OnePlus 6 release date, news, price and leaks
Posted by John McCann on 05 April 2018 06:30 AM
New OnePlus 6 rumors point to an Android smartphone that combines faster speeds and a trendy all-screen notch design at the top, but one that remains affordable next to other flagship devices. And it's likely just weeks away.
Update: The OnePlus 6 may launch alongside wireless earbuds, dubbed 'OnePlus Bullet Wireless', and the phone itself is confirmed to include 256GB of storage, a Snapdragon 845 chipset and 8GB of RAM. Maybe the best new news of all? You'll be able to hide the notch.
Things are getting tough at the top of the smartphone game, and where OnePlus used to have a dedicated place as the de facto 'low cost, great spec' smartphone, that position is increasingly under threat from other brands.
The OnePlus 6 will be replacing the OnePlus 5T right now (the latter is actually not on sale anymore in the US). The 5T was already one of the more impressive phones of 2017, finally bringing the longer display that was so fashionable among the other big brands, as well as improvements to the camera. OnePlus 6 promises to be better.
However, there are more changes coming to the OnePlus 6, with a larger screen and a notch at the top on a similar vein to the iPhone X now confirmed for the handset.
We're really hoping that the resolution gets upped beyond Full HD this year - although the latest leaks suggest that this isn't going to happen.
We've got a lot of information about the new phone, so here's everything you need to know about the new OnePlus 6.
Cut to the chase
OnePlus 6 release date
The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 3 were both released in June of their respective years, so in or around June 2018 is our best guess for the OnePlus 6 release date.
That said, it's not a month that OnePlus always sticks to, but for its main numbered releases (aka everything except the OnePlus 5T, OnePlus 3T and OnePlus X) it does always launch them around the middle of the year.
There is evidence that the OnePlus 6 could launch earlier though, as a source speaking to GizmoChina claims it will be announced in April (though they have previously said it was going to be March until that month came and went).
April seems like a given, however. OnePlus has run out of stock of the OnePlus 5T in the US and needs to start selling a phone to replace the 5T.
That leaves the door wide open for the OnePlus 6, although there's still stock of the 5T in other regions including the UK and Europe.
OnePlus 6 price
It looks like the OnePlus 6 price will be the highest the firm has ever charged for a smartphone. How much it costs if the one thing we don't know for certain about the new phone, but everything points to it being more expensive than last year's devices.
To put that into context, the $499 price tag of the 5T would have been around £320 when converted, but landed at £449 / AU$599 on the shelves.
A small price increase wouldn't be a surprise considering the specs rumored for the OnePlus 6, and its competition in the market, but a jump quite this large will be hard for some fans to handle.
OnePlus 6 design and display
It's official, the OnePlus 6 will have an iPhone X-style notch in its display, although it will be smaller than the one found on Apple's flagship smartphone.
The Chinese firm has also confirmed that the OnePlus 6 will feature the biggest screen it's ever put on a phone while not increasing the handset's overall size, resulting in a 90% screen-to-body ratio.
With the OnePlus 5T already boasting a 6.01-inch display, rumors that the OnePlus 6 screen will measure 6.28 inches are now even more believable.
Finally, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei also confirmed that the firm's next device will retain a headphone jack - which will be music to many people's ears. That said, OnePlus is also entering into the wireless headphone business, according to a Bluetooth database leak that seemingly confirms OnePlus Bullet Wireless headphones.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has also been doing some leaking of his own, confirming that the firm will roll out an update to the OnePlus 6 after its launch which will allow users to 'hide' the screen notch.
This news chimes with a leaked image from Evan Blass which shows the OnePlus 6 touting a similar style to the OnePlus 5T, it looks to have a textured back and a realigned camera module.
Our first potential look at the OnePlus 6 came courtesy of ITHome, who published a couple of snaps claiming to show the new handset in the flesh.
If genuine, the new OnePlus 6 could adopt a glass rear - something that's been missing from the firm's previous handsets. It wouldn't be the first time it's used glass on the rear of a device though, as the short-lived OnePlus X featured this finish.
While things didn't go all that well for the OnePlus X, the glass-metal body is on trend in 2018 and would see the OnePlus 6 follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 8, iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ2.
The leak also shows a vertically stacked rear dual-camera setup in the middle of the phone, with a fingerprint scanner below it.
More recently, we've seen a potential OnePlug 6 leak that shows a phone with a textured back. Based on the camera and fingerprint sensor's center alignment, it looks a lot like the image posted above.
Round the front and it seems the OnePlus 6 will inherit the large display of the OnePlus 5T, with one key addition. A notch.
Like the iPhone X, and a number of others since, OnePlus could well jump on the screen-indent bandwagon in an attempt to squeeze in as my display real estate as possible.
We've also seen a leaked specs sheet, listing a 6.28-inch 2280 x 1080 display, with the phone said to be 7.5mm thick and 175g.
Leaked screenshots also reveal a potentially widescreen 19:9 aspect ratio and also hint at the presence of a notch, as the icons at the top are all to one side or the other.
OnePlus 6 camera and battery
A leaked specs list reveals that the OnePlus 6 might have a dual-lens f/1.7 camera on the back, with 20MP and 16MP sensors - the same as the OnePlus 5T.
However, the front-facing camera is listed as being a 20MP f/2.0 one, up from 16MP on the OnePlus 5T.
The same leak lists a 3,450mAh battery, which would be a slight increase on the 3,300mAh juice pack in the OnePlus 5T. It's worth noting that most of these specs match the Oppo R15, which makes sense, since OnePlus flagships are often similar to Oppo ones, as the two companies are linked.
It currently looks unlikely that the OnePlus 6 will support wireless charging. The company has confirmed that the OnePlus 5T doesn't due to the tech not being a match for wired Dash Charge, and we doubt it will have advanced enough for OnePlus to reverse its decision for the OnePlus 6.
OnePlus 6 power and storage
There's no more guesswork required here. The OnePlus 6 will pack in a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, as confirmed by the CEO.
However, we expect a cheaper option to be available, likely with less RAM and storage, with a rumor pointing to a 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage configuration, and Android 8.1 on board.
This was then followed by a report from GizmoChina which claimed OnePlus would use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset to power the phone, and this was backed up by leaked screenshots supposedly revealing OnePlus 6 benchmark results.
So far, so believable.
However, more recently a fresh image slip claims the OnePlus will have a 6.2-inch display, Snapdragon 845 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, dual rear cameras of 16MP + 20MP and Dash Charge capabilities.
We've also seen another leak pointing to a Snapdragon 845 chipset, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, along with Android 8.1 - which makes use confident we'll see two variants of the OnePlus 6.
More OnePlus 6 leaks and news
We've heard the possibility that the OnePlus 6 will have a fingerprint scanner built into the screen, but we wouldn't count on its accuracy, since it's a feature we're yet to see on a mainstream handset. But it is possible.
Elsewhere we've heard that the phone might have a more advanced facial recognition system than the OnePlus 5T, possibly one that could rival Face ID on the iPhone X.
What we want to see
The OnePlus 6 leaks are starting to pick up pace, but we already know what we want from the cut-price flagship smartphone. The following five things top our wish list.
1. A QHD screen
OnePlus has stuck with a Full HD screen on all its handsets to date, and while that was top-end in the days of the OnePlus One, it now lags behind compared to the QHD+ (and even 4K) displays that are becoming increasingly common.
Given their generally upper mid-range prices, OnePlus phones can still just about get away with a 1080p resolution, but they’re intended to be flagships, and with each passing year their screens feel less and less flagship-worthy.
So, we’d like to see the company step things up for the OnePlus 6 and give us a pin-sharp QHD display.
2. A microSD card slot
OnePlus tends to offer a generous amount of storage in its phones. The OnePlus 5T for example comes with a choice of 64GB or 128GB, but there’s no microSD card slot, and such a slot is one of the main advantages Android has over its iOS rivals.
While most users will probably be fine with the built-in storage, some will want room to expand, so a microSD card slot would be appreciated in the OnePlus 6.
3. An affordable price
One of the best things about OnePlus handsets is how affordable they are, but the price has been creeping up. They still undercut most flagships, with the OnePlus 5T starting at $499/£449/AU$599), but it’s on the edge of having a high-end price.
What we really don’t want to see is another price rise for the OnePlus 6. If the company can push the price back down below the level of the OnePlus 5T then all the better, but keeping it around the same seems more realistic, and would keep one of the phone’s main selling points intact.
4. Water resistance
The OnePlus 5 looks and feels great, but it lacks any kind of water resistance, so you’d better keep it dry.
Water and dust resistance were once fairly niche features, but they’re now becoming almost standard on flagships and even some mid-rangers, and they’re genuinely useful features to have, as anyone who’s ever got a call in the rain will tell you, so we’d like to see water resistance added to the OnePlus 6.
5. Better audio
The OnePlus 5 and 5T kept the headphone jack, but we shouldn’t really be applauding a phone for keeping core features and in most other ways the audio experience isn’t great.
That’s especially true when relying on the built-in speakers, which can’t match audio from handsets like the HTC U11, and are easy to accidentally block with your hands when holding the phone.
For the OnePlus 6 we’d love to see – and hear – high-quality, front-facing stereo speakers, so audio quality remains strong however you choose to listen.
6. A bigger, longer lasting battery
The OnePlus 5T comes with the firm's Dash Charge technology, allowing you to get a decent slug of juice from just 30 minutes of plugged in time. That's all very well, but the battery itself generally lasts a day on a full charge, but no longer.
What we want from the OnePlus 6 is a phone that will comfortably stride into day two on the same charge and get us to at least lunchtime before requiring a top up.
An easy way to achieve this would be to issue a larger battery. OnePlus actually reduced the size of the battery in the 5 and didn't increase it again for the 5T, so an increase for its successor would be lovely.
7. Under-screen fingerprint scanner
Apple and Samsung were both rumored to be working on under-screen fingerprint scanners, but neither of them have yet launched a phone with one.
If the OnePlus 6 can be one of the first to put the digit reading tech under the display, while reducing the bezels, then it really would have something to shout about.