The company has already confirmed the existence of the OnePlus 6T and detailed a couple of its notable new features and changes, while leaks and reports have seemingly filled in a lot of the gaps. Surprisingly, the OnePlus 6T looks to be the company's most significantly-altered revision model to date.
How can OnePlus possibly top the OnePlus 6 after just a few months on the market? Here's what we've heard so far about what to expect, when to expect it, and how much you might pay for it.
(Photos shown are of the OnePlus 6)
When will the OnePlus 6T be out?
The OnePlus 6 released in May, about a month earlier than the company usually drops its main numbered flagship each year, and the OnePlus 6T should also drop a month earlier than the usual revision.
According to a report from CNET, the OnePlus 6T will release in October, while the OnePlus 5T and OnePlus 3T both had November debuts, respectively. CNET suggests that OnePlus will partner with carrier T-Mobile for its U.S. release, but that the global unlocked version will still release at the same time.
OnePlus recently shared a screenshot showing off the new Screen Unlock feature (see further down), and it shows Wednesday, 17 October on the lock screen. Could that be a hint towards the expected launch and/or release date? Meanwhile, a pre-order page from a site called Giztop suggests availability on 16 October.
On the other hand, OnePlus is already teasing something for a 15 January 2019 debut on its official Weibo account. Either that's the OnePlus 6T or something else... but it certainly wouldn't be the OnePlus 7 if the OnePlus 6T really is coming in October.
In short: that news complicates matters, but it could also be something else entirely from the company.
Mid-October looks more and more like the target for the OnePlus 6T.
How much will the OnePlus 6T cost?
CNET reports that the OnePlus 6T is tentatively priced at US$550 – a bump up from the US$529 price of the OnePlus 6. Meanwhile, retailer Giztop suggests a US$569 price for the new handset.
In India, the OnePlus 6 is priced at ₹34,999, so we might be looking at something like ₹36,999 for the OnePlus 6T, or maybe ₹40,000+ even. The OnePlus 5T didn't increase in price from the OnePlus 5, but the OnePlus 3T saw a solid rise.
All that said, there could be some pretty significant upgrades in tow, from an enhanced design to an upgraded camera setup, so a larger price bump could be possible...
We expect that it'll cost more than the OnePlus 6, but breaking the ₹40,000 price barrier would cut down on some of its "budget flagship" appeal.
What will the OnePlus 6T look like?
We figured that the OnePlus 6T would mostly stick to the OnePlus 6's design, given the company's history with revision models, but more and more supposed leaks point to a bigger shift.
Rumours claim that the OnePlus 6T will resemble the Oppo R17, a highly attractive new phone with a smaller, curvier teardrop notch at the top. Speculation started when the R17 was announced, and only intensified with the purported leak of retail packaging that includes a sketch of a similar design.
Now, above, SlashGear suggests that the leaked image up top - found on Chinese social media site Weibo - could be the real deal. It has the familiar red shade that OnePlus likes to use, albeit with the R17's teardrop notch... and a notable upgrade on the back, too, which we'll cover in a later section.
As for the above image, it comes from retailer Giztop, which also has an image of the red OnePlus 6T on its site. This version seen above closely matches the red version aside from colour.
Also, OnePlus has confirmed to CNET that the OnePlus 6T will be 0.45mm thicker than the OnePlus 6 due the addition of an in-display fingerprint sensor (see below), and that the rear fingerprint sensor is officially gone. OnePlus suggests that the phone "has a more unibody look," says CNET.
OnePlus has a history of repurposing Oppo designs, so it certainly could be true.
What about the OnePlus 6T's screen?
Aside from the smaller notch, we're not expecting substantial changes to the actual display... at least in terms of key specs and how it performs in day-to-day usage.
The OnePlus 6 already has an excellent display: a big and bold 6.28in AMOLED screen at a 19:9 aspect ratio and 1080p resolution. Beyond the notch swap, we should see something very, very close to what's on the OnePlus 6 right now.
That said, Giztop suggests that the screen size will actually be 6.4in, which is the same size as the Oppo R17 Pro that the phone appears to be closely copying.
But there's more than meets the eye, and now this is official: the OnePlus 6T will indeed have an in-display fingerprint sensor, as widely rumoured - and as seen in the earlier leaks. OnePlus confirmed the sensor to CNET, and said that it will be called "Screen Unlock" on the OnePlus 6T.
"We unlock our phones multiple times a day, and Screen Unlock reduces the number of steps to complete the action," said OnePlus to CNET "By adding this feature as an addition to other display unlocking options such as Face Unlock, users will have options to unlock the display in a way that is most efficient for them."
The screenshot above is an official one showing the Screen Unlock feature and placement. According to CNET, OnePlus originally intended to introduce an in-display fingerprint with the OnePlus 5T, but that the "technology wasn't mature enough to meet [OnePlus'] standards for delivering a fast and smooth user experience."
Adding an in-display fingerprint sensor certainly is an intriguing hook - possibly one of many changes with the OnePlus 6T, it seems.
How much power will the OnePlus 6T pack?
The OnePlus 6 is already top-of-the-line when it comes to Samsung phones, and unless Qualcomm surprises us with a new chip this autumn, the 6T should stick with what's already there.
That, of course, is the Snapdragon 845 chip also seen in several other major Android handsets of late, with 6GB and 8GB RAM variants. That's a lot of power to play with, and we don't see how OnePlus would be able to one-up that after just a few months.
It's hard to believe that anything will really change on this front.
What kind of cameras will the OnePlus 6T have?
The cameras are the key difference between the OnePlus 6 and our #1 phone, the triple-camera packing Huawei P20 Pro. But that's also why there's ₹30k+ between them.
Given that, we'd be very surprised to see OnePlus try to tack on another back camera or do anything too wild with the dual-camera setup of the OnePlus 6. But the purported render above shows a triple-camera setup that's very similar to the one on the Oppo R17 Pro.
The OnePlus 6's setup is already pretty good: you get a 16-megapixel main camera and 20MP secondary camera, both at f/1.7, and they take fine snaps in most scenarios. Photos are punchy and detailed, and handle skin tones well. That said, the photos can be a bit too intensely coloured, and could benefit from a more natural look.
Adding another camera to that stack with minimal changes otherwise probably won't make the OnePlus 6T an automatic P20 Pro-beater, but if this leak proves true, we're certainly eager to see how close OnePlus can get given the expected price difference.
Three cameras seems like a pricey upgrade, but maybe OnePlus has figured out how to add that without too much of a price bump.
Is there anything else I should know about the OnePlus 6T?
Yes! Unfortunately, it's not something that a lot of people are going to be thrilled about: co-founder Carl Pei confirmed to TechRadar that its next handset will omit the 3.5mm headphone port, following in the footsteps of Apple and other makers.
Pei suggests that a majority of their users have wireless headphones now, and that the time was right to make the move - and that it frees up space to "put more new technology into the product." One such example might be the in-display fingerprint sensor that he also recently confirmed.
He also suggested that extended battery life could be the beneficiary of the headphone port removal, which might be a trade-off worth making depending on the added uptime. OnePlus will also bundle in a 3.5mm-to-USB-C adapter with the phone, which Apple isn't doing with the iPhone XS and iPhone XR models, and that new Bullets V2 wired headphones will be available with a USB-C plug.
SlashGear suggests that there might be just one model with 128GB internal storage onboard, whereas the OnePlus 6 has 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models. That said, the Giztop retail listing suggests that there will indeed be those same three capacity options... and curiously, mentions a microSD card slot, which has never been a feature on OnePlus phones.
If anything, that mention casts doubt on the authenticity of the Giztop listing - although if true, that would be a pretty phenomenal addition.
Also, CNET suggests that the T-Mobile version of the phone in the U.S. will be optimised for the carrier's purportedly faster 600 megahertz spectrum band, so that could be a nice win for both T-Mobile and OnePlus fans if true.
We're not sold on the idea of there just being one storage option for the phone, but otherwise we're curious to hear a lot more about the OnePlus 6T in the coming weeks.