First look at the OnePlus 6

    The OnePlus 6 is offering premium features at a cut price (Martyn Landi/PA)
    The OnePlus 6 is offering premium features at a cut price (Martyn Landi/PA)

    The OnePlus 6 wants to replace your Apple or Samsung phone and save you money in the process.

    The new flagship phone from the Chinese manufacturer is the latest in a four-year line of devices designed to be a disruptor at the top of the smartphone market by offering premium features at a cut price.

    This year, OnePlus says it is trying to match what they offer on the inside of their phone on the outside.

    So how does the OnePlus 6 look at first glance?

    Design

    (Martyn Landi/PA)
    (Martyn Landi/PA)

    For the first time, a OnePlus handset is glass on both the front and back of the device – placing it in step with the other premium flagship handsets out there.

    Crucially, it looks and feels good too. The 6.28-inch full optic AMOLED display is the largest the company has ever put on a phone and it fills almost all of the front panel.

    Like a lot of wannabe disrupter devices the OnePlus 6 also sports a notch at the top of the screen – though it’s only small and can even be blocked out of view using the phone’s settings if so desired.

    There are dual cameras on the back of the phone too, which help enable a Portrait mode of photography, as well as support slow-motion video.

    It’s also worth noting that the 6 keeps the headphone jack in place, giving users the option of plugging in a range of personal audio accessories.

    At first glance, this is a mobile phone that has smartened up its appearance in order to impress and not look out of place alongside the big names of the industry.

    Experience

    OnePlus has always placed a great level of focus on the performance its phones provide, and that appears to again be the case with the OnePlus 6.

    The 6 has the latest Snapdragon 845 processor inside and according to OnePlus this upgrade means the device has a 30% performance increase but with 30% less power used.

    It’s certainly quick and responsive in early testing, and it’s also good to see that the Chinese firm continues to push its clever Dash Charge battery technology.

    (Martyn Landi/PA)
    (Martyn Landi/PA)

    This is a combination of tech in the charging plug and wire which pushes current over voltage for more efficient charging, while on the phone it means quick charging that can provide a day’s battery life in 30 minutes of charging.

    The red cable is nice from an aesthetic point of view too.

    In terms of software, the 6 is running the latest version of Android with the company’s own OxygenOS on top of it, though it’s still the Android experience many will be familiar with.

    The soft keys or virtual buttons that appear at the bottom of the screen are gone however – instead replace by swiping gestures to navigate between screens.

    Camera

    The dual camera system on the rear of the OnePlus 6 combines a 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel lens that offer high-end photo quality and light, bright images.

    OnePlus has also confirmed that it will add a Portrait mode to both the front and rear cameras shortly after launch, which will use an AI algorithm to apply depth of field in the background of selfies on the front camera, and take advantage of both lenses on the rear to create this depth effect, known as bokeh.

    Pushing to rival the likes of Apple and Samsung, the OnePlus 6 now also supports one of 2018’s on-trend features – slow-motion video.

    The device can capture up to a whole minute in slow motion – a grand total of six minutes of footage – way more than you’ll ever need.

    Verdict

    (Martyn Landi/PA)
    (Martyn Landi/PA)

    On first impressions the OnePlus 6 ticks all the boxes to be a premium flagship phone worth considering as your next handset.

    Its trump card though is the price – starting at £469 it is near enough half the price of its big-name rivals, but doesn’t really compromise on features.

    It’s easy to use, well-made and smart-looking too so on paper it seems a no-brainer.

    However, OnePlus is still not a household name, and so still feels to some like a leap of faith rather than a smart choice when upgrading.

    The Chinese firm knows this and is working hard to get devices in front of people in order to offer proof of what they can offer.

    Whether it works remains to be seen, but they’re halfway to success given how the OnePlus 6 looks so far.

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