I am so excited for October! It’s just around the corner and during which, I expect, we’ll see the launch of the most exciting smartphone of the year. No, not the Google Pixel 3 — the OnePlus 6T, the ninth overall smartphone from the Chinese manufacturer.
I was one of the Android geeks who fought hard to get an invite to buy the original OnePlus One back in 2014. I skipped over the next range of devices, clutching onto my OnePlus One for dear life. Eventually, I was swayed by more-frequent Android updates and jumped to the Nexus 6P, but quickly regretted that decision and jumped back to OnePlus with the OnePlus 5.
The OnePlus 5 came out in June of 2017, and since then there hasn’t been a phone that’s really gotten me excited enough to switch. The OnePlus 5T had the fingerprint scanner on the back, which I know I hate from my temporary shift to the Nexus 6P. The OnePlus 6 also has a rear scanner, and a display notch that big is something I simply won’t tolerate.
There are other phones from other manufacturers out there, but nothing that’s truly excited me enough to want to jump ship. With rumors ramping up around the OnePlus 6T, I finally have a device to be extremely excited about. Here’s why.
In-display fingerprint sensor
When I first saw the prototype for the device that would eventually become the Vivo Nex, I actually said out loud, “Wow, that’s cool.” One of my biggest gripes about the latest smartphones is the poor placement of the fingerprint sensor on the back of the device. It’s so counterintuitive for me to have to pick up my phone off my desk (where it sits for eight hours every day) to unlock it. I know other people think differently though.
The Vivo Nex proved that you could have a device that’s all-screen on the front and still prevent moving the fingerprint scanner to the back. I knew right then and there that I wanted a phone with that capability.
We now have total confirmation that the OnePlus 6T will feature an in-display fingerprint sensor, which makes me want the device right now.
Sure, there are other devices on the market that feature the same technology, like the aforementioned Vivo Nex and the Oppo Find X. But they all have flaws of some kind that make me not interested, with poor software usually being at the top of the list. But OxygenOS hasn’t let me down yet, so the OnePlus 6T is the phone I want.
The very, very small notch
Like I said earlier, I really don’t like the display notch on the OnePlus 6. In fact, I dislike every notch, including the one we’re anticipating to be at the top of the OnePlus 6T.
From what we anticipate, the OnePlus 6T’s notch will be so small that I will be able to look past it. It won’t interfere that much with my status bar icons, it won’t make the status bar thicker than necessary (I’m looking at you, Google Pixel 3 XL), and it will prevent the need for mechanized front-facing camera sensors like in the Nex and the Find X.
In other words, the notch we expect at the top of the OnePlus 6T is the best we can get for the time being, until practical solutions come along that will let us have truly all-display smartphones.
We don’t have any concrete information about whether or not the OnePlus 6T will have an always-on display feature, but we do have some hints to suggest it will.
The first hint we have is that the OnePlus 6 has an always-on display option already. The option is simply hidden because OnePlus found that the feature drained the battery more then it liked, so it disabled the feature.
With that in mind, it’s not at all out of the realm of possibility that the OnePlus 6T will have the always-on display feature on by default.
We also have another hint: the image below that OnePlus shared to confirm that the OnePlus 6T will have an in-display fingerprint sensor. Now, this could be an ambient display (one that doesn’t stay on all the time), but I’m really hoping OnePlus doesn’t go that route this time.
I don’t know about you, but that screenshot looks to me like an AOD. We won’t know for certain until October, but my money is on the device shipping with the feature.
Android 9 Pie out of the box
I have a Google Pixel 2 XL that I use for when I’m writing Android Authority articles about the latest Android updates. Because of that, I’ve used Android 9 Pie quite a bit already, so the OS itself isn’t all too exciting anymore.
But the Google Pixel 2 XL didn’t ship with Android 9 Pie, it just received an update. In fact, no device to date has actually landed on store shelves with Pie pre-installed.
The OnePlus 6T likely won’t be the first device to market with Pie pre-installed (that honor might go to the Sony Xperia XZ3), but it will almost certainly be one of the first. With the guarantee of two years of updates, that means the OnePlus 6T will almost certainly get Android R in 2020, and quite possibly even get Android S in 2021. This makes me feel like the phone will be a worthy investment.
It also means that — unlike the OnePlus 6 — the OnePlus 6T will probably have been designed for Android 9 Pie from the very beginning, not designed for Android 8.1 Oreo and then an eventual upgrade. This might not make too big of a difference overall, but it certainly makes me feel that the 6T is a better investment than the 6.
OnePlus confirmed that the OnePlus 6T will be the first device from the company to launch with an American carrier as a partner: T-Mobile. Myself, I am a proud member of the magenta family, and the idea of getting to walk into my local T-Mo shop and buy a phone from my favorite smartphone company is simply awesome.
To be honest, though, I likely won’t do that. I’ll probably buy the phone unlocked online just like I’ve always done as that’s simply more convenient for me.
But what excites me about the OnePlus 6T hitting T-Mobile is that I’ll finally be able to tell people where they can get the phone I’m carrying. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve had people ask, “Your phone is cool, who makes it?” and then had to go through the awkward conversation of explaining Chinese smartphone companies, online smartphone sales, the benefits of unlocked vs. carrier-bought, etc., while they stare at me like a dog that’s just been shown a card trick.
Now I’ll finally be able to say, “It’s a OnePlus 6T and it’s exclusively at T-Mobile. Head there and check it out!”
It’s going to be such a relief.
Similar price point to the OnePlus 6
There’s been plenty of discussion here at Android Authority — both in articles and behind the scenes in our Slack channels — about how OnePlus’ pricing is creeping out of the mid-range market and into the premium market. I, for one, agree that it’s true.
However, the OnePlus 6 is still at least $200 cheaper than most every major flagship Android device from the predominant players in the industry, including Samsung, LG, Sony, HTC, etc. Judging from the history of “T” phones from OnePlus, the OnePlus 6T will likely be a similar price as the OnePlus 6.
That price will make the OnePlus 6T the best bang-for-your-buck in the entire market, at least in my opinion.
My finger is on the trigger
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited to get a smartphone. In fact, the one and only thing that I’m not excited about when it comes to the OnePlus 6T is the probability that I will have to wait an extra month after the launch of the device to get the red model. Maybe I’ll get lucky and OnePlus will abandon its annoying release strategy and put out all the colors out at once instead of making fans of the color red wait.
A guy can dream. But I’ll likely be buying the red model in November. Do you hear me, OnePlus? Shut up and take my money!