Friday, 1 June 2018

One Plus 6 – One Week In

Once the dust has settled down, and once the actual early adopters of the world have played around with it, a much clearer picture of the One Plus 6 begins to emerge. We’ve had the latest iteration of the OnePlus phones (the flagship killers) for about a week now, and we pretty much have nothing but good things to say about it. And this has been true for pretty much all the OnePlus phones we have ever seen or used. And we’ve used a few, which even till today, are fairly relevant (the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5 for example).
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Now to get the preliminaries sorted out, we’ve had the OnePlus 6, 128 GB, Mirror Black finish model since the date of launch. And we’ve put it through most daily tasks, browsing, watching Youtube Videos, taking photographs, booking Olas/Ubers and also as an actual phone to talk to people. Pretty much the only thing that it hasn’t been used for is heavy gaming, despite there being a specific gaming mode. Let’s be honest, we’re casual users, but like to know that we have enough power in the tank for more if need be.
All right, the preliminaries are over- On to the phone!
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Pros after a week of usage
1. Build and Screen Quality
One Plus delights once again, the phone feels quite premium, and is definitely an eye catcher. It has a glass back, which is supposed to be a fingerprint magnet, but doesn’t really matter since like most typical Indian janta, we slapped the included cover on the back as soon as we got it. The phone is super thin, yet easy to grip, has a headphone jack and a USB C port at the bottom, and a dual Nano Sim tray. The one issue might be the notch at the top of the screen, but we got used to it after a couple of days.  There is a fill mode on videos which allows the video to fill the screen, where the notch might be a bit of a distraction. Yet, we will put this in as a pro, since the notch is tiny enough to not matter, while providing a little more valuable screen real estate.
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The Screen is pretty awesome, it’s large, it’s bright, even under direct sunlight you can read most text. It also reproduces colour quite well, although the colours do appear a little saturated. Also, thanks to the notch, the lack of a fingerprint scanner in the center, and the small chin, Oneplus manages to fit a pretty large screen in a pretty small chassis. All good.
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2. Nifty Features
You get a lot of features with the OnePlus, some of which leave you scratching your head even after a week with this baby. The first is gestures on the screen, which are incredibly nifty in a pinch. This has been carried over from the 5T, and is still pretty impressive. Even a week down the line, we’re still figuring out the flashlight (we’ve configured this to launch with an O gesture on the screen). You can also disable certain attributes, like the notch (converting the area around the notch into a black bar) as well as the bottom 3 Android buttons, instead using your touch gestures to switch between apps, go back or go home.
However, we did not find these to be smooth enough, and hence decided to stick with the bottom bar buttons and the notch. More in the cons section!
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There’s also a pretty nice active display, which as far as we’ve discovered only activates on the phone’s motion and not on its other sensors. This works fine for us too, and we get small icons of the most recent notifications, as well as the time, without having to unlock the phone.
There’s also a little switch on the side that lets you go from loud ringtone, to vibrate in a couple of easy steps.
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3. Battery Life
This baby has a lot of juice. Even on heavy usage, watching videos, booking cabs, instagramming, writing blog posts ;), there’s still around 25% left at the end of the day. And this is fine because dash charging, provides a day’s power in half an hour. You’ll never be stuck with low battery on this one. In fact, we have never ever had to switch on battery saver mode in our daily usage. The display being on pretty bright all throughout did not dampen the battery efficiency of the phone at all.
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4. Camera
The camera is great! In face it has the only mode most of us will ever require, namely, the Foreground Focus – Background Blur Mode, aka, Portrait mode. This works really well for us. Although the front camera doesn’t have this yet, OnePlus promises they will include this in their next software update. So hold on to your dreamy selfies for now. The front camera is not bad though, and takes hi fidelity images, while also performing decently in low light.
In fact what I have noticed is that the front camera is so good - you need to have a good skin day, in order to use it! Haha! In case you’re having a bad skin day, the camera compensates for it, using an awesome setting, adding a soft blur to your photo for a fantastic selfie! 
Video is pretty good  too, with a 240fps slow mo mode to spice up your Instagram stories, as well. 
Do not expect Pixel 2 or iPhone X level quality of photos from this, but also, do not worry, the camera on this is a beast.
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Cons
1. Unlocking the Phone
There’s now a plethora of options to unlock the phone, including face and fingerprint along with the standard modes. However, the quantity of modes simply does not replace the fingerprint scanner at the front. Now don’t get me wrong, the modes work well, but some are just a bit annoying to use. The face mode is fooled by photos, and you also need to be directly over the sensor, and the fingerprint scanner is not easy to use unless you’re holding the phone up. The phone also sometimes needs more light in order to aid face recognition, and lights up the screen to do so, which can be a bit annoying (or handy depending on your preferance) in its own way.
All these things are workarounds for the in screen fingerprint scanner, which might make its way to the OnePlus 6T or 7, since it’s already surfaced in the Vivo X21.
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2. Fingerprint Magnet
Now we mentioned before that you’d probably put a protector on this first thing, but in case you don’t and pick the Mirror Black, good luck with those fingerprints! The Matte Black version is a saviour is this case. 
3. Glass back without wireless charging
Now, this is probably not a deal breaker for most of you, but it still begs the question, why have a glass back in the first place if no wireless charging? Wireless charging is pretty convenient if you have more than one device that supports it, but once again, it is definitely not a deal breaker for most. I believe we should see this in the 6T.

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4. The Price
Yes yes, the OnePlus 6 is still value for money, but they’re now approaching the higher price territory. While it still undercuts the Samsung Galaxy S9 by around 15k, and the S9 Plus by around 25k, and the iPhone by a kidney transplant, it is slowly but surely reaching the stage where the OnePlus is no longer a flagship killer for the masses, but its own flagship, competing with the likes of Vivo, Motorola and Huawei flagships. The OnePlus 6 internals do justify that high a price, however, only time will tell whether a further raise will be appreciated by fans or not. 
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So, did you check out/try the new One Plus 6 yet? What are your thoughts on it?


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