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OnePlus 6T launch: In-screen fingerprint scanner, dual-cameras, $549 starting price

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OnePlus launched the next version of its flagship smartphone, the OnePlus 6T, today at a press event in New York. The phone will feature an in-screen fingerprint scanner, a Snapdragon 845 processor and a 6.41-inch display. It goes on sale Nov. 1 and starts at $549 and £499 (Australia pricing has not been announced, but that converts to about AU$774).

In the US, the OnePlus 6T will be available through T-Mobile, in addition to being sold online and unlocked with OnePlus. The phone will also work on Verizon’s network, though it won’t be sold through the carrier. You can watch a replay of the announcement on its siteYouTube channel, or in the embedded video above. For more information, read CNET’s OnePlus 6T review.

What follows is our earlier story that rounds up the known details of this phone before its launch, including rumors and official company announcements.


In these days of exhaustive leaks and relentless phone rumors, OnePlus just wants to tell you about its new phone. Specifically that its updated flagship, the OnePlus 6T, has some exciting new features — and it’s coming on Oct. 29. (Yes, it adjusted the original launch date to avoid overlapping with another company unveiling new products on that same day.)

Every year, Chinese phone maker OnePlus further refines its formula for delivering a top-notch Android smartphone at a competitive price. The latest edition, the OnePlus 6, picked up a CNET Editor’s Choice in May 2018 on the strength of its excellent cameras, speedy performance, slick design and starting price of $529 — less than the Google Pixel 2 XL, Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus or Apple iPhone X.


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This year, OnePlus will deliver a mid-cycle “T” upgrade that has intriguing new features including a fingerprint scanner that’s buried beneath the phone’s rumored 6.4-inch AMOLED display. The scanner part has been confirmed, but many other specs — such as the display’s size and technology — have not been announced.

OnePlus effectively co-opted the supply-chain rumor mill that made a cottage industry out of subverting the carefully choreographed product announcements of secretive companies like Apple and Google. In fact, publishing its own teasers, Q&As and in-depth features about upcoming phones has become a hallmark of OnePlus’ marketing strategy. (OnePlus founder Pete Lau recently confirmed several details about the forthcoming 6T in his interview with CNET’s Lynn La.)


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And yet the leaking persists. In addition to the wealth of sanctioned information we have about the OnePlus 6T, industry sources and industrious leakers have filled in the gaps with purported photos and renders. And German retailer Otto has now filled in even more details, mistakenly publishing the following list of specs, as spotted by GSMArena

  • 6.4-inch AMOLED display with 1080p resolution
  • 16-megapixel/20-megapixel dual rear camera
  • 16-megapixel front camera
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • Octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip
  • MicroSD support
  • Dual-SIM compatibility
  • 3,700-mAh battery
  • USB-C v3.1 port

As we count down the days to the official introduction on Oct. 29, we’ll continue to collect the best news and rumors about the OnePlus 6T here. So check back often.

Editors’ note, Oct. 29: This post was originally published on Oct. 16 and will continue to be updated with news and rumors about the OnePlus 6T.  

Confirmed: The OnePlus 6T launches Oct. 29

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OnePlus 6T revised its launch day after Apple shouldered in on Oct. 30.


Screenshot by Josh Goldman/CNET

Back on Oct. 8, OnePlus announced that it would unveil its new phone at Pier 36 in New York at 11 a.m. ET on Oct. 30. Then, a few weeks later, Apple invited media to a special event scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on that same day. Ouch. 

Because of this, OnePlus rescheduled to Oct. 29 — one day earlier. The company will once again livestream the announcement on its site and YouTube channel.

Read: Apple forces OnePlus to move its OnePlus 6T launch up a day

Confirmed: In-screen fingerprint sensor

The upcoming OnePlus 6T will feature an in-display fingerprint reader, the company confirmed to CNET. A few Chinese manufacturers have experimented with the technology before — the Vivo X21 and Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS are two examples — but the OnePlus 6T will be the first widely available phone with the feature in the US.

OnePlus told CNET that it originally intended to introduce the technology on last year’s OnePlus 5T. Because “the technology wasn’t mature enough to meet [OnePlus’] standards for delivering a fast and smooth user experience,” however, it was delayed until the 6T.

Read: OnePlus 6T will have an in-screen fingerprint sensor

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The Type-C Bullets.


OnePlus

Confirmed: No headphone jack

In an exclusive interview with CNET, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said the 6T will not have a headphone jack. Setting the stage for the move away from the legacy port, the company announced its first USB-C headphones, the $20 Type-C Bullets, back in September.

Read: OnePlus abandons sinking headphone jack ship


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Confirmed: ‘A whole new UI’

In September, OnePlus released OxygenOS 9.0 with Android Pie for the OnePlus 6. Since then, the company used its own forum to reveal an even newer user interface for the upcoming 6T. New features include an advanced “Do Not Disturb” mode, new navigational gestures and a new shortcuts for toggling between recently used apps and summoning the Google Assistant.

Report: In the US, only at T-Mobile (and maybe Verizon)

T-Mobile is expected to be the exclusive US carrier partner for the OnePlus 6T, and it will be optimized for T-Mobile’s new 600 megahertz spectrum band network, according to several people familiar with the launch plans. That noted, PCMag reports that the 6T may also work on Verizon’s network — the first OnePlus phone to do so. And OnePlus will also sell an unlocked global version that’s compatible with AT&T, T-Mobile, and other international carriers’ networks.


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Rumor: The OnePlus 6T will have a mini-notch

In September, a user on the Chinese social media site Weibo published photos of an alleged OnePlus 6T retail box. A sketch of the phone on the box shows a handset that’s nearly all-screen — with a tiny teardrop notch on top for the front camera and a slim bottom bezel.

Read: The OnePlus 6T may have a supersmall notch

Rumor: OnePlus sticks with the Snapdragon 845

Corroborating the specs published by German retailer Otto, the OnePlus 6T has shown up on Geekbench — an online benchmark data repository. Listed under the codename “FSFS P8801,” the specs show that some configurations of the OnePlus 6T will come with the same 8-core Snapdragon 845 currently onboard the model 6 (and a slew of other current phones including Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Note 9, Google’s Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and LG’s V40) and 8GB of RAM.

Read: Midrange phones are boring, but here’s why they’re important, too

Rumor: The OnePlus 6T will cost about $550

Doubling down on the industry-wide trend of hiking phone prices annually, OnePlus has the highest rate of increase of all major manufacturers. The price of the OnePlus phone has increased by about 33 percent in the US and 43 percent in the UK. We have no reason to think OnePlus will change its gameplan with the 6T, which we expect to cost between $550 and $570 (£420 and £435, AU$770 and AU$800). That noted, according to German retailer Otto, the price may be even higher — closer to $660.

Read: Why iPhone and Android phone prices will get even higher


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