OnePlus 6T: Six features we're dying to see

The upcoming phone will be great, but here's what would make it fantastic.

Aloysius Low Senior Editor
Aloysius Low is a Senior Editor at CNET covering mobile and Asia. Based in Singapore, he loves playing Dota 2 when he can spare the time and is also the owner-minion of two adorable cats.
Aloysius Low
4 min read

The red OnePlus 6 makes a statement.

James Martin/CNET

CNET was first to report that the OnePlus 6T will arrive in October for $550, sold exclusively by  T-Mobile in the US.

The OnePlus 6T is the next iteration of OnePlus' successful franchise of "affordable high-end" Android phones . They typically sell at a fraction of the price of premium flagship phones, like the iPhone X and Galaxy Note 9. With both those phones starting at $1,000, the OnePlus 6T is further poised to capture the interest of deal-seeking holiday shoppers who are more concerned about value-for-price than sticking with their favorite brand.

For its part, OnePlus must struggle between keeping the price down while marching out top-of-the-line features matching other flagships. 

Watch this: 6 most wanted features for the OnePlus 6T

We already have a good idea what the OnePlus 6T may look like, thanks to the release of the Oppo R17 -- both phone companies, along with Vivo, are subsidiaries of parent company BKK Electronics. It's no coincidence that their latest phones are released at the same time with similar designs.

Read this: Sorry, your Android phone and iPhone will only get more expensive

We're expecting the OnePlus 6T design to mostly look like the OnePlus 6 , an excellent phone with a notched screen, fast processor, great camera and gesture support. But we're keeping hope alive that OnePlus will give its more expensive 6T these most-wanted features:

Underscreen fingerprint scanner, because that's cutting edge

OnePlus sister brands Vivo and Oppo have done it, and it wouldn't surprise me one bit if the OnePlus 6T also comes with an underscreen fingerprint scanner. While the tech is cool, there are some drawbacks, including a slower unlocking speed since the scanner needs to shine a light at your finger through the screen before it can read the fingerprint.

OnePlus giving the 6T a fingerprint reader would make it the first phone in the US to launch with the technology, beating out the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10. That is, assuming that Apple's 2018 iPhones stick with FaceID and Google's upcoming Pixel 3 keeps its standard fingerprint reader.


Could we see an underscreen fingerprint scanner like the one found on the Oppo R17?

Aloysius Low/CNET

Return of the microSD card slot, because everyone wants more storage

The microSD card slot used to be a common feature on Android phones, but it's been missing on OnePlus phones since its appearance on the OnePlus X. There are good reasons for leaving the microSD card slot out -- licensing fees, security loopholes, performance or an even simpler reason: profit. Phones typically pack more storage these days, but heavy users will fill it up fast with large-file photos, videos and resource-heavy games.

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Will the new OnePlus 6T look like the Oppo R17 pictured here?

Aloysius Low/CNET

Read this: How the OnePlus 6 could have been perfect

Waterproofing, because it's time already

It's not widely known, but the OnePlus 6 is splash resistant. The phone doesn't actually have an IP rating, though, probably because it would cost OnePlus quite a bit to have to have it officially tested, which obviously wouldn't help keep the price in check. But since OnePlus prices are creeping up with each iteration, the company should take the plunge and certify the 6T as water-resistant.

HDR display, because we want to watch great video

The OnePlus 6's 6.28-inch display has high dynamic range (HDR) support, though this isn't on the official spec list. With this in mind, OnePlus isn't likely to change things too much, and you can probably expect to see a similar HDR display on the 6T, great for watching HDR-enabled flicks on Netflix and YouTube.

No notch, because a guy can hope

With a no-notch approach in the Vivo Nex and Oppo Find X, could the OnePlus 6T drop the OnePlus 6's hated notch? I'm not completely anti-notch, but it does make the OnePlus 6 look like a copycat iPhone X. The fact that this notch is optional seems to highlight how unnecessary it is when it comes to giving you more usable screen space.

However, the answer is probably no. Given that the just-released Oppo R17 sports a tiny notch and that the upcoming Vivo V11 has a similar look, expect the OnePlus 6T to sadly be no different.

Unicorn color, because Huawei beat you to it

Last year, in a move that was part poll, part tease, OnePlus tweeted an image of the OnePlus 5 in different color options. One was a pinkish-blue gradient that was later revealed to be called "unicorn".

We might have chuckled at the joke if Huawei hadn't beaten OnePlus to the punch with the exact same color on its  Huawei P20 and P20 Pro. We know that OnePlus has the technology to do this, too. Its sister brand Oppo has stunning gradient finishes for the Find X and recently announced R17.

Come on, OnePlus. Ombre is in. Make it happen.


The Huawei P20 Pro is quite the stunner -- could the OnePlus 6T get similar good looks?

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Things we likely won't get

Given how OnePlus tries to juggle features to keep the cost down, there are some cool things we won't be expecting. Wireless charging will likely be one of the biggest missing features, but the phone will probably have fast charging. OnePlus calls its version Dash.

We also probably won't see a mechanical motorized camera, like those seen on the Find X or the Vivo Nex, or even 5x optical zoom. There's a chance the 6T could sport triple cameras like the Oppo R17 Pro. But cameras are expensive, so don't hold your breath. You'll probably have to make do with the usual dual-camera setup.

Whatever OnePlus has in store, it'll face stiff competition from the usual suspects, such as Samsung Galaxy S9, the upcoming Google Pixel 3 and Apple's new 2018 iPhone.

Are there any features you'd like to see in the OnePlus 6T? Let us know in the comments.

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