The OnePlus 6, which runs OxygenOS, is close to stock Android, but there are several subtle differences between it and a pure Android Pixel phone. Based on these differences, here are six tips and tricks which will help you get more out of your OnePlus 6.
1. Transferring your old smartphone's data to the OnePlus 6
Unboxing and setting up a brand new smartphone is always exciting. Transferring all your data from the old smartphone to the new one is always the first order of business. OnePlus has its own app to make this process a little more smooth. It's called OnePlus Switch, and you can find it in Settings > Advanced on your OnePlus 6. You'll also need to put the app on your old smartphone by downloading the app from the Play Store, then you can follow these steps to move everything over:
- Open OnePlus Switch on both smartphones
- Connect both smartphones to the same Wi-Fi network
- Select the OnePlus 6 as the new smartphone, and the other as the old smartphone
- Scan the QR code with the old smartphone
- The transfer will begin, and all you have to do is wait
- Important note: Do not use either smartphone while the transfer is taking place!
After moving all the data, you can use your OnePlus 6 just like it was your old smartphone, with the exception of some app-specific data, like WhatsApp messages which have to be transferred separately. Here's a guide for that:
2. Go with the notch, or without
Display notches are the big flagship trend of 2018, and the OnePlus 6 is definitely on-trend. Not everyone likes the look of the notch, though. That's why OnePlus gives you a way to camouflage it easily, in Settings > Display > Notch display. Hiding the notch means that apps are prevented from making use of the part of the display around the notch, and instead, that area is kept black (with the exception of the usual status bar icons and time) so the notch isn't noticeable at first glance.
Quick guide to hiding and showing the notch on the OnePlus 6
- Go to Settings > Display > Notch display
- Select Hide the notch area or Show the notch area
3. Change the theme and accent color
This feature has been in OxygenOS for a long time, and it's always one of the first things I activate: the Dark Theme. The option to change the background color of the menus can be found in Settings > Display > Theme. You will have three choices: Default, Light and Dark. In addition, you can personalize the accent color on any OnePlus smartphone running OxygenOS. The option for Accent color is just below the Theme setting. There are eight different accent colors to choose from, which you can see in the screenshot below.
Quick guide to changing the theme and accent color
- Go to Settings > Display > Theme
- Pick your favorite theme from among the three options
- Tap OK to confirm your selection
- In Settings > Display, tap Accent Color
- Pick from one of the eight accent color options
- Tap OK to confirm your choice
4. Navigation bar or gestures
With OxygenOS 5, OnePlus gives users the option to choose to use gestures rather than the classic navigation bar. To fix the navigation bar in place, hide it or use gestures instead, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Buttons > Navigation bar & gestures
- Choose Fixed navigation bar, Hide the navigation bar or Navigation gestures
- The setting will change immediately once you select one of the above options, no confirmation required
If you decide to use the navigation gestures on the OnePlus 6, they will take a bit of getting used to if you haven't already become accustomed to them by using them on the OnePlus 5 or 5T. Once you get the hang of it, it will be like second nature to you.
Swiping from the left or right edge of the screen replaces the back button, while a swipe from the middle of the screen replaces the home button and a swipe from the middle of the bottom edge of the screen opens the Task Switcher.
5. Use Face Unlock
Instead of using the rear fingerprint sensor, it's possible to unlock OnePlus smartphones running OxygenOS 5.x.x with facial recognition. To use this feature, follow these steps:
- Go to Settings > Security & lock screen > Face Unlock
- Follow the on-screen instructions to register your face
- Enable Auto unlock after the screen is on
Now you have the option to unlock your smartphone with Face Unlock in addition to using the fingerprint scanner. But, you should keep in mind that facial recognition is more about speed and convenience than security.
6. Use gestures for practical shortcuts
In the Settings under the Gestures menu, there are a few quick tricks you should set up which are very practical for everyday life. For example, you can let the fingerprint scanner act as a shutter button for selfies, trigger screenshots with a three-finger swipe or activate a double-tap to wake or sleep feature. I find the latter especially useful when using the OnePlus 6 in my day-to-day.
There are also gestures which you can program as shortcuts. For example, drawing the letter O can launch the camera app, while drawing the letter V could open another app of your choice.
Do you have any other tips you think we should include? Share your OnePlus 6 tips and tricks with us in the comments below!