OnePlus 6T release date, specs, price, latest news and rumours – OnePlus Explorer backpack revealed
OnePlus is getting ready to launch a new flagship smartphone − the OnePlus 6T, a souped-up version of the excellent OnePlus 6. The company has now confirmed the handset’s official launch and release dates, and the rumours are now coming in thick and fast, with many of the teases we’ve spotted in recent days coming from none other than OnePlus itself as well as other sources.
In fact, OnePlus just given a glimpse of a surprise new addition to its product arsenal – the OnePlus Explorer. The OnePlus backpack features a number of different compartments, with a dedicated hidey-hole for valuables like passports and phones (duh), as well as an integrated laptop sleeve with padding, water bottle holder, and a vented area for damp items. The whole thing is encased in tear and scuff-resistant fabric and sealed with three layers of security: a zipper, fold-over cover, and magnetic clasp.
The OnePlus Explorer backpack will be available in Slate Black (below) and the less utilitarian Morandi Green (pictured top), with its price, availability, and release date set to be confirmed in the near future – something tells us the October 30 OnePlus 6T launch is probably a good bet?
Prior to this news, the latest OnePlus 6T leak arrived on Wednesday October 17 courtesy of MySmartPrice and claims to reveal the OnePlus 6T’s storage variants and price. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there are thought to be three OnePlus 6T handsets: a base version with 128GB of storage and 6GB of RAM, a middle model with 128GB of storage and a heftier 8GB of RAM, and a top-specced handset with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM.
They are tipped to cost Rs 37,999, Rs 40,999, Rs 44,999 in India, respectively, which is roughly between £390 and £465. However, this particular leak can’t be verified and isn’t really a great indicator of the device’s final UK pricing anyways, as it’s exclusive of taxes, so expect those figures to rise when the OnePlus 6T lands in Blighty.
That said, the option of 128GB or 256GB of base storage makes sense. A 64GB model is obviously missing from the lineup, but that’s increasingly not enough storage – even for average users – so the OnePlus 6 could mark the end of the road for that particular storage variant.
Now, here’s everything we’ve heard about the OnePlus 6T to date, including even more leaks and rumours, plus speculative release date and pricing details.
OnePlus 6T: Release date and price
OnePlus has revealed that the OnePlus 6T will launch at an event called ‘Unlock the Speed’ in New York City on Tuesday October 30. It will kick off at 3pm UK time and, as ever, you’ll be able to watch all of the action live here.
You can also purchase tickets to the event here. Early Bird tickets cost £16 each, but they’re only available until October 9 at 1pm UK time. Regular £23 tickets will then go on sale. You can also buy ‘Plus One’ tickets (minimum order of two tickets) for £19 per ticket.
“As with OnePlus’ past launch events, attendees will receive a special bag to be collected at the event, packed with treats which far exceed the price of the ticket,” says OnePlus. One of these goodies will be a pair of OnePlus Bullets Wireless headphones.
Prior to this announcement, it was widely believed that the handset would make its first official appearance at an event on Wednesday, October 17. It appears that, for whatever reason, OnePlus decided to alter its plans.
It’s also been confirmed that the OnePlus 6T will go on-sale in Europe at 10am UK time on Tuesday, November 6. You’ll likely be able to pre-order the handset immediately after the October 30 launch event.
The OnePlus 6T will almost certainly be the company’s most expensive phone to date, thanks to its use of an in-display fingerprint scanner. “Screen Unlock technology is something very new and there’s a definite cost required for that new technology,” OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told Cnet at the start of October. “It’s not cheap.”
An earlier report claimed that the OnePlus 6T will be available through local carrier T-Mobile on a host of 12- and 24-month tariffs or for $550 (£430) outright – marking the first time a OnePlus handset has ever been released with the backing of a significant carrier in the region.
According to an Amazon India listing spotted by MySmartPrice, the OnePlus 6T will start shipping to consumers on October 30.
OnePlus 6T: Carriers and retailers
Remember when OnePlus handsets were really difficult to buy? Everything’s changed now. The invitation-only system is long gone, as is OnePlus’ exclusivity arrangement with O2.
As well as O2, Vodafone and EE will be offering the OnePlus 6T − it appears that Three will miss out − and you’ll also be able to buy the new smartphone from John Lewis and Carphone Warehouse.
OnePlus recently started letting customers buy its devices from Amazon UK for the first time ever, and we imagine it won’t be long before the 6T is available there too.
OnePlus 6T: Design and camera
After weeks of small teasers and leaks, the first legitimate-looking pictures of the OnePlus 6T have been published.
WinFuture.de has posted shots of the smartphone in two colour schemes: Mirror Black (above) and Midnight Black (below). The Mirror Black option is glossy, while the Midnight Black model has a slightly lower-key matte finish.
The images also show off that much-discussed ‘waterdrop’ notch, which is far smaller than the notch that can be found on the OnePlus 6.
The Oppo R17 to be precise, features the same-style notch, and in the past we have seen features from Oppo phones make their way into OnePlus handsets shortly after. OnePlus and Oppo, by the way, have a shared investor, BBK Electronics.
The waterdrop-style notch is far smaller and more subtle than the notches we’ve seen on most other notch-toting handsets, like the iPhone XS − we imagine a lot of people would prefer to see the 6T land with a smaller screen cutout than the one we got on its predecessor.
They match the leaked press renders pretty well. Oh, and there’s a video too:
As expected though, the 6T does still have lots in common with the OnePlus 6. For instance, there’s a centrally-positioned camera module sat within a curved glass back.
That’s right, the 6T won’t feature a Huawei P20 Pro-style triple camera, and instead appears to be sticking with a two-sensor arrangement. That’s not hugely surprising, as OnePlus typically sticks with the same − or at least a very similar − rear camera setup for its T smartphone releases.
The OnePlus 6 has a 16-megapixel f/1.7 sensor and a secondary 20-megapixel sensor around the back. We imagine we’ll see a very similar setup on the OnePlus 6T.
At the bottom of the image, you can just about make out the camera’s dual LED flash as well as a notable void beneath that, where the rear-facing fingerprint sensor on the OnePlus 6 usually sits…
OnePlus 6T: Screen Unlock
The 6T will have an in-display fingerprint scanner instead. The company is calling the feature Screen Unlock, and hopefully it works reliably enough to serve as the main method of authentication, something Huawei failed to achieve with the Huawei Mate RS Porsche Design.
“It all starts with a new optical fingerprint module, which houses a small lens that can accurately register your fingerprint as it presses down on the cover glass,” wrote OnePlus CEO Pete Lau in a blog post.
“The screen is used as a light source to enhance the outline of your fingerprint, enabling the sensor to accurately read its exact dimensions and shape. We use a dedicated ‘Trust Zone’ found in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 to store your fingerprint information, which serves as an isolated virtual space for the sake of confidentiality.
“Whenever Screen Unlock is used, your fingerprint is compared to the information stored in the Trust Zone to ensure authenticity and actively defend against false patterns.”
Ultrasonic fingerprint-reading technology is superior, because it uses sound waves to build an incredibly detailed 3D picture of your fingerprint. Optical scanners, meanwhile, take a 2D reading of your fingerprint by flashing light at it. Hopefully Screen Unlock will still work quickly and accurately though.
After all, OnePlus is pushing it as the 6T’s killer feature, and the ludicrous clip embedded above places Screen Unlock alongside the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Great Wall of China as one of the human race’s great creations. Is it tongue-in-cheek? We’re hoping so.
According to Cnet, the in-display fingerprint scanner will result in the OnePlus 6T being 0.45mm thicker than the 7.8mm OnePlus 6. More importantly though, the move will result in the phone being more expensive (more on that further down the page).
The firm also aired a teaser on Indian TV in September, featuring legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan. “What if I told you there’s a cooler way to unlock your phone? The new OnePlus 6T is coming,” he says, as the words “touch the innovation” flash up on-screen.
A series of short teasers posted to Twitter by OnePlus (all above) at the end of September really hammer the point home.
Samsung has been struggling to implement the technology in its phones for quite some time now, and beating the South Korean giant to the punch would represent a big win for OnePlus.
An alleged OnePlus 6T retail box spotted by PhoneArena pretty much confirms all of the above.
OnePlus 6T: No headphone jack
Now for the other major confirmed news. OnePlus has confirmed that the OnePlus 6T will not feature a 3.5mm headphone jack. While this will inevitably upset some prospective buyers, it’s not an enormous surprise.
It’s now been two years since Apple ditched the headphone jack, and the entirety of the company’s current iPhone lineup is jack-less. Google followed Apple’s lead last year with the Google Pixel 2 and Google Pixel 2 XL, and it doesn’t look like the Google Pixel 3 will be any different.
“According to a survey conducted by OnePlus, in early 2017, 80% of users used in-jack headphones regularly, while, in a poll in 2018, that number dropped drastically with 59% of users switching to wireless headsets,” OnePlus said, clearly expecting some form of backlash from consumers.
Think back a short way and you might recall OnePlus being pretty vocal about other companies dropping the headphone jack. Here’s one such example. Expect Samsung to throw a few barbs in due course.
Related: Samsung Galaxy Note 9
According to an alleged accessory list for the OnePlus 6T spotted by MySmartPrice, OnePlus is going to start selling a USB-C to 3.5mm jack dongle for €8.95 (~£8). It isn’t clear if this will be bundled with the phone or not.
The leak also appears to reveal pricing for a series of upcoming OnePlus 6T cases, with the cheapest option coming in at €21.95, and priciest apparently costing €31.95.
OnePlus has also revealed a new USB-C version of the existing Bullets V2, which will “be launched alongside the company’s next device, projected for Q4 2018”.
The Type-C Bullets cost the same as the V2s, £15.99, and OnePlus is promising “a higher dynamic range, higher signal-to-noise ratio and low noise floor” with the new Type-C Bullets, thanks in part to “a built-in high-end, professional DAC by Ciruss Logic”.
OnePlus 6T: Specs, features and battery
There had been speculation that the 6T was going to be the first handset on the market to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 CPU – the successor to the Snapdragon 845, but it now appears this will not the case. Pete Lau all-but confirmed that the handset will feature an 845 in his aforementioned October blog post.
One area we’re hoping to see improvement in is screen resolution. The firm has never bundled a screen that exceeds Full HD resolution on its smartphones, in order to keep costs down. But with most of the high-end market now using QHD screens that’s no longer a viable option. If OnePlus wants to continue to compete with the big dogs and keep the “flagship-killer” tagline, it needs to introduce a more impressive screen.
A questionable looking listing published by Chinese retailer Gizbot claims that the OnePlus 6T will feature a 6.4-inch, 2340×1080 AMOLED display with a 91.5% screen-to-body ratio. It also claims the handset will be powered by a 3500mAh battery, and feature a triple-camera setup around the back and a 25-megapixel sensor on the front.
And a picture posted to Weibo (via GSMArena) suggests the OnePlus 6T will feature a bigger battery than its predecessor. The image claims the 6T will be equipped with a 3,700mAh cell. The OnePlus 6, meanwhile, had a significantly smaller 3,300mAh cell, and we were neither particularly impressed nor particularly disappointed by its stamina.
What features are you hoping to see on the OnePlus 6T? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.