OnePlus has officially unveiled its latest flagship, the OnePlus 6T at a live event in New York. Announced a day ahead of schedule to avoid a conflict with Apple’s autumn event, the 6T’s features were in line with expectations based on leaks, both official and unofficial….but let’s follow along with the keynote.
Starting bang on time, OnePlus founder and CEO, Pete Lau, took to the stage for the first time at a OnePlus launch. He welcomed everyone to the event, thanked the community and reminded everyone of OnePlus’ history starting with the OnePlus One. He then announced that OnePlus is officially partnering with T-Mobile in the US and the 6T phones will be available through their 5,600 stores.
Pete then handed over to Kyle Kiang, OnePlus Head of North America Region for the big reveal. Before that, he thanked the OnePlus community that now has over 5 million registered users. Finally, the 6T specs….
– Screen unlock with in-display fingerprint sensor
– Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 CPU up to 2.8GHz with an Adreno 630 GPU
– 3,700 mAh battery with Fast Charge 5V @4A (note not “Dash” because of trademark issues)
– 20M+16M pixel cameras with both OIS and EIS
– 6.41″ AMOLED screen with 19.5:9 ratio and Corning Gorilla Glass 6
– 6 GB / 8 GB memory and 128 GB / 256 GB storage
– OxygenOS based on Android 9
The new screen unlock brings the fingerprint sensor in under the front display towards the bottom, which is great, because having the fingerprint sensor on the back of phone was a really stupid idea. Apparently the sensor was first tried out on the 5T but performance wasn’t good enough. On the 6T, the sensor will unlock in 0.34s – apparently it’s the fastest in-display sensor in the world – and it will learn your fingerprint better over time. For comparison, the OnePlus 5 fingerprint unlock takes 0.2s so there’s some penalty putting in under the glass.
The new 6.41″ AMOLED screen is 1080 x 2340 pixels, giving 402 pixels per inch. OnePlus give a slightly odd aspect ration of 19.5:9 which I feel ought to be 39:18 but there you go. At max brightness, it’s over 600 nits, and covers over 100% of the sRGB gamut. There’s a very neat notch at the top and the screen’s been extended at the bottom too.
The 6T will come in two finishes at launch, a ceramic Mirror Black and a metallic Midnight Black. The phone is 157.5 x 74.8 x 8.2 mm and weights 185 g. That’s nice. Memory options are 6 GB / 8 GB RAM and 128 GB / 256 GB storage. 64 GB is history….
For photography, there are two cameras with 16 megapixel & 20 megapixel sensors, plus both OIS and EIS. You can do slow-mo at 480fps! The 6T addresses one of the main criticisms of the 6 – the low light photography wasn’t great – and comes with Nightscape, which is a proprietary HDR and post-processing algorithm to improve pictures at night. The demoed photos are very impressive. As there’s no change in the camera hardware between the 6 and the 6T, Nightscape mode is going to be available on the 6 as well.
Kevin Abosch, OnePlus Innovation Director and photographer took to the stage to talk about Studio Lighting, which improves portraiture photography by accentuating facial features in shadow. Looks impressive.
Kyle was then joined by Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm‘s President to talk about the relationship with OnePlus, flagship phones and the 5G future. Apparently the 5G future is already here, with first tweet sent by 5G last week…
Back with Kyle, the OnePlus 6T has been optimised for gamers with Smart Boost. This combination of hardware and software uses the 6T’s RAM as storage which allows gaming applications to load faster. It’s not insignificant at 20% faster load times.
The battery has been upped to 3,700 mAh battery from 3,300 mAh in the OnePlus 6. Along with software improvements, this translates to 23% improved battery life.
It’s not all hardware. Software in the shape of OxgenOS has been tweaked too with improvements across the board in stability, features and experience – it’s a mantra of “fast and smooth” with over 500 optimisations. Based on Android 9 (Pie), OxygenOS now comes with Full Screen Gestures 2.0.
Yes, there’s no 3.5 mm headphone socket, but OnePlus now has Bullet Type-C headphones (US$19.95) with a USB C connector and a Cirrus Logic DAC. Or else it’s full Bluetooth with Bullets Wireless (US$69), which have a special 5th Anniversary edition in red. 10 minutes charging gives 5 hours of listening pleasure.
The 6T will be available from the OnePlus on-line store from November 1 in the US, 6 November in Europe, costing US$549 / GB£499 for the 6+128 GB version. No invites required these days. If you are in the US and want to get on-board with T-Mobile, there are some fairly incredible trade-in offers especially if you have an older OnePlus model – $300 off with a OnePlus Two!
There are pop-ups round the world too if you want to get yours quicker. The London one is 31 October 11:00am – 7:30pm at The Music Room, 26 South Molton Lane, Mayfair, W1K 5LF, UK.
If you want to watch the keynote for yourself, it’s on YouTube. The presentation begins around the 30 minute mark.