OnePlus doesn’t appear to be slowing down this year. It’s full speed ahead with another new Android phone.
Six months after the releasing the critically acclaimed OnePlus 6, the Chinese phone maker is ready expected to launch the OnePlus 6T. And if the rumors are right, it’s gonna be one mega upgrade.
Once upon a time ago, OnePlus used to release one flagship phone a year. But as the company has grown, it’s moved to two.
In 2016, we got the OnePlus 3 and then the 3T. Then in 2017, the OnePlus 5 and 5T. This year, the OnePlus 6 and likely soon to be the 6T. The leaks rarely lie anymore.
So what can we expect from the next model? Quite a lot, actually. Though the company designs its own hardware and software, it leans on the supply chain of its parent, the Chinese electronics giant Oppo. As such, it’s usually the case that OnePlus’ phones are based loosely on Oppo’s R series phones.
For the OnePlus 6T, all signs point to the phone borrowing elements from Oppo’s R17 Pro.
Bigger screen, smaller notch
The 6T is rumored to come with a larger 6.4-inch OLED display (the OnePlus 6 has a 6.28-inch screen). Screen resolution might be 2,340 x 1,080 — OnePlus has firmly stuck with a 1080p screen to keep costs lower, but also to balance power efficiency.
You can see a bunch of alleged 6T box photos over on Slashleaks.
Nerds will cry OnePlus is scrimping on pixels once again, but anyone who’s ever used a OnePlus phone knows it’s a nonissue. Besides, even though phones like Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9 have QHD+ resolution screens, they’re set to display in 1080p resolution out of the box. Which is, well, you can connect the dots.
Most noticeable might be a smaller notch. The OnePlus 6 had one of the smaller phone notches and that’s expected to shrink with Oppo’s “waterdrop” notch design. Maybe next year when slider phones become more popular, the notch will disappear altogether.
Fingerprint sensor built into display
With the OnePlus 5T, the company moved the fingerprint reader from the front to the back to make way for a larger screen with slimmer bezels, and now it might move to embedding the sensor in the screen itself.
Many Chinese phone makers like Oppo and Vivo are putting the fingerprint reader in the screen, but as my colleague Stan Schroeder has said in his reviews for these phones, they’re a little slow.
Don’t get me wrong, in-display fingerprint sensors are getting faster with every new model, but until they’re as fast as external ones, there may be still be some frustrations. OnePlus phones are known for their blazing-fast fingerprint sensors so, uh, fingers crossed the in-display sensor is just as fast (assuming this rumor is true).
But even if the fingerprint reader is a tad slower than on the OnePlus 6, the 6T will likely still have the speedy face-unlock feature. It won’t be as secure, but it’ll do the trick.
Flagship specs and improved cameras
OnePlus is known for packing its phones with flagship specs, and the 6T won’t be any different.
We’re expecting the phone to come with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 845 chip, 6GB and 8GB of RAM (just like on the current OnePlus 6) and storage configurations of at least 64GB, 128GB of 256GB.
The only mystery is battery life. The OnePlus 6 has a 3,300 mAh battery. Will OnePlus follow Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 and bump the capacity up? We hope so.
As for cameras, the 6T will likely continue to have a dual camera system on the rear. If it’s based on the R17 Pro, then we might see a 12-megapixel main camera with variable f/1.5-2.4 aperture and a 20-megapixel second shooter. There might also be a new 3D sensor on the back for assisting with better depth detection (better for portrait photos and possibly augmented reality).
In our OnePlus 6 review, I noted how the phone lacks certain flagship staples such as stereo speakers, wireless charging, and IP-rated water and dust resistance. I wouldn’t bet on OnePlus including these features, since cost-cutting is often a priority for the value-driven brand, but anything could happen. We’re also hoping the headphone jack sticks around, too.
Pricing and release date
The OnePlus 6 starts at $529 and while OnePlus could keep the same price, it’s very likely the 6T will cost a few bucks more.
We predict the phone will cost between $529 and $599 — more than the OnePlus 6, but still hundreds less than a Galaxy S9 or Pixel 2.
With the leaks coming in fast, it’s possible the 6T could launch in just a few weeks. The OnePlus 5T came out last November, which was less than six months after the OnePlus 5.
One thing that might be different this year: It might launch on T-Mobile. OnePlus has sold its phones as unlocked devices that only work on GSM networks such as T-Mobile and AT&T (Verizon and Sprint operate on CDMA networks). But if the 6T launches with a U.S. carrier this year, it could make a bigger splash.