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OnePlus 6 Camera Review: How does it compare to the OnePlus 5T?

The OnePlus 6 boasts some smart new camera tech, upgrading last year’s 5T with a tasty bit of Optical Image Stabilisation and new features like Super Slow Motion. But does that translate into gorgeous photos and home movies that look the biz? Here’s our full OnePlus 6 camera review.

Like the OnePlus 5T, this fresh new flagship packs a 16-megapixel primary lens, backed by a 20-megapixel secondary shooter.

However, that 16-meg lens now boasts a wider f/1.7 aperture, to suck up more light in darker conditions. The Sony sensor is larger too, while you also get OIS built in to reduce blurring from shaky hand syndrome. As for that second snapper, you once again have an f/1.7 aperture and a Sony sensor.

OnePlus 6 camera features

Dive into the camera app and any OnePlus fans might experience a pang of deja-vu. The layout for the OnePlus 6 is basically the same as before, with a couple of little tweaks here and there.

You start in the auto photo mode, with video and portrait modes just a quick tap away. It’s a clean, tidy setup that feels particularly refreshing after using feature-stuffed Honor and Huawei phones. Just a couple of the most essential toggles and that’s it.

Flick your finger and you call up a small selection of additional features. You get just a fraction of the modes found on some rival handsets, but they’re pretty much all genuinely useful and worthy of their place in that menu. For instance, the Pro Mode will delight anyone who wants to play around with the settings manually and capture RAW photos to edit on the move. You can also dive into the likes of slow motion, which has been scrubbed up and sexified for the OnePlus 6 – more on that in a bit.

OnePlus 6 photo quality

Everyday photo quality is as strong as we’d hoped, although there’s not really much difference between snaps taken on this latest flagship and the older OnePlus 5T. Once again you have loads of detail packed into every shot, complete with realistic colour reproduction. HDR is once again handled expertly, so oversaturation in brighter spots is very rare. Compared with the Honor 10 in particular, this is a much more capable snapper when it comes to tricky lighting conditions. We also noticed that our indoor shots were that little bit brighter, so you can make out some finer detailing.

That OIS comes into play for evening shots, so the larger sensor can suck in plenty of light and produce a crisp photo. Although the results aren’t exactly a massive leap forwards from the 5T, look close and you’ll see some improvements.

However, when you get into very low light, the OnePlus 6 surprisingly falls on its arse a bit. The lenses struggle to focus, which often means fuzzy results unless you get that flash on the go.

One of the biggest reasons for the dual lens setup is the Portrait Mode, which these days seems a mandatory feature for any smartphone camera. As usual this creates a funky depth effect, giving an extra dimension to photos. The results aren’t as stunning as the Portrait shots we grabbed from the P20 and P20 Pro, but they still rocked our socks. Your subject’s silhouette is well defined and you can even add bizarre effects which turn your shot into some kind of acid-fuelled nightmare.

OnePlus 6 selfie camera

Flip the phone around and you’ve got a 16-megapixel selfie snapper for those Insta-dazzler pics. This proves as solid as ever, although the f/2.0 aperture means it isn’t quite as effective in low light conditions as the rear cam. Thankfully there is a screen flash feature for when things get seriously dark.

At the moment, you can’t capture Portrait shots using that front-facing camera. However, an update in the coming weeks promises to level-up the software and make this possible. And in the meantime, you can actually shoot your own Portrait using that rear camera thanks to a nifty fingerprint gesture.

OnePlus 6 video quality

Moving onto video, the OnePlus 6 continues to impress. You can capture footage at up to 4K Ultra HD resolution, even at the ultra-realistic 60FPS rate. Not all flagship phones offer that level of support, so it’s great to see in a handset that costs less than £500.

But what are the results like? Well, frankly, the OnePlus 6 is nuts. You get plenty of detail packed in at all resolutions, and that 60FPS setting produces hyper-realistic footage. Audio pickup is sublime, clearly catching everything around you even better than my own ears can manage – although I’ve got years of happy hardcore abuse to thank for that. And the OnePlus 6’s EIS really delivers, no matter the resolution or frame rate. No judders or vomit-inducing shakiness, the results are just astonishing.

While OnePlus’ version of Super Slow Motion doesn’t match the 960 frames-per-second efforts of the Xperia XZ2, Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20, it’s a lot more user friendly. At 1080p resolution, the OnePlus 6 can shoot at 240FPS, and that frame rate is doubled for 720p resolution. We preferred the 1080p setting, as 720p frankly looks a bit pants these days when you’re watching back on a bigger screen.

Anyway, you can shoot up to a minute of footage and make as much or as little of it slow motion as you like, using the nifty video editor. None of that fraction of a second nonsense like you get at 960FPS.

Check out our OnePlus 6 video samples below.

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