I, for one, welcome the current push back against wireless only connections, so OnePlus gets a hat tip here for sure.
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The phone's dual camera system is located in a central, vertically orientated array on the backplate, with the lenses extending out just a fraction not flush. Beneath them you have a flash unit, and beneath the flash there is the device's oval-shaped fingerprint reader. I can confirm that the fingerprint reader is well-positioned and easy to access. The only other things to note at this point is that the OnePlus 6 comes with a screen protector installed out of the box, as well as a solid if quite standard rubberised bumper case. This hardware spec is top, top tier flagship and, as you can see in the nearby box, delivers some outrageous benchmark scores.
A single core score of 2, and multi-core score 9, is higher than those achieved on not just the Sony Xperia XZ2 flagship smartphone, but also the 5-starred phone to beat in , the Samsung Galaxy S9 , both of which typically post scores in the mid-to-high eight thousand range in GeekBench 4. Those scores are, without doubt, largely down to the octa-core power delivered by the phone's processor and, unlike 's other flagship phones to date, 8GB of RAM instead of 6GB or even 4GB. As a user that always likes to have the best specced model of any phone release, it felt very satisfying to have that extra RAM tucked under my belt, especially as it adds a big dollop of future-proofing to the device, too.
As frequent readers of T3 will know, I am a big fan of large phones and, if they come packing a quality screen as well, then that definitely appeals to my tastes. So the 6. And, thanks to the on-trend notch sported on the OnePlus 6, something that helps deliver a most welcome 84 per cent screen-to-body ratio, you really get to enjoy it to the maximum while navigating the device. Detail, too, was great thanks to that sharp 2, x 1, resolution. I felt the adaptive brightness mode as well leaned too much toward the dim side of the scale, and I did find myself manually adjusting the screen's brightness, both indoors and outdoors, on a few occasions to get what I felt was a more suitable viewing experience.
This camera system also delivers 4K video recording up to 60 frames per second, and - in a new feature for the line - a super slow motion mode that can capture at up to frames per second. The sensors on those cameras are Sony-brand IMX , IMX K, and IMX so I had high hopes for the phone's photo-shooting potential, and considering that the main 16MP camera's sensor is 19 per cent larger than that on located on the outgoing OnePlus 5T, and also now features optical image stabilisation OIS , I fully expected to see some improvements in snapping power, and especially so in low-light environments.
OnePlus says that it has introduced a Smart Capture mode on the 6 that, depending on the shooting environment and time of day, will select which of the phone's camera features to use to optimise the image for clarity. The maker has also reportedly upgraded its High Dynamic Range algorithm, too, which has been designed to improve lighting in taken photographs. My experience with the OnePlus 6's camera system was a mixed bag.
As you can see from the above image gallery, colour capture in is a major strong point for the phone, with colours really deep, vibrant and popping out of taken images, both in close-up focus shots and wider panoramas. Low-light performance is improved over the OnePlus 5T, but the 6's capabilities are not best in class.
Detail is also solid, which is to be expected from those sensors, and the phone actually leans a little too far away from processing grain close-up for my liking, which is interesting considering the sensor tech stems from Sony and its devices tend to lean toward it instead. As you can see from the image above shot in Bristol Aquarium, low light performance is improved over the OnePlus 5T, and specifically so when there is a central subject to the image, with core pic areas like facial features definitely more defined.
This low light performance though is not the best I've tested this year, with both the Sony Xperia XZ2 and Samsung Galaxy S9 topping it in my mind, and I found lighter parts of these images, such as people's skin, to appear a little patchy. Flat light shots were also more hit and miss than I've been used too this year when using flagship phones.
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Overall, I feel the OnePlus 6's camera system is good, but considering the insanely high standards set elsewhere in the device notably its core hardware and design , it slightly lets the device down, and especially so if you are serious about smartphone photography. The OnePlus 6 comes equipped with 3, mAh battery and, straight away when I saw the capacity on paper, considering the size of the screen and powerful internal hardware, I thought this could be a less than ideal area for the phone. Using it over the testing period though left me in two minds about its capabilities.
You get a solid day and a half typical usage time with the OnePlus 6, which while not ideal, I definitely feel should be par for the course today for smartphones, and did not see me running for the charger too frequently. However, I did notice that the battery got severely munched in heavy usage scenarios, such as when running Final Fantasy Pocket Edition and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, and I do wonder if the battery has the legs to continue powering these demanding experiences on such a well-endowed, large form-factor device, while also maintaining a north of a day usage period, in a year or so.
What I definitely feel was a massive success though was the phone's Dash Charge technology, which can provide "a day's power in half an hour". My testing confirms that you can get roughly a 50 per cent charge in 30 minutes providing you are at 0 per cent or close to it , and a full charge in around 80, which is very competitive and helps to mitigate my fears over future battery life.
While I don't consider it a super important, make-or-break feature, I feel it is important to note here that the OnePlus 6 does not support wireless charging. How you will feel about this omission will largely come down to you charging setup and habits.
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Lastly, the OnePlus 6 comes running Android 8. And, simply put, this is a very good combination that in no way bogs down the OnePlus 6's user experience. OxygenOS is a light skin of vanilla Android and offers some neat gesture controls, too, which make navigating and using the phone fluid I liked the three-finger screenshot gesture especially.
The phrase emblazoned on the side of the OnePlus 6 box is "The Speed You Need", and there's no doubting that this phone absolutely delivers on that promise. The OnePlus 6 is a blazingly fast Android phone, both in raw benchmarks and everyday usage scenarios, with my experience so far characterised by buttery smooth navigation, app-use, media-streaming, web-browsing, downloading, editing and more.
I feel the battery is suitable for the phone, too, despite having some reservations about its ability to maintain that over the medium-to-long term, and the OnePlus 6's notched, screen is very nice as well, communicating a level of premium that the phone's sub-flagship price would not suggest it has. After all, the OnePlus 6 is very much a top, flagship-level device and as such must be judged at those standards.
Overall, however, the OnePlus 6 is a drag racer of Android phone, delivering unparalleled speed and power - and at a price point that falls well short of that demanded by its rival's flagship phones.
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For more information about the OnePlus 6 then visit OnePlus' official website. If you're not fussed about the OnePlus 6T, the company is offering a phenomenal deal on its predecessor. OnePlus to adopt a Google style update schedule that the competition could learn from. But you'll have to act very, very fast if you want to score one. OnePlus or Apple? Combined with a fluid 90Hz refresh rate for smooth and snappy animations, those elements truly made for a wonderful experience.
And the same is true of the OnePlus 7T Pro's screen: it's got all the same good stuff. With a pixel density over pixels per inch, it's really sharp. Fine text and curves looks smooth and crisp. Colours look great too. You don't get the over saturated reds and oranges you find on previous-generation AMOLED screens, and whites aren't overly warm either. At least not in the vivid mode. That's one of the joys of OnePlus' phones: the display settings menu lets you customise the overall tone and balance of the screen.
It's not perfect for everything though. As we've found with many displays with curved edges, it does tarnish the experience of watching movies and shows slightly. The curves slightly distort the top and bottom edges of the picture, and catch reflections so sometimes you can miss a little of the action. What's more, the screen itself isn't tremendously great for viewing in bright daylight, especially not when watching Netflix content.
It seems dark watching shows on there, while the general phone's user interface is vivid and easy to see most of the time. We suspect this is down to HDR content on Netflix. For instance, and animated show like Disenchantment looks clear and easily visible all the time, but one such as Our Planet with more depth in shadows, colour and light isn't as constantly bright and vivid.
This is fairly typical for any smartphone however, and certainly not limited to the OnePlus 7T Pro. OnePlus' reading mode offers both a colour and monochrome version, so if you don't want it fully black and white then that's possible. It also gets the revamped Zen Mode for helping you take time away from your phone; Gaming mode for boosting gaming performance, and the ability to change the style, shape and colours for many of the elements in the user interface. One of the new features to hit the software in was actually an update to the Google app, which enables Ambient Mode, essentially turning the phone in to a Google Assistant screen when it's plugged into a charger.
It's no surprise that everyday performance from the latest OnePlus phone is fast and snappy. It's been the company's mantra since the beginning, not to settle for merely fast when you can achieve super speedy. In the words of Lightning McQueen it " is speed ". Any interaction on the phone is fluid and fast. Whether you're swiping up and down the app drawer, scrolling through your gallery or multitasking and switching apps, nothing is slow on this phone.
Even loading the most graphically intense games is quick, each performing free from lag or stutter. Because OnePlus has always aimed for this, you won't notice it as starkly if you upgrade from a recent OnePlus phone, but you will if you switch from virtually any other phone. With all of that said: there's not much difference in daily life when you compare the 7T Pro to the 7 Pro.
With so much of its performance being so similar, it almost begs the question as to whether or not the 7T Pro really needs to exist? We get that OnePlus loves to ensure it has the latest technology available to consumers, but the incremental upgrade here is barely perceptible. Like its predecessor, we did also find that the phone gets a little warm to the touch when gaming or watching videos. Despite its internal cooling system, we could definitely feel it getting warm in our left hand, at the top edge of the phone. Battery performance is good too.
Although it's not impossible to drain it in a day - a few hours of gaming would do the trick - in an average day it will still comfortably reach bed time. We were easily able to get to the end of a day with 30 per cent remaining, having listening to a couple of hours of music, browsed some social media, played games for 30 minutes, and watched a couple of episodes on Netflix. If you do have a particularly busy day and the battery drains quickly, you can charge it up again in no time. OnePlus' updated 30W Warp Charge technology is fast and efficient.
Plugged in for half an hour it can deliver around per cent of the battery, giving you enough juice to get through a full day with ease. Look down the camera spec list and it makes for impressive reading. OnePlus' triple camera is capable of many things.
It has three distinct focal lengths, so you can get your regular wide, ultra-wide and telephoto zoom shots. It has night mode for low-light situations, Super Macro mode for close-up subjects, 4K video recording, and fps super slow-mo. It can do it all. The overall the image quality is good. In daylight you'll get sharp details and natural, vibrant colours. But as seems to be a trait with OnePlus there are a few inconsistencies. It seemed to have a little trouble snapping sharp images of people moving, even in daylight, often resulting in blurry images.
And just as we've seen with a few triple camera systems, there's a slightly different overall look to the images that come from each of the three cameras. For the most part, the primary camera delivers the sharper, more accurate and best-looking pictures with decent contrast and dynamic range.
The other two can often produce fairly flat images, with overblown highlights and weak shadows. However, it does depend on the type of image. Switching to Super Macro mode - which uses the ultra-wide camera - the pictures look great. Again, as long as the subject is completely still. As for low-light shots, there could be improvement here.