OnePlus has been the cool underdog of the phone world since 2014—without the resources of the mega-manufacturers, they’ve put up a decent showing of slick design and solid features. This year’s OnePlus 6 seems to just be the sum of its parts, and not much more. Like a solid cover band, the 6 pulls some good ideas from other phones: an iPhone 4-like battery pull-tab, and a Samsung-inspired modular headphone jack. But ultimately it picks up too much of the bad—pointlessly breakable rear glass, and an inaccessible screen—to stand out as a hit single. That said, the OnePlus 6 earns a middling 5 out of 10 on our repairability scale, right between the iPhone 8 and Galaxy S9. So, while it may not be the best of both worlds, it’s certainly a bit of both.
Tl;DR: This phone isn’t perfect, but buying it new still costs less than fixing the back glass on an iPhone X.
OnePlus 6 Teardown
Teardown of the OnePlus 6, performed May 22, 2018.
- We spotted the NFC antenna—tossed like a ring over the rear cameras. Prior OnePlus antennas did just fine without a glass back (which isn’t even for wireless charging)—so, basically, that back is just for cracking.
- Under the plastic midframe, we get up-close and personal with that oversized slider mechanism. The slider button moves a hefty metal plunger, which flips a mechanical switch soldered to the motherboard—a seemingly overwrought design. What is it for?
- OnePlus doesn’t list an official IP rating for the phone, but it’s already clear that they’ve put some thought into guarding the insides. There are black silicone seals surrounding flex cable sockets on the motherboard and gaskets surrounding the SIM tray, speaker grille, USB Type-C port, and headphone jack.