It’s also a candidate for the best value phone of the year.
You can change the look of the phone’s screen in Settings > Display > Screen Calibration. You might want to consider the Adaptive Display mode, which alters the colour temperature to suit the ambient lighting.
Flicking through the modes, you’ll find that the ‘pro calibrated’ ones look warmer. Screens tend to look brighter with a cooler colour temperature, but a little warmth gives the display a more relaxed and natural-looking feel.
If you’ve always found your headphones could do with a little more bass or treble, the OnePlus 6 can handle that. When you plug in a pair into the headphone jack (or connect over Bluetooth), a set of options unlocks in Settings > Sound & Vibration > Audio Tuner.
You get a seven-band equaliser, and its effects are unusually tasteful. You can make your tunes sound a bit bloated and the mids too recessed if you try, but even with crazy settings, the OnePlus 6 won’t sound truly terrible. Have a play around.
Read books on your phone? Use Reading mode
We still tend to use a Kindle or an old-fashioned paperback for reading. But if you like to read novels, or even long-form articles, on your phone then the OnePlus 6’s Reading mode is worth checking out.
This turns the display monochrome and warms-up the screen, making it less fatiguing for your eyes. It isn’t the kind of thing you’d want to turn on 24/7, but the OnePlus 6 allows you to set the function to kick-in automatically in certain apps. If you use the Kindle app or another ebook reader app, give it a go.
Are there really that many notch-haters out there? Many of you aren’t fans, but we really don’t think there’s too much to get upset about once you actually use a phone with a notch.
The OnePlus 6 offers a “best of both worlds” solution. In Settings > Display > Notch Display, you can hide the notch with a black bar. It doesn’t waste the area either, since the same notification icons and clock display still sit in this black bar. However, you’re also left with the impression of a familiar rectangular screen.
If you’ve owned a OnePlus phone before, you may already know about the Dark theme. It isn’t some Darth Vader tie-in; it just makes the menu system appear as a light font on a black background instead of black text on a white one.
It looks much moodier, and you can choose colour accents to ensure your OnePlus 6 looks moody, not miserable.
There’s also an argument that Dark mode actually uses less battery, since the phone’s OLED screen doesn’t have to light-up these pixels. That said, most of us probably don’t spend enough time in menus for it to make a huge difference.
Lift Up mode is one of the OnePlus 6 extra features that isn’t switched on as standard. It uses the phone’s sensors to determine when you’ve picked up the phone, and then brings up a clock display that also shows your battery level and notification icons. Oh, and a predefined message if, say, you want your OnePlus to tell you “you can do it, Graham” whenever you pick it up.
To set it up, go to Settings > Security & Lock Screen > Face Unlock and tap Add Face Data. It scans your facial geometry, which only takes a few seconds. Then, whenever you press the power button with the OnePlus 6 in front of your face, the phone will unlock.
The tip part here: switch on assistive lighting in the menu. This uses the screen to brighten-up your face a bit in poor lighting. Maybe don’t use it if you’re out at a trendy club – it isn’t a good look.
This isn’t some shady feature for hacker types. It just lets you lock chosen apps behind a passcode wall, so if you give it to a child or mischievous friend, they won’t stumble on anything they shouldn’t. Or change your Chrome homescreen. Or start WhatsApp’ing your partner with admissions of imagined crimes.
Since the phone benefits from lots of storage anyway, we don’t need to use it much. But we’re sure some of you will find a reason. Perhaps plugging-in an action-cam to pull off the files.
You’ll need a USB-C OTG connector, however, which doesn’t come with the phone. Tooled-up? Now head to Settings > Advanced and flick on the OTG Storage slider. It automatically times out after 10 minutes, as it interferes with normal USB function.
Some top-end phones make a big fuss about their gamer modes, which are sometimes extra bits of interface that can actually get in the way as you play. OnePlus has kept them tucked away in the menu system. It means you can seamlessly add gamer optimisations, once you’re aware of their existence of course.
There are some great tweaks that include disabling auto-brightness, blocking notifications (aside from calls and alarms), and limiting the network bandwidth other apps can use. No-one wants unnecessary lag in PUBG, right?
If you’re more worried about battery longevity than being distracted – perhaps, if you’re on a long-haul flight – then the OnePlus 6 can also reduce screen resolution and even the FPS in games to let you play for longer.
The OnePlus 6 won’t take a guess at which games you’d want to apply this treatment. You specify the titles in the Gaming Mode menu.
Related: Best cheap phones
The OnePlus 6 lets you transfer data from your old phone. It’s the sort of thing you normally do on initial startup. But if you didn’t, you can still access this OnePlus Switch feature later on.
First you need to install OnePlus Switch on your old Android phone. You’ll need to give it every permission under the sun, but then you just scan a QR code with Switch on your OnePlus 6.
OnePlus software is highly recognisable. As soon as you turn on the OnePlus 6, it’s possible to determine its source. For us, this is because it uses a distinct font and custom icons. The OnePlus aroma is all over these elements.
It is possible to change this, however. Altering the font is the simplest way to do this, but OnePlus has kept things tasteful. In Settings > Font, you can swap out the custom Roboto font for something less conventional.
Want more fonts? Unfortunately, the only way to do so is to root your OnePlus 6 – which we don’t recommend, unless you’re a relatively advanced techie.
However, what you can do without rooting is change the icon style. Just long-press on an empty area in a homescreen and press Home Settings. Then select Icon Pack. Here you’ll see three OnePlus icon styles; any other icon packs you download from Google Play will appear here too. The size of icons can also be altered in Home Settings > Home Screen Layout.
The OnePlus 6 lets you draw letters on-screen to run specific apps right from standby. “V” is the easiest, quickest to draw, so let’s make that run Gmail. The second is to long-press the fingerprint scanner to take a photo in the camera app. This is great for one-handed photography.
Getting the very best camera pics
The OnePlus 6 is a great point-and-shoot camera. However, if you want to capture the very best pics possible, perhaps on holiday, then you can go further with a bit of manual work.
Switch to the Pro mode, found by flicking right-to-left in the camera app, and then select RAW capture in the left menu bar. This saves RAW DNG files as well as JPEGs.
A RAW file won’t suddenly have 300% extra detail, but when you open one up in Photoshop on your laptop, or even Photoshop Lightroom CC on your phone, you can often highlight detail. This isn’t possible with a JPEG.