Technology

Hands-on with the OnePlus 6: An all-glass, notched smartphone for $529

The OnePlus 6.


Ron Amadeo

The notch houses the earpiece, the front camera and some sensors. It's only as big as the status bar.


Ron Amadeo

The chin of the bottom is not as big as on some other phones.


Ron Amadeo

The back is all glass. It's brilliant.


Ron Amadeo

On the back, you get two cameras and a fingerprint reader.


Ron Amadeo

There is a nice "Designed by OnePlus" message on the back.


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The side still has the OnePlus three-position volume switch.


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There is a little bump in the back.


Ron Amadeo

Our old friend the headphone jack is on the bottom, with USB-C and a speaker.


Ron Amadeo

There are three colors: white, black and, um, different black.


OnePlus

OnePlus is back with its new flagship smartphone for 2018, the OnePlus 6. OnePlus has big changes in store this year, which I would call positive. The unique metal phone design of OnePlus, which has existed since the OnePlus One until the OnePlus 5T is dead. The company is moving to an all-glass design and a notched display. As a result, the OnePlus 6 looks and feels like a million other Android smartphones released this year.

Like the iPhone X and many other new Android phones, the screen has a cutout on the top of the front camera, earpiece and other sensors. This seems to be at least a well executed version of a notched phone. The lower bezel is not non-existent, but it is rather small. The notch is small enough to fit in a normal height state bar, which means you do not have a lengthened state bar like that of the Essential phone. The screen is a 228 × 1080 6.28-inch Samsung AMOLED with an image size of 19: 9. Thanks to the notched design, the OnePlus 6 fits more to a screen of the same size as the OnePlus 5T.

I was a big fan of OnePlus metal over the years, and with the Pixel line, it was the only flagship smartphone that had not yielded to the trend of glass smartphones . Glass backs are fragile fingerprint magnets, with the only benefit being wireless charging. However, the OnePlus 6 does not support wireless charging, so it 's just a direct demotion from the metal of the previous year.

The best feature of any OnePlus phone is the price, and it's a feature that OnePlus makes a bit more difficult every year. This year, the price jumped $ 29 to start at $ 529 (£ 519, £ 469). For this $ 529, you get a Snapdragon SoC 845, 6 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage and a 3300mAh battery. The front camera is 16MP, and at the back you will find a dual camera configuration with a 16MP RGB camera and a 20MP secondary camera for bokeh effects. Video recordings in 4K / 60FPS, 1080p / 240FPS or 720p / 480FPS.

If you are looking for more RAM or storage, you can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for $ 579 (£ 569, £ 519). There is also a phone with 8GB of RAM / 256GB of storage for $ 629 ($ 619, £ 569). There are three colors – white, black and black – and each color is limited to certain combinations of specifications and prices. I've photographed the "Mirror black" version, which comes in 6GB / 64GB and 8GB / 128GB. "Midnight Black" is supposed to be a matte black version (but still in glass) and is available in 8GB / 128GB and 8GB / 256GB versions, and a "Silk white" version is available only 39, in 8GB / 128GB.

As much as I feel like the OnePlus 6 could be better with a metal back, for $ 529 it's still a hard phone to beat. It's the cheapest Snapdragon 845 camera you can buy, and it's always worth it.

The software is good and not very good

Another great OnePlus feature is the software package. Although I would not call it "Android Stock", it 's a version that does not go out of its way to reskin every little piece of Android, so it looks like a system. completely different exploitation. OnePlus adds additional features, but overall, the user interface follows Google's Material Design language and integrates well with Google's applications and the ecosystem of third-party applications.

The bad part of the package is still there: OnePlus has no concrete update commitment, indicating only its past behavior as evidence of the type of support that the OnePlus 6 can wait. In the past, the company has been happy to provide monthly security updates for supported devices, but the duration of the assistance is a total poop shot. If the OnePlus phone you buy ends up being unpopular with the masses, OnePlus could give up support early. That's what happened with OnePlus 2, which got less than a year of major upgrade support from OnePlus.

The rest of the phone is very similar to the old OnePlus devices. There is always a USB-C port on the bottom with 5V, 4A "Dash" fast charging. There is always a headphone jack and a rear fingerprint sensor. There is always a three-position physical volume switch. OnePlus claims that the phone is "water-resistant for everyday occasions, like rain or an accidental fall in a puddle", but there is still no rating official protection.

As usual, a low price does a great job of ignoring any complaints we may have about the OnePlus 6. You could probably do better than the OnePlus 6, but not at this price. We may not like the switch to all-glass, and we want OnePlus to put in place a concrete update system, but as always, it's hard to argue with so much power for $ 529. The OnePlus 6 will be launched on May 22nd.

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