The OnePlus 6 is now available, and it's a compelling option for someone looking for an unlocked phone at a reasonable price — starting at $529 to be specific. But price aside, it's a great choice for anyone, even those considering more expensive options, thanks to a combination of hardware and software, and a community that continues to support the company and one another.
Here's everything you need to know about the OnePlus 6!
The latest OnePlus 6 news
November 3, 2018 — OnePlus 6 gets Nightscape, Studio Lighting, and new navigation gestures with OxygenOS 9.0.2 update via OTA
Just days after the Oxygren OS Open Beta brought Nightscape, Studio Lighting and other software enhancements from the OnePlus 6T to the OnePlus 6 beta users, the features have rolled out to stable OnePlus 6 users. The 9.0.2 update is an OTA, so users can expect to see it anytime now, if you haven't gotten it already, and there's quite a bit to look forward to in this update:
- Brand new navigation gestures
- Improved UI for About phone
- Optimized standby power consumption
- Updated Android security patch to 2018.11
- Added support to launch Google Assistant or other third party assistant app by holding the power button for 0.5 seconds
- General bug fixes and improvements
- Added Nightscape
- Added Studio Lighting to enhance face contour
Can we take a moment to appreciate how quickly this came? OnePlus 6T and its sweet new camera features get announced Monday, OnePlus 6 Open Beta users get OnePlus 6T software enhancements Tuesday, and not even 72 hours later, OnePlus 6 stable channel users get them, too! Older models getting software improvements seen on newer models isn't uncommon, but seeing them less than a week after they're announced is kind of amazing, and I wish more smartphone makers would be this expedient in sharing new toys with old and new phones alike.
Of course, it helps that the OnePlus 6 and 6T are very, very similar phones.
October 27, 2018 — OnePlus teases more of the OnePlus 6 gradient colors we'll never get
Youtuber Arun Maini, better known as Mrwhosetheboss, got a preview of the coming OnePlus 6T at OnePlus's Chinese headquarters, and while all will finally be revealed for the new model on Monday, there were some more color protoypes that OnePlus showed Maini, who then showed the world in his OnePlus 6T preview video. And as a lover of beautifully colored phones, I just have to say it's not fair to play with my heart like this.
Now, this is not the first time OnePlus has teased us with colors that never made it to market. It showed off a whole host of prototype colors back in the summer after the Red OnePlus 6 was released, but the prototype colors shown off now are almost all gradient color styles rather than the solid color models OnePlus stuck to on the OnePlus 6, and man, these are beautiful! That purple/black gradient is just darling, and look at that Tequila Sunrise! Just look at it!!
OnePlus had so many cool color options it explored for the OnePlus 6... but it still only gave us white, black, and red. Granted, crazy-colored phones can be a gamble, but color done right can be an asset, like on the Huawei P20. One can only hope that them showing off all these colors means that maybe there's hope the 6T will give us the color we deserve — colorful cases and skins are no replacement for making a beautifully hued phone to begin with — but either way, we'll know soon.
September 21, 2018 — Stable Android 9 Pie update rolling out to all OnePlus 6 owners
Less than a month after OnePlus launched its Pie Open Beta, the company is already rolling out a stable build of the new Android version to everyone that owns a OnePlus 6!
This update includes everything first introduced with the Open Beta, such as a refreshed UI, Pie's new gesture navigation, Gaming Mode 3.0, and more. Also included is the September 2018 Android security patch.
Android 9 is making its way to OnePlus users now as part of a staged rollout. That means it'll be hitting a "limited number" of people today and will then expand to others over the coming days.
September 3, 2018 — Every OnePlus 6 owner can install Android 9 Pie right now, provided they want to use beta software
After a couple weeks running in a closed beta, OnePlus has opened up its Android 9 Pie update for the OnePlus 6 to any willing participant. The new update is the first public taste of the actual OxygenOS-customized version of Android 9 Pie, as early builds during the Developer Preview stage didn't have a full suite OnePlus tweaks and additions.
As is typically the case with beta builds, there are known bugs and problems with this first open beta release. OnePlus says that Google Pay will not work on this build, and Google Play may complain that your device "is not certified." If you're willing to deal with those known issues and some occasional instability, you can head to the OnePlus forums and download the file for your own phone. Note that there are different update processes depending on whether you're currently on the stable build or the original developer preview.
August 20, 2018 — OnePlus starts accepting applications for Closed Beta group
On its community forums, OnePlus announced that it's opening up a Closed Beta group for the OnePlus 6.
Unlike the OxygenOS Open Beta that's open for anyone to sign up for, the Closed Beta will be restricted to just 100 users who own a OnePlus 6, are active in the forums, and are willing to provide constant feedback/communication with the OnePlus team through Slack.
Members of the Closed Beta will be able to test bleeding edge versions of OxygenOS before they're even moved over to the Open Beta, and because of this, all users that are accepted must sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement with OnePlus to ensure that any features/bugs found in the builds are kept under total secrecy.
If you'd like to apply for the OnePlus 6 Closed Beta Program, you can do so here.
July 18, 2018 — OnePlus 6 Android P Developer Preview 3 adds bug fixes and tweaked UI
On July 18, OnePlus announced its third developer preview of Android P for the OnePlus 6.
This update mainly focuses on big fixes, with some of the highlights in the changelog including improved system stability, fixed issue with mobile hotspot, better camera functionality with third-party apps, and improved overall image quality with the camera. Also included is the July 2018 security patch.
Our friends at 9to5Google recently got their hands on the beta, and as they spotted, this preview includes a few UI changes — most notably the recents page/app switcher.
The cards on the recents page have a more rounded appearance and appear to be smaller than Android P on Google's Pixel phones. There's also a menu button near the top of each app that lets you quickly hop into split-screen mode. Other chnages include a redesigned settings page and a white paint job for the Shelf.
July 10, 2018 — The OnePlus 6 Red is now available for purchase
The day has finally come! You can now buy the striking OnePlus 6 Red exclusively from OnePlus's website.
This limited edition model of the phone costs $579, and for that price, you're getting the most powerful configuration with 8GB RAM and 128GB of internal storage.
OnePlus is making a limited run of this color, so once it's gone, it's gone.
July 3, 2018 — OnePlus shows off different colors/patterns it was testing for the OnePlus 6
OnePlus recently launched the lustrous OnePlus 6 Red, and while there's no doubt it's one of the most gorgeous phones on the market right now, it was just one of many designs that the company was toying with before ultimately selecting the red we now have.
PCMag was recently invited to tour OnePlus's headquarters in Shenzen, China, and during the visit, got a chance to look at some other colors OnePlus was testing for the 6. As you can see in the video above, OnePlus was messing with glass backs that had subtle patterns, gradiant designs, and much more.
The video also showcases early prototypes of not only the OnePlus 6, but other OnePlus phones, too. I'm a big fan of the OnePlus 6 we ended up getting, but it is cool to see what could have been.
July 1, 2018 — OnePlus is adding a limited-edition red OnePlus 6 to the mix
Late on Sunday night in the U.S., OnePlus is announcing a limited-edition red OnePlus 6, which is coming to North American and European markets on July 10 for $579. The model will just be available in the now-common 8GB/128GB RAM and storage combination, and only from OnePlus.com.
Following the launch of the critically acclaimed OnePlus 6, which sold over 1 million units in just 22 days, OnePlus is bringing a new limited-edition color to Europe and North America, the OnePlus 6 Red.
The OnePlus 6 Red is designed to match power with style, with attention to detail paramount. The metallic red shimmer coupled with the red, mirror-like fingerprint sensor elegantly contrast the silver accent around the camera.
Six panels of glass make up the back of the OnePlus 6 Red. With this variant, OnePlus has added an additional anti-reflective layer to create a sense of depth by allowing more light to reach the bottom layers before being reflected off the device. A translucent orange layer has been intermixed with the red base layer to achieve a radiant and glossy red, unique to OnePlus design.
OnePlus also says that the Bullets Wireless headphones will also be restocked on July 10.
June 14, 2018 — One million units of the OnePlus 6 were sold in just 22 days
We expected the OnePlus 6 to sell like hotcakes, but I don't know if anyone was anticipating demand on this level. On June 14, OnePlus confirmed that it crossed one million sales of the OP6 just 22 days after it launched.
OnePlus notes that this demand is a "sharp upward hike from even the OnePlus 5T", and as such, the OnePlus 6 is now taking the title of the company's best-selling product to date.
For comparison, both the OnePlus 5 and 5T each crossed one million units sold within three months of launching.
June 14, 2018 — OnePlus 6 comes with Dirac's latest sound optimization solutions
Swedish-based audio technology company Dirac works with the likes of OPPO and Xiaomi to provide optimized audio solutions, and the company announced that its latest technologies are baked into the OnePlus 6.
Dirac Power Sound is a micro-speaker tuning technology that optimizes the performance from the built-in speaker to deliver a clearer, more natural sound with richer details and more powerful bass.
Dirac HD Sound, meanwhile, is a sound optimization solution that tweaks impulse and frequency response to improve sound quality. Dirac says it has worked closely with OnePlus to ensure that the sound output coming out of the 3.5mm jack is "optimized to the highest level, while also capable of producing sound characters tuned to OnePlus users' preferences."
June 12, 2018 — The OnePlus 6 in Silk White is back on sale for a limited time!
If you missed out on the opportunity to grab a sexy OnePlus 6 in sexy Silk White, now's your chance — though it will probably sell out pretty quickly.
June 6, 2018 —Bullets Wireless earphones and Silk White OnePlus 6 sell out in 24 hours
Just 24 hours after they were made available for purchase, both the $69 Bullets Wireless earphones and $579 Silk White OnePlus 6 both sold out.
If you didn't get a chance to grab either of these yesterday, OnePlus says the Silk White OP6 will be back in stock on June 12 with the Bullets Wireless following shortly after.
June 4, 2018 — Silk White OnePlus 6 and Bullets Wireless earphones launching June 5 @ 10:00 AM ET
About two weeks following the OnePlus 6's launch, the limited edition Silk White version of the phone and OnePlus's Bullets Wireless earphones are officially going on sale.
The Silk White OnePlus 6 is "the company's boldest design to date" featuring six layers of white glass that have been mixed with pearl powder and gold accents for the frame, fingerprint sensor, and more. It's a downright stunning look and will cost $579 USD with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage "while supplies last."
Along with the Silk White OnePlus 6, the excellent Bullets Wireless earphones are launching, too. Andrew recently gave these a glowing review, praising them for their surprisingly great sound quality, USB-C charging, comfortable design, and competitive $69 price tag.
Both the Silk White OnePlus 6 and Bullets Wireless will be available on June 5 at 10:00 AM ET.
May 31, 2018 — Battery percentage coming to the status bar, fix for rear camera autofocus issue, and more
As part of a Q&A session OnePlus held of its forums, the company answered a lot of burning questions on users' minds. You can read through the full rundown here, but the highlights include:
- The three dots in the status bar will be removed in the next update.
- A battery percentage is coming to the status bar in the next update.
- Scheduled Do Not Disturb will be added in the next update.
- The next update will fix low volume for calls and notifications.
- Future updates will correct issues with the rear camera's autofocus.
- Your network will properly work when using an IDEA as a non-data card in the next update.
- A fix in the next update will resolve an issue that causes sound to stop working when switching to the speaker from the earpiece.
May 29, 2018 — JerryRigEverything tears down the OnePlus 6 to see how waterproof it really is
It was expected that OnePlus would have to cut a few corners in order to keep the OnePlus 6's price as low as it is, and one of those cuts came in the way of a proper water resistance rating.
Unlike other flagship phones, the OnePlus 6 doesn't come with a proper IP rating. However, OnePlus does note on its website that the phone "is well-equipped to survive a drop in the sink or a spilled glass of water."
To test out just how "water resistant" the OnePlus 6 actually is, JerryRigEverything cracked open the phone and determined it's about as protected as other phones that have a proper IP rating. Check it out above!
May 23, 2018 — The OnePlus 6 is now available!
It was only announced a week ago, but the OnePlus 6 is now available to order from oneplus.net starting at $529 USD.
Are you ordering?
Read our review and watch the video
First thing's first, watch the video and read the review. There's plenty about the phone to learn, even though much of it is familiar. But the essential question a review tries to answer is, Should you buy this thing? And the response is an unrestrained, Yes.
The OnePlus 6 is the company's finest phone ever, with excellent design, build quality, battery life and, for the first time, cameras.
Review the specs
Once you're done reading the review, you should, ahem, review the specifications. The phone is powerful — like one of the most powerful on the market today — with plenty of headroom and legroom (it's proverbially spacious is what I'm trying to say) for whatever you want to throw at it. Apps-wise, not like object-wise.
How does it compare to other phones?
Of course, the OnePlus 6 doesn't exist in a bubble — you have to compare it to other devices if you're going to decide whether you should buy it. Thankfully, we've done most of the work for you, comparing it to the best flagships on the market right now.
- OnePlus 6 vs. Google Pixel 2 XL: Which should you buy?
- OnePlus 6 vs. Samsung Galaxy S9+: Which should you buy?
What about to other OnePlus phones?
Yeah, OnePlus owners like to keep it in the family, so to speak, so it wouldn't be surprising to see many upgrading, or thinking of upgrading, from an existing OnePlus device, like a 3, 3T, 5, or 5T. Of course, with the company releasing two phones a year these days, it won't be long until the next upgrade cycle hits, but that also means that the existing phones age quite well, thanks to frequent software updates (the joys of not going through carriers).
If you have a OnePlus 5 or 5T, you can probably hold onto those phones for a bit longer — unless you need the camera improvements. OnePlus's 2016 phones, on the other hand, may be getting a bit long in the tooth and could use a replacement.
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5T: Should you upgrade?
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 5: Should you upgrade?
- OnePlus 6 vs. OnePlus 3T & 3: Should you upgrade?
Is the OnePlus 6 camera that much better than before?
Yes! The OnePlus 6 has a larger 16MP sensor than previous OnePlus devices, with pixels that are 19% bigger, so low-light photography is immensely improved. It's not going to overtake the Huawei P20 Pro or Pixel 2 for Low Light Champion Of The World, but it's reliable in all conditions, and that's more important than anything else.
The camera is probably the biggest improvement over previous OnePlus models.
The phone's main sensor is aided by a fast ƒ/1.7 aperture, so true depth of field is a thing, along with drastically improved image signal processing from Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845. Together, the phone is able to detect the correct settings more quickly, take multiple shots if necessary, enable HDR mode automatically, and reduce or eliminate grain in dark conditions.
There's also Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which was in the OnePlus 3 line but removed in last year's series for unknown reasons. It's back now, and paired with a larger sensor and faster main lens, the results speak for themselves.
On the other hand, the OnePlus 6's secondary camera has less to do — it's a 20MP sensor with an ƒ/1.7 lens, but its main purpose is to facilitate portrait mode which, while good, isn't enough reason to have a second sensor in the first place.
Is the notch distracting?
The notch is what it is. You may hate it out of an aversion to all things Apple, or you may learn to live with it and forget it's there. Most people will fall somewhere in the middle — it's a character trait, like a freckle or a certain hairstyle.
What it does, though, is open up spme additional real estate on the 6.28-inch screen, which is great. But it also limits the number of icons that can be seen in the notification area, which is a bummer. Plus, the clock on the left side of the notification bar will never make sense. If you watch the video below, though, you can see ways to tweak the notification area to your liking. And you can also disable the notch altogether if you want to.
How's the software?
It's good! Running Android 8.1 Oreo, OxygenOS has turned into one of the most enjoyable, reliable versions of Android to date. OnePlus has also added a number of additions to make the whole thing run more smoothly, especially if you're looking to maximize your screen real estate.
One of the more interesting changes to the software is a set of gestures that eliminates the bottom navigation keys, relying on swipes up from different areas of the bottom edge to go back, home, and enter multitasking. It's different, but not bad. You'll have to try it yourself.
As for tips and tricks, we've already got that list going, so if you're looking to make the most of your OxygenOS experience, we have you covered.
What's it cost?
The OnePlus 6 starts at $529 USD for the base model and goes up to $629 for additional RAM and storage. There are three configurations and three colors, and here's a breakdown of which one to buy.
Here's how the pricing breaks down in various regions.
Tell me more about the colors
There are four colors: Mirror Black, Midnight Black, Silk White, and Red.
Mirror Black is going to be the most common, since it's the only color offered in the cheapest tier. It's shiny, reflective glass, so it gets fingerprint-y, but that's OK because you'll likely put the phone in a case (see below). It's also a little slippery, which is to be expected. Mirror Black is offered in 6GB / 64GB configurations for $529.
Midnight Black is the color we've come to expect from OnePlus over the years, though the matte-looking finish belies a glass back, too, like the Mirror Black. Midnight Black is only available in 8GB / 128GB and 8GB / 256GB configurations for $579 and $629, respectively.
Silk White is one of the more limited of the four colors. It's also covered in glass, but like the Midnight Black model it has a matte finish and is easier to grip. Its white back has rose gold accents, and it's definitely the nicest and most unique of the three colors. It's only available in the 8GB / 128GB configuration for $579, and once the run is sold out, OnePlus is not making any more.
Red is also a limited edition color and is easily the most vibrant of the four that are available. It has a similar shiny finish like Mirror Black but uses a translucent orange layer and red base layer to create one of the most powerful reds we've ever seen on a smartphone. Sales open on July 10 and it'll be available with 8GB RAM + 128GB storage for $579.
I heard there's an Avengers version — TELL ME EVERYTHING
Yes, you heard right: OnePlus has once again worked with Disney on licensing a special version of the OnePlus 6 for the Chinese and Indian markets. Last year, OnePlus offered an understated Start Wars variant of the OnePlus 5T, and now the Avengers version takes advantage of the hype behind the recent film release.
The Avengers version comes in a unique box and includes an Iron Man case and a OnePlus/Avengers co-branded medallion, which is neat. And while there's a familiar glass back on the Avengers Edition, it has a Kevlar-style design underneath. Because Kevlar=superheroes, or something.
While the special edition isn't coming to the U.S. officially, I'm sure that some entrepreneurial Indian and Chinese resellers will do the dirty business of importing some of them at a huge premium to this side of the world.
The OnePlus 6 doesn't work on Sprint or Verizon
The OnePlus 6 technically supports the CDMA bands for Verizon and Sprint in the U.S., but the phone lacks certification for their networks, so those users — just under half the smartphone-wielding U.S. population, is out of luck.
We've got your full technical explainer below.
Do you like cases?
As it does with all of its phones, OnePlus has unveiled a series of first-party cases for the OnePlus 6, and they're all pretty great.
This year, there's a fancy new protective bumper made of woven nylon, and while it adds a bit more bulk than the typical snap-on, I think it looks and feels awesome.
What are your thoughts on the OnePlus 6?
Let us know in the comments!
Updated July 3, 2018: Added the OnePlus Red to the list of colors!
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