You might have heard of a smartphone brand that sounds a lot like a math question each time they release a new model.
We are referring to the company, OnePlus.
The OnePlus line of smartphones has garnered a substantial following over the years, mostly in the Western part of the world.
In Singapore, we could hardly see anyone holding a OnePlus smartphone, probably because it’s not on the shelves of the three major telcos.
In case you missed it, OnePlus unveiled their latest flagship smartphone – OnePlus 6 – a few months ago.
The OnePlus devices are often touted as the “flagship killer” because their performance is similar to the flagship smartphones by other renowned tech giants, but with a lower price tag.
It’s not surprising that OnePlus continues the tradition by packing top-of-the-line specifications in its OnePlus 6 yet again.
The OnePlus 6 has a 6.28-inch AMOLED display with a 2,280 x 1,080 screen resolution. It runs on the latest OxygenOS 5.1.9, which is a customised version of the Android OS 8.1.
Powering the smartphone is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with the support of 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.
In its camera department, the OnePlus 6 comes packed with a 16MP (f1.7) and 20MP (f1.7) dual rear camera, and a 16MP (f2.0) front-facing camera.
The OnePlus 6 felt heavy yet comfortable for me to wrap my hand around the device. It’s almost like the smartphone is making its presence felt and the curve design of its body, makes it easy to hold, which reminded me of the first time I held the much-researched design of the LG G6.
It does not come as a surprise that the OnePlus 6 has a notch at the top of the screen too, and it’s for similar reasons as the iPhone X because it’s making way for more display, without compensating with the front-facing camera. If it bothers you, you can digitally mask it by going into the setting to black out the left and the right side of the notch.
One of the things that subtly differentiates the OnePlus smartphones with other Android-powered smartphones is the alert slider, which the OnePlus 6 inherited from its predecessors.
The alert slider is a handy feature that could only be found on an iPhone or a OnePlus device. Unlike the iPhone, the alert slider for the OnePlus device, in this case, the OnePlus 6 has three modes.
When the slider is at the top, it means that the OnePlus 6 is on silent mode. Sliding it down to the middle, it’s the vibration mode and when it’s all the way down, ringing mode.
I found it especially useful when I go to my meetings or when I’m in the movie theatre. Like I said, subtle but it makes a tonne of difference.
Accessing the OnePlus 6
I love to play with the security features on all smartphones, specifically the face recognition feature because I enjoy finding security flaws.
In the case of the OnePlus 6, during my test, it did not present any lags or annoyance. I was able to access my device in low-light conditions, when I lifted it up at a 45-degree angle or when my face was turned at a 45-degree angle away from the screen.
I even tested it with both of my eyes closed and with an eye open to be sure that there are no loopholes, which there weren’t any because it did not grant me access.
The fingerprint sensor worked well as expected even when my finger was slightly damp.
The OnePlus 6 is a clean smartphone. There is no bloatware except for their Community app and the OnePlus Switch app. In total, it comes with only 28 essential applications dominated by Google such as the Google Pay, Maps, Gmail, Photos, etc.
You can most definitely still download default bloatware that you enjoy using on your previous smartphone through the Play Store.
The reason why bloatware is absent on the OnePlus 6 is that they are not in any partnership with the telcos or with other app developers.
The cameras on the OnePlus 6, like all smartphones, are the key highlights of the device.
If you heard good things about the image quality, you’ve heard it right.
The photos I took during the day turned out great, and it’s not because of my excellent photography skill. The dual rear cameras reacted fast to focus on subjects and were snappy (pun intended) when taking a photo. Even with a little shake, I was still able to capture a clear image with most of its details retained. The auto HDR also did me a favour but increasing the contrast of the photos to an appropriate level.
When it comes to taking photographs of food, the OnePlus 6 cameras seem to have a trick of its own, without the need for an AI-powered camera. Hovering the smartphone over my sushi, I could see a noticeable colour change, which made the dish extra appetising.
Though I did not expect much from a smartphone camera for low-light photography, the OnePlus 6 continued to exceed my expectation. It’s aperture of F1.7 brightened up a dark sky like it was in the early evening. It also brought out the decent amount of colour saturation without the need to edit the image. For comparison, here are two photos which were taken on an iPhone 8 Plus and the OnePlus 6.
The front-facing camera, on the other hand, was decent. It did not wow me as much as the dual rear cameras. And when in portrait mode, perhaps due to the aperture of F2.0, it did not have the same depth of field as some of its competitors.
The OnePlus 6 has a non-removable 3,300mAh battery. It managed to get me through a whole day of work without the need to juice it up a little. At times, when I’m lucky, I don’t even need to charge it for a night out.
However, it might not be the case for everyone as it depends on the user’s habit.
When reviewing the OnePlus 6, I used it primarily for calls, text, write emails, and social media surfing. That’s how boring my life is.
For frequent gamers, I would recommend either charging it before you leave your office or bring a power bank along, just in case.
Speaking of charging it, I would also strongly encourage users to bring the proprietary power charger along with you or buy a spare to bring around. This is because of how fast it charges up your OnePlus 6.
A 30-minute charge at 48 per cent was enough to fill the tank to 100 per cent. An hour’s charge got the smartphone back to life at 100 per cent.
Although it’s still a relatively unfamiliar smartphone in the local market, the OnePlus 6 did check a lot of our boxes. It:
- was physically pleasing and comfortable to hold;
- has high-end specifications;
- has excellent cameras; and
- has an incredible fast-charging capability thanks to the proprietary technology.
Before getting my hands on the OnePlus 6, I thought that my Google Pixel 2 XL is second to none.
However, after reviewing the device, I think my Google smartphone has met its match. Retailing at only S$868 and with so much to offer, the OnePlus 6 is truly a flagship killer.