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The OnePlus 6 after one year: enraptured by software

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Almost 12 months have now passed since OnePlus presented the 6 series and put it on sale. Since then, the OnePlus 6 has accompanied me through highs and lows in my daily smartphone life. Time to draw a conclusion.

If you follow the publishing rhythm in the smartphone industry, you would have to buy a new smartphone every 12 months at the latest. But a smartphone in the first weeks, if not in the first months, is hardly the same as after 12 months. The hardware does not change over time, but the software does. After more than a year with the OnePlus 6, I have to admit that this component is and will remain the addictive factor in this smartphone.

AndroidPIT oneplus 6 backside
The OnePlus 6 is not exactly a beauty. / © NextPit

OnePlus 6: the ugly duckling among smartphones

If it's about the exterior, then I wouldn't really go for a OnePlus smartphone. After only 12 months, the design of the smartphone has already become obsolete. While Huawei, Samsung and Co are already courting buyers with color gradients on the shelves, the OnePlus 6 seems somehow boring and the design outdated after one year.

AndroidPIT oneplus 6 front top
Hotly discussed and also criticized, but in everyday life notch is not really noticed anymore / © NextPit

Also from the front the wide notch looks very old-fashioned. But let's be honest: after buying a smartphone, who is going to keep looking at the back of it and hope to still be emotionally on cloud nine after 12 months. Isn't it rather the case that over time you don't think about the design of your smartphone anymore? At least that's what happened to me, because in everyday life completely different values count with the OnePlus 6.

With a trick the camera will actually be good

Ok, when it comes to cameras, whether for photography or videos, OnePlus has never really been a threat to Apple, Samsung and Huawei. But it is not as bad as it is sometimes propagated in public. At least not if you use the Google Camera App port instead of the Stock Camera app. Thanks to developers who port the camera app only meant to be compatible with Google's own Pixel smartphones to OnePlus smartphones, the OnePlus 6 can actually take very nice photos.

Even in very poor lighting conditions. Sure, the camera hardware built into the OnePlus 6 prevents you from getting close to the quality of the Pixel 3 XL, but it's amazing what the Gcam port for the OnePlus 6 can do with the photos.

The disadvantage of using an unofficial port is that you have to take care of the updating of the app yourself and you have to live with bugs and crashes from time to time.

AndroidPIT oneplus 6 front bottom
With the Google Cam you get better photos. / © NextPit

OnePlus Fast Charge dispels the battery worries

The battery life of the OnePlus 6 is satisfactory. Almost 5 hours of display on time were the rule in my long-term test. But at least once a day the OnePlus 6 had to be connected to the quick charger when I was using it. If you want to have an endurance runner who, despite intensive use, only needs to be connected to a power supply shortly before going to bed, you should rather stay away from the OnePlus 6. Personally, it didn't bother me much. As with almost all everyday objects, one incorporates into the daily routine.

AndroidPIT oneplus 6 dash charging usbc
The quick charging technology of OnePlus is very helpful when socj times the battery level on the day nourishes to zero. / © NextPit

With the OnePlus 6, the purchase of a second power supply and one for the car was mandatory after just a few weeks. At work and when traveling, the OnePlus quick-charging power supply is used to ensure that the battery is charged at least 80 percent in the shortest possible time in emergencies. For charging at home and overnight, I usually use a power supply unit that charges the OnePlus 6 slowly and gently. But placing strategic charging stations has always been part of my everyday life.

The software is the star

OnePlus has always placed great emphasis on the software and a fluid everyday experience. Anyone who has ever used a OnePlus smartphone for a long time will understand me when I say that OxygenOS is one of the most fluid software experiences on a smartphone. Apps start fast, content builds up fast and scrolling through the app drawer is a pleasure.

AndroidPIT oneplus 6 broken case
Twelve months have left their mark on OnePlus 6 and the sandstone shell. / © NextPit

Android purists love OxygenOS because it comes very close to Google's Stock Android. What OnePlus also integrates in terms of adjustments promotes the individuality of the user. From accent colors, status bar configuration to gesture control, you can customize the software to your own taste.

But with all the praise there is also a lot to "criticize". Why do you need an independent gallery app in this day and age? Google Photos is pre-installed, it would be sufficient to use these. Google Assistant can now be started silently by pressing the power button for 0.5 seconds after a software update, but it requires long training to internalize the pressing time. I personally think that Shelf is superfluous too, but an option to open Google Discover with a right-click is not anchored in the settings. Mind you, these are really just little things and you can get along with them over time.

Is the purchase of a OnePlus 6 still worthwhile?

Even after one year, the OnePlus 6 is still doing a good job and is convincing, especially thanks to the software. In terms of performance and usability in everyday life, the OnePlus 6 is still one of the top smartphones. You have to accept compromises in terms of camera quality and battery life. So long as you are aware of this, the OnePlus 6 still deserves a recommendation in 2019. Unfortunately OnePlus has already stopped the production of the OnePlus 6, so it is difficult to buy one brand new.

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Go to comment (8)
Shu On Kwok

Shu On Kwok
Senior Editor

Since 1999, Shu has written about the colorful world of IT and telecommunications. His career started as a presenter at the five-hour TV show NBC GIGA, which led him through several career stages until he finally joined the AndroidPIT team in May of 2015. His passion for mobile devices and gadgets knows no boundaries. Whether Android, iOS or Windows, Shu feels at home with any OS.

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  • 25
    Deactivated Account May 23, 2019 Link to comment

    Oneplus's Oxygen OS is a powerful software. So powerful that it literally kills all background applications forcefully like EMUI and MIUI, in fact worse than those and in spite of the so called those batter optimization settings nothing much can be done about it. Shame!
    Oneplus being close to Stock Android may be true on UI front, may be because at its inception it wanted the support of Stock Android loving Tech Enthusiast community for its growth. But for maximizing profits, just like any ambitious company, and much like most Chinese brands, it aggressively advertises its products and employs all tricks and tactics to create hype around its Oneplus smartphone. Come on, it is just a smartphone brand that has decided to use flagship processor from Qualcomm, and incorporating some last years well tested innovation has decided to sell a bit cheaper than the competition with subpar cameras till today. I swear, if
    you specifically talk about still photography, available at half the price, Mi A1 was better than Oneplus 5, Redmi Note 5 Pro (India and China only) and Mi A2 better than Oneplus 6, and definitely... definitely today at One fourth the price with the same Sony 586, Xiaomi Redmi Note 7 pro (China and India only) unarguably takes better photos than Oneplus 7 Pro.
    And here we have youtubers (some, free flight tickets, hotel stay) raving Oneplus 7Pro's camera and overall and even pose to revel Oneplus's wireless bullets, which are great at everything except sound quality. Sheesh... you get what you pay for and that's definitely true with Oneplus, neither less nor more.

    • 1
      Chronop123 May 30, 2019 Link to comment

      Have you actually used an OnePlus 6 and Mi A2? Taken photos with them or better, actually tested both back to back in the same conditions? I have. Both with the phones' stock camera apps and their respective GCam ports, the OnePlus 6 was consistently better with more details, better dynamic range and overall more capable in ALL lighting conditions. As far as video goes the OP6 is miles better. If you want to compare the two phones in other areas, the OP6 has a brighter, bigger screen with better colours. The battery in those two phones has a difference of 10% more capacity in the OP6 but the battery life with similar usage is consistently 20% or, usually more, better in the OP6. In the materials department, again, the OP6 is of higher quality. That all leaves us with the elephant in the room, which is software and I say it is the elephant in the room because one is an OxygenOS phone and the other one an Android One phone. Having bought the Mi A2 on preorder and the OP6 6 months after it's release, the experience of having those two phones couldn't be different. While the OP6 never had any problems serious enough to impact daily usage (nor any reported in the time between it's release and my purchase) the phone always performed flawlessly. The forceful killing of apps is, indeed, an issue but not as big of one as the internet likes to make it look. On the other hand, the Mi A2 had a well documented fingerprint scanner bug that pinned it's CPU to 100% usage at ALL times (even when locked for hours and left to "doze") that made it a 2h SOT phone and took 3 months to be recognised by Xiaomi and an additional one to be fixed. The Mi A2 has suffered from launch and still does from unacceptably poor storage performance to the point where it would completely lock up and restart 2-3 times when attempting to clear anything more than 300mb of cached data from Chrome, something I've witnessed every single time. The Xiaomi Mi A2, being an Android One phone and the OnePlus 6 being a "skinned" Chinese phone would make someone think the Mi A2 would run fast, have a clean experience and be updated regularly, whereas the OP6 would be sluggish and be updated much less frequently. In reality the experience was the EXACT opposite with OP6 getting regular updates (albeit they have slowed down in the past month, probably due to OP7 release, I'm still in April security patch) and having an excellent software experience with clean and smooth being the perfect words to describe the experience. Even OnePlus's "additions" to Android have been non-intrusive and have had zero impact to the performance of the phone. On the other hand the Mi A2 has had and still does a big record of big bugs that have not been corrected almost a year after it's release and it's day to day performance, even disregarding the bugs, has not been characteristic of pure Android phone being slow at times and having worse battery performance despite a lower power chipset. In the end, I find that everything you said, is, from personal experience, totally wrong with the only exception being that you do get what you pay for. The OnePlus 6 is a premium phone that provides a premium experience with a pricetag that is actually midrange in today's world of 1000+€ smartphones, on the other hand a maker of traditionally low price phones that usually performed better than their pricetag would suggest, has made a phone with mediocre performance crippled with unrecognised and unfixed bugs. Get your facts straight.

      • 25
        Deactivated Account May 30, 2019 Link to comment

        Don't waste your time. I specifically talked about still photography.
        Depending on the apps used, background killing of apps is a problem, In camera Oneplus 6 was a bit better than Mi A2, but there's a huge price difference (3 times here) , further, Xiaomi's MIUI smartphones don't have those bugs and are wildly famous in a number of Asian countries.
        As for Oneplus, a number of opportunities exist where you can find top tier flagships at around 700$. That's simply better value than constant $545 oneplus.
        Talking about present, I know where Oneplus 7 and Oneplus 7Pro stands compared to some of the better smartphones we have available in China, India, Philippines, considering camera and price to performance ratio. We have brands like Xiaomi, Realme, Asus models specific to India. I don't have any doubts or confusion, specially because we have a very large and independent Tech community.
        Disturbed mind?

      • 1
        Chronop123 May 30, 2019 Link to comment

        I told you what my experience was comparing still photography on those two phones. Myself. Something you clearly have not done yet still feel qualified to comment on it. Background killing of apps is not a problem and, again, as someone who has probably (you never answered my question) never touched an OP6 (any other OP phone conering how uninformed you are about them), you cannot know how much of a problem it is. The launch price difference of those two phones is 2.2x the price of the Mi A2 for the OP6, that being said, since you mentioned sales of more expensive flagships, you need yo consider sales of the OP6 as well. I got mine for 391€ for the 8/128 model and the 6/64 was at 345€ at the time of my purchase. Literally pocophone money for a much better phone. All brands you mentioned are cheaper lower quality brands with inexcusably badly written and optimised software and well documented issues. Only exception being Xiaomi in it's MiUI phones indeed. I totally understand someone not being able to spend more than 200€ on a phone and there have been great choices in that category in the past few years. I'm just allergic to uninformed people spreading misinformation.

      • 25
        Deactivated Account May 30, 2019 Link to comment

        You said " All brands you mentioned are cheaper lower quality brands with inexcusably badly written and optimised software and well documented issues". 😂😂😂
        Doesn't oneplus smartphones have issues. They too have a myriad of issues, including well documented privacy concerns.
        Realme is a sub-brand of OPPO just like Oneplus. Uses most of its patented technologies. Asus is a well established technology enterprise and uses stock Android in its Max Pro series.
        You seem to have some other problems in your life, you can frankly share them if you want. 😂
        Oneplus is not a bad smartphone, so what's your problem when I am highlighting the issues associated with it? Well it does settles, it is not a small company and it is not one step ahead of the competition. All these are silly sop stories, fairy tales, a reality distortion field created by Oneplus.

      • 1
        Chronop123 May 30, 2019 Link to comment

        Realme, just like OPPO do write bad software for their phones. OnePlus WAS a spin off company from OPPO that followed a different philosophy that ended being proven superior. ASUS has always made sub par phones with the exception being phones released from 2018 onwards were they've clearly tried to improve by using better materials and an almost clean version of Android. That said, budget ASUS phones are still lacking when compared with Xiaomi's offerings. OP, just like all brands has it's problems, but you don't seem to know what those are, you're blindly hating and making out of reality statements (that Mi A2 is a better handset than an OP6 or that RealMe phones have skins that aren't laggy, stuttery messes) and I'm showing you just how out of touch you are. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE go on a few forums and read a few reviews before you attempt to write an answer to my comments again because your misinformation is frankly painful and disturbing.

      • 25
        Deactivated Account May 30, 2019 Link to comment

        Coward you are answerless. 😂😂

      • 25
        Deactivated Account May 30, 2019 Link to comment

        You get your facts straight and better target and improve upon your misinformation. Get your facts straight. I have seen people using Realme smartphones since it's launch, still getting updates and Color OS has improved a lot. No lag and stutters. Oneplus's smartphone design have been inspired by OPPO, its pop-up camera and in display fingerprint scanner is VIVO tech, which with OPPO comes under BBK electronics. Warp Charging/ Dash Charging is OPPO's super secret, patented VOOC charging tech. Oneplus smartphones are still made by OPPO in its manufacturing establishments. Don't have knowledge?
        And currently Oneplus 7 Pro is being flagged by several software bugs such as ghost touches, battery drain, camera focusing issues in macro shots, crushing blacks in daylight.
        Just your Ego, incurable fanaticism.

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