OnePlus has spent years positioning itself as an alternative to Google and Samsung, both for value-seekers and general Android enthusiasts. The company announced its latest endeavor, the OnePlus 6T, in a New York event this morning.
The “T” series implies a mid-year upgrade, a boosted, refined version of the OnePlus 6 that launched back in May. The most obvious upgrade is a 6.4-inch OLED screen that extends nearly to all four bezels, with a surprisingly subtle “teardrop” notch around only the single front-facing camera. The bottom “chin” is surprisingly small, too. It’s a striking look, to be sure, and one that should appeal to the big-screen fans turned off by the much bigger notch on the Pixel 3 XL.
Harder to spot is the new fingerprint scanner, which uses some neat Qualcomm tech to hide beneath the screen panel. It’s not the first phone to use this technology—that distinction goes to Chinese manufacturer Vivo—but it’s the first to be widely available in the US. OnePlus says its sensor can fully unlock the phone through the screen in about a third of a second. This tech might be showing up a lot more in 2019, as most other Android flagships also use Qualcomm’s chipsets.
Other highlights of the design include Android 9.0 software at launch, a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, a generous 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and a 3700mAh battery. The more expensive model offers 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Cameras are 16MP and 20MP on the rear configuration, with an impressive 16MP front-facing cam. The company has also highlighted an updated focus on low-light photography with its new “nightscape” mode. The 6T also has a sliding button that quickly switches between loud, vibrate, and silent modes, a rarity on modern phones.
The OnePlus 6T is missing one feature that’s become a standard of high-end devices: wireless charging. (That’s despite an all-glass design that comes in glossy or matte.) It’s also minus a headphone jack, which might take it out of consideration for some demanding users.
For the first time OnePlus is getting a retail carrier partner in the US: T-Mobile. The 6T will be available online on November 1st and in stores on November 5th, with a competitive price of $550 for the base model. (That’s $250 under the “new” entry price of eight hundred bucks for a new flagship.) $580 gets you 8GB of RAM, and another upgrade to 256GB of storage costs $630. OnePlus says the 6T is also compatible with Verizon, as well as all GSM-LTE networks. Naturally, it’ll be sold unlocked online as well.