Like most reviewers, I've stood witness to OnePlus' evolution. From a tiny, unknown company, that, for some reason, thought people would actually wait for its devices, the company today accounts for a big portion of India's premium market segment.
OnePlus' recipe for success has been simple. The company offers a high-end smartphone at significantly cheaper prices. Or at least that's how it was, till the OnePlus 5 and 5T. The good news this year is that the OnePlus 6 isn't considerably more expensive than the OnePlus 5T, but it still creeps closer to the absolutely high-end space.
There's no denying that the OnePlus 6 is a great smartphone, but a few more questions can be asked off it, at Rs. 34,999 and Rs. 39,999. And that's what I'll start this review with.
It doesn't charge wirelessly
This is the first time OnePlus has used a glass back on any of its devices. Yet, the phone lacks wireless charging. OnePlus says this is because your phone charges slowly using a wireless charger and it doesn't see real merit in the technology yet.
The answer, while true to some extent, is also questionable. It seems a lot of the feature the OnePlus 6 lacks would have added to the phone's cost to the company. That's against the “Never Settle” principle the company so proudly pushes.
That said, it also shows you where OnePlus' target market lies. Once a enthusiast-focused company, it's now shifted focus to mainstream buyers. Wireless charging is not a feature that changes your life. Especially in India, a country where most buyers belong to the mainstream, wireless charging is really something us geeks care about. It makes your phone that much cooler and futuristic.
It's not waterproof
Motorola sold at less than Rs 20,000 and made it waterproof. The OnePlus 6 is water resistant against splashes etc. but the company gives no IP rating for it. You can't dunk this in water and get away with it.
Unlike wireless charging, waterproofing is an important feature for everyone. And truth be told, it's a point against any phone that's priced over Rs 30,000, including the OnePlus 6. You might still buy a phone without waterproofing, but you can't deny that the feature makes it that much better.
Again, making a phone waterproof does add to its cost. And OnePlus evidently chose to focus its expenses on AMOLED screens, the top-end chipset and gobs of RAM. As things stand today, the screen, processor and memory make up a huge portion of any phone's cost.
In 2018, most Android phones will have notches. Get over it.
Done? Let's talk about the notch then.
Over the past week, I have realised that a notch actually adds a lot to a phone's user experience. It does that by making almost all of the screen real estate available to you. As a result, my Batman wallpaper (below) on the OnePlus 6 looks absolutely gorgeous.
That said, I'd still choose Samsung's curved screens to these notch riddled ones. The curved edge just looks more stylish and premium, and it's just as immersive, at least in my opinion.
Simply put, the notch is one way to make smartphones look at least a little different. OnePlus is embracing it, just like everyone else. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
There, now that we're through with the three big points of contention about this phone, let's move on to the regular stuff. And here, again, I'll start with my favourite.