OnePlus 8T: Release date, price, specs and leaks

OnePlus 8T: Release date, price, specs and leaks

The OnePlus 8T will be OnePlus’ next major release, to be announced on October 14. This follows OnePlus’ usual pattern of phone releases — put out a major new version in the spring, followed by the fall release of an interim update, marked with a “T” in their name.

OnePlus 8T at a glance

Release date: October 14
Screen size: 6.55 inches, 120Hz refresh rate
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB (no microSD)
Rear cameras: 48MP main, 16MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 2MP portrait sensor
Front camera: 32MP
Battery: 4,500 mAh
Charging speed: 65W

OnePlus has brought out a T series phone (or phones) every year since 2016, and we’re interested to see how it manages to improve on the excellent OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, which have fast become two of our favorite smartphones. 

Things might be a little different this year now that we have the mid-range OnePlus Nord joining the 8 series in the company’s phone lineup, but we’d still like to see OnePlus deliver a compelling OnePlus 8T so it can firmly establish itself as one of the top Android phone makers within every price range.

So while the clock runs down until launch day, we’ve been looking for news and rumors about what we can expect to see. The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are a pair of high quality devices that made both our best phones and best Android phones lists, but there are still areas where they could improve. We’d love to see some adjustments to the phones’ photo-capturing capabilities, and for the OnePlus 8 in particular to gain some of its more expensive sibling’s features, making it a better value proposition. 

Here’s the latest OnePlus 8T rumors and leaks, along with what we’re hoping OnePlus will deliver with its next phones.

OnePlus 8T latest news (Updated October 9)

OnePlus 8T release date

OnePlus has two flagship rollouts per year — one in the spring, and then another one six months later, when it releases the T variant on its earlier phones. That’s what happened a year ago when the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro showed up in October after a spring release for the OnePlus 7 lineup.

OnePlus is following suit this year, having announced a launch event on October 14. This is a bit different from last year, where it held two separate fall events, one for the 7T and one for the 7T Pro. 

OnePlus 8T price

OnePlus 8T rumors: OnePlus 8 Pro

OnePlus 8 Pro (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Going on sale around the world in April, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro start at $699/£599 and $899/£799, respectively. This gets you 8GB RAM and 128GB storage on both phones, but you can pay $799/£699 or $999/£900 to bump that up to 12GB RAM and 256GB.

The T versions of OnePlus’ flagships tend to cost a little more than the original phones they’re based on, so expect potential prices of $749/£649 and $949/£849 for the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro respectively.

That’s why we’re a little bit dubious about a new OnePlus 8T pricing rumor, suggesting a €599 price for the phone. That would cover the 8GB/128GB version, with a 256GB model costing €699. 

Unlike previous years, there won’t be a McLaren Edition of the Pro model this go-around. OnePlus confirmed to Android Authority that its partnership with McLaren has ended amicably, “at its scheduled conclusion,” meaning you won’t see any more McLaren-branded OnePlus handsets for the foreseeable future. 

OnePlus 8T: Will it come to Verizon?

With recent releases, OnePlus has looked to broaden the availability of its phones, after years of only selling the devices unlocked through its website. The OnePlus 6T was the first OnePlus phone offered via T-Mobile two years ago, and with the OnePlus 8, Verizon joined the mix of carriers selling OnePlus devices.

You’d expect those carriers to continue selling any future OnePlus phones, including the OnePlus 8T, though we’ve yet to hear any rumors about those companies’ plans. Should Verizon sell the OnePlus 8T, we’d imagine it could be a similar situation to what Big Red did with the OnePlus 8 — there’s a separate Verizon-only model of the OnePlus 8 specifically designed to work with the carrier’s mmWave-based 5G network.

OnePlus 8T models

In recent years, OnePlus has released a pricier Pro version to go with its standard flagship. That’s not happening with the OnePlus 8T. OnePlus has now confirmed that there won’t be a OnePlus 8T Pro model.

We first got an inkling that the Pro wouldn’t debut when leaker Max. J published a cryptic tweet using the OnePlus 8T Pro’s code-name to suggest that the phone won’t appear this fall.

It’s not really surprising that OnePlus has dropped plans for a Pro model this time around. The success of the OnePlus Nord has reminded the phone maker that people turn to OnePlus for affordable, feature-packed handsets; it’s possible a Pro version with a higher price doesn’t appeal to that mindset.

Based on a Weibo post from OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, it sounds like the OnePlus 8 Pro will remain in the company’s lineup for those who still want a high-end phone. It’s unclear what will happen to the OnePlus 8 after the OnePlus 8T launches.

OnePlus 8T design

With the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, OnePlus locked the various colors of its handsets to different locales and versions. For example, in the UK, you can only get the 8GB/128GB versions of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro in Onyx Black, with the 12GB/256GB versions only coming in Glacial Green. Similarly, the Ultramarine Blue and Interstellar Glow editions of the phone, arguably the most handsome, are only available in the US on the 8 Pro and 8, respectively. OnePlus should allow users to pick their preferred color on any version in any country with the 8T, and maybe add a couple of new choices for good measure.

As for the actual shape of the phone, we would have expect the curved display and punch-hole front camera notch of the current phones to remain in the OnePlus 8T. However, a drawing by leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer (aka “Onleaks”) and posted at Pricebaba shows a phone more in line with the OnePlus Nord’s look, with flat edges. The render is reportedly based on internal schematics.

OnePlus 8T rendering

(Image credit: Pricebaba/Steve Hemmerstoffer)

A recent finding within the OnePlus version of Android 11 Developer beta 4 showed a glyph representing the OnePlus 8T. Unsurprisingly, it looks a lot like the OnePlus 8.

OnePlus 8T design

(Image credit: OxygenUpdater)

Twitter leaker Max J. posted an image that heavily implies the 8T’s internal codename is “kebab.” That on its own doesn’t tell us much, but it’ll help us to verify any future leaks that also use this name.

OnePlus 8T display

The standard OnePlus 8 uses a 6.55-inch FHD OLED display that has a 90Hz refresh rate. The OnePlus 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch QHD OLED panel capable of an even faster 120Hz refresh rate.

When the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro appeared last year, there was no change from the original OnePlus 7 Pro’s display, but the 7T gained the same 90Hz refresh rate as the Pro model. OnePlus recently confirmed to TechRadar that it will lift the 8T’s refresh rate to 120Hz, keeping with the cadence established earlier and making the cheaper OnePlus model more competitive against its rivals.

OnePlus 8T cameras

Currently, the OnePlus 8 uses a 48MP main camera, 16MP ultra-wide camera and a 2MP macro camera. Meanwhile the 8 Pro has a 48MP main camera, an 8MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom, a 48MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP color filter camera.

The standard OnePlus 8 doesn’t have a telephoto camera, and adding one on would really help round out the experience. That may not happen with the 8T, at least according to Pricebaba’s specs. That site expects the 48MP main camera and 16MP ultra wide shooter to return, with the macro camera boosted to a 5MP sensor. A 2MP portrait sensor is also anticipated for the OnePlus 8T.

The only thing really missing from the OnePlus 8 Pro’s photography arsenal is more megapixels or better post-processing. For example, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus uses a 64MP telephoto camera, while phones like the iPhone 11 Pro and the Google Pixel 4 have excellent software that allow their smaller sensors to still produce great shots. OnePlus is stuck in the middle of these two, and should try to pick one direction to focus on in order to up its photo game.

Fortunately, it seems OnePlus is aware it needs to step up its computational photography game too. According to a report from XDA Developers based on a forum of OnePlus users, the phone maker is looking to eliminate the HDR system’s unintentional “halo effect,” correcting white balance across all camera lenses. It also wants to improve the user experience for the auto-exposure lock feature and continue to optimize post-processing. We’re hoping some of these changes find their way into the OnePlus 8T.

OnePlus 8T performance

All versions of the OnePlus 8 use the Snapdragon 865 chipset, the gold standard for Android flagship performance this year. Last year, the OnePlus 7T series was able to benefit from Qualcomm releasing a Snapdragon 855 Plus, an enhanced version of the original 855 CPU that provided a performance boost to the company’s T phones.

Although there was some uncertainty about whether Qualcomm would release a Snapdragon 865 Plus, the upgraded chip was revealed in early July. Therefore we’d be surprised if OnePlus didn’t take the opportunity to give the 8T series the better processing power that this offers, since sticking with the basic 865, particularly when the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series uses the 865 Plus, would be leaving essentially free performance on the table. Indeed, Pricebaba says that the OnePlus 8T will use a Snapdragon 865 Plus, augmented by 8GB of RAM.

We don’t expect the RAM in the OnePlus 8T to go higher than 12GB, but it would be good if this was offered as standard, instead of the 8GB option that both the entry-level OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro come with.

We may have some idea of what the OnePlus 8T will be using thanks to a Geekbench listing (via TechRadar). The listing shows a OnePlus device with an unknown model number, running a Snapdragon 865 or 865 Plus with 8GB RAM, and using Android 11 as its operating system. The results are surprisingly similar to the current OnePlus 8, but hopefully this is because OnePlus is still working to squeeze all the power it can out of the Qualcomm-made chipset. 

Because the ‘Kona’ codename can refer to either the standard 865 or the 865 Plus chipset, this may mean we don’t see OnePlus use the advanced version of the chip. That would be out of character compared to previous years, but it may explain the similar benchmark scores.

OnePlus 8T software

OnePlus’ OxygenOS is perhaps the best non-stock version of Android around, thanks to its limited but intelligently implemented additional features that don’t clog up your phone with pointless apps. In September, Google began rolling out Android 11, the newest edition of its mobile operating system.

OnePlus is usually very quick to adopt the latest version of Android, as evidenced by the OnePlus 7T and 7T Pro, which were among the first non-Pixel phones to feature Android 10. OnePlus recently confirmed that the OnePlus 8T will launch with Android 11, following the company’s impressive work on releasing the Android 11 beta to its OnePlus 8 handsets as soon as Google announced it over the summer.

OnePlus 8T rumors: OnePlus 8

OnePlus 8 (Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

OnePlus 8T 5G

Both the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are already 5G compatible: Sub-6GHz comes by default, while the OnePlus 8 version Verizon sells adds compatibility with the carrier’s mmWave network. 

There’s no way OnePlus is going to drop 5G support for the 8T, so the only thing it could really do to improve is offer both mmWave and Sub-6GHz by default. This would mean unlocked and carrier-locked handsets could work on any 5G network around the world, although making this happen would likely be too expensive for OnePlus to consider if it wants to keep the cost of the new model in line with its predecessor’s.

OnePlus 8T battery and charging

The OnePlus 8 has a 4,300 mAh battery, while the OnePlus 8 Pro has a 4,510 mAh power pack. Once again, a boost to the standard model’s specs to match the Pro would be very welcome. Fitting in more capacity so the OnePlus 8T could match the 5,000 mAh battery of the Galaxy S20 Ultra would be fantastic, but is unlikely.

Currently, the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro both use Warp Charge 30T, OnePlus’ speedy charging standard that fills the phones up nice and fast. But rumors suggested early on that the OnePlus 8T was in line for a serious upgrade allowing faster charge times.

We saw OnePlus register a 65W charger with German certification group TÜV Rheinland, which was a pretty big indicator that the company was preparing to up its charging speeds once again. Originally, we thought the phone maker may save this feature for next year, with a device presumably named the OnePlus 9, but the Android 11 beta hinted that the OnePlus 8T would support 65W charging. Pricebaba claimed it was coming to the OnePlus 8T, for what it’s worth, and that the new phone would have a 4,500 mAh battery. 

OnePlus 8T: Release date, price, specs and leaks

(Image credit: OnePlus)

With a little less than a month before the OnePlus 8T’s launch, OnePlus confirmed that Warp Charge 65 technology is headed to the OnePlus 8T. It will deliver a 40% charge after 10 minutes, with the OnePlus 8T’s 4,500 mAh battery fully charged after 38 minutes.

The way the 65W charger works is pretty clever, and we know this from the Oppo Find X2, which uses an identical wattage and is part of the same parent company as OnePlus. That makes it quite likely the different phone brands will share components. Instead of using a single battery that charges at 30W like the OnePlus 8, the Find X2 contains two smaller batteries that both charge at 32.5W, meaning that you can fully charge the phone twice as fast while not significantly changing the power input.

OnePlus 8T: What we’d like to see

The pace of OnePlus 8T leaks is picking up, with Pricebaba’s report providing a pretty clear picture of what to expect for the new phone. OnePlus itself has started releasing teaser details and confirmations — see the new about 65W charging and the confirmation that there’s no Pro model.

So what are the most important improvements that OnePlus could make to the OnePlus 8T? Here’s our list.

Improved basic models: OnePlus wants to keep its prices lower than its rivals, but in doing so it means that its basic models can struggle to compete with other phones. Adding in wireless charging, 120Hz refresh rate and a telephoto camera to the OnePlus 8T will make this a far better rival to the Galaxy S20 or iPhone 11. Also, giving the OnePlus 8T 12GB/256GB storage by default for only a small increase in price will also help with these comparisons, and give users the speed and space they deserve.

All color options for all models and all countries: There is no discernible benefit to locking off certain colors just because you don’t want a specific amount of memory or live in a certain place. Let us have the power to choose, OnePlus! Every other smartphone maker does, and you should too.

Android 11 at launch: The software is one of any OnePlus phones’ best features, and giving users access to the latest version of Android before anyone else makes it all the sweeter. Assuming Google and OnePlus haven’t been caught out with delays, let’s see OnePlus repeat its performance from previous years and offer the latest Android features from the moment the phone goes on sale.

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