OnePlus 6 Review: Premium High Performance Android For Less
OnePlus 6 Battery Life And Final Review Summary
Since the introduction of Android 7 Nougat, and even more so with Android 8 Oreo now, our battery life testing at HotHardware has become a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, Google's mobile operating system is getting more aggressive at killing tasks that are consuming significant power and haven't had any user interaction. As a result, our usual PCMark Android battery test now fails on some phones, depending on how they're configured. The OnePlus 6, unfortunately, hasn't been playing nice here and has shutdown the test multiple times. However, we think we have zeroed in on how to keep it up and running and are re-running the battery test as you're reading this.
However, anecdotally, in real-world use, we'd say battery life with the OnePlus 6 is excellent. We've made the device our daily driver for the past two weeks and so far the phone has been holding up better than the Google Pixel 2 XL and the Galaxy S9+. Typically we can get through an entire day of mixed use, with video streaming, email, chat, texting and social media activities, and head off to bed (late like night owls as usual) with plenty of charge left to get through to a morning wake-up alarm.
On the charging front, though the OnePlus 6 is an all glass affair, there is no wireless charging on board unfortunately. This was likely in an effort to keep cost down and OnePlus mitigates this situation with a bit of true innovation when it comes to its Dash Charge technology. Again, with its stout Dash Charge cable and AC adapter, Dash Charge pushes higher current to the OnePlus 6 at lower voltages than other fast chargers (max 5 Volts at 4 Amps specifically). The result is this is easily one of the fastest charging smartphones we've ever tested. OnePlus says you'll get a full day's charge in 30 mins, but we found that with just for a quick top-off of a few minutes with Dash Charge, you can get a totally serviceable level of charge when on-the-go. Bravo, love it, and again the phone stays nice and cool under charging load. The OnePlus 6 also has a pocket deactivation feature that when enabled, will keep you from accidentally waking up the screen when in your pocket, saving a bit of power as a result. All told, these are thoughtful inclusions in lieu of the convenience of wireless charging.
We're a little late to the party evaluating the OnePlus 6, but boy are we glad we circled back around to check this highly tuned Android flagship out. The OnePlus 6 could be the sleeper phone value of the year so far, with great performance and features, at a very competitive price point. With 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, our OnePlus 6 test unit scored top marks in almost every benchmark we through at it, often taking the #1 spot -- if only by a hair. Further, in every day use, the phone feels as responsive and fast as its benchmark numbers reflect, and that's without Android skin bloat getting in the way the way as well.
In fact, OnePlus takes pride the fact that its OxygenOS is vetted by its community of Beta testers and new features are added only if they're proven to improve your experience using the phone. This is a great way to approach feature inclusion in Google's already powerful, customizable and capable Android operating system. OnePlus goes on to claim that its "OxygenOS is designed to refine Android’s core functionalities with useful features and optimizations, without messing with what works. OxygenOS is optimized for speed, thanks to efficient use of memory and light-weight apps."
After living with the OnePlus 6 for about a month now, we would say these are all accurate and fair statements. OnePlus took the powerful Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, beefed it up with a healthy allotment of RAM and storage and coupled it with a clean and lean OS based on Android Oreo that has thoughtful inclusions and features, from its Gaming Mode with Network Boost, to customizable gestures and button mapping, and even the fastest wired charger we've ever tested. Along with its great looking OLED display and premium build quality the OnePlus 6 checks almost every box, save for wireless charging and an official IP68 listing.
Starting at $529 (or $579 for the 8GB / 128GB model we tested), you get a lot of value, features and performance with the OnePlus 6, so we're handing it an Editor's Choice award. We hear the OnePlus 6T is on the horizon as well. Yes, we'd like more. Bring it.