Since the iPhone X launch, Android vendors have been desperately trying to copy the anniversary iPhone’s design. The iPhone X comes with a gorgeous bezel-less OLED display and a top ‘notch’ to accommodate the TrueDepth camera system, the selfie camera, ear speaker, and other sensors. Though a large number of iPhone X owners hate the notch, it hasn’t stopped Android vendors from copying the flagship iPhone’s design. Asus has unveiled ZenFone 5, which is a downright iPhone X-clone. Chinese smartphone vendor OnePlus might also be planning to copy the iPhone X’s design with its upcoming OnePlus 6.
On Tuesday, Chinese blog ITHome posted pictures of what they claim to be a OnePlus 6 prototype. The device has a glass body and a bezel-less display. It has incredibly slim bezels and a tiny notch at the top that it borrows from the iPhone X. The notch incorporates the front camera, ear speaker, and Face Unlock sensors. The OnePlus 6 notch appears smaller than the iPhone X, though. On the right side of the notch, you can see icons for battery and cellular connectivity. Time is display on the left side of the notch.
On the back panel, it has a vertically arranged dual camera system placed centrally in the upper half. Immediately below the dual camera module is the dual-tone LED flash and the fingerprint sensor. The fingerprint scanner isn’t circular, though. It has a stadium-like form factor that will remind you of the OnePlus 5’s physical home button. Right below the fingerprint reader is the OnePlus logo.
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The Alert slider appears to have been relocated to the right side of OnePlus 6. It sits on the left side of the existing models. ITHome claims that the OnePlus 6 with model number P7819 would pack 6GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage. The current OnePlus 5 and 5T are available in 6GB as well as 8GB RAM options. So, we can also expect OnePlus to launch an 8GB RAM variant of the OnePlus 6.
The device would run OxygenOS on top of Android 8.1 Oreo. The report should be taken with some skepticism. The prototype spotted by ITHome could be just one of many prototypes the company is testing. Last year’s OnePlus 5 underwent multiple design changes before the company finalized its design. The upcoming phone is still a few months away, and OnePlus might not have finalized its design yet.
OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this year that the OnePlus 6 would run Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC because there is no other choice. Lau added that the company would launch OnePlus 6 towards the end of the second quarter. The Chinese company traditionally refreshes its flagship smartphones in June, which is when we can expect the next-gen flagship to arrive.
In early January, a reliable source told Android Marvel that OnePlus 6 would feature an advanced Face Unlock technology to challenge Apple’s Face ID and Samsung’s new Intelligent Scan on the Galaxy S9. The Face Unlock on OnePlus 5 and 5T is blazing fast, but it isn’t secure enough to authenticate payments. It relies on the camera and software to recognize users, rather than on depth-sensing modules. OnePlus has already told users that the existing Face Unlock is more about convenience than security, so people know what they are getting.
The upgraded Face Unlock on the OnePlus 6 would take advantage of a 3D infrared module to improve security. It would be interesting to see whether it can match Apple’s Face ID technology. It is unclear whether OnePlus 6 would feature an in-display fingerprint scanner. Vivo has already launched a smartphone with Synaptics’ Clear ID FS9500 optical fingerprint scanner. Since OnePlus and Vivo are both owned by BBK Electronics, the feature may also find its way into the upcoming OnePlus flagship.
OnePlus 6 will likely retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. We can also expect it to feature an improved dual camera system. Though Pete Lau has confirmed that OnePlus 6 is coming in June, he is not sure whether the company would launch the second flagship (OnePlus 6T) in the second half of this year. The ‘T’ variants are only minor upgrades over the regular number versions.
The Chinese company is looking to sell its phones via wireless carriers in the United States to boost sales. In the US, almost 90% of smartphones are sold through carriers. Companies like OnePlus and Huawei that don’t have a carrier deal miss out on a lot of sales. OnePlus has already signed a few carrier deals in Europe, but hasn’t yet succeeded in persuading the US carriers.