I was lucky enough to get the chance to go along to the OnePlus 6 launch this evening in London’s Copper Box Arena, located in the middle of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, originally built to house the Olympic handball events during the 2012 games.
OnePlus had taken over the arena to present its latest flagship to the world, plus unveil its new wireless Bullets headphones. Sticking with the handset, the OnePlus 6 follows on from the OnePlus 5T only launched in November, barely 6 months ago.
OnePlus has increased the size of the screen from 6.0” on the 5T to 6.3” on the 6. This extra screen space has managed to be squeezed in without increasing the physical dimensions of the phone, and by doing this, we now have a notch ladies and gentlemen. Like Huawei, OnePlus will have an option in the settings to allow you to hide the notch using a black background at either side.
Quality wise, the display is a 1080 x 2280 19:9 AMOLED panel, and from the short time I had with the phone, it looked great. The screen was nice and bright and the colours characteristically popped as you would expect with AMOLED technology.
OnePlus have also ditched the aluminium back that was introduced with the OnePlus 3 and moved to a curved glass back akin to the latest Galaxy line. OnePlus say that this is to allow higher LTE data speeds (up to 1Gbps with this handset) which is very difficult to do with a metal backed phone due signal throughput not being as good through metal. OnePlus have opted for Corning Gorilla Glass 5, and for those worried that a glass back won’t be as strong as a metal one, they say it is as durable as any of their previous metal models. Of course they do.
I didn’t get too long with a handset to test things like the performance and cameras. Certainly, the phone seemed to be snappy enough switching between apps. OnePlus had set up an area in the “Experience Zone” with a bunch of phones hooked up to TVs playing Asphalt 8, and the phones seemed to be playing the game with little to no lag to be seen. I come to expect good performance from OnePlus due to using the latest Snapdragon processors and Oxygen OS being a stripped down, clean version of Android.
I have a couple of negatives at this point that I’m disappointed OnePlus haven’t been able to squeeze in to the 6. Since moving to the S9 from the S8, I’ve loved the addition of stereo speakers over the bottom mounted mono speaker on the previous model; it really makes watching videos much more immersive and saves the awful, necessary hand cup round the bottom of the phone to direct sound my way when trying to hear videos. The P20 has also got stereo speakers, and the iPhone has had it since the iPhone 7, but sadly OnePlus haven’t managed to include it on the 6.
Secondly, I’m surprised no wireless charging has been included this time with the move to a glass back. Historically, OnePlus has claimed that it’s not required, due to the Dash Charge featured on all OnePlus models for years being far more efficient. No doubt, but wireless charging is nice to have, maybe in the 6T…
The OnePlus 6 is up for pre-order on the 21st May. There are three memory variants (64, 128 and 256GB) and three different “colours” to choose from: glossy black, matte black and a limited edition white and rose gold colour. Not all memory variants are available in each colour.