With a Snapdragon 845 inside, and up to 8GB of RAM, you'd expect amazing performance from the OnePlus 6 - and it delivers. Slowdowns are not something we've ever encountered in our time with it, everything just flies. OnePlus devices have always scored very well in benchmarks (though not uncontroversially at times), but we're not here to talk about that in this long-term review.
What matters to most people is how fast a phone feels in day-to-day use, and we're happy to report that the OnePlus 6 will not disappoint in this regard. No matter what you throw at it, there won't be any hiccups.
Lags are almost nonexistent, and multitasking is a breeze if you can get used to the Recent apps rolodex's scrolling, which feels a bit unnatural. More on that in the Smoothness section.
A big part of what stands out in a Pixel is how smooth it feels in operation, how lag and stutters are nonexistent in day-to-day use, and how it seems to not slow down with time. Well, the OnePlus 6 is incredibly close to that level of smoothness. In fact, it's the closest of any device that's ever been put through the long-term review process. We still wouldn't call it on par with a Pixel, but it's almost there.
To get to 100% two things need to happen. First, improved touch latency. Note that we're not basing this on any scientific measurements, but the OnePlus 6 feels like it's lagging the Pixels when it comes to this. From time to time (or even more often if you're specifically looking for it) you will perceive some small amounts of latency when scrolling, no matter what app you're in.
Speaking of which, the multitasking rolodex's inertia settings need to be tweaked somewhat, because scrolling through it one gets an eerie feeling. It's not just the scrolling itself that's the problem (although that could be a little bit smoother too), but when you want to stop upon a specific app. That action just feels... wobbly, for lack of a better term. You'll constantly be second-guessing whether you were able to stop the spinning at exactly the spot you wanted.
Anyway, props to OnePlus for creating a software experience that not just looks like it's stock, but also feels like it most times.
Overall, battery life has been good during our extended stint with the OnePlus 6. The software seems well optimized not to eat away at the 3,300 mAh cell for no reason. What's more, battery life has been consistent, and that's refreshing. We did not experience any weird ups and downs from one day to the next, which is something we, unfortunately, did encounter while putting Samsung's Galaxy S9+ through the long-term review process.
Our normal use case for a long-term review involves the phone being off the charger for 12-16 hours. During that time it's mostly connected to Wi-Fi, with an hour or two of mobile data thrown in for good measure. A few calls here and there, totaling around half an hour. Bluetooth is always on and we stream music for an hour or two tops. Location is on the High accuracy setting, and auto brightness is turned on. We should also mention that we went with the default theme. Because of the AMOLED screen, if you were to choose the dark theme you might squeeze even more from the phone's battery.
With these settings, our record screen on time with the OnePlus 6 was a little over 7 hours going from full to 6% battery left. For such a typical day we've never seen the screen-on time go below 5 hours. If you add more time spent on mobile data, and use positioning apps, then expect that number to go down, obviously. Still, we're happy with the OnePlus 6's battery life, even though there's definitely room for improvement.
Given these very good numbers, achieved from a battery that isn't huge by today's standards, we can't help but imagine how much better battery life would be if OnePlus decided to include a 4,000 mAh or even bigger unit in its next phone. Sure, there's always a price to pay with such a move, primarily when it comes to thickness, but since battery life is most people's number one gripe with current smartphones, perhaps that wouldn't be tough to live with, considering the benefits such a move would bring.
The fact that a bigger cell isn't built into the OnePlus 6 is somewhat alleviated by the excellent Dash Charge system, which is among the quickest (if not the absolute quickest) on the market right now. It tops up your battery amazingly fast, so even if you only have a few minutes to keep the handset charging mid-day, that will make a difference. Dash Charge consistently amazed us with how fast it is, but it does come with its own caveat - you need to use the official OnePlus charger in order for it to do its magic.