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The OnePlus 5T is here: Everything else we know so far

Like slimmer bezels, a bigger screen and a Nov. 21 sale date.

Editors' note: Here's CNET's full review of the OnePlus 5T. It's available now. 

The OnePlus 5T is real and it's coming Nov. 16. 

A few days after its CEO confirmed the phone's existence in to a forum post, the company announced details of the OnePlus 5T launch event, which is slated for 12 p.m. EST in Brooklyn, New York, that day. You'll be able to buy the phone starting Nov. 21.

But hang on a sec; didn't the OnePlus 5  release just a few months ago this summer? Yes, it did, and as OnePlus gears up for the 5T, you won't be able to buy the 5 on the company's website. This is just what OnePlus did with its 3T follow-up to the OnePlus 3 last year (there was no OnePlus 4). 

A Chinese phone maker with global appeal, OnePlus has quickly made a name for itself undercutting traditional high-priced, marquee phones from Apple and Samsung with cheaper Android devices that share similar specs and perform just as well, typically sharing the same Qualcomm chip. For example, last June's OnePlus 3 was powerful enough to beat rival phones like the Galaxy S7 and LG G5 in benchmark tests, but at a retail price of $399 (£309 or about AU$590), it was an absolute bargain.

So now that we know a little about the phone, what will it look like? OnePlus' teasers haven't extended that far, but for a company that loves hyping its products before launch, it's only a matter of time before we find out. Meanwhile, there are plenty of rumors and alleged renders to stoke our collective imagination until the avalanche of additional OnePlus teasers comes crashing down. 

OnePlus 5T is a done deal

OnePlus CEO Pete Lau's blog post calls the device by its name and reaffirms the continuation of the OnePlus "T" line for a second year. Before Lau's post, OnePlus all but confirmed the phone name with a tweet of five mugs of a beverage we infer to be tea. Because five cups of tea = five teas = 5T. We get it, OnePlus, we get it.

It's coming Nov. 16

First OnePlus confirmed the 5T was happening, then it told us when it'll happen. On Twitter OnePlus shared a teaser for its OnePlus 5T event, along with the Nov. 16 date.

For more info you can head to the 5T event website where you'll be able to livestream the event, buy tickets to it, or sign up for the OnePlus newsletter. It also reveals when the OnePlus 5T will go on sale, which is Nov. 21 at 9am EST.

This lines up the 5T launch almost exactly with the 3T launch. The OnePlus 3T launched last year on Nov. 15 and then went on sale Nov. 22.

Rumored OnePlus 5T specs

A listing of the OnePlus 5T appeared on online retailer Oppomart, which proposed a handful of specifications for the phone. We weren't able to verify where the info came from, but some of it matched previous rumors, so it's worth mentioning until we get more substantial info. Take this with a grain of salt:

    android-authority-oneplus-5t-leak

    Peek-a-boo. This is tipped as being the OnePlus 5T.

    Android Authority
  • 6-inch screen
  • 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution
  • Display with a 18:9 aspect ratio
  • 16-megapixel and 20-megapixel dual rear cameras
  • 16-megapixel front camera
  • Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 6GB/8GB of RAM
  • 64GB/128GB of storage
  • 3,450mAh battery
  • Dash quick-charging capabilities

It will keep the headphone jack

While phone makers are dropping the headphone jack left and right, the OnePlus 5T is hanging on tight. Lau is adamant about keeping the headphone jack on the phone.

Phonemakers cite being able to create thinner phone bodies and support for USB-C as reasons why they let the divisive headphone jack go. But the move has been controversial for holdouts who want to listen to music while charging their device, or for those who want to continue using their wired headphones without buying (or fretting about losing) a dongle.

Lau said that nearly 80 percent of OnePlus users use in-jack headphones, so to him the attempt to make the OnePlus 5T thinner wasn't worth the headphone trade-off.

Before the admission that the 5T will keep its jack, OnePlus tweeted a picture of its six phones lined up to show off their headphone jacks. The caption read "What do our phones have in common?" calling attention to the jacks. This doesn't guarantee that all future OnePlus phones will keep the jack, but it does demonstrate the company's commitment.

Confirmed: No wireless charging

CEO Pete Lau also went on the record to say that the OnePlus 5T won't get wireless charging. His explanation was simple: wireless charging just isn't as fast as wired fast charging to bring it to the 5T. Adding the technology would also likely bump up the phone's price.

LG V30

Slim bezels are in. Here they are on the LG V30.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Top-shelf devices like the iPhone X, the LG V30 and Samsung's Galaxy phones have hopped on the wireless charging bandwagon. While Lau says that OnePlus may introduce the tech in its later phones, the 5T won't be one of them.

OnePlus 5T could get thinner bezels

The OnePlus 5T could look like a lot like other flagship phones -- with superslim bezels and a large display to match.

Possible renders of the phone show that the top bezel seems considerably slimmer than the OnePlus 5's bezel. This could make the OnePlus 5T look less like the iPhone 7 and more like a Galaxy S8.

Other pictures claiming to be the 5T popped up on Chinese social network Weibo (here and here), also showing a device with thinner top and bottom bezels.

A device matching this description was spotted at the OnePlus booth at Paris Games Week that was co-branded with FNATIC, an eSports brand. Born of that was a tweet of a phone with slim bezels and a large display. CNET hasn't independently confirmed which phone this is, but the fact that it was on display alongside the OnePlus 5 whips up speculation that it could be one of our first looks at the OnePlus 5T in real life -- though that seems risky ahead of the official unveiling.

No fingerprint reader on the front?

If the bezels on the OnePlus 5T take up less real estate, it could mean the fingerprint scanner will have to find a new home. Historically, the fingerprint scanner appeared under the phone's display in the bottom bezel.

If there's no space for it there, OnePlus could move the fingerprint scanner to the back of the phone to make room for a larger screen, integrate it with the power button or perhaps even give you an iris-scanning option like the Galaxy Note 8 has or facial scanning like the iPhone X, though we seriously doubt the latter two features for what would probably be a midprice phone.

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Look for a larger screen and sharper resolution

With those smaller bezels, the phone might also get a bigger screen. One rumor claims the display size will increase from 5.5 to 6 inches. It's also said that the resolution may get sharper, going from 1080p with a 16:9 aspect ratio to a 2K resolution with a 18:9 aspect ratio. This new aspect ratio would make the 5T screen seem a lot taller, like the Galaxy S8 or LG G6.

The upgraded screen would be a welcome addition, considering that the OnePlus 5's screen isn't all that different from the 3T. They have the same 1080p resolution and a 5.5-inch size.

The OnePlus 5T might get more expensive

We still don't know how much the OnePlus 5T will cost, but we have a clue. OnePlus CEO Pete Lau hinted on Weibo that 4,000 yuan (about $600/£460/AU$785) should be enough to buy the phone. We don't know whether this means the phone will cost this much or less, but the 128GB storage version of the OnePlus 5 already costs $539. Converted, that's about £410 or AU$700.

OnePlus' prices have slowly crept up, with the 3 starting at $399 in the US, the 3T at $439 and 5 at $479. So it wouldn't be unusual for a OnePlus 5T to cost about $500 or even $550.

Oppomart's unverified listing called the 5T's starting price at $549. A higher OnePlus price would nevertheless keep pace with skyrocketing phone prices. For example, Apple's iPhone X starts at $1,000.

It wouldn't get a faster processor

htc-u11-life-2740-006

Even midrange phones like the HTC U11 Life are resistant to water and dust.

Josh Miller/CNET

One of the things that made the OnePlus 3T a step up from the 3 was its faster processor. The 3 was released with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chip, then the 3T was released with the Snapdragon 821, and the 5 with the 835.

But now OnePlus is caught up, so the 5T may end up with the same processor as the 5, which performed well in CNET's lab and real-world tests. (Maybe too well; OnePlus was accused of juicing its scores.) It's possible the 5T could improve under the hood in other ways.

What about waterproofing?

The OnePlus 5 doesn't have it, but most high-end phones are water-resistant and some midrange and entry-level devices are, too. Leaving out trendy features certainly helps cut costs. On the other hand, waterproofing is especially nudging its way to becoming standard. If the 5T doesn't have it, it's a fair bet the OnePlus 6 will.

Editors' note: This article was originally published Oct. 29 and most recently updated with new information Nov. 8.