Hot on the heels of Huawei's Honor 10 announcement comes fellow smartphone “disruptor” OnePlus with its latest handset. The OnePlus 6 is based around Qualcomm's popular Snapdragon 845 SoC and follows other recent smartphones into the land of tiny bezels, a notch on the front for the camera and speaker, a glass back, and a dual-rear-camera setup.
OnePlus offers versions of the 6 with either 6 GB or 8 GB of LPDDR4X memory. Buyers can choose between versions with 64 GB, 128 GB, or 256 GB of two-lane UFS 2.1 storage. Shoppers should carefully examine their storage needs before buying, because the OnePlus 6 doesn't have a microSD slot. The phone has a 4×4 MIMO Cat16 LTE modem with a maximum throughput of 1 Gbps, plus 2×2 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth 5.0. The side of the phone keeps OnePlus' signature “Alert Slider” that lets users easily toggle between ring, vibrate, and silent modes for notifications.
The size and resolution of this phone's AMOLED screen need a bit of explanation. Its curved corners mean standard corner-to-corner measurements don't quite work. The company is touting a somewhat misleading 6.28″ measurement obtained by extending the edges into rectangular corners. The actual corner-to-corner measurement is a bit smaller, at 6.12.” The display is 2280 pixels tall when the corners and the notch aren't cutting in and 1080 pixels wide, except at the corners. The 19:9, 401-ppi screen lies beneath a layer of Corning's Gorilla Glass 5. The fingerprint sensor is on the back of the phone, so the screen is free to cover 84% of the 6's face.
No one gets a prize for correctly guessing that the OnePlus 6 would look through a pair of peepers on the back. The main camera has a 16-megapixel sensor with an f/1.7 lens and optical image stabilization. The second shooter gets a 20-MP sensor and the same f/1.7 lens. The second camera has a longer focal length that Forbes says offers the equivalent of a 2X optical zoom versus its wide companion.
OnePlus says the single 16-MP snapper on the screen side of the phone will have a bokeh-positive computational portrait mode, but the phone's initial software doesn't have this feature. The main camera can capture 3840×2160 video at a better-than-most 60 FPS and can shoot a very-impressive 60 seconds of 1280×720 video at 480 FPS. My favorite thing about my wife's iPhone is shooting slow-mo video of my dogs barking, but it tops out at 240 FPS and only records a few seconds at a time.
The OnePlus 6 measures 6.1″ tall (15.6 cm), 3″ wide (7.5 cm), and 0.3″ thick (0.78 cm). The phone weighs 6.2 oz (177 g), including a 3300-mAh battery with OnePlus' Dash Charge functionality. The company says the battery can go from a depleted state to half a charge in less than 30 minutes. OnePlus says its proprietary charging tech also helps keep the phone cooler so users can still comfortably watch videos or play games while it's charging. One might hope that the 6's glass back means the phone has wireless charging, but alas, it does not. The 6 charges through the USB Type-C connector on the bottom of the phone. Headphone users will be relieved that the USB-C connector sits right next to a headphone jack.
OnePlus pumped the 6 full of its customized OxygenOS version of Android. The 6 ships with Android O, but the company says it will have a beta version of Android P on its website in the next couple of days. On top of the minimally-modified interface, the company says the game mode within OxygenOS can help reduce input lag and load times while gaming.
The OnePlus 6 goes on sale on May 22. The base model with 6 GB of memory and 64 GB of storage space will cost $529. The midrange config with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of space will set buyers back $579, and the top-shelf version with 8 GB of LPDDR4X and 256 GB of storage will chew a $629 hole in buyers' wallets. The shiny and matte black finishes will be available from the start, and a “Silk White” version with ground-up pearls in the paint will be for sale on June 5.