even more.