OnePlus 6 with glass back launching on May 21

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A few days ago, Indian publication Moneycontrol claimed that OnePlus 6 launch would take place on May 18th, and that its starting price would be close to $600. The Chinese company hasn’t yet confirmed the OnePlus 6 launch date, but GSM Arena has learned from one of its readers that the device would arrive on May 21. OnePlus has been teasing the handset and confirming its features for the last few weeks.

If OnePlus 6 is indeed unveiled on May 21, it will be the earliest OnePlus smartphone launch in years. The company traditionally refreshes its flagship line in June. The reader told GSM Arena that OnePlus has sent out emails to select customers revealing that OnePlus 6 would debut on May 21. The reader is reportedly part of a trial under OnePlus’s new LAB program that started last week. The email contains the OnePlus 6 launch date as well as all the terms and conditions.

As part of the LAB program, invited customers will be able to use OnePlus 6 before the phone goes on sale. They will also be able to write community reviews of the handset. According to NDTV Gadgets, submissions will remain open until 10pm ET on May 2. OnePlus will announce the final reviewer squad on May 12. OnePlus will be competing with Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus, LG’s upcoming G7 ThinQ, and HTC’s U12 Plus.

If the report is true, OnePlus 6 is about a month away. But Amazon India has already put up a OnePlus 6 registration page on its website, where interested users can opt-in to get notified when the phone goes on sale. Just like its predecessors, OnePlus 6 will be sold online exclusively through Amazon in India. Amazon India director Noor Patel said OnePlus 6 was “one of the most anticipated smartphones in India today.”

Earlier, there were speculations that OnePlus 6 launch could take place by the end of this month. OnePlus has officially partnered with Marvel Studios to introduce an Avengers: Infinity War-themed OnePlus 6 variant. Since the movie is releasing on April 27, the rumor mill was expecting the smartphone to be unveiled around the same time. The Avengers-themed version will have the same specs as the regular model. But it would feature the Avengers branding and some pre-loaded content for the movie’s fans. It will also be sold at a slight premium compared to the regular variant.

Ahead of OnePlus 6 launch, the OnePlus 5T has gone out of stock in many countries including India. Both the 6GB and 8GB RAM variants of OnePlus 5T are no longer available on Amazon India and OnePlus’s official store in the country. It’s pretty common for OnePlus’s current models to go out of stock weeks before the launch of their successors. The OnePlus 5T remains out of stock in the US since last month.

Separately, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed in a forum post that OnePlus 6 would come with a glass back rather than a more durable aluminum panel. Though Lau did not mention wireless charging, the glass back indicates that the company might finally offer wireless charging on its flagship phones. He said the glass design was aimed a creating a “sense of value” and give it a “premium hand-feel.” The company’s design team “tested over 70 glass prototypes” before selecting the best one.

OnePlus 6 Launch Date Glass Back
Image Source: (screenshot)

The Chinese company has also teased on Twitter an all-new back panel with “new materials.” The OnePlus 6 with a glass back will be better able to compete with Apple’s iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy S9, both of which sport a glass back. There were also rumors that the company might use ceramic materials on the device. Ceramic materials can also be used to facilitate wireless charging. The OnePlus 5 and 5T both had an aluminum rear panel.

Pete Lau has already confirmed that the OnePlus 6 would offer up to 8GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. There would also be a 6GB RAM variant with 64GB internal storage. The device would be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chipset that powers most of the premium Android phones released this year. It would have an AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has told fans that OnePlus 6 would have an iPhone X-like notch to increase the screen space.

People who don’t like the notch have no reason to worry. OnePlus will give you the option to hide the notch. Case renders shared by Olixar suggest that the phone will have no bezels on the sides. The OnePlus 6 would run OxygenOS based on Android 8.1 Oreo. The phone would sport vertically-aligned dual camera system on the back. It would consist of a 20MP and a 16MP sensor. It is rumored to have a 16MP selfie camera. The LED flash and the fingerprint scanner are located below the rear camera.

The OnePlus 6 will in all likelihood retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. The company recently teased on Twitter that the upcoming flagship would be water- and dust-resistant. It is said to pack a 3,450mAh battery with Dash Charging technology.

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