OnePlus launched the OnePlus 5T only a few weeks ago. The Chinese company is now preparing to launch its first flagship smartphone of 2018. Speaking to CNet at the ongoing CES, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau officially confirmed the OnePlus 6 release date. Lau said the device would come out towards the end of the second quarter, which means it will launch in June. That’s hardly a surprise considering the OnePlus 5 was launched on June 20 last year and OnePlus 3 came out on June 14 of 2016.
OnePlus exploring carrier deals ahead of OnePlus 6 release date
Last month, a list of smartphones appeared on Weibo showing all the 2018 phones that would run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor and their possible launch dates. The list indicated that the OnePlus 6 release date was set for June this year. The list had also suggested that OnePlus 6T would hit the store shelves in December. The OnePlus 5T was unveiled on November 16 last year.
Pete Lau confirmed to CNet that the upcoming OnePlus 6 would run the Snapdragon 845, which Qualcomm announced only a few weeks ago. “Of course, there’s no other choice,” said Lau. The Snapdragon 845 would run most, if not all, of the flagship Android phones releasing this year. Besides better energy efficiency and performance improvements, the SD845 brings enhancements to the camera, security, and AI processing.
Though he revealed the OnePlus 6 release date, Lau isn’t sure whether the company would bring the second flagship OnePlus 6T in 2018. OnePlus has been selling the ‘T’ models for the last couple of years.
The OnePlus CEO added that the company would start talks with the US carriers this year, though he didn’t give any timeframe for when the potential deals might be struck. OnePlus is insanely popular in China, India, and Europe, but it doesn’t yet enjoy the same popularity in the US. Since most customers in the US buy phones through their carriers, a deal with a major carrier could give OnePlus the much-needed brand visibility in the country.
OnePlus largely sells its phones through its website and online retailers. It began joining hands with carriers in Europe only recently. Chinese vendors have struggled to strike carrier deals in the US. Huawei recently failed to strike a deal with AT&T to sell its Mate10 Pro device. Huawei will continue to sell the device through its own website and online retailers
OnePlus 6 rumored features and specs
Not much is known about OnePlus 6, except that it would run the Snapdragon 845. The rumor mill expects the device to feature a more advanced Face Unlock technology. The facial recognition technology on OnePlus 5T is insanely fast, but it isn’t secure enough to authenticate financial transactions. That’s because the feature relies on the camera and software rather than a dedicated depth-mapping sensor like Apple’s Face ID. OnePlus is also bringing Face Unlock to its older phones such as the OnePlus 5, OnePlus 3, and 3T.
OnePlus 6 is expected to have a more refined bezel-less display. OnePlus 5T was the company’s first phone to sport a bezel-less optic AMOLED display with an 80.5-inch screen-to-body ratio, but it still had bezels on all sides of the screen. The OnePlus 6 could fully eliminate the side bezels and reduce the thickness of the top and bottom bezels to give it a more premium feel.
Little is known about the upcoming phone’s camera capabilities. It could feature a dual camera both on the front and back. The device will likely retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. The existing OnePlus phones lack water-resistance capabilities. Consumers would appreciate it if OnePlus 6 comes with an IP68-rating for water- and dust-resistance.
OnePlus 6 to feature an in-display fingerprint reader
The biggest highlight of OnePlus will likely be the in-display fingerprint sensor. It means the fingerprint scanner would be located under the display rather than on the back panel. Vivo showcased its first phone with an optical fingerprint sensor at the CES earlier this week. Vivo’s device is expected to hit the store shelves in the next few months. The Chinese company uses Synaptics’ recently announced ClearID FS9500 optical fingerprint sensor.
Since OnePlus and Vivo both are owned by the same company BBK Electronics, we can expect OnePlus 6 to have the same optical fingerprint technology. BBK-owned brands such as Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus tend to borrow one another’s design language and features. The optical fingerprint reader would allow users to unlock the device by placing their finger on the screen. Synaptics has already started mass production of its in-display fingerprint sensors.