OnePlus has finally confirmed that its next phone will be the OnePlus 6T through an official teaser video starring Amitabh Bachchan (above). Expected to arrive on 17 October 2018, the new OnePlus phone could be more of a trend-setter than a flagship killer.
In the video Bachchan is seen holding his finger over the rear of the phone just below the camera where you might ordinarily expect to see a fingerprint sensor. Given that the in-display fingerprint sensor has already been confirmed and the video itself promises a cool new way to unlock, it's probable that he's actually concealing a third camera lens at the rear.
The video also suggests the OnePlus 6T will be an Amazon exclusive in India, and you can click here to be notified by Amazon.in when more information is available.
Other facts confirmed ahead of launch include news that OnePlus will not include a 3.5mm headphone jack in its next smartphone. We fear it may be about to upset fans once again, despite its claim that at least 59 percent of its community own wireless headphones.
It's thought that it will closely follow in the footsteps of the Oppo R17 (despite each side assuring us there's no link), which means we should see a reduced 'Waterdrop' screen notch on the 6.4in 19.5:9 AMOLED screen. This has been fuelled by further rumours, as we'll outline later in this article.
As a startup company back in 2014 OnePlus got off to something of a rocky start with its first release in April, but having since got its act into gear the smartphone maker has unveiled two new Android phones every year.
- OnePlus 6 release date: 16 May 2018
- OnePlus 5T: 16 November 2017
- OnePlus 5 release date: 20 June 2017
- OnePlus 3T release date: 15 November 2016
- OnePlus 3 release date: 14 June 2016
- OnePlus X release date: 29 October 2015
- OnePlus 2 release date: 27 July 2015
- OnePlus 1 release date: 23 April 2014
If you look at the release-date pattern it's clear that we get one release in the summer (typically June), and one in the autumn (typically November). Aside from the OnePlus X, which we can regard as something of a blip given that CEO Pete Lau has already ruled out the possibility of a follow-up device, each autumn release is a 'T' model that is an incremental upgrade on the summer release rather than a full refresh.
It would make sense if the OnePlus 6T therefore launched in November 2018, but the company has teased a screenshot that points to a 17 October launch.
A source familiar with the company's plans says T-Mobile will exclusively stock the OnePlus 6T in the US when it launches in October (source).
How much will the OnePlus 6T cost?
OnePlus works hard to keep its pricing low and relatively constant, so we wouldn't expect to see the price rise any higher than the current OnePlus 6's £469 RRP. That's for the 6GB/64GB model, and there's also an 8GB/128GB model at £519.
According to a Giztop leak (pictured below) the OnePlus 6T will cost $569 in the US. The listing may be no more than a bunch of rumours cobbled together, but it is very much in line with what we expect, promising a 6.4in (2340x1080) AMOLED display, a light-sensitive in-display fingerprint sensor, the Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 5630, 6/8GB of RAM, 64/128/256GB of storage, a triple rear camera, 25Mp selfie camera and a 3,500mAh battery.
Potential new features in the OnePlus 6T
The 'T' models are typically tweaked versions of the previous release - usually with a processor bump, and in the 5T we also saw the introduction of an 18:9 display. But the OnePlus 6 is already running the latest processor, and it already has an 18:9 display with dual-camera at the rear. Realistically, where can the company go with the next model?
Well, although we think it offers serious bang for your buck, there is room for improvement:
We didn't think we'd see an in-display fingerprint sensor before the OnePlus 7, but OnePlus has confirmed ahead of the launch that the 6T will include one - both in the screenshot and comment below, and in the first official teaser video shown at the top of this page.
"We unlock our phones multiple times a day, and Screen Unlock reduces the number of steps to complete the action," OnePlus told CNET. "By adding this feature as an addition to other display unlocking options such as Face Unlock, users will have options to unlock the display in a way that is most efficient for them."
Earlier leaked images of what is said to be the 6T's retail box also allude to an in-display fingerprint sensor:
This one's not just a hunch: OnePlus hinted to us during the OnePlus 6 launch that the new glass back might allow it to add wireless charging at some point in the future. All the main competitors have wireless charging, so it's time for OnePlus to join the trend.
The OnePlus 6 has improved water-resistance, but it's not fully waterproof. We'd like to see IP68 waterproofing, in line with rivals.
Reduced screen notch
When OnePlus added a notch screen to its OnePlus 6 it had no way of knowing just how much it would upset fans. In the end the company promised to allow the notch to be removed through a software tweak, but we think the next step will be a reduced screen notch.
Above is an image of the Oppo R17, and despite both companies claiming there is no link between its devices, it's probable the OnePlus 6T will end up looking a lot like this.
One of the most anticipated launches of 2018 has been the Huawei P20 Pro, which boasts three cameras at the rear. Concept videos have shown such an arrangement for the OnePlus 6T (16Mp+20Mp+8Mp), and though we originally took these with a pinch of salt Bachchan certainly seems to be concealing something in the first official teaser video..
Also seen in concept videos is a pop-up 16Mp dual-camera at the front, similar to the Vivo Nex, taking the total camera count up to five. But this could be wishful thinking, since later rumours have pointed to a single-lens selfie camera.
We think this rumour unlikely, and don't expect to see any Snapdragon 855 smartphones until 2019, but there are whispers that the success of the OnePlus 6 will encourage Qualcomm to release the 855 early for the upcoming 6T.
OnePlus and Qualcomm are long-term hardware partners, but are they so friendly that Qualcomm will release an early batch of the 7nm Snapdragon 855 for the OnePlus 6T? We think the Snapdragon 845 is a much more likely choice.
OnePlus has upgraded its Bullets Bluetooth-enabled earphones to use USB-C rather than a 3.5mm jack (though you probably still won't get a pair in the box). This isn't hugely surprising, given that the company has also said it feels the time is right to take the plunge and ditch the 3.5mm jack, which will free up space inside the other body for other tech, allowing it to do such things as improve battery life.
OnePlus says the 6T will have a 3.5mm- to USB-C adaptor in the box, which is some comfort.
OnePlus 6T specification rumours
Some of the specifications suggested by an early concept video (above) seem likely, but others not so much. We've listed each spec below:
- Glass front and rear with aluminium frame
- 6.4in Full-HD+ (1080x2280, 19:9) Optic AMOLED touchscreen with the reduced notch, Gorilla Glass 6
- In-display fingerprint scanner
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845/855
- Adreno 630
- 6/8GB RAM
- 64/128/256GB storage
- Triple rear camera: 16Mp + 20Mp + 8Mp, f/1.7, OIS, dual-LED flash
- Dual front pop-up camera: 16Mp + 16Mp, f/1.8, Auto HDR, 1440p
- 3D Face ID recognition
- USB-C 3.0
- 3840mAh battery, Dash Charge
- Android 8.1 Oreo with Oxygen OS 5.1.8
- Available in black, red and white
Read next: Best new phones coming in 2018