After months of building hype in various forms, OnePlus finally launched the OnePlus 6 on Thursday in India, a day after its global launch in London. The OnePlus 6 ticks many boxes in terms of specifications that you will usually find in a flagship smartphone, which is why the company has been banking upon the tagline of ‘Never Settle’ to tout some of the top-of-the-line features at a price point lower than what other flagship smartphones cost. This time, OnePlus joined the ranks of the other Android phones that aped the iPhone X notch without the hesitation even after an upheaval in the behaviour of the customers that clearly showed disinterest. Anyway, when every other Android OEM is hoarding all the important specifications and features but touting the display and the notch on top of it, why should OnePlus be behind?
In India, OnePlus 6 comes with a starting price of Rs 34,999 for the base variant that gives the buyers 6GB of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage. The speculations that the OnePlus 6 will be the costliest OnePlus smartphone so far came true when the company enthralled the audience sitting in The Dome at NSIC in Mumbai by introducing the Marvel Avengers Limited Edition model at a price of Rs 44,999. This is an all-time high price for a OnePlus smartphone launched yet. While the specifications such as the processor, camera, and battery remain the same, the RAM and storage get bumped up with the dearer price tag to 8GB and 256GB.
If you look at the history of OnePlus phones, not a long ago, the company devised the strategy of launching two devices in a year, more so because it wants to stay updated with the latest trend in the phone industry to quench its loyal users with everything that makes them ‘never settle’. OnePlus launched the OnePlus 3 in 2016 that introduced the AMOLED displays to the line. It was also the first OnePlus phone to come with 64GB storage – something that was not quite popular among the mid-range and ‘budget flagship’ smartphones.
While the OnePlus 3 customers were happy with what they got for around Rs 27,999 after fighting the online war of flash sales – a term probably introduced by OnePlus for the sales model of OnePlus phones, that happiness did not last long for a few when OnePlus announced the OnePlus 3T – a refreshed version of the OnePlus 3 with bumped up cameras, chipset, RAM/storage models, and battery at a bumped up price starting at Rs 29,999 in India. Irrespective of the increase in the price of the phone, people were still ready to shell out Rs 2,000 more for overhauled cameras in the OnePlus 3T. But not everybody is as frugal as spending money on a phone every six months, hence the grudges against this six-month launch plan of OnePlus phones.
Two years later, we already have OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T, and the latest OnePlus 6. Do you see the pattern here? Yes, it’s indeed what you think because it is so conspicuously obvious that OnePlus will launch the ‘T’ version of the OnePlus 6 later this year, following the previous trend of releasing the T models in December usually. This unconventional and rather ‘unique’ approach to naming the refreshed models of the flagship phone each year is presumably a result of a well-thought marketing and branding strategy to make the OnePlus phones stand out. Carl Pei, OnePlus co-founder, at the launch of OnePlus 5T explained vividly why these phones have ‘T’ suffixed to the respective number of each year’s flagship model.
Pei gave a reasonable explanation that since Apple used the letter ‘S’ for its iPhone models every alternate year (iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, and more), adding one to S results T. So S plus one is T – which is kind of a reverse arrangement of the company’s name OnePlus, hence T. As absurd as this may sound, Pei confidently believes that this convention makes OnePlus phones stand out and keeps people from saying that OnePlus copies Apple.
OnePlus 6, largely and visibly, boasts of a notch on the top of the display that measures 6.28-inch in size at a full-HD+ resolution. The notch originated on the iPhone X that garnered a mix of reactions, mostly bad about how ugly it looked on an otherwise beautiful phone with an all-screen display. OnePlus 6 too features the notch but with a narrow extension, which somehow does not lessen the ugliness to those set of people that judged the iPhone X notch. But let’s now get over it.
The OnePlus 6 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which is the most powerful Snapdragon SoC to date. It has dual cameras – 20-megapixel and 16-megapixel on the rear and also sports a 16-megapixel front camera. Other than these, there aren’t any major bumps that you will see in the specifications list of the smartphone. The design of the smartphone contains elements such as a new glass panel on the rear that replaces the metal finish on the predecessors. But despite having a rear glass panel, the OnePlus 6 does not support wireless charging, which is a major turn down for many, given that all the flagship smartphones now have wireless charging as a standard feature.
While this may disappoint many users who were expecting the otherwise solution to charge their OnePlus 6, it could be a boon for those who are not as enthusiastic as the former set of buyers. As is evident from the pattern that OnePlus follows, the OnePlus 6T will perhaps be the first OnePlus smartphone to come with wireless charging. While it is not clear at the moment when that will happen, but at least, we can assume this safely for now. In addition, the OnePlus 6T could also feature the under-display fingerprint sensor, which has been long-coming on more than one Android smartphones, other than the pioneer Vivo X21 UD.
Samsung is said to be working on the same fingerprint sensing technology for its upcoming smartphone, but it’s not clear if it’d be the Galaxy Note 9 or the Galaxy S10. however, the recent reports have said the Galaxy S10 is more likely to have the technology. Now, OnePlus has been aggressively active in picking up the outstanding and top-of-the-line features of the latest flagship smartphones. If Vivo (which is a brand of BBK Corporation that also owns OnePlus) can succeed in testing, trialling, and mass-producing the Vivo X21 UD with an under-display fingerprint sensor, OnePlus is highly likely to adopt the same technology for the ‘T’ version of the OnePlus 6.
The subtext here is that spending as much as Rs 44,999 for the OnePlus 6, even if that’s for the Marvel Avengers Limited Edition, is not actually worth when the OnePlus 6T will perhaps be unveiled for the buyers just later this year. While there is no harm in buying OnePlus 6, a few missing things make up for the wait that will bear the fruits in the form of OnePlus 6T. Anyway, OnePlus 6 looks promising even at a higher price point than its predecessors. It packs some top-of-the-line specifications that are usually found on higher priced flagship phones. If you don’t mind spending money for OnePlus before actually getting to know the OnePlus 6T (which could launch later this year), you can give OnePlus 6 a shot.