OnePlus 6T Preview: Everything You Need To Know

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By Dominik Bosnjak October 24, 2018, 9:07am
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Fall is here, and so is the new addition to the biannually updated Android flagship lineup from OnePlus - almost. The OnePlus 6T will be unveiled next week, offering a more significant upgrade over its predecessor than the last (and first) two T-series smartphones made by the Chinese manufacturer. Besides a wide variety of rumors and leaks, the company itself has already been teasing the OnePlus 6T for over a month now, revealing a broad range of information about the Android handset. Without further ado, here’s everything there is to know about the OnePlus 6T:

Coming even sooner than we thought due to - Apple

The OnePlus 6T was already confirmed as being scheduled to launch on Tuesday, October 30. Two weeks later, Apple said it’s holding an event on the same date and in the same city - New York. Fearing the idea of having to compete for the spotlight with the most valuable brand in the world — expected to unveil the new iPads and Macs — OnePlus moved the happening a day earlier. Fans who already purchased tickets for the original event and are unable to make it beforehand or find that doing so is more expensive will be reimbursed or have the price difference covered by the company. The firm’s established product practices suggest the OnePlus 6T will become available for purchase no later than November 6, though pre-orders should start immediately following its Monday unveiling.

The headphone jack died for this

OnePlus is continuing its strategy of increasing the screen real estate of its devices without making their overall physical footprint bigger with the OnePlus 6T. The handset is hence set to feature a 6.4-inch screen as opposed to a 6.28-inch one due to thinner bezels. The display notch of the previous handset has also been toned down and is now significantly slimmer, styled after a waterdrop, not unlike what consumers were already able to see on recent handsets from OnePlus’s sister company OPPO.

Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6 is also expected to be part of the package, offering even better protection than the sheet covering the OnePlus 6. A less desirable difference comes in the form of the 3.5mm headphone jack’s death which the company is rationalizing with a forum survey that suggests the majority of its customers already own wireless headphones. The firm is also claiming it wasn’t able to retain the headphone jack while still implementing an in-display fingerprint reader and staying within desired case dimensions, adding that the removal also allowed it to increase the battery capacity of the device. While no exact figures were given, one late September leak suggested the OnePlus 6T will be powered by a 3,700mAh cell, up from a 3,300mAh one found inside its predecessor.

The in-display fingerprint reader of the handset will result in a more uniform look of its rear panel that will now lack such a scanner, though the new module is of the optical variety, meaning that regardless of the firm’s calibration, its speed and accuracy — i.e. security — will be somewhat inferior to the sensor found on the OnePlus 6. The manufacturer believes the change will still amount to an overall net positive due to the added convenience of unlocking the smartphone by simply touching its display. Face unlock support should be retained as well.

Few novelties on the imaging front

By most accounts, the OnePlus 6T will offer a mobile photography experience almost identical to the one delivered by its predecessor by featuring yet another dual-camera setup with two wide-angle lenses, at least one of which will support optical image stabilization. Phase detection autofocus should also be part of the package, together with a dual-LED flash and HDR capture. A similar wide-angle camera should be accommodated by a display notch of the OnePlus 6T, delivering 16-megapixel results and supporting some sort of a portrait mode.

OxygenOS embraces Android 9 Pie

The OnePlus 6T will be the first handset from the company to run an OxygenOS build based on Android 9 Pie. The version of the Android implementation for older OnePlus devices will be arriving following the new flagship’s release, the OEM confirmed. Not many details about new OS are currently known, though the company already talked about a “new user interface” and additional optimization for gesture navigation introduced with the OnePlus 6. As part of those novelties, users will be able to swipe from the bottom center of the screen to its upper-right corner in order to switch between the last two used applications. The Android 9 Pie-based version of OxygenOS will also allow users to launch Google Assistant by holding the power button for 0.5 seconds.

The usual choices with one surprise, unsurprisingly more expensive than ever

The OnePlus 6T will be offered in three variants, according to numerous leaks that emerged online in recent months. The base model will sport 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage space, whereas configurations with 8GB of RAM will also be available, coupled with a choice of 128GB and 256GB of flash memory, respectively. An Ultimate Edition with some “secrets” will be this year’s launch surprise, according to one recent leak from Sweden.

As is tradition, the Chinese firm will introduce yet another price hike with the OnePlus 6T, presumably amounting to around $30. The series is hence expected to start at approximately $550, with all units being bundled with adapters for connecting 3.5mm headphones to their USB Type-C (3.1) ports.

Set to break all sales records

OnePlus scored a major distribution win by partnering with T-Mobile, hence striking its first carrier agreement in the United States. As a result of that move, the controversies stemming from its lack of a headphone jack are unlikely to affect its commercial performance in a significant manner, with the device shaping up to be the best-selling OnePlus handset ever made. One recent report suggested the OnePlus 6T may even be compatible with Verizon’s CDMA network, which would mark another first for the Chinese manufacturer and significantly increase the appeal of the handset given how Verizon remains the largest wireless carrier in the United States. The firm recently also struck new distribution agreements with network operators in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and other parts of the world, positioning its next Android flagship as its biggest hit yet.

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October 24, 2018, 9:07am
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