OnePlus is slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Each generation of the “flagship killer” improves on the last, and it’s earning the company both respect among tech fans and earning new customers.
Clearly, the pinpoint focus on releasing and selling just one phone model at a time is paying dividends.
A big part of the appeal is that the phone rarely has any major compromises in a mobile that costs significantly less than the likes of the Samsung and Apple flagships. This, of course, is helped by those companies making their latest phones harder and more costly to attain.
With the OnePlus 6 due to come out later this year, rumours and speculation are gathering pace as we approach the launch time.
OnePlus 6 price and release date
- Coming in Apri-June timeframe
OnePlus has already said that the next phone will arrive late in Q2 2018, which means we’re likely looking at another June launch.
It’s a good time of year for OnePlus. It’s a good month or two before the madness of September/October announcements, and it’s a few months after all the phones announced at Mobile World Congress in February are launched.
As for price, we hope OnePlus keeps things where they are. A starting price of £449 may not be as cheap as older generations, but it’s still considerably cheaper than the competition, and it enables OnePlus to continue to grow.
OnePlus 6 design
- Full metal body
- Attractive finish
Something OnePlus has shown over the past couple of generations of device, is that it knows how to consistently improve design and build. We’ve gone from a thin, plastic OnePlus One to a OnePlus 5T built from a solid block of beautifully finished aluminium within four years. The Midnight Black and Sandstone White finishes are among the finest you’ll see on a solid metal device.
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Another trend from OnePlus is that – being owned by the same company as Oppo – its flagship phone often looks the same as Oppo’s. The OnePlus 5T was similar to the Oppo R11s and OnePlus 5 was an Oppo R11 lookalike. It stands to reason then that we’re likely to see something very similar to the newly-announced R15.
Perhaps the biggest change here is on the front, in form of bezel. Or lack thereof. While the OnePlus 5T’s long 18:9 screen is beautiful, it’s not as striking as the iPhone X’s, primarily because there is still some bezel on the top and bottom. The R15 from Oppo has a slim portion of bezel at the bottom, and an iPhone-esque notch at the top.
Corroborating this theory, a couple of images purporting to be the front and back of the forthcoming device – which is confirmed to launch in the second quarter of 2018 – have appeared on Chinese website ITHome and they show a new, shiny design and an iPhone X-style notch on the front.
The notch houses what appears to be an incredibly small earpiece and a single-lens camera. It’s believed the OnePlus 6 will come with very secure facial recognition technology, which is where the front-facing camera will come in. However, the notch is nowhere near as intrusive as the one found on the iPhone X.
On a less aesthetic-based opinion – let’s finally get some proper water and dust resistance shall we? Nothing has been rumoured so far, but it’s one of those features added to many of the high-end flagships and is almost becoming standard.
OnePlus 6 display
- 19:9 ratio AMOLED
- 2280 x 1080
Given the OnePlus 5T’s recent launch with its new 18:9 ratio display, it’s hard to imagine OnePlus moving to something completely different for the OnePlus 6. There’s also a distinct likelihood that we’re going to see a notch at the top, which means shifting slightly to push the status bar out of the “main” display area, which in turn means pushing the ratio up to 19:9, and the size up to 6.28-inches.
In the Android market, virtually all legitimate flagship phones have a QuadHD resolution display. The Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy S8+, LG V30, Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P10 Plus and HTC U11+ – all with similar sized screens to the flagship OnePlus – have either 1440 x 2880 or 1440 x 2560 resolutions. That means finer details like text and app icons appear sharper and crisper. You may not see the individual pixels in a 1080p display, but you can certainly tell the difference when it’s side-by-side with QuadHD.
It’s unclear if OnePlus will up its resolution this year, but – again using the Oppo R15 as an expectation – it’s more likely that we’ll see 2280 x 1080 resolution.
OnePlus 6 hardware
- Snapdragon 845 processor
- Dash Charge fast-charging
- 6/8GB RAM
One thing we know about OnePlus phones is that they use whatever is Qualcomm’s latest high-end processor. This year, that’s the Snapdragon 845, and it’s going to be in the OnePlus 6. The company’s founder Pete Lau confirmed as much in an interview with CNET during CES 2018 in Las Vegas. He stated “Of course, there’s no other choice.” So that’s one thing settled.
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According to Android Central’s sources, the OnePlus 6 – codenamed the A6000 – has been benchmarked, and those results confirm the Snapdragon 845. Similarly, the aforementioned hardware leak shows a 6GB/64GB option, which is the same as the current baseline OnePlus 5T. In addition, we’re likely to see a model with a huge 256GB storage and 8GB RAM, if a leaked image obtained by CNMO is anything to go by.
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Another benchmark, this one obtained by XDA Developers shows one of the biggest changes – that likely won’t make a huge difference in the UK – is Gigabit LTE support. It means the OnePlus 6 could be capable of supporting download speeds up to 1000Mbps, thanks to Cat. 16 LTE. Of course, to use this, you carrier’s network needs to support it as well. For those that do, you can expect lightning fast downloads.
Although bigger batteries than the 3,300mAh cell in the OnePlus 5T exist, the way OnePlus has optimised it means you comfortably get through a full day on a single charge, even with a smartwatch connected. It’s surprisingly good. Of course, if OnePlus does go with a higher resolution display, a higher capacity battery should come with it, to make up for the more power-intensive screen.
If it’s going to match the Oppo R15 again, that means a battery capacity increase up to 3,450mAh. It’s not a huge increase, but every little helps, as the old adage goes.
We expect Dash Charge, super fast-charging technology to remain. It’s one of the company’s biggest advantages over most competitors. Even if you do drain the battery, you can plug it in for 30 minutes and have it 3/4 full again.
Perhaps one essential improvement is the Face Unlock feature. Currently, the technology only uses the front camera, which isn’t the most secure method of facial recognition.
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Adding depth sensors/IR would help make it harder to fool, and enable OnePlus to use it for more features, like unlocking private apps or authorising payments and downloads from the Play Store. As much has been rumoured already, so we’re hoping that speculation pans out.
OnePlus 6 cameras
- Dual camera system
- 16MP + 20MP on the back
Of all the features that, arguably, need more attention than others, it’s the camera. While the OnePlus 5T’s dual camera system is great in daylight, its HDR system does need improvement, as does low light performance if it’s going to compete with the likes of the Pixel 2 and Galaxy S8, which seem to take great photos without any effort at all.
As has been mentioned several times, the OnePlus and Oppo flagships often share similarities, and this can also be seen in the camera system. There are two versions of the R15. The regular model has a dual 12-megapixel/5-megapixel system on the back, and a 20-megapixel sensor on the front. There is a “Dream Mirror Edition”, which has a higher resolution 16-megapixel/20-megapixel system on the back. If we had to hedge our bets, we’d go with the latter.
OnePlus 6 software
- Android Oreo-based system
- Oxygen OS with customisability
What’s not to like about Oxygen OS already? On the surface, it’s a very minimal, clean Android experience, except OnePlus gives you the ability to control a number of design elements. It’s fairly certain we’re going to see a very similar software experience on the the OnePlus 6, but built on Android Oreo.
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