The global premium smartphone market is dominated by Apple and Samsung. LG, HTC, Sony, and others have faded away. But Chinese vendor OnePlus made room for itself by selling premium Android smartphones at mid-range prices. It’s strategy has worked well in China, India, and many European markets. With the announcement of OnePlus 6T phone and the partnership with T-Mobile, the company could challenge iPhones on Apple’s home turf.
OnePlus 6T phone rivals iPhone XS Max
OnePlus announced the OnePlus 6T at an event in New York on Oct.29th after teasing it for weeks. Unlike its predecessor, the 6T has a tiny waterdrop notch for the front camera. The device comes in three variants: 6GB RAM/128GB storage priced at $549, 8GB/128GB priced at $579, and 8GB/256GB with a price tag of $629. It sports a giant 6.41-inch OLED screen with a full HD resolution of 1080 x 2340p, 402ppi pixel density, and 19.5:9 aspect ratio.
It is the first OnePlus smartphone to feature an in-display fingerprint sensor. The company described it as ‘Screen Unlock’ and claimed that it was the fastest in-display fingerprint sensor out there. The phone packs a giant 3,700mAh battery, which should easily last more than a day of normal usage. However, the phone lacks wireless charging and the 3.5mm headphone jack. The company said it ditched the audio jack to make room for the in-display fingerprint reader and the larger battery
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It sports a 20MP and a 16MP lens on the back. OnePlus has introduced a new Nightscape feature to enhance the low-light photography. There is also a Studio Light feature. The OnePlus 6T phone runs custom OxygenOS skin on top of Android Pie. The Chinese company promises a lag-free, fluid software experience. It has a dedicated team just to optimize apps and speed them up.
T-Mobile deal will give the OnePlus 6T phone greater visibility
What makes us think that OnePlus 6T could challenge iPhones in the United States? First, we all know that OnePlus phones are nearly as good as flagship iPhones in every department but cost only half as much. OnePlus makes an attractive pricing proposition. Second reason is the visibility, which OnePlus didn’t have in the US until now. Allow me to explain.
OnePlus has been selling the unlocked variants of its phones in the US via its online store. But that wasn’t the best way to sell phones in a country where roughly 90% phones are sold through carrier stores. The Chinese company had been struggling for over a year to sign deals with major carriers. And now it has succeeded. OnePlus announced T-Mobile as its US carrier partner, putting OnePlus 6T in more than 5,600 T-Mobile stores across the country.
T-Mobile will be selling only the 8GB/128GB version in its stores, with in-store placement and advertising. Customers will be able to trade-in their existing phones to receive up to $300 off the new OnePlus 6T. The T-Mobile version of the device will be nearly identical to the regular version, except that it will have only a single SIM card slot instead of dual SIM slots. OnePlus has promised that there will be no carrier bloatware, which could have been a big headache for users.
OnePlus has also officially added support for Verizon network. Earlier, the OnePlus devices were limited to T-Mobile and AT&T as these networks run on GSM. The OnePlus 6T will also work with Verizon’s CDMA network. It means you can buy an unlocked OnePlus 6T from OnePlus and use the Verizon SIM.
Unfortunately, it still won’t work with Sprint’s CDMA network. Signing up T-Mobile and supporting Verizon network is still a major win for OnePlus. Huawei, the world’s second largest smartphone maker, is still struggling to strike carrier deals in the US. OnePlus’s deal with T-Mobile will give OnePlus 6T greater visibility and attract new customers visiting T-Mobile stores.
OnePlus has carved out a niche for itself by selling premium devices at mid-range prices. Of course, the loyal Apple fans are unlikely to switch to OnePlus 6T. But a large number of people don’t have the budget for iPhone XS or XS Max, and they end up settling for the outdated iPhones. Now they have the choice to buy OnePlus 6T with the latest and greatest features at half the price of the XS.