Gone are the days when buying a new flagship smartphone guaranteed something decidedly cool in terms of features and/or performance. Modern smartphones have gone down the path of being minimally (almost pitifully, I must add) iterative to the point that the lack of bezels happens to be the biggest avenue for excitement in the smartphone space these days. Given the circumstances, it takes a lot of courage to launch “flagship” phones every six months. This rings true having used the OnePlus 5T for its six-month life cycle. It’s a terrific phone and topping that is going to be a really tough call for the OnePlus 6, especially when the company has delivered a near perfect smartphone just months prior.
However, we aren’t here to answer that question. You’ll have to hold your horses until the full review of the OnePlus 6, but until then we managed to get our hands on the OnePlus 6 Marvel Avengers Edition, so let’s take a preliminary look at how this special edition phone stacks up. Since we aren’t at the liberty to talk about the phone or the underlying Oxygen OS comprehensively at this juncture, we will nevertheless take a look at with the design and overall aesthetics of the Avengers Edition phone. For a more in-depth comparison of the OnePlus 6 vis-à-vis the OnePlus 5T, click here for a primer on whether or not you should dump your OnePlus 5T in favour of OnePlus’ latest smartphone.
OnePlus 6 Hands On: Of Glass and Carbon Fibre
On a purely subjective basis, I straight out prefer the OnePlus 5T Star Wars Edition over the latest OnePlus 6 Avengers Edition. The textured white finish of the now obsolete Star Wars Edition not only looks classy with the strategically placed red and black accents, but it also feels great in the hand. The OnePlus 6 Avengers edition, however, lacks its predecessor’s design synergy. And that’s just a fancy way of saying that the glass back doesn’t go nearly as well with the carbon fibre finish underneath. This new-fangled metal and glass sandwich design also firmly catapults the OnePlus 6 into the premium smartphone territory. Because that’s basically what all the cool flagship smartphones have been doing for a while.
The glass back design also adds a bit of weight (about 15 grammes) and thickness (0.45mm), which naturally provides the phone with the structural rigidity necessary to for practical water resistance. That’s one rather useful flagship feature that was hitherto missing from all OnePlus smartphones. The display is now taller and narrower thanks to an even wider aspect ratio of 19:9 and hence measures in at 6.28 inches. That’s up from the 6-inch screen bearing a relatively narrower 18:9 aspect ratio. Thankfully, OnePlus has kept the overall dimensions of the phone more or less similar, with the OnePlus 6 feeling and appearing no larger than its predecessor despite bearing a larger display.
OnePlus 6 Hands On: Notch with a Chin
The notch is another conspicuous design deviation from the OnePlus 5T. While it can be argued that it’s a design cue senselessly copied from the iPhone X, but that’s one way to push the envelope of bezel-less design. That is, of course, if you haven’t laid your eyes on Vivo’s Apex concept phone. All sarcasm notwithstanding, let’s not forget that the iPhone X gets away its notch because Apple has already made the rather expensive choice to fold its display at the bottom to reduce the chin. The OnePlus 6, then, looks pretty daft sporting a notch and a thick chin at the same time. Thankfully, video content is letterboxed to prevent the notch from standing out like a sore thumb.
The bottom edge sports a single speaker grille, so don’t expect stereo output from the loudspeaker this time around. But on the bright side, the phone still retains 3.5mm jack. Revisions to the innards also have necessitated the alert slider to be moved to the opposite side above the power button. The improved camera with larger sensor, OIS, and greater pixel count has been moved to the centre just above the fingerprint sensor and has the two lenses vertically aligned like much of the competition.
OnePlus 6 Hands On: Skin Deep
Overall, the OnePlus 6 Avengers edition looks more premium with the metal and glass sandwich design, even if the carbon fibre finish and gold accents fail to create an impact or look much special compared to the plain vanilla black variant. So far, it also seems to be the only way to get the 256GB version of the OnePlus 6 in India at the moment, but this comes at a heavy price of ₹44,999, which is quite a premium over the 64GB base version costing ₹34,999. This has been a strictly skin-deep hands on, so to speak. For a more in-depth overview of the OnePlus 6, keep your eyes peeled for a full review of the phone.