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After months of leaks and teases, OnePlus has finally launched its ninth smartphone.
The OnePlus 6T was officially unveiled at an event in New York this afternoon, and while we already knew much of what to expect, we can now confirm everything you need to know about the phone — including how much it costs, when you can buy it, and news of the company’s first ever carrier deal in the U.S.
Headphone jack and battery
Today’s launch comes just five months after the OnePlus 6 went to market, and one of the most obvious (and controversial, for some) hardware feature change — as we knew already — is the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack.
While this move is pretty much the norm in most flagship phones these days, it will no doubt leave many hardcore OnePlus customers irate. But they’ll get over it.
On the flipside, users can now enjoy a bigger battery and thus more time between charging — the OnePlus 6 featured a 3,300 mAh battery, while the followup has a 3,700 mAh battery. The company said that this contributes to a 20 percent increase in battery life, which translates into a full day of power with just a half-hour charge.
OnePlus might have ditched the headphone jack, but it has held firm with its physical alert slider, which allows you to easily shift your phone to silent while it’s in your pocket.
Sizing up a notch
In terms of size, well, the OnePlus 6T sports a whopping 6.41-inch AMOLED display, up from the 6.28-inch incarnation on its predecessor. This does mean that the latest phone is around 2mm longer, though it is a fraction narrower.
One definite improvement with the new device is the smaller notch. On the OnePlus 6, the notch took up around a third of the status bar at the top which limited the available screen real estate and the number of visible notifications. The OnePlus 6T, on the other hand, features a tiny teardrop-style notch, which is far more discreet and allows for more useful visuals such as notifications.
Based on our estimations, the OnePlus 6T notch consumes around a sixth of the horizontal real estate at the top of the phone. This positions it more akin to the Essential Phone, which was one of the first notched phones on the market.
It’s also worth pointing to one other major change in the OnePlus 6T. There are still 16MP/20MP dual camera lenses, but you’ll now notice that there is no fingerprint scanner beneath them on the rear.
As we already knew, the OnePlus 6T now sports an in-screen fingerprint reader, which you can set up through the security menu in settings.
Once set up, there is a dedicated point near the lower part of the screen where it will automatically detect your finger when the phone is unlocked.
This OnePlus “screen unlock” feature promises the industry’s “fastest in-display fingerprint technology,” according to the company, taking .34 seconds to unlock.
This isn’t a first — a handful of devices went to market earlier this year with similar screen-based fingerprint scanning functionality. But with Huawei unveiling the Mate 20 Pro a few weeks back, and now OnePlus, this is really starting to gain traction in the flagship realm, and we can perhaps expect the likes of Apple and Samsung to follow suit with their future devices.
Elsewhere, the OnePlus 6T comes with the same Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, two colors (“midnight black” and “mirror black”), and either 128GB or 256GB storage versions. All incarnations of the phone are dual-SIM.
Out of the box, the OnePlus 6T ships with the latest flavor of Android, Android 9.0 Pie, though of course it comes skinned with the usual OnePlus Oxygen OS customization.
It’s also worth highlighting a couple of new software features relating to the camera. First up, the OnePlus 6T now offers Nightscape mode, which sounds similar to something like the Night Sight mode in the recently announced Google Pixel 3 phone. Basically, it’s all about capturing clearer photos in low-light environments, with “improved clarity, less noise, more accurate color reproduction, and better dynamic range,” according to the company.
There is also a “studio lighting” feature, similar to that which was included in portrait mode on the iPhone X, which seeks to emulate the kind of lighting that you would typically see from a studio photo shoot.
Pricing and availability
The OnePlus 6T will be available to buy in the U.S. from November 1 through OnePlus.com, starting at $549 for 6GB RAM / 128GB. You can bump that up to 8GB of RAM for an extra $30. For the 8GB / 256GB version, you will pay $629.
For the first time in the U.S., consumers will also be able to procure a OnePlus through a carrier partnership — it will be available through T-Mobile from November 1 too.
Elsewhere in the world, it appears that the device will go on sale through OnePlus.com on November 6, and we can confirm that it will cost from €549 to €629 in the Eurozone.
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