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Rediff.com  » Getahead » Review: Why the OnePlus 6 is worth its price

Review: Why the OnePlus 6 is worth its price

Last updated on: June 05, 2018 16:30 IST

You'll find many reasons to be pleased with OnePlus 6.

Photograph: Hitesh Harisinghani

The OnePlus 6 may not have anything new to offer, but it packs in premium features at an affordable price.

We reviewed the phone to see if it ticks all the right boxes and is worth the price (Rs 35,000).

Note: To access pro-mode camera features and slow motion video, you will have to update the OnePlus 6 with OxygenOS 5.1.5.

 

Design

As compared to its previous flagship OnePlus 5T's metal body, OnePlus 6 has an all glass body design.

The vitals are placed in an aluminum chassis fortified with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on both sides of the phone.

Though it is a protective toughened glass, you cannot compare its strength with metal. It also makes the phone slippery. At 177 grams, the phone is 15 grams heavier than the OnePlus 5T due to its glass build. These factors could be a disadvantage.

The metal rim surrounding the phone has a glossy finish, giving the glass and metal a seamless look.

The mirror black variant of the OnePlus 6 is glossy, thus prone to fingerprint smudges. OnePLus 6 is also available in midnight black with a matte glass back and silk white colours.

The phone, which is 156.1 x 75 x 7.3 mm in dimension, is easy to hold but not easy to grip without the translucent case provided in the box.

Despite all this, the phone -- which comes with a free screen protector -- has a premium look.

In this model, the alert slider moves to the right, swapping places with the SIM slot which, I must say, is a more ergonomic place to access the slider.

The alert slider is a handy shortcut to switch between silent, vibrate and ringing mode, but you cannot customise the slider to any other function.

The volume rocker lies on the left, below the SIM slot.

The power button is placed below the slider.

The noise cancellation microphone is placed on the top of the metal rim, while the speaker is placed at the bottom of the rim along with the type-C port, the microphone and the 3.5 mm audio jack.

The disadvantage of having the speaker at the bottom is that the sound gets muffled while holding the phone horizontally. The positive side is that if you cup your hand alongside the grill, the sound is amplified.

The speaker sounds tinny and stereo speakers are sorely missed. 

The dual camera setup is placed at the rear centre top of the phone, stacked one above the other, followed by a smaller (compared to OnePlus 5T) fingerprint sensor. 

The phone follows the 19:9 aspect ratio and a 20x6 mm notch. The notch provides space for the proximity sensor, the ear piece, the front camera and the tiny multi-colour LED notification light.

Display

The display measures 6.28-inch but, because of the rounded corners, gives a viewing area of 6.12-inch.

The optic AMOLED display with a screen resolution of 2280x1080 pixels is gorgeous, but visibility is not that great under direct sunlight.

Flagship phones from Samsung, LG and Apple come with a 4k display but OnePlus settles with FHD to save battery.

While the notch area can be hidden using display settings, we bet you will get used to it soon enough. 

The phone supports Always On Display, just like Samsung Galaxy S9, but OnePlus calls it Ambient Display.

The Ambient Display has limited customisation features and, at present, you get four themes to choose from.

Other than onscreen buttons, the phone's software supports gesture navigation like Apple iPhone X, but it's not as smooth as the latter.

We found it easier to use the onscreen buttons for navigation.

Hardware

The phone runs on the latest Qualcomm flagship CPU, the Snapdragon 845 and an octa-core 10nm chipset clocked up to 2.8 GHz.

The CPU is embedded with Adreno 630 chip for graphics, making the gaming experience smooth.

The phone is nippier, and after spending almost a week with it, we didn't find any lag.

We tried out Asphalt Xtreme on the review handset. The gameplay was smooth and the graphics rendered well. 

The phone we reviewed was a 8 GB ROM/128 GB ROM variant, but 6 GB ROM/64 GB ROM and 8 GB ROM/256 GB ROM models are also available.

There is no memory card slot but the 128 GB ROM compensates for it. You can even connect other memory storage devices with the Type-C OTG cable.

As OnePlus retains the 3.5mm audio jack, I was more than happy to use my favourite headphone.

OnePlus 6 has a USB 2.0 Type-C for charging and data transfer.

According to specifications, the phone also supports audio through USB.

The phone is water resistant but not IP rating certified, so you cannot take it for a swim.

The IP rating certification would have been a plus as most of the flagship phones come with IP 68/IP 67 rating. 

Camera

The camera on the OnePlus 5T was good but the OnePlus 6 camera is even better-specced, due to the addition of the Optical Image Stabiliser in the primary camera.

The primary 16 MP camera with aperture f/1.7 also has an Electronic Image Stabiliser to enhance video and photo capture in normal and low-light conditions.

The secondary 20 MP camera with aperture f/1.7 basically works as a depth-sensing lens and also to take photos in low light.

The camera performs quite well when compared to the OnePlus 5T. The photos shot in low light turned out to be good (see below).

Photograph: Ashish Narsale

The photos shot in daylight exhibit natural colours (see below).

Photograph: Ashish Narsale

When zoomed to 100 per cent, the photos look like an oil pastel painting, but the distortion is still less than what we found on the OnePlus 5T. 

Video can be shot with 1080p at up to 60 fps and supports slow motion video with 720p up to 480 fps.

Battery

The battery being 3300 mAh lasts for a day but if you run out of juice, the DASH fast charger -- how we love OnePlus for shipping it in the box unlike many other flagship brands that make you spend more to buy them -- is your saviour; a 10-minute quick charge will keep you online for long hours.

The phone did not heat up while charging. 

Operating System

The OxygenOS based on Android Oreo 8.1.0 is smooth but almost vanilla, with few enhanced features.

It allows you to change the colour theme in light and dark mode with eight accent colours to choose from.

It supports gesture control from the standby screen to access music, camera or the app you specify in the settings.

Security

The standard fingerprint scanner is quite fast but I wonder why OnePlus decided to reduce its size.

There is a face unlock feature as well, a standard these days, and the one on OnePlus 6 unlocks the phone in a jiffy. It even works under low light by flashing the display light on your face.

Verdict

OnePlus, known for making phones with flagship specifications at budget prices, does it again with the OnePlus 6.

There may be a few missing features like IP68 rating, the absence of the SD card, dual speakers, wireless charging and 4k display.

But, at a starting price of Rs 35,000, the OnePlus 6 is a treat with respect to other flagship phones.

It is worth every buck you spend as no one currently gives you a phone with the OnePlus 6's specification at this price. 

Ashish Narsale / Rediff.com