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OnePlus 6 Red Review

OnePlus 6 Red Review - The OnePlus 6 smartphone looks stylish and has a line-up of impressive specs but how does it perform in real life? Let's find out.

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OnePlus 6 in Camera Phones



1/125 sec | f/5.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

Quick Verdict

The OnePlus 8 smartphone can be described as an affordable flagship that has premium features at a not so eye-watering price. Image quality is excellent, the camera app gets the 'thumbs-up' and the red version is particularly stylish. We think the OnePlus 6 smartphone is an excellent buy!

+ Pros

  • Dual rear cameras
  • Great 6.28inch screen
  • Live bokeh
  • Pro mode
  • Stylish
  • Good price
  • Excellent camera app 

- Cons

  • Flare noticeable when shooting in sunny conditions
  • No digital filters
  • No microSD slot
  • Lacks stereo speakers
  • A slightly better rear second camera would be nice
  • Not waterproof - just "weatherproof"

 

 

1/125 sec | f/4.5 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

The OnePlus 6 Red, is a special edition of the OnePlus 6 smartphone which, as you might have guessed by its name, is red and a stunning red it is. 

It's an eye-catching colour but that's the only thing that's different when you compare it with any other OnePlus 6 smartphone so you don't have to buy this specific one for any other reason than you love the colour red. 

The OnePlus 6 is available now, for around £469-£569 (colour, RAM and memory depending), which sits it in the reasonably priced, mid-range of smartphones that offer premium specs at not-so-premium prices. You can also get the smartphone on contract, should you want to spread the cost. 

Some of the premium specs include dual cameras, optical image stabilisation, 4K video and a portrait mode you can create bokeh (blurry backgrounds with).

So with what's lining up to be excellent specs at a reasonable price-point, can the OnePlus 6 Red produce the goods and impress photographers enough that they part hard-earned cash for it? Let's find out. 

 

OnePlus 6 Red Features

1/125 sec | f/5.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

With 128GB of storage (other versions are available with different RAM and storage), there's certainly more than enough room for photos and 4K video to be stored which is a good job as there's no MicroSD slot built in. 'But, what camera do I capture my images with?' we hear you ask... Well, there are dual cameras (20mp used for portrait mode/depth effects and 16mp) on the back of the OnePlus 6 smartphone both with an f/1.7 aperture. The main 16mp f/1.7 camera on the smartphone also has a larger sensor than the OnePlus 5/5T, with 1.22um pixels (find out what pixel size means here) and the f/1.7 aperture should mean the camera performs OK in low light. 

Another great feature that's built-in is OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) and EIS (Electronic Image Stabilisation), something you don't see on all smartphones around this price point and the camera can record 4K video at 60fps, as well as high-speed video at 240fps or 480fps for up to a minute. A Pro mode with full manual controls, including raw support, is also built-in along with a histogram display and electronic level. 

There is a portrait mode which uses both cameras for better subject separation/bokeh (background blur) and you can also choose the style of the background blur as well as use portrait mode with the 16mp, f/2.0 selfie camera.

 

1/125 sec | f/4.5 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

A 3300mAH battery, 8GB of RAM and a SnapDragon 845 processor keep the OnePlus 6 powered so you can continue to take photos and view them on the impressive 6.28inch AMOLED screen which is larger than the screen found on the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, but with a shorter height. 

As you'd expect from a smart device, the phone has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi/NFC connectivity and it also has a "Daily Water Resistance" which means it should survive the odd rain or light sprinkling of water but is not actually water resistant, so shouldn't be used underwater.

As for colour choices, with the introduction of the red OnePlus 6, there are now four different colours available which means those who put a bit emphasis on design/look get more choice. The colours available are mirror black, midnight black, silk white and the new red version.

 

Key Features

  • Dual cameras, OIS + EIS 
  • 16mp f/1.7 main camera, 1.22micron pixels
  • 20mp f/1.7 second camera, 27.22mm equivalent (both)
  • 16mp, f/2.0 selfie camera
  • Sony IMX519/376K sensors
  • 4K 60fps video
  • Highspeed FullHD at 240fps, and 720p at 480fps - up to 1 minute
  • 6.28inch 19:9 AMOLED screen, with Gorilla Glass 5
  • Glass front and back
  • SnapDragon 845 (up to 2.8GHz)
  • Android 8.1
  • 3300mAh Battery

 

OnePlus 6 Red Handling

OnePlus 6 RED (1)
 

Something you don't see much on smartphones any more are switches but on the OnePlus 6, there's a really good switch that's solidly built (it even clicks satisfyingly) and you can use it to switch between normal, vibrate, and silent sound profiles. It's not groundbreaking, we know, but it's a rare feature on Android phones and, well, we just like it. Under this switch is the power button and on the opposite side are the volume controls which also double-up as shutter buttons. On the bottom, there's a speaker (not stereo), headphone socket (another rarity) and USB socket where you connect the eye-catching red/white USB cable. 

The OnePlus 6, particularly the red version, is a gorgeous looking phone with its metal edges, rounded corners and overall finish giving it a premium feel. 

The left and right edges of the smartphone are also thinner than the central section, making it look/feel better than other smartphones that are available. Some may consider it to be on the large size but the majority of us are used to relatively large phones nowadays so it won't be a problem. Plus, you can easily use the phone in one hand but when taking photos, we'd always recommend holding the phone with both hands. 

As with all smartphones, we recommend you pop a case on the OnePlus 6 and it's actually supplied with a thin flexible TPU case which does make the phone more grippy and prevents fingerprints appearing all over the back. A screen protector is also pre-installed which is a bonus and a high-speed charger is provided so you're not waiting around all day for the battery symbol's percentage to increase. In fact, the phone was completely dead and the battery reached 60% of its full charge in around 30 minutes. 

You can unlock the OnePlus 6 with your fingerprint and the sensor, which is on the back of the smartphone below the non-obtrusive dual cameras, can appear a different shade, depending on what angle you view the phone from, but it's no biggy really. If you don't want to use a fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone, you can draw out a pattern and the camera can be accessed without unlocking the phone, anyway, should you need to quickly capture a shot. 

The 6.28inch AMOLED screen, which is surrounded by a small bezel, is impressive, with the smartphone offering a larger screen than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, but with a shorter height. The screen is also impressively bright, with very good viewing angles, which we thought was slightly better than the S9 Plus, when viewed side-by-side. The OnePlus 6 offers a 2280x1080 resolution, compared to the S9 Plus, with a 2560x1440 resolution. A top-notch sits slightly into the screen but this is something we've come to expect in smartphone designs. After all, it's where the front camera sits (until more phones have pop-up front-facing cameras, that is).

 

OnePlus6 Vs Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus (1)
 

When you view photos on the OnePlus 6, they initially look very bright and overly saturated but you can alter the screen settings under "Screen Calibration" to sRGB, DCI-P3, Adaptive, or a Custom Colour, for more realistic results. 

As for how the screen and smartphone reacts, it's very responsive, with no lag slowing your photo-taking abilities down.

Talking of photo-taking, the camera app is pretty decent with various modes built in, including a pro mode, and a photo editing app. 

Here's the full list of shooting modes:

  • Video
  • Photo
  • Portrait (with depth-effect)
  • Slow motion
  • Pro mode
  • Time-lapse
  • Panorama

To access the different shooting modes, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The slow-motion video mode lets you record FullHD video at 240fps or 720p video at 480fps and you can record for a whole minute, which is much longer than most other smartphones with high-speed video recording. There is built-in video editing software so that you can edit the video to keep the best bits, too.

The Pro mode has the most options/settings and you can capture RAW images as well as use an on-screen histogram and electronic level to check your exposure levels before you hit the on-screen shutter button. You can also adjust the ISO, white balance, shutter speed, metering and exposure compensation. All of the controls, even the manual ones are really simple to use which is great to see as some other smartphones with Pro modes built in, such as the Nokia 7 Plus, aren't as straightforward to understand. 

 

OnePlus 6 RED (5)
 

Quick access modes are found along the top which includes self-timer, HDR, ratio and flash. Towards the bottom is where you switch between photo, video and portrait mode and below these options is the shutter button (which isn't a real button, it's just built into the app to keep the bezels small), and the button you use to switch the camera orientation from rear to front. To switch between the 1x and 2x zoom, you just press the circle with the figure in, as you do on all smartphones with this feature.

Portrait mode is where the OnePlus 6 creates its artificial bokeh to blur backgrounds and you can use the self-timer, turn on a beautify mode and also select the shape of the bokeh you want to appear - something we've not seen on many other smartphones so it's quite nice to see. 

In the video mode, you can easily change the resolution you're shooting in which is great as on the iPhone, you have to go hunting around in the settings to be able to do this and you can also use the LED light, switch between the rear camera, or use the selfie camera when you hit 'record'. 

Overall, it's a big 'thumbs-up' for the camera app as it's intuitive, easy to use and responds well. 

1/160 sec | f/5.0 | 14.0 mm | ISO 200
 

The OnePlus 6 is powered by the SnapDragon 845 (up to 2.8GHz) platform as well as 8GB of RAM and it's a Qualcomm processor that's built-in when cheaper Android phones use MediaTek processors so this is a plus point. 

For those who like numbers, the OnePlus 6 scored 2474/9074 (single core/multi-core) on Geekbench and the AnTuTu score was 287306, beating the more expensive Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus! The Geekbench score is also better than the Google Pixel 2 XL. 

Battery life - The battery is a 3300mAh which isn't as impressive as the 4000mAh batteries out there and it's smaller than the battery you find in the similarly priced Honor 10 and Nokia 7 Plus smartphones. The phone does charge at an impressive rate, though, so even if the battery is slightly smaller than what competitors offer, you don't have to wait around long for the phone to be fully charged. As we said earlier, the unit we have in for review went from completely dead to 60% in around 30 minutes which is ace. 



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