back to article OnePlus 6: Perfect porridge? One has to make a smartphone that's juuuust right

Like a broken record, with every phone review we publish, some Reg readers insist that their ancient <insert brand here> is perfectly good and there's no need to buy a new one. But take a bow, dear curmudgeons, for you have been proved wise. A lot of people now think so too. The broken record is the hit of 2018. Take the …

  1. SJA

    Qi Charging

    Ever since I had a Nexus with Qi Charging and a nice Tylt Qi charger I haven't considered a phone without Qi capabilities anymore. I do like the OnePlus phones - great hardware for good price - but without Qi it's no option for me.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Qi Charging

      I haven't bothered yet to buy a Qi charging mat, but I like the idea that should my phone's USB socket die i can continue to use my phone.

      As such, i place wireless charging in a 'nice to have' category that might play a role in protecting my investment - along with waterproofing, a thick case and a tempered glass screen protector.

      Sadly the OnePlus 6 is vaguely weather resistant but not certified waterproof.

      1. SJA

        Re: Qi Charging

        Another benefit is: I don't have to fiddle with cables anymore and when I come home, I put it on my charger (same for work) and I just know where I have my phone...

        1. Geoff (inMelbourne)

          Re: Qi Charging

          It's very convenient in the car too. No need to fumble around with cables.

          If you put you hone down, it's charging . . .

          Brilliant!

      2. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: Qi Charging

        @Dave126 This happened to a friend of mine. They were able to recharge their phone using a pad for a few months before dropping it and smashing the screen (they never did say how the usb port died).

      3. Arctic fox

        @Dave 126 Re: "Qi Charging"

        I have to say I agree with regard to features that are "nice to have" and feel that Andrew's point about " fingerprint unlocking and rapid charging" being the only important features to have turned up (hardware wise) in recent years accords with my feelings/experience. The more of the article I read the more depressed I got about new high end shinies. Makes me even more convinced that I made the right choice recently when I bought a Nokia 7 Plus - bloody good mob in all respects at the price point (about £350 inc VAT). :)

    2. Sam Liddicott

      Re: Qi Charging

      I haven't found a better value phone since my Elephone P9000.

      As you say it's usually wireless charging missing, and it's a must.

    3. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Qi Charging

      Check this (others available):

      https://smile.amazon.co.uk/Nillkin-Wireless-Charging-Receiver-Charger/dp/B01M11UT3V/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1527681381&sr=8-3&keywords=usb+c+wireless+charging+receiver

      My son's G5 has one and it works very nicely, hidden under the back case.

    4. SamX

      Re: Qi Charging

      - I have Nexus too, but use the quickcharge USB more than the wireless charging. It is just much faster than wireless.

      - Removable battery? Ii's getting less likely than it can be the case in future. Brands claim thinner phones and better packaging of components. But, the real reason is that they want to buy a new phone every 2-3 years, by making it nearly impossible to replace battery without breaking the phone.

      - Some use the same login for screens and the shell (glass shell).

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        Re: Qi Charging

        This is one reason why the Z2 Force interests me. The battery mod can be setup effectively as a replacement battery. Expensive though.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Qi Charging

          The Moto Mod appears to relatively healthy (it's seen a couple of generations of handset and new mods are being released). I guess this can only happen in a nature market where many people have settled on a roughly 5" phone as being the best compromise of screen area and ergonomics.

          The mod system is supior to replaceable internal batteries for all those who claim to be using their phone all day: it doesn't require a phone restart.

          And yes, you can choose a Moto phone based on whether you prioritise slimness or durability.

          They're not mentioned much in the US-centric tech blogs - I was interested to read that they're doing well in Brazil - and I've seen them advertised in TV in France.

      2. SJA

        Re: Qi Charging

        @SamX

        I hardly ever use quick charging. At home I have Qi charger, at work I have Qi charger.... when I arrive at work, I put it on my Tylt.. it gets charged the whole day while I'm at work... when I'm back home, I put it on my Tylt... it gets charged all night long.... there's hardly ever a need to use quick charging myself :)

    5. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Qi Charging

      I've tried Qi charging in the past, but I've gotten leery of the issues of heat I always seem to notice when using them. Heat is murder on a battery, and the last thing I want is a non-removable battery (currently still a deal-breaker for me) starting to bulge.

  2. psychonaut

    Hmm. How should we differentiate our phones??

    Its soooo obvious.

    Sd slot

    Removable battery

    Waterproof

    Still rocking my note 4 as there is NOTHING to replace it with

    1. Lee D Silver badge

      Headphone socket.

      Stop making it so damn slim, just put a decent battery on the entire back. Nobody has pockets that can't take 8-10mm of phone. On the same note, ruggedise it so I don't HAVE to buy a case to put the stupendously fragile screens away from the edge.

      The S4/S5 mini's had an IR blaster - literally TINY and works perfectly for all the household kit (I use it in work to control all makes and models of TV, projector, DVD player, etc.). People didn't move to Bluetooth remote controls yet, put those back in!

      Will literally PAY MONEY for a phone whose charging port is modular and replaceable, I see so many damaged ones.

      Not to mention:

      - Real buttons.

      - Accessible SD / Sim slots on the side

      - Dual-SIM in every mass-market phone would be nice (or eSIMs)

      - Clean Android install (work with the CyanogenMod / whatever they are called nowadays people to make it officially changeable from DAY ONE).

      - Proper little stand on the back. We only get a stand if we buy a case. Put it in the damn phone, and make it adjustable, not single-position. Literally a 50p bit of plastic.

      Rather than make the phone "different to everything that's gone before", make it "use all the best bits of the ones that went before" and encompass all the accessories people buy FROM DAY ONE.

      I will literally buy the first phone that gets close to doing this.

      1. roblightbody

        Could have typed that myself! I want a rugged phone that doesn't need a case, and has great battery life, and i don't care if that means its not ultra-thin.

        1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

          Moto G3

          Actually thats one of the reasons I went for the Motorola G3, I could get an official case which replace the back cover and it has a flap on front.

          Yes it won't protect from drops but I would much prefer this style case.

          1. psychonaut

            Re: Moto G3

            3 things you need...

            search ebay / amazon / some other tat bazzaar for the following:

            Micro USB Magnetic Adapter Charging Cable

            turns your crappy micro usb port into a mac style magentic charger port. the one i have supports fast charge. i have these in all my micro usb devices. they are only a few quid. the do iphone versions as well, and probably usb c

            i also bought a monster battery for my note a few months ago. it makes the phone fairly thick, but it lasts 2 days, with everything on all the time. i hammer my phone (bluetooth, wifi, data, remote phone call centre app, calls all day long whicvh is why i need a new battery every 9 months or so). battery is called a powerbear. im not sure i like it actually, its almost too thick and its quite heavy. i might ditch it, but if you need 2 days this will do it.

            oh, and the last thing is the Scosche magnetic mount / holder. i have these in both cars and on my desk . i can just plonk my phone on them (and its a note 4, very heavy especially with the big battery) and it holds it no problems at all. my missus' iphone has a magnet on it too, so we can just swap cars and only have 1 mount in each car.

            if i could get a decent camera on the note 4, i would never change it!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: charging port is modular and replaceable

        I'm a massive fan of add-on magnetic charging cables. Zero wear and tear on the USB port.

      3. td97402

        Great Feature List Except..

        “Proper little stand on the back. We only get a stand if we buy a case. Put it in the damn phone, and make it adjustable, not single-position. Literally a 50p bit of plastic.”

        No, non, nein. I don’t want any little pieces that will easily break off my $600+ phone. You want a kickstand buy a case with one.

      4. David Given
        Thumb Up

        You want a CAT S60.

        https://www.gsmarena.com/cat_s60-7928.php

        It's rather long in the tooth now, but it literally ticks all your checkboxes (except the modular charging port, but it is ruggedised and lives under a cover so it should last), plus it has a two-day battery, it's waterproof, you can run it over in your car, it looks completely bonkers and it has a built-in thermal imaging camera.

        I saw someone with one the other day. Holy crap it looks good (mainly due to not being just another glass fondleslab).

        CAT make newer phones (some of them quite reasonably priced, I should look into replacing my dying Nexus 5X), but they're boring by comparison.

        ***Breaking news!***

        Turns out the CAT S61 has everything the S60 does, except the cool angular corners, but it also comes with a air quality sensor and a laser. https://www.digitaltrends.com/cell-phone-reviews/cat-s61-review/

        YOU CAN GET A PHONE WITH A LASER IN IT.

        That is all.

    2. TheNextBozo

      Removable battery has become a no-no for me.

      Its adds openings into the case for dust and water to ingress. Battery covers are often fragile.

      Its just easier to travel with a powerbank, which you can recharge opportunistically (whilst using the phone elsewhere) and is generally more flexible.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        And I value a user-replaceable battery highly enough that I won't buy a phone that lacks one.

    3. Red Or Zed

      Apart from needing a replacement battery (cheap ones don't last. Who knew?) my Note4 is not terrible. A bit slow maybe.

      I was waiting for the Psion/Gemini thing, but the reviews say it just isn't as good as the Note. The note taking bit is very useful and so is the camera - why replace it with something equipped with a rubbish camera?

      Back to waiting...

      1. psychonaut

        power brick is no use to me - i dont want to have to carry it around all day, with a lead coming out of my phone into it, i just want a big battery.....full day with everything on and constant phone calls is ok. the note does this with a battery that is <9 months old

    4. jonathan keith

      Re: Note 4

      I was saying exactly the same about my Note 4 up until about three weeks ago when I first experienced the dreaded "mmc_read failed" message and discovered that a manufacturer can still try to force one to upgrade after two years through the use of duff memory modules.

    5. Cursorkeys

      Re: Note 4

      >Still rocking my note 4

      Still rocking a Note 3 here, for the same reasons (except waterproof). I think it's on its third battery now.

      XDADevelopers is doing a sterling job supplying me with ROMs so I'll keep using it until it has a catastrophic hardware failure.

      Edit: When it dies I'll replace it with one of Huawei's big-screen offerings via GearBest. Lovely phones and only a couple of hundred quid.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Note 4

        I have never considered a waterproof phone anything that is in any way desirable.

        Despite 20 years of carrying a mobile in my trouser pocket every single day of my life, I have yet to break a screen, drop it in the toilet, get it otherwise wet, etc.

        I would happily sacrifice "IP67" for "IP23 and a poxy battery I can change when it inevitably dies".

        Hell, put it behind a screwed panel if you have to.

        "Waterproofing" of consumer gadget is literally a modern gimmick for no real purpose. We survived for decades with devices much more expensive, much more fragile, more less waterproof without issue.

        No, I've never felt the need to take an underwater photo either. As far as I'm concerned the camera on my phone is for "I can't be bothered to write that all down... snapshot... done."

        Will happily sacrifice all but one of the myriad cameras they have nowadays. All that zoom-level and photoshoppy crap. 3/4 of the megapixels.

        While we're at it, I don't need a fingerprint sensor, a heartbeat sensor, or a "proximity sensor" either. Hell, I only rotate my screen once in a blue moon and I could do that with a physical button and get it right more often than some accelerometer/orientation sensor trying to guess whether I want portrait or landscape.

        Honestly, I will throw all that away for the features listed above.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Note 4

          It's just easier to make all phones waterproof than it is to have two different models; one for the Lee Ds of this world, and another for everyone who lives in tropical locations, goes for walks in the rain, messes around near rivers, would be glad of a flashlight whilst changing a tyre in the rain, gets blind drunk, knows people who are clumsy, or hell, just enjoys listening to podcasts in the bath. Heck, it seems Lee missed the news about flash flooding in the Midlands over the weekend and the death of some poor fella trapped in his car.

          In short, we can live like Lee D, or we can live.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Note 4

            Making a phone thicker to add a bigger battery is sensible. The idea of making a phone thicker to incorporate the features of a case is not sensible for several reasons:

            - a plumber will want a thicker case than an office secretary

            - a damaged or scuffed case can be replaced. For next to nothing.

            - a lot of the market will want to choose a case in a colour or design to suit them

            - people want different features from their case. Like Lee D I use a kickstand on my case, others dont. Some people use wallet cases, I don't.

            If you try to incorporate every feature that every person want from a case into the phone, it'll not be an optimal product for anyone and it will sell very few units.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Note 4

          We are not all created equal, my working day involves the chance that I will be exposed to rain/sleet/snow so for my personal requirements a phone that will survive the above is highly desirable.

          YMMV of course and I am envious of your desk based employment when the above elements decide to bless me with their presence :)

    6. JohnFen Silver badge

      I agree with your list except for the waterproofing. I don't care so much about it being waterproof, but I care a lot about the existence of a headphone jack.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        > I don't care so much about it being waterproof, but I care a lot about the existence of a headphone jack.

        They're not mutually exclusive. Until the latest generation, flagship Xperia phones have been waterproof and boasted a 3.5mm socket. Last few years of Galaxy S phones have also had both features.

        You never know when you might need a phone to call the emergency services and you don't get to choose the weather at the time; just look at the weekend's headlines. The idea of altering one's behaviour to suit a gadget is placing the cart before the horse.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          "They're not mutually exclusive."

          This is absolutely true. My daughter, for instance, has a Galaxy phone that both has a headphone jack and is waterproof. But "because waterproofing" is one of the lies that phone manufacturers keep trotting out to excuse the jack removal.

          "You never know when you might need a phone to call the emergency services and you don't get to choose the weather at the time"

          True, but my phone isn't waterproof, and I've used it without a problem in torrential downpours anyway. I've even dropped it in a basin of water and, once it dried out, it worked perfectly fine.

        2. gotes

          A few years ago I bought myself an Xperia Z. I had no idea it was waterproof, until after owning it for just a couple of hours I dropped it in the toilet. I was sure glad I had a waterproof phone then. A couple of years later I lost the same phone in a bog on Dartmoor, and managed to locate it a few hours later.

          When waterproofing was a new thing it was also quite a novelty "accidentally" dropping it in water in front of people.

          I've probably used the waterproofing feature about as much as the 3.5mm jack socket.

  3. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Niche features

    I've noticed that a few niche things are only supported by very few phones, such as ARCore and Netflicks' HDR (The OnePlus 5 screen wasn't quite bright enough to receive the latter, though it could be bodged). None of these features could be described as essential, but it's mildy reassuring to have a handset that is consistently included in this club (Pixel and Galaxy S8/9).

    The ARCore thing is largely a toy at the moment, but I fully expect my next phone (in 2020) to boast either multiple rear cameras or a depth sensor (IR grid or time of flight ) for accurate environment mapping (so real life measurements can be quickly taken into CAD and emailed to the local timer yard's CNC machine)

  4. Dave 126 Silver badge

    OnePlus don't issue VAT invoices

    So small businesses: talk with your book keeper before ordering. There's plenty about this on the OnePlus forums.

  5. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Joke

    The 90s called

    They want their 3D charts back

  6. Dave 126 Silver badge

    All in, it seems that you're better off with a Galaxy S8, unless you really need that extra RAM and Snapdragon 845.

    The Galaxy can be bought from a company based in the UK, has waterproofing, wireless charging, better screen, SD card slot and is better support for niche features such as ARCore and HDR video playback.

    Shame really, because OnePlus has some nice features such as the alert slider and some Android tweaks.

    1. Patrician

      And a horrible custom Samsung android skin that will prevent updates being released on time.

      1. James 51 Silver badge

        that's what lineageOS is for.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          You lose app support that way. Plus don't Samsung devices have that Knox fuse?

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Knox gets broken if the phone is ever rooted, but there's not much in Knox of interest to the average user. It's more of interest to organisations.

            Samsung aren't the quickest at updating, but to blame it on Samsung's skinning is a red herring. If you care about updates, then you need to buy a phone that ships with (as opposed to offering a day one update to) Oreo, since Google insist that they are built around the modular Project Treble. Sadly the S8 doesn't support Treble and may never, whilst the S9 does (but is too pricey). Being modular means no more waiting on binary blobs from ODMs after Google release a new Android version.

  7. Timmy B Silver badge

    I am a oneplus fan. I'll put that out there first. I do, however keep a year to 18 months behind. I'll get a cheaper 6T when the 7 or 7T comes out. I got a cheaper 5T not so long ago.

    Reasons for sticking with OP for the foreseeable future:

    1. Monthly firmware updates. I don't see anything bar google being as good.

    2. Value. Still not cheap but great value.

    3. Near stock experience.

    4. Headphone socket - though just moved to bose wireless so not so much a problem.

    5. It's not Huawei / Honor - I will never buy anything from them again.

    Things I dislike:

    1. Monthly firmware updates. very occasionally they mess up - it's fixed quickly but has happened.

    2. Far away support.

    3. Not being able to walk into a shop and get one.

    Just my thoughts.

    1. Boothy

      Still got a OnePlus 3 here (not the T), had it from new.

      From an OS update point of view, much better than many other devices out there. It's currently on patch level 1 May 2018, so is current,

      Still lasts 2-3 days on a single charge with light-ish use, (I don't play games on my phone, I use a tablet for that).

      With their Oxygen OS, as mentioned in the article, they don't do gimmicks, it's very close to stock Android, with some extra customisations (like better control as to what shortcuts are in the pull down menu, as one example).

      Overall very happy, and no plans to replace it.

      My one criticism of OnePlus now, is the price of their new phones.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        "Still got a OnePlus 3 here (not the T), had it from new."

        I'd still have mine but phone recycling place offered me £150 for it and oneplus offered me £50 off a 5t and some free accessories so I couldn't refuse.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Not being able to walk into a shop and get one."

      They stock them in the O2 shops.

      Totally agree with all the other points though... currently rocking my op5... Thinking of getting a 5T for the wife as she's finally started to break the op2 she's had since launch.

    3. sbivol

      Consider the Nokia phones

      1. Updates: always on schedule.

      2. Value: plenty.

      3. Near stock experience: how about completely, 100% stock?

      4. Headphone socket: on most models.

      Bonus: SD card.

  8. James 51 Silver badge

    Got nothing to add that hasn't already been said in the article or the posts above. Would be very interested to know if el reg will be covering the new blackberry though.

  9. alain williams Silver badge

    Missing from review

    I would like to see in reviews:

    * what apps are non-removable, eg facebook

    * how easy is it to replace the OS with something a bit more trusted, eg: Tizen or LineageOS

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Missing from review

      If it's like the 3 and 5T then there are no apps that aren't sensible oneplus replacements (a tweaked dialler, gallery and a few very minor bits) there isn't any what I would call bloat at all.

      As for OS - OP have been pretty good at acknowledging and even helping this in the past. Interesting, though that I've modded Samsung and LG phones out of desperation in the past but never with a OP device. Pop over to XDA dev - that's the place to go.

      1. Boothy

        Re: Missing from review

        Just to respond to Timmy B.

        All my past Android devices, from a HTC Hero (my first Android device back in 2009), to a Desire S (2011), Samy S3, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 etc. Have all ended up with a custom OS at some point. (Cyanogenmod back then). Usually due to official updates stopping, or being very out of date, or too much bloat being pre-installed etc.

        The OnePlus 3 is the first phone that's survived so far (almost 2 years now), and I've left it as stock, as there is no bloat, it gets an update most months, and is by far the most stable phone I've ever had (no having to re-boot to clear some issue, like slow running apps, or clear the memory out etc.).

    2. Boothy

      Re: Missing from review

      The only preinstalled apps are things like their gallery app, a custom dialer/phone app, all fairly small, and are either quite good, or can be ignored. They don't put 3rd party apps like Facebook on there.

      Don't think installing a custom OS onto a phone is really a valid item in a phone review, as a review is more than just the hardware, it's the software as well. No issue with it being covered in a separate article, but that's not really a 'review' thing.

      That being said, OnePlus don't lock their devices down too hard. OEM unlocking of the bootloader is a menu option under Developer options (and Developer options are enabled by just multi tapping on the Build number in the About phone settings menu).

      Their phones also support things like fastboot mode direct from key combos, and all the usual adb/fastboot commands from the Android SDK work fine over USB. You can unlock the device, and do things like install a custom recovery image (like TWRP) straight from command line. No having to push a custom bootloader before you can get a recovery on there. Once the recovery is on there, it's just an adb push of the new OS and then flash from recovery.

      That being said, OnePlus 6 is new, so not sure how well it will be supported yet, it's not listed currently by LineageOS.

      1. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Missing from review

        "Don't think installing a custom OS onto a phone is really a valid item in a phone review, as a review is more than just the hardware, it's the software as well."

        I think it's a totally valid thing to comment on in a review. Doing so doesn't mean you can't also review the software that comes with the phone, but a lot of us aren't remotely interested in the software that comes with the phone -- we just want to know if we can install our own ROM.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missing from review

      I would like the review to also state how long they guarantee to provide security patching support and how frequently patches will be delivered. It is after all one of the key specs for a phone especially if no such guarantee is given.

    4. tambo

      Re: Missing from review

      There is no bloatware at all - its pure Android apart from some stock Oneplus apps - gallery /tray etc

      Oneplus actively encourage reflashing - there is an active community beta testing the OS updates....

      The issue of it dialling back home was Chinese ROM builds only......

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Missing from review

        But what about SafetyNet and dm-verity, both of which can block apps on rooted or custom ROMs? Some of the apps I use everyday are root-aware and will balk on custom jobs. So I need all that (plus built-in local backup--including app data--facilities) in a stock (or at least officially-signed) ROM.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Missing from review

          Then you shouldn't use a custom ROM. But lots of people do use custom ROMs. Personally, I've never actually had an app refuse to run because my phone has a custom ROM and is rooted, but if one did, I just wouldn't use that app.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Missing from review

            And if you're REQUIRED to use it (say, it's work-related or your only reliable link to something)?

            1. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Missing from review

              Then, as I said, using a custom ROM doesn't fit into your use case, so don't.

      2. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Missing from review

        There is no bloatware at all - its pure Android apart from some stock Oneplus apps

        But when I replaced OxygenOS with LineageOS on my oneplus2, battery life went from 10-14hrs to 18-24hrs (it needs a new battery).

  10. Craigie

    Value

    I'm a little sad to see the price of OnePlus phones now. Their first effort was outstanding. I bought a OnePlus One not long after launch for £270 (64 GB / 3 GB model). It died of charging failure after 3 years at which point my insurance paid me £300 for it as phones of that spec 3 years later were that price.

  11. BebopWeBop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    <insert brand here>

    Nokia 6310i

  12. JDX Gold badge

    "with 64GB and no slot I'm not sure why you'd want to"

    >Only the 128GB model has crept up to £519 (for 8GB of RAM). You can get one for £469, but with 64GB and no slot I'm not sure why you'd want to. Maybe you live in the cloud

    Huh? Only a few years ago 64Gb was a lot. Phones didn't typically have SD back then either, and I don't think MP3 files are larger these days. And the fact is people DO use streaming music services far more than in the past.

    When I got my Lumia 1020 64Gb, I am not sure anyone was selling 128+Gb back then (maybe just?)

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: "with 64GB and no slot I'm not sure why you'd want to"

      Video collections have grown, and streaming don't amount to much in a NOT-spot.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: "with 64GB and no slot I'm not sure why you'd want to"

      "Phones didn't typically have SD back then either"

      Huh? Every smartphone I've owned has had SD card slots. Even the feature phone I owned before my first smartphone had an SD card slot. For my use case, they are not optional, even now.

      For me, streaming does not replace the need for SD cards.

  13. jason 7

    I'll take...

    ...a phone that's 1.5mm thicker and gives me a 4000mAh battery.

    I have more strength than a marmoset so can handle that.

    Plus being a little thicker and heavier it will feel more value for money.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: I'll take...nowt

      Personally, I don't see the point of slim.

      I'm certainly not carrying it in my back pocket, I'd only sit on it, front pocket is also out, rounded edges or not, either are not comfortable.

      Slim is certainly no advantage on the belt where I prefer my phone.

      So no slabs, I'm sticking to my ancient dumb phone again this year.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'll take...nowt

        Simple. Slim is sexy (Don't believe me? Look what sells in laptops), and phones these days are as much about bling as they are about ring.

  14. Joe Gurman

    Why?

    Why on earth would anyone offer a mobile phone with a glass back that didn't offer wireless charging? And a notch with no purpose?

    Oh, wait... I see. They're simply copying the _appearance_ of the 800-lb. gorilla's flagship phone the author doesn't mention. Got it.

    Reminds me of the 1980s Bulgarian VAXes.

  15. Flywheel Silver badge

    So what about the updates?

    As a Lenovo/Moto owner, this topic is particularly annoying to me, especially when they ask on their web site:

    We know what you're thinking. "Will my device receive an upgrade? When? How?" Never fear...all the information's right here

    Talk about telling porkies - my device is apparently "up to date" and it's running Android 7.1. So this isn't about Moto - just ask yourself, or the manufacturer what their update rollout schedule is and then make a buying choice from there.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: So what about the updates?

      At various times the big vendors have been good or bad at updates - so pastt performance is no indicator of future updates. There is a better way: buy a phone that ships with Oreo - it's mandated that its OS is more modular, so OEMs don't need to wait for new device drivers from ODMs.

      1. jason 7

        Re: So what about the updates?

        I've given up worrying about Android updates. Each version promises so much and then delivers pretty much the exact experience of the previous versions.

        Meet the new OS same as the old OS.

        As long as the 20 or so apps I use work, that's all matters.

        As far as I am aware my phones has never been hit with anything. I only install the main apps (and no I don't use any Facebook stuff) and I restrict their feelers to only the functions I feel they should have.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: So what about the updates?

          "I've given up worrying about Android updates"

          I consider one of the advantages of using a custom ROM is that you get to avoid automatic updates without trying. The past few years have taught me that I strongly want to avoid having anything automatically update, ever. Updating is something that is better done intentionally, on my schedule, and when I deem it necessary.

  16. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    OnePlus is all about shunning gimmicks and novelty.

    Except for the fact that they include the notch, don't offer a replaceable battery, & don't include an SD slot?

    I'll stick with my dumb phone; it has no notch, has a headphone jack, includes an SD card slot, & has a removeable battery that cost me all of $40. Too bad that "smart" phone is too stupid to do the same.

  17. SwissChocolateMan

    Crosscall Action X-3 anyone ?

    IP68 waterproof, but also meeting the MIL STD 810G and IK02 military standard,

    Not to mention:

    - Headphone socket.

    - Real buttons.

    - Accessible SD / Sim slots on the side

    - Dual-SIM

    - Clean Android

    - Magnetic charging stand (as alternative to USB charging)

    inclined, so perfect for keeping an eye on the screen at work

    - Removable battery perhaps as the back plate has screws - not tried yet though

    One fault so far it has no indicator LED but NoLED app helps

    Around 300 GBP

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    I insist that my ancient <insert brand here> is perfectly good and there's no need to buy a new one. Do I win £5?

  19. Lutin

    Great review - especially enjoyed the intro

  20. JohnFen Silver badge

    That explains it!

    "I can think of only two useful and important features in the past five years – fingerprint unlocking and rapid charging."

    That explains why I am so disenchanted with the phone releases over the past few years -- neither fingerprint unlocking nor rapid charging are compelling to me. All I see is useful features being dropped from smartphones and replaced with features that aren't useful to me, and require the cloud to work anyway.

  21. Chris 125

    I've got this, it's nice.

    The camera is a bit meh - it doesn't offer much over my old Pixel XL despite having a 100% increase in the number of sensors. Hopefully that means any shortfalls are software based and can be improved over time.... there's nothing wrong as such, but it's just no better than a 2 year old flagship.

    Battery life is very good indeed. I went to a music festival, leaving the house at 9am. I got home at midnight-ish on a shade over 50%, and had been taking photos and a bit of social media between bands. Certainly better than I'd expect from my old phone which had a similar sized battery.

    Face unlock is FAST but it has a fingerprint reader in the correct place, on the back. Who on earth asks for it on the front where you need to dislocate your thumb to use it? I've only had face unlock fail when the lighting is very bad indeed.

    It's my first OnePlus and I already like the alert slider that properly sets the Android volume modes. Yes, Android 9 fixes this somewhat by defaulting to changing media volume rather than ring - but until then this is a much more reliable way of knowing the video that's buffering isn't going to get you kicked out of the funeral you're attending because you can't change the media volume easily until it actually starts (a la Android 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)

    It's got a glass back, has it? Well, it comes with a cheap TPU case which I put on in the shop because why not. There's also a screen protector, but it's plastic not glass.

    The notch is nicely done although app support needs to catch up. Sometimes it takes a second for the notifications to move to the right place.

    It has a notification light. For many years now, I've refused to buy a phone without a 2p's worth of LED that lets me know when someone loves me (and/or I have an email regarding penis length). Why can't more phones have this? But despite many reports to the contrary, even on the latest update (OxygenOS 5.1.5) it DOES have an ambient display. The internet is full of bleatings about how they took it out - this review included - but it's there, on mine. It's not "always on" because that's a ridiculous concept, why would I want the time or how many penis size emails I have waiting when I'm not even in the same room as the phone? But pick it up, the notifications appear on the OLED screen. Put it down, they go off. It's an ambient display that's useful, rather than always-on or only-on-when-you-press-the-button.

    In short, I'm glad I bought it. No, it's not crazy cheap any more, but it's still cheaper than a Samsung, Apple or Sony. Head to head with Huawei, it comes off better as it doesn't use the vomit-inducing EMUI (and swerves the issue that Huawei have just announced that you can no longer unlock their bootloaders)

  22. Sloppy Crapmonster

    I bought a OnePlus One last year after killing my Samsung Note 2 (that I also bought last year-- I shouldn't be allowed to have a phone not in a case because I kill them) and, after installing LineageOS, I don't see a need for a newer phone. I want Firefox, and a TOTP client, and my bank's check deposit app, and I'm good. Unfortunately, that last condition means I'm stuck on Android.

  23. John Slater

    Resale value

    I've been a happy user of a used Oneplus 3 for the last 10 months. However, the battery life started to go. And Oneplus won't sell consumers a genuine battery.

    So I looked at buying a used Oneplus 5 or 5T on swappa.com (my site of choice for this sort of thing). But the prices were not that much less than a brand new Oneplus 6, so that's what I ended up receiving last weekend.

    This week's lesson learned: unlike with cars, it appears to make sense to buy newer phones and sell them after a year or two. The used Oneplus 3 I bought last summer for $290 should net me north of $200 when I sell it next week. And the 6 I have now will probably sell for only $150 or so less than I paid for it when I replace it with a 7 or an 8 in a year or two. Net cost of about $100/year for latest tech with a fresh battery is hard to beat.

  24. Ubermik

    Whilst there will always be "some" people who want the flagship models (like with video cards for PCs) the manufacturers seem to be totally out of touch with the majority of people who don't want to spend half a months salary on a phone when the one they have and probably the several older models they have stuffed in draws are more than "good enough" for what they do

    MOST people just make and receive calls, send and receive texts, use some social media, run a few apps and maybe listen to some music or watch videos

    A phone from 5 years ago can still do ALL of that with some processing power to spare

    Factor in non removable batteries and the lack of headphone sockets or memory card slots on many new phones and the newer models don't even have the life expectancy of the older ones and therefore aren't as good of an investment in terms of price/years of use

    Yes the manufacturers "want" people to spend upwards of $/£600 per year on a new phone for most people that is utterly ridiculous especially when more and more people are realising that the phone on offer for 6 or 700 dollars/pounds probably cost the manufacturer less than 50 to manufacture and will only last as long as the battery

    Throw in bloatware and spyware from the phone manufacturer and the OS provider and you don't really have a very tempting product

    All the fuss about cameras is irrelevant for most people too, any reasonable 4 mp camera was "good enough" for most people, many barely ever take photos apart from the odd snapshot now and then. So prices being hiked up on mainstream models for the quality of cameras and lenses only a small percentage need or really use enough to justify the cost also puts quite a few people off buying them as often the camera is pretty much the only main upgrade of note making it completely uninteresting for many people over several of the previous years models that can be bought for a fraction of the cost

    So for me last year was the first year I opted out of the Samsung treadmill and bought an earlier years model for a fraction of its cost with a memory card slot, removable battery, perfectly adequate camera, screen, memory and processor saving myself enough to upgrade my PC motherboard and CPU in one of my PCs which I will get MUCH more value for money from

  25. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Clone wars

    The real problem is lack of diversity. Some people need wireless charging, some need microSD, some need lots of LTE bands, some need a headphone jack, etc. If you want more than two non-iPhone features you're pretty much forced buying an ultra-expensive and ultra-bloated Samsung Galaxy.

  26. julian_n

    One+ - the company

    Before buying this phone, look at One+ - the company behind it and the way they have treated past customers:

    Look at how long they supported a previous model, the One+ 2.

    Look at how they treated customers after allowing their credit card details to be compromised - some customers have lost thousands yet One+ seem to have swept it under the carpet.

    If you are happy to chance it with such a company, good luck.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the modern telephone

    the entombed phone battery seems to be a feature to please grubby alcoholic gamblers/james bond so they can track your every movement.

    No whipping the battery out to vanish off the big screens at large donut hq.

    I have yets to see a case of any criminal being tracked in real time and arrested except in some fillum.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: the modern telephone

      What about Faraday bags like used to protect NFC-capable passports? And I don't think you can easily create a fake one that has radio holes in it, as it would be easy to test this in an actual Faraday cage.

  28. teknopaul Bronze badge

    how to distinguish a phone

    Headphone jack. Thats also a line out.

    Audio line in. As well as mic.

    Mini HDMI to connect to projectors and TVs.

    Sd card.

    Multi-size sim socket.

    An old type usb. With Otg.

    _and_ second new type usb c.

    Wireless n Bluetooth etc.

    A popout RJ45.

    A popout 4P4C to use a landline with contacts from the phone. Or dial up modem.

    Save money for all these connectors by _not_ bundling another set of buds or charger or usb cable, which are connectors which we all have too many of by now.

    A mobile phone like that would be a ninja communication device. Instead of a shopping channel.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: how to distinguish a phone

      Where can I find such a phone in America? And can it handle Band IV?

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019