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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

OnePlus copied the iPhone X, but it also improved Apple’s design in one important way – BGR

OnePlus 6 Vs iPhone X

By Zach Epstein, May 16th, 2018

Like most other smartphone vendors out there, OnePlus has a history of copying Apple’s iPhone designs. The notion of Android vendors copying Apple’s iPhone designs is obviously nothing new. But last year’s OnePlus 5 is notable because it was one of the most blatant iPhone copies we had seen in quite some time. In a nutshell, the OnePlus 5 was an iPhone 7 Plus that ran Android. I mean, look at this thing. Not only did it sport the same design, OnePlus even copied elements of Apple’s software design, such as the camera UI. That was particularly ironic, because the OnePlus 5 also copied the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual-lens rear camera and used the second lens for the exact same features as Apple’s iPhone: Optical zoom and a portrait mode effect.

In 2018, OnePlus dialed things back a bit. Sort of. Yes, one of the first things you’ll notice about the newly announced OnePlus 6 is that it has a notch cut out of the top of the display, and it’s shaped just like the one on the iPhone X. The OnePlus 6 is one of dozens of Android phones that copy the iPhone X’s display design, though — you can see 20 Android-powered iPhone X copycats all in one place right here. There are a few other ways the OnePlus 6 takes inspiration from Apple, but there’s also one important way that this phone improves upon Apple’s iPhone X design.

For the first time ever, we found a group of people who love Apple’s iPhone design even more than Apple fanboys: Android phone designers. In 2018, Android handset designers around the world apparently decided to take the year off. Why bother putting all that time, effort, and money into designing your own phone when Apple can do all the heavy lifting for you? We’ve seen countless iPhone copycats over the years, but we’ve never seen quite so many Android phone makers all copy Apple at once.

The new OnePlus 6 wouldn’t have a notch in its display had it not been for Apple’s iPhone X. That said, we’ve seen some Android phones out there that are complete iPhone X copycats from top to bottom. The OnePlus 6 might have the iPhone X’s notch, but it’s one of the tamest examples we’ve seen among Android phones that swiped Apple’s display design. The rest of the phone doesn’t look like the iPhone X at all. Actually, it sort of looks like someone slapped the front of the iPhone X onto the back of the LG G7 ThinQ… which is a phone that also stole Apple’s iPhone X display design, so I suppose one might say the OnePlus 6 simply looks like an LG G7 ThinQ.

There is one other way OnePlus might have taken inspiration from Apple, actually, and it’s a bit bizarre. Smartphones with glass backs have existed for years, but Apple didn’t switch to a design with an all-glass back until 2017 when it added wireless charging support to the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. This was a design decision born of necessity since current wireless charging technology doesn’t work efficiently through aluminum.

Purely by coincidence, I’m sure, OnePlus decided to adopt a new design for the OnePlus 6 this year that also uses a glass back. What’s so bizarre about that? Well, OnePlus decided to switch from a metal back to a more fragile glass back on the OnePlus 6… but it didn’t add wireless charging support to the phone.

That particular decision was a bit odd, sure, but the end result is a new flagship smartphone that looks fantastic. And there’s one thing in particular about the OnePlus 6’s design that I actually believe to be a big improvement over Apple’s iPhone X. It’s something I’ve discussed several times in the past here on the site: The size.

The 5.8 inch display measurement on the iPhone X is somewhat misleading. Yes, the phone’s beautiful OLED does in fact measure 5.8 inches diagonally. But the iPhone X’s excessively narrow aspect ratio of 19.5:9 means the total surface area of the display isn’t very large at all. In fact, the 5.5-inch iPhone 8 Plus actually has a bigger display than the 5.8-inch iPhone X.

OnePlus’ display on the OnePlus 6 measures 6.28 inches diagonally, and it’s sooooo much better. The aspect ratio is about the same at 19:9, but the added size makes all the difference in the world. The iPhone X can feel a bit cramped at times, and fonts can be a bit small on some pages. Meanwhile, everything is crystal clear on the OnePlus 6’s nice big display.

As I’ve mentioned a few times on the site — most recently in a post titled “2018 might be the first year I don’t buy a flagship iPhone” — this is going to be a tricky year for me and countless other iPhone users out there who are in the same boat. Finding the right balance between screen size and overall phone size is tough.

Apple’s upcoming “iPhone X Plus” is expected to have a 6.5-inch screen, and I think that’s going to make the phone too large to be used comfortably with one hand. There will supposedly be a 6.1-inch iPhone model as well, and it might end up being the perfect size. But that model will have an LCD screen instead of OLED, less impressive specs, and maybe even a “chin” bezel at the bottom (which would be a deal-breaker).

The OnePlus 6 is a great size with its 6.28-inch display. It’s narrower and a bit shorter than the iPhone 8 Plus, so it’s a bit more comfortable to use with one hand. I still wouldn’t mind a phone that’s a tiny bit narrower though, and the 6.1-inch iPhone will likely fit the bill. Now it’s just a matter of waiting to find out exactly what the tradeoffs will be for people who opt for Apple’s upcoming mid-range iPhone model."

OnePlus copied the iPhone X, but it also improved Apple’s design in one important way – BGR

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