OnePlus 6 Gaming Review: Battery Saver, Bandwidth Throttle and More

When the OnePlus 6 debuted in India, a long queue of buyers stood waiting for the phone’s sale date. It is very well known that OnePlus 6 is one of the best available smartphones in India right now. Sporting the Qualcomm’s prodigal processor – Snapdragon 845, the handset delivers smooth and almost unmatchable performance. Also, the 8GB of RAM adds up to the fluid performance of the smartphone. With these impressive specifications, the mobile gamer community has been very excited, since the OnePlus 6 offers everything that a mobile gamer might need and the phone even comes along with a dedicated gaming mode. The Adreno 630 GPU, 6GB/8GB of RAM with 64GB/128GB/256GB of storage, and a 6.28-inch Full HD+ (1080 x 2280 pixels) Full Optic AMOLED display with a 19:9 aspect ratio adds to this gaming experience. We did a gaming test on the OnePlus 6 to check whether or not the phone fares well for a hard-core gamer playing PUBG Mobile.

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The Gaming Mode
Before we move onto the gaming experience on the OnePlus 6, let’s talk a bit about the Gaming Mode on the smartphone. The Gaming Mode on the OnePlus 6 is a revision of the previous Gaming Do Not Disturb mode which we got to see on the OnePlus 5 and the OnePlus 5T. The feature adds some tweaks to the phones which support gaming and improve the resource management on the device. There are features like auto routing the call to speaker, turning off notifications while gaming and fixing the brightness while the game is on. There is also the gaming battery saver which brings some improvements in terms of power. A very new upgrade which we have never before seen on any OnePlus phone is the network boost functionality. This feature throttles the bandwidth of internet to provide maximum performance to the game so that games like PUBG which require internet connectivity can run seamlessly. The Gaming Mode can be found under Settings>Advanced>Gaming Mode.

Gaming Battery Saver
This is one of the most interesting additions to the OnePlus 6. The feature comes with two settings of High and Low apart from the option of turning it off. While the low toggle limits the resolution of the game, the high setting restricts resolution as well as frame rate.

On playing PUBG Mobile with the setting turned to High there was a significant drop in frame rate which was apparent from the gameplay. The lag was clearly noticeable as it made aiming tougher. There was also an impact on graphics as we saw objects popping up during navigation on screen. As for battery life, the game brought the battery percentage down by 5% in close to 12 minutes, and 10% in 25 minutes. On switching the mode to low, we did not see any significant improvement in battery saving, however, there was some improvement in the graphics and gameplay as aiming now became smooth again. Even while the battery saver was turned off, we were able to save the same amount of battery, denoting no change with the battery saver whether on or off except the lowered quality of graphics.

Gaming Performance Test
Unlike Apple, Google has not urged developers to make apps to accommodate the notch on many Android phones. As a result, when opening games, the above bar beside the notch was blacked out by default while the rest of the screen was taken up by the game. However, there is the option of achieving truly full-screen experience by tweaking the settings on your OnePlus 6 phone.

While running Asphalt 8 on demanding settings like notched up environments, weather effects and detailed car models, the phone managed to offer an effortless gaming experience. Even during the highest settings, the phone did not lag or show any distant signs of issues, which is expected from any OnePlus phone.

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We also tested the phone with the latest Android sensation PUBG Mobile. The game again did not present any lags on the phone and seemed to perform well even with the highest graphics settings. The game has been optimised well to take full advantage of the screen.

Lastly, we switched to Arena of Valor, which is one of the rare titles on Android which comes with a frame rate counter. With the highest preset turned on for detailed textures, particles and effects along with the High Frame Rate Mode toggled on (which isn’t available on every phone, just those that have high enough specs, and pushes battery use to the maximum in order for the smoothest level of gameplay) we noted almost 60fps during the entire gameplay. However, at times, the frame rate has been dropped to 56fps when there were multiple enemies on screen. Thanks to the High Frame Rate mode, the game was able to perform smoothly.

OnePlus 6 Gaming Review: Verdict
Overall, the OnePlus 6 performed immensely well speaking from a gamer’s perspective. The addition of the AMOLED screen is a huge benefit as the screen did not fall short even while standing under direct sunlight. As for heating, the phone dissipated some heat only during PUBG and Arena of Valor when the on-screen gameplay and graphics grew demanding. It remained in the normal temperature range for rest of the games. The bottom facing speaker presented sound quality which was at par for gaming, but at times, the gameplay gets affected because of the speaker’s placement.

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