OnePlus is the reigning king in the budget flagship space, but the competition is only getting stronger.
The Honor 9 put up a fierce fight at a lower price point, while the upcoming Nokia 7 Plus might be its next threat – but the OnePlus 5T (shown) remains our favourite phone at this price level. And it won't be long before the OnePlus 6 is teed up to try and maintain the sub-₹40,000 throne.
What we've heard so far suggests that the OnePlus 6 will continue to do what the company does best: take the best elements from the full-blooded flagship competition and somehow find a way to make it much cheaper. Oh, and it will definitely, officially have a screen notch. Here's what we know so far.
When will the OnePlus 6 be out?
As expected, OnePlus has gone for the traditional early summer announcement for the OnePlus 6 – it'll be shown off on May 16 at 9.30pm (IST). There's also a Mumbai (India) launch the very next day on May 17 at 3.00pm (IST)
Dubbed 'Discover your speed', the teaser doesn't give much away, other than the promise of swifter performance.
OnePlus 6 will be available from 21st May in pop-up stores. The OnePlus 6 pop-ups will take place between 3:30PM to 8PM on 21st May, and between 11AM-7PM on 22nd May.
Here are the places where you can grab the latest and greatest by OnePlus: Mumbai - High Street Phoenix ● Pune - Phoenix MarketCity ● Chennai - The Forum Vijaya ● Hyderabad - The Forum Sujana ● Delhi - DLF Place Saket ● Kolkata - South City Mall ● Ahmedabad - Gulmohar Park Mall ● Bangalore - OnePlus Experience Store, Brigade Road.
You'll be getting a lot of goodies along with the purchase but the stock will be limited so make sure you reach the fastest and stay hydrated.
The announcement date is cast iron fact – official invites have gone out and we'll be introduced to the OnePlus 6 on May 16 2018 at 9.30pm (IST).
The very next day is the Indian launch here in Mumbai so should be graced with OnePlus 6 really quickly. The hype is real!
How much will the OnePlus 6 cost?
OnePlus still offers comparatively cheap flagship phones, but top-end devices have only reached higher and higher price points of late and OnePlus has followed suit.
The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T both debuted at ₹32,999, a steep increase from the initial ₹27,999 price point of the OnePlus 3 back in 2016. It's certainly possible that the OnePlus 6 will edge up higher, but like last year, we think it'd be dangerous to hit or cross the ₹45,000 price point.
With more competition in the ₹35,000-and-less market, especially, we'd like to see the OnePlus 6 stick close to that ₹32,999 point. But we haven't heard any strong rumours about price just yet.
We think it's likely that OnePlus sticks around in the sub- ₹40,000 space, although don't be surprised if the OnePlus 6 comes in at ₹42,000 or ₹45,000 rather than keeping the OnePlus 5T's price point. On the other hand, a full-face screen and glass on the back (keep reading) could prompt a larger leap here. We hope not, though.
What will the OnePlus 6 look like?
Love it or hate it, the Apple iPhone X's notch is sweeping through the smartphone world as a model for a full-face, bezel-lite smartphone. And the OnePlus 6 is embracing that approach.
We've seen various leaks and rumours of late, but now it's fully official: OnePlus 6 revealed a partial image of its new handset to The Verge, clearly showing the notch. It's smaller than the iPhone X's notch, certainly, and looks pretty close to the Huawei P20's - the OnePlus notch might be a smidge wider there.
Obviously, this isn't a full look at the phone just yet, but OnePlus head Carl Pei also says that the phone will have a "chin" (bottom bezel) on the front. Meanwhile, purported leaked photos suggest glass on the back instead of metal, with a vertically-oriented dual-camera setup in the middle and a fingerprint sensor beneath.
What about the OnePlus 6's screen?
The OnePlus 6 will stick with the taller approach, albeit with about a 19:9 aspect ratio to accommodate the aforementioned notch. And WinFuture reports that the screen will come in at 6.28in this time around, sticking with 1080p resolution (2280x1080). That's exactly the same as the Oppo R15, which was rumoured to provide the template for the OnePlus 6.
The iPhone X's notch was pegged by many early on as a possible distraction, but in use, it really just disappears and the immersiveness of a full-face screen shines through. We'll see if that really happens here, as well.
Beyond the notch, we can expect another 1080p panel from OnePlus. Skipping out on Quad HD resolution keeps the price down, even if the OnePlus 6 looks to be a smidge more expensive than its predecessor.
How much power will the OnePlus 6 pack?
The Snapdragon 845 will power most of the major flagship Android phones in 2018, from the Sony Xperia XZ2 to some versions of the Samsung Galaxy S9. And it'll power the OnePlus 6, too.
Leaks and rumours suggested that OnePlus would follow its lifelong trend of using Snapdragons, and now the company has confirmed it: the OnePlus 6 will use the Snapdragon 845, and models will feature up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage.
Given that, the base model will probably have 6GB RAM and less internal storage - seemingly the 64GB seen in the base OnePlus 5T, according to the Amazon Germany listing.
What kind of cameras will the OnePlus 6 have?
The OnePlus 5T doubled up on back cameras, following the trend from many other handsets, and thankfully improved on low-light performance at the same time. The OnePlus 6 will stick with the same kind of approach.
According to the leaked Amazon Germany listing, the phone has a 16-megapixel and 12-megapixel camera on the back, offering optical image stabilisation, portrait effects, and slow-motion video recording.
We're not sure what's up front yet. OnePlus head Carl Pei said the phone won't have a "structured light" approach like the iPhone X's TrueDepth system. So while we could still see animated emoji and face-based security, as on the Samsung Galaxy S9, it probably won't hit quite the same level of quality.
Sounds right to us – and no, we don't think OnePlus will try for a Huawei P20 Pro-like triple-camera setup for the OnePlus 6. As for the front camera, we'll see whether OnePlus can match up to Apple on quality and effectiveness.
Is there anything else I should know about the OnePlus 6?
Yeah, here's one great tidbit: unlike the iPhone X, the OnePlus 6 will keep the headphone port. That's official from the company.
Officially, the OnePlus 6 will also implement the iPhone X-like gesture controls seen in beta on other OnePlus devices, making it easier to move around the interface and between apps without needing the Android software keys.
Leaks suggest that the OnePlus 6 will run Android 8.1 Oreo with the OxygenOS skin atop, and the phone is likely to beat Android 9.0 P's full version to market. But we would certainly expect Android 9 to come to the OnePlus 6 in time.
Interestingly, it sounds like there will be a special Avengers: Infinity War edition of the phone. That's according to a report from Deadline, a Hollywood-centric site that broke down the barrage of Avengers-related tie-ins. This edition will probably have special markings, and Deadline says it'll have the 8GB RAM/256GB storage configuration that we assume the higher-end OnePlus 6 model will pack.
Meanwhile, the Amazon Germany listing suggests a 3,300mAh battery pack within - the same size as the OnePlus 5T.
It's nearly here! We'll get full details this Wednesday, 16 May, and expect to bring you hands-on impressions soon after. Stay tuned.