OnePlus has revealed the 6T, its latest Android smartphone, with a fingerprint reader embedded into the screen, an improved camera, and high-end performance.
The five-year-old Chinese company announced its latest phone at a media event in New York, and revealed that the 6T will be the first to be sold in US stores. It will be available in T-Mobile stores across the country, as well as via the OnePlus website.
OnePlus described its goal of producing a "burdenless" smartphone, and said the best example of that is the 6T's in-display fingerprint reader — a first for any smartphone sold in the US. The Huawei P20 Pro, announced earlier this month, also has this feature but is not yet available in the US.
OnePlus claims its fingerprint reader is the world's fastest, and it has been "shaving milliseconds off" to reach an unlock time of 0.34 seconds. An algorithm which learns about your fingerprint means the unlock time will decrease as the phone is used, OnePlus says.
As with the fingerprint sensors of other smartphones, this one is used to unlock the handset, and also to make payments through platforms like Google Pay.
In-display fingerprint readers are something offered by neither Apple nor Samsung, with the former opting for Face ID instead, and the latter believed to be working on the technology for its Galaxy S10, due in early 2019.
The company's goal, it says, was to create "the fastest and smoothest smartphone." To achieve this, the phone is powered by a high-end Snapdragon 845 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard. A more expensive model boasts 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
As with all previous OnePlus phones, the 6T runs OxygenOS, which is developed in-house but based on Google's Android 9.0 Pie operating system. The 6T's rear camera has two sensors and lenses. The sensors measure 16 and 20 megapixels, and there is optical image stabilization. The company spoke at length about its desire to improve the low-light performance of its previous phone, the OnePlus 6.
Called Nightscape, a new feature of the 6T employs an in-house HDR algorithm to enhance the quality of photos taken in dim light. This algorithm reduces noise, boosts details, and enhances stabilization by snapping several photos at once. The system will be available on the new 6T, but is also coming to the six-month OnePlus 6 via a software update later this week.
Google offers a similar feature on its new Pixel 3, called Night Sight.
Portrait photograph is also an area where OnePlus has worked to improve performance. The result is a feature for the 6T called Studio Lighting.
The 6.41-inch AMOLED display has a resolution of 2350 x 1080 and a pixel density of 402 per inch, putting it on par with flagships from Samsung, Apple and Google. The display has a notch, like almost every other smartphone on sale today, but one which is smaller than those on iPhones and the new Google Pixel 3. OnePlus has also trimmed down the phone's 'chin' — the space beneath the display.
Regarding performance, the OnePlus 6T is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 and OnePlus has worked to increase the speed of every gesture and screen animation; in all, there are over 500 optimizations to the user experience to improve speed and smoothness. The Google Assistant can be launched by a short press of the power button.
OnePus said it could "probably cash-in now" by making cheaper smartphones for lower segments of the market. But instead, the company is sticking to its original strategy of producing just one phone at a time, and pitching it as a flagship to compete with high-end handsets from Samsung and Apple
The 6T, which has a large 3,700mAh battery, is the first OnePlus handset to be sold in stores in the US, where all previous models were only available online. This move will see OnePlus sell its handsets through more than 5,600 T-Mobile stores across the US from November 1, and via a series of OnePlus pop-up stores in the UK and Europe from the same date.
T-Mobile is also offering a trade-in deal where $300 will be reduced from the price of the 6T is any previous OnePlus handset is exchanged. A number of iOS and Android devices are also eligible for this offer.