By John McCann
OnePlus has exclusively confirmed to TechRadar that its next handset (rumored to be the OnePlus 6T) will not have a headphone jack, but will feature improved battery life. It’s also just launched a USB-C version of its Bullets V2 headphones.
The OnePlus 6T launch is probably not too far off – assuming the Chinese firm continues to follow its half-yearly release schedule for its affordable flagship smartphones.
The OnePlus 6 was another successful phone in the range, managing to match handsets almost twice its price. It was an exciting phone, so can you blame us for being excited about what’s coming next?
There aren’t too many OnePlus 6T leaks or rumors about at the moment, but we’ll be constantly updating this page whenever we hear something new.
In the meantime, here’s what we know, what we think we know, and what we’d like to see from the new OnePlus phone.
Cut to the chase
What is it? The next T-variant flagship from OnePlus
When is it out? Likely November 2018
What will it cost? Probably at least $529 / £469 (around AU$840)
OnePlus 6T release date and price
The OnePlus 6T release date is likely to be around November 2018, as that’s when the OnePlus 5T arrived last year, and the OnePlus 3T in 2016.
It would be the firm’s third ‘T’ variant device, as it looks to bridge the gap between its new-number launches in June.
The OnePlus 6T may arrive a month earlier though, with a separate report claiming that the handset will launch in October.
However, there’s a suggestion that the OnePlus 6T may not launch at all this year, due to a lack of new, cutting -edge features being available to make it worthwhile.
We’d say that’s pretty unlikely as the company has found a nice rhythm in its six monthly cycle, and with no OnePlus 6T launch in November it doesn’t give the firm much to talk about and keep itself relevant – which can be difficult when you have just one handset to market.
That said, OnePlus has posted a teaser suggesting that something will be announced on January 15, so it’s possible that this will be the OnePlus 6T, but we’d still say it’s unlikely.
There’s no word currently on the OnePlus 6T price, but the OnePlus 6 started at $529 / £469 (around AU$840) and prices have been gradually creeping up since the range began, so we expect the OnePlus 6T will cost at least that much, if not slightly more.
In the US you may be able to buy the OnePlus 6T from a carrier, as OnePlus has said it’s looking into it, and a more recent rumor suggests the Chinese firm will open up a partnership with T-Mobile US.
OnePlus 6T design and display
The OnePlus 6T might not be official yet but some features are, as OnePlus has confirmed that the phone will have an in-screen scanner called Screen Unlock.
OnePlus has revealed that as a result of the OnePlus 6T boasting an in-display fingerprint scanner, it will be 0.45mm thicker than the OnePlus 6, presumably making it 8.25mm thick overall.
Apparently the phone will also have a more unibody design than its predecessor.
The company didn’t say anything else about the design, but we have seen several photos seemingly showing the retail box, which handily also includes a sketch of the OnePlus 6T.
That sketch shows a small waterdrop-like notch at the top housing a single-lens camera, a slim bezel below the screen and a fingerprint icon on the display, hinting at the now-confirmed in-screen scanner.
The images, which you can see below, don’t show the back of the OnePlus 6T, but that design is more or less identical to the Oppo R17 and Oppo R17 Pro, and there’s reason to believe that the OnePlus 6T could share several of the features found on the Oppo R17.
That’s because previous OnePlus handsets have bore more than a passing resemblance to Oppo phones (both manufacturers are owned by the same firm), so the link here isn’t all that hard to fathom.
That might mean that the OnePlus 6T has a 6.4-inch Full HD+ screen, 8GB of RAM, a 25MP front-facing camera and either a 16MP/5MP dual-lens rear camera or – more likely – a triple-lens one, like the setup found on the R17 Pro.
That phone has a 12MP variable aperture lens which can switch between f/1.5 and f/2.4 apertures, a 20MP f/2.6 lens and a ToF (time-of-flight) 3D stereo lens. That last one can measure depth, making it useful for both the ever-popular bokeh/portrait mode and augmented reality.
Other than those rumors, we can guess that the phone may well have a glass back, since OnePlus only recently switched to glass with the OnePlus 6.
It’s likely to also have an alert slider, as previous handsets in the range do.
OnePlus 6T power and performance
The OnePlus 6T is sure to have the best Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset available at the time along with masses of RAM (the OnePlus 6 came with a choice of 6GB or 8GB).
Don’t expect a microSD card slot though, based on past form, while the screen resolution is very much a question mark – OnePlus has consistently stuck with Full HD resolutions, but that’s feeling ever more dated, so sooner or later we’d expect a jump to QHD or higher.
OnePlus 6T headphone jack
It won’t have one. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has exclusively confirmed to TechRadar that its next handset will drop the headphone jack.
OnePlus believes now is the right time to remove the jack, and it’s allowing it to bring new technology to the handset (such as the leaked in-display fingerprint scanner) as well improved battery life.
To try and ease the pain of losing the headphone jack, OnePlus is doing two things.
There will be an adapter included in the box of the OnePlus 6T, allowing you to plug your 3.5mm connected headphones into the handset – although you won’t be able to charge it at the same time.
OnePlus has also announced its Type-C Bullets headphones, which can plug directly into the USB-C port of the OnePlus 6T without the need for an adapter. They’ll cost £15.99 and arrive at the same time as the phone later this year.
OnePlus 6T battery
OnePlus has confirmed to TechRadar that the OnePlus 6T will feature improved battery, but it’s not clear how the improvement will be achieved.
It could be the use of more efficient chips, a change in screen technology, an increase in battery size, or a mixture of things – but OnePlus wouldn’t be drawn into giving us any more information about it at this point.
OnePlus 6T: what we want to see
We don’t know anything much about the OnePlus 6T yet, but based on the OnePlus 6 and what’s going on in the rest of the phone world we know what we want from it.
1. A QHD and/or HDR screen
One of the most obvious ways OnePlus manages to keep the costs of its handsets down is with the screen. Every OnePlus flagship to date has come with a Full HD resolution display, but that’s no longer the norm at the top of the mobile market.
QHD (2K) resolutions now adorn many of the top Android smartphones, and with the increasing screen size of recent OnePlus handsets a higher resolution would mean an even sharper screen.
There is an argument that the difference between Full HD and QHD isn’t all that obvious, and for many that’s true – so here’s a different suggestion for the OnePlus 6T: HDR (high dynamic range).
If the OnePlus 6T screen features HDR support it would make movies and gaming look even better, with enhanced light and dark areas providing added depth and immersion.
2. A whopping 512GB of storage
This wouldn’t be a cheap option, but it’s one that will likely please the hardcore OnePlus fans, as the company appears to be dead-set against including an expandable storage option on its devices.
We’ve already seen 512GB teased for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, so it wouldn’t be the first to offer this storage size, and it means we could go crazy with the 4K video recording and Netflix downloads.
3. Keeping the headphone jack
OnePlus has been very vocal over the past year or so about the fact that it’s kept the 3.5mm headphone port on its smartphones while others ditch it from their devices.
We want the port to remain on the OnePlus 6T, providing users with the flexibility of being able to plug in their favorite set of headphones which also keeping the USB-C port available, just in case you need to charge the phone as well.
4. Stereo speakers
The OnePlus 6 has just a single speaker, and its placement at the base of the phone makes it easy to muffle, so we’d like to see it ideally moved and definitely doubled up for the OnePlus 7, with a second speaker allowing for loud stereo sound.
Sure, you’ll probably mostly use headphones anyway, but having a quality speaker setup can make all the difference when you just want to watch a YouTube video or listen to a podcast without plugging in.
5. No notch
The OnePlus 6 is one of many recent phones to get a notch, and while it can be hidden if you prefer, what we’d really prefer for the OnePlus 6T is no notch at all.
But we don’t want a return to big bezels either. We’re starting to see phones like the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X which have almost no bezel at all, and we’d like the OnePlus 6T to join them – which isn’t out of the question, given the aforementioned Oppo/OnePlus connection.
6. Wireless charging
Despite having a glass back, the OnePlus 6 doesn’t support wireless charging, which seems like a major omission for a flagship phone.
This is probably a cost-cutting measure – and in a sense it seems reasonable, since we doubt wireless charging is a heavily used feature – but it would be nice to have.
7. An in-screen fingerprint scanner
Along with an all-screen design we’d like the OnePlus 6T to have an in-screen fingerprint scanner. That way the phone could still have a scanner without it having to be awkwardly placed on the back.
And in-screen scanners are currently a high-tech novelty, and having one could help the OnePlus 6T stand out from the crowd – or at least match up to it, depending on how many phones have them by the time the OnePlus 6T launches.
The good news is that since we added this to our wish list OnePlus has now confirmed that the 6T will have one.