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OnePlus 6 Android Pie review: Everything you want to know


The one thing that irks most people about smartphones is that software updates often cripple or slow-down the device in question. It is bad enough that on the Android side of the ecosystem, software updates aren’t that forthcoming, but since Google introduced Project Treble with the launch of Android Oreo, things have started changing. The OnePlus 6, for instance, was announced to be one of the first phones to get the Android Pie update. And for sure, 45 days after the launch of the Android Pie update, the OnePlus 6 has it. And more or less, it doesn’t crap out the experience of what was already is a stellar smartphone.

And here’s everything you need to know about it.

Do you get the stock Android Pie look?

Perhaps, the biggest reason most people desire the stock Android Pie user interface is because it is the cleanest and simplest form of Android. Since Oxygen OS has always stayed close to the stock looks of Android, Oxygen OS 9.0 with Android Pie is no different and you get more or less the same interface as the Google Pixel, save for the Google Search cards on the left.

Do you get iPhone X-like gestures?

Yes, one of the new things about Android Pie is a new gesture-based interface which involves swipes like the iPhone X. It also includes iPhone-style horizontal cards for app switching. Early preview builds of the Android Pie build for the OnePlus 6 didn’t include this, but the final build is very similar to the iPhone interface, though it also includes app drawers which can be summoned with an upwards swipe from the bottom.

Has the performance taken a hit?

No. Over the two days we’ve tested the OnePlus 6, the performance is more or less the same. The new Android Pie interface seems more responsive and easier to navigate than the previous interface. Overall, this is one update that’s not impacting any aspect of the phone’s performance in a negative way. In the day-to-day use, the OnePlus 6 remains one of the fastest smartphones in we have tested; easily the fastest Android smartphone. Benchmark scores on things like Geekbench and PCMark haven’t changed much as well.

Camera improvements?

OnePlus is known for rapid iteration of its camera through software-based enhancements, but this update doesn’t bring anything new to the table. What it does bring is a new tweaking of the interface which also adds an exposure control reticule right next to the focusing tap. There is a slider to change the intensity of HDR which is a nice touch. Additionally, one does get the impression that the edge detection and bokeh on the portrait mode has improved.

New features

There are a bunch of new features that get added to the phone with the Android Pie update. Of course, the new user interface and gesture-based navigation are the most prominent bits, however, there is a new gaming mode which provides an added notification for third party calls. There is also a “do not disturb” mode with adjustable settings and even supports for accent colour, something which is a trademark of Oxygen OS. More so, the biggest deal is that the notifications are better and there are a host of improvements coming its way with improvements to the core search experience and wellness functionalities.

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