Update: The OnePlus 6 has seemingly been caught on camera, revealing a notch in the screen and a glass back.
The OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T are remarkably accomplished phones considering they come from such a young company and at such a low price. They sport strong designs, great cameras and all the power we’ve come to expect from a OnePlus handset.
There’s little doubt that the company will follow them up with the OnePlus 6 this year – unless it decides to skip a number again – but where can it go from here?
Well, if you ask us, there’s actually plenty that can be improved, good as the OnePlus 5T is. So we’ve come up with a wish list of the things we want to see from the OnePlus 6.
We’ll also be adding all the credible leaks and rumors about the phone to this article. There’s not much to go on yet, but we've heard a few things and can make an educated guess about a few others.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next numbered flagship from OnePlus
- When is it out? Possibly March 2018
- What will it cost? A lot, but likely less than most high-end handsets
- Read our OnePlus 5 review
OnePlus 6 release date and price
- Release date expected from June 2018, but may come earlier
- Expect it to be less than most flagships
- Will probably be more than $479 (£449, around AU$630)
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.
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 mid-March and hit stores by the end of March.
Price is harder to guess at. OnePlus phones consistently undercut rival flagships, but they’ve also been creeping up in price. The OnePlus 5T starts at $499 (£449, AU$599) and it’s likely that the OnePlus 6 will cost at least this much. It may even cost more.
Though the OnePlus 5T is more or less the same price as the OnePlus 5, so it's possible that the price won't change much for the OnePlus 6.
OnePlus 6 news and rumors
There aren’t many OnePlus 6 rumors yet, but we have heard a couple, and we've even seen leaked photos seemingly showing the phone, which you'll find below.
These images show a notch in the screen, giving it a more iPhone X-like look, and you can see on the display that it's running Android 8.1, has 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage – all unsurprising specs.
The back meanwhile looks to be glass, rather than metal, and the dual-lens camera is in a different position to the OnePlus 5T. There's still a fingerprint scanner though.
That's worth noting as elsewhere we've heard the possibility that the OnePlus 6 will have a fingerprint scanner built into the screen.
That comes from a source speaking to GizmoChina and we wouldn't count on its accuracy, since it's a feature we're yet to see on a mainstream handset, but it's possible.
The same source adds – more believably – that the OnePlus 6 will use a Snapdragon 845 chipset, while 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.
We can also take a guess at some things. For example, OnePlus has recently switched to a dual-lens camera system for the OnePlus 5 and 5T, so we’d expect dual-lenses will get at least one more outing, though their specs may differ.
And OnePlus has stuck with a Full HD screen while rivals have pushed the resolution up. Will 2018 be the year OnePlus moves to QHD? Perhaps, but the company hasn’t shown any interest in that particular arms race, so our guess is that it will once again stick with a trusty Full HD panel.
However, the size and aspect ratio of its phones has recently changed, as the company has rolled out a 6.01-inch 18:9 screen on the OnePlus 5T, bringing it closer to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and iPhone X. We'd expect the OnePlus 6 will retain this aspect ratio.
The OnePlus 6 is also likely to pack one of the latest and greatest chipsets – perhaps the Snapdragon 845. And we’d guess RAM will top out at 8GB, just like the OnePlus 5T, as lowering it might look like a downgrade but we struggle to see how any more than 8GB would be beneficial.
But 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.
What we want to see
We don’t know anything about the OnePlus 6 yet, but we know what we want from it. 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.
- The LG G7 is surely in the works too.