When I was returning to the office after picking up our review unit of the OnePlus 6, my colleagues stayed later than usual. While we’d have all ordinarily left a bit early on a Friday evening to enjoy the weekend, the OnePlus 6 had kept everyone back. We were all excited to finally see the smartphone that had generated so much attention, excitement and fervor. But when I unpacked the device and showed it to them, there were a lot of confused looks.
That is, unfortunately, one of the biggest effects of devices that see this kind of hype. In the smartphone world, the brands that generate this kind of attention can be counted on one hand. And when the product finally arrives, you’re either amazed or a bit let down, with very little room for your reaction to be somewhere in between. My colleagues weren’t let down, but they definitely expected more.
Bells and whistles
The rumors, teasers, leaks and reveals spoke of many things for the OnePlus 6, from rated water resistance, to an alert slider that could adjust the focus on the camera, to a heart-rate sensor. Instead, what we get is a device that comes with nothing new at all; everything on the OnePlus 6 has been done before. But maybe that’s exactly the point of a OnePlus device. It isn’t about doing things that are new and radical; Samsung, Apple and Huawei have that covered.
WATCH: OnePlus 6 First Look
Instead, it’s about doing what exists better. OnePlus’ philosophy has always been about getting the package right. A OnePlus device will excel in departments such as software, performance and usability, without trying too hard. And that same OnePlus device will outdo smartphones that cost twice as much in those departments. It’s why despite not offering anything radical and ground-breaking over the past few years, OnePlus continues to prosper.
What does the OnePlus 6 offer then?
As I said, not much has changed inside the phone. The exterior and screen a whole different story, but deep down inside, the upgrades and tweaks are simple. You could call the OnePlus 6 a OnePlus 5TN (the N is for notch), and it would sound right. The chipset is upgraded to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and there’s one variant that comes with 256GB of internal storage, but nearly everything else on the OnePlus 6 is the same as on the 5T.
What you get, therefore, is a phone that looks different and definitely has a different screen (that you will either love or hate), but that has the very same soul and caliber. The OnePlus 6 isn’t radical, it isn’t revolutionary and it certainly isn’t from the future. But it is a realistic representation of what a smartphone is capable in the present. It takes its users seriously, giving them the phone they need today.