With the 6, OnePlus is making the switch to glass even if our review unit might be giving off an aluminum vibe. It goes by 'Midnight black' in OnePlus speak and it has been achieved through corrosion of the glass, creating tiny holes. The end result is that it looks a lot like the old 5T.
It doesn't quite feel like it, though - it's even more slippery. We'd go so far as to say it's among the most slippery phones we've held on to - or rather, worked hard to hold on to. The bundled silicone case sure helps provide some security, taking away from the looks in the process.
The glossy-as-you'd-expect Mirror Black version should be easier to keep safe, though inevitably much more prone to accumulating fingerprints. That's the real upside of the matte finish - it stays looking clean. The Silk White is closer in feel to the Midnight Black than it is to the Mirror one.
Moving on, the OnePlus 6 marks a return to the center-mounted camera after the 5 and 5T's fling with a top left corner position. Now everything is along the same axis - the flash is below the camera, the fingerprint reader under them, and last - a 1+ logo. Simple, clean and tidy.
We have this one little complaint - perhaps a little more depth could have given your fingers some more tactile clues where to find the sensor. As it is, it's a bit too flat, and takes some getting used to. The case does give it more definition, but even without it you'd get used to after some time.
A couple of things we've come to associate with glass-backed phones are wireless charging and dust and water resistance. Well, the OnePlus 6 doesn't do the former, and doesn't have an official IP rating. It does say on its website that the phone should be fine in the rain, though OP is quick to advise against submersion. We'd imagine the company wants to avoid the customer service and publicity nightmare that a drowned OP6 could bring.
Anyways, over on the front there's the 6.28-inch AMOLED display, complete with rounded corners and a notch. Inside the notch OP has fitted all the usual top-bezel stuff - the earpiece, camera, ambient light and proximity sensors are here, as is a notification LED, yay!
Why is there a notch up top, if there's a bezel on the bottom, you can hear us mumble even though at this point we've come to accept the fad. Whatever's happening under the display, it's underneath the surface, there's nothing to see on the chin.
The back may be made of glass, but the frame is still aluminum. It's here that one of the major changes in handling is between the OnePlus 6 and all previous generations - the alert slider has been moved to the right side.
We imagine the vast majority of people use their phones with the right hand, so it probably makes sense. For the phone-lefties, however, that means a lot of effort to use the slider with the index finger. Here's one reviewer who insists he isn't a total klutz, contemplating about the four times he almost dropped the OP6 trying to switch the slider to silent.
The right is the side where you'll find the power button - no changes here. The volume rocker is on the left, and above it, right where the slider used to be, is the SIM card slot.
There's a lot of important stuff on the bottom. The USB-C port is in the center with a loudspeaker to one side, and the 3.5mm jack and the primary mic on the other. A secondary mic can be found on top.
The OnePlus 6 measures 155.7 x 75.4 x 7.8mm - 0.4mm taller, 0.4mm wider and 0.5mm thicker than the model it replaces - all negligible differences. It is, however, 15g heavier than the 5T and we blame the glass. Not that 177g is unmanageable or anything.
In fact, the Galaxy S9+ is even heavier (189g) and so is the Huawei P20 Pro, if only marginally so (180g). The Galaxy is also a couple of mm taller while the Huawei flagship is virtually identical in size to the OP6.