OnePlus 6T live blog: the latest OnePlus phone launch as it happened



29 October 2018 16:05

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Update: The latest OnePlus phone is now official, and you can read our opinion on it with in our OnePlus 6T review. This is our live blog of what happened at the event so you can read back through... 

Welcome to TechRadar's latest OnePlus launch live blog. It's the big day for the OnePlus 6T to be unveiled at a special event in New York where we expect to hear all about the latest flagship phone from the Chinese smartphone brand.

The truth is, we know almost everything there is to know about the phone already. Consistent leaks and announcements from the company mean we have a clear picture of what the phone will offer and how it looks.

That said, it's always exciting to follow alongside the launch live. That's why we've put together this live blog so you can keep up with the latest announcements coming on stage from the brand.

It's all set to kick off at 8AM PT / 11AM ET / 3PM BST, so be sure to head back here when it's all started so you can keep up. If you can't wait, check out our OnePlus 6T rumors article or you can even watch the OnePlus 6T livestream too.

OnePlus 6T launch live blog

All times in Eastern Standard Time (ET)

12:04 - And that's a wrap! Stay tuned to TechRadar for our full review of the high-specced, stylish and affordably-priced OnePlus 6T.

12:00 - The big news: pricing! $549 for the 6GB RAM/128GB storage (in glossy Mirror Black), $579 for the 8GB RAM/128GB storage (in Mirror Black and matte Midnight Black) and $629 for the 8GB RAM/256GB storage (in Midnight Black only).

Both are finishes on a glass backing, as is typical for today's phones. We got our hands on the Midnight Black, and its matte texture gives a bit of grip and won't hold fingerprints, though not all of us were fans (a TechRadar editor thought it made the phone feel a bit cheap). 

T-Mobile will start selling the 6T today in its Times Square, NYC store, and offer goodies for the first 200 customers that rush in to buy the phone. For every other North American consumer, the phone goes on sale November 1 on the OnePlus website and T-Mobile online/in stores (for European buyers, expect to wait til November 6).

Also, T-Mobile has a special offer: get $300 off the OnePlus 6T if you trade in another phone from a list that includes over 30 recent phones (below). It also includes old OnePlus phones, even back to the original OnePlus One! Dig out your dinosaurs and get the 6T cheap.

11:55 - Accessories: the new Bullet Type 2 headphones ($19.95) have a new USB-C connector and a DAC. Why? Because...the 6T doesn't have a headphone jack. Alas, poor Yorick.

The Wireless Bullets are also refined a bit with magnetic heads to lock them together. And for you OnePlus Backpack fiends, there's a new one coming with a metal clipping system, coming in Slate Green and Morandi Black. It's also got a cool vented pocket in the front you can stuff 

Want your own backpack? Hound around for an Invitation Code. Yep, they're bringing back the Invite System from the OnePlus early days. It'll cost $100 if you can find a code. Happy hunting!

11:46 - Kiang introduces Smart Boost, which should speed up load times by up to 20% for apps and games. He doesn't get into it, but the feature works by closing apps the 6T learns you don't use much (other phones typically shut down apps in the background on a first-opened, first-closed priority protocol).

Also, the 6T packs a 3,700mAh battery, which is larger than the 3,400mAh one in the OnePlus 6. In briefings, OnePlus noted that software tweaks also improve the 6T's battery life.

11:40 - Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm Incorporated, takes the stage to chat about his company's chummy partnership with OnePlus. He's not wrong to call it important: having the leading Snapdragon 845 chip on the OnePlus 6T empowers it to go toe-to-toe with far more expensive smartphones (some of which also pack the 845, like the Samsung S9 and Note 9).

Amon ends by hinting at the promises of 5G and slyly mentioning what T-Mobile can accomplish, but no mention from him or Kiang of when it's coming to OnePlus phones, including the 6T.

11:32 - OnePlus Innovation Director Kevin Abosch, a conceptual artist who works in photography, is here to talk about 'Studio Lighting,' which should boost the 6T's Portrait Mode. Lots of slides of pretty people in vibrant shots. You, too, can take pretty good pics of your friends and loved ones.

11:25 - The cameras on the 6T are very similar to the 6: dual 16M+20M sensors at f/1.7 with OIS/EIS stabilization and 480fps slo-mo. The big complaint? Users wanted better low-light performance. So, the 6T's addition: Nightscape, which uses a multi-phase process (noise reduction, detail optimization, HDR). And unlike other phones' night modes that take forever to shoot a photo, Nightscape only takes 2 seconds, Kiang says.

Oh, another thing: Nightscape is also coming to the OnePlus 6 later this week. Folks who didn't wait for the 6T: you are not forgotten.

11:18 - Here's that new in-screen fingerprint sensor. "Technology is at its best when it's not noticeable," Kiang says. Actually, they had an in-screen fingerprint sensor working on the 5T last year, but the user experience wasn't up to par, so they waited for the 6T. And we've seen it in action on the new phone: the sensor works, and quickly. The first in-screen fingerprint sensor released on a phone in the US, and OnePlus clocked it at 0.34 seconds.

11:10 - OnePlus head of North America Region and Global Marketing, Kyle Kiang, notes that smartphone sales dropped 3% in Q4 2017. Womp womp. But the 5,000,000 registered users have really helped the company, and Kiang thanks them all. (It helps that "word of mouth" pushed OnePlus to 40% of marketshare in India in Q4 of this year, which included the release of the OnePlus 6 back in May.)

11:07 - There it is, the big announcement: OnePlus has partnered with T-Mobile, and the new 6T smartphone will be available in 5600 T-Mobile stores today.

Pete Lau - OnePlus Chief Product Officer, CEO and Founder

11:05 - OnePlus Chief Product Officer, CEO and Founder Pete Lau takes the stage, saying this is the company's biggest US launch (and Lau's first here). He profusely thanked the early adopters of the OnePlus 1 in the US back in 2013, mainly in Silicon Valley, and community users blanketed the screen behind him. He even called out the first power user, Alex Lightman!

11:00 - The hall is filled in the pier venue just southeast of Chinatown. And here we go!

10:30 - Not in New York for the launch? Don't be too disappointed, at least you don't have to wait in this queue...

10:25 - One of the biggest talking points for the OnePlus 6T is how the company has confirmed it won't have a 3.5mm headphone jack. TechRadar revealed the news after an exclusive chat with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei back in September.

It's going to be interesting to see how OnePlus tackle the issue on stage considering how many fans seem disappointed it's a feature the company has decided to drop. You can read all about the OnePlus 6T dropping the headphone jack here.

10:05 - And... we're in! Only about an hour to go until the launch gets underway, but we're already prepped and in our seats ready for the event to take place. 

9:25 - The best way to experience the launch of a new phone is to follow along with our live blog while watching the livestream. You can find out how to watch the show here.

8:30 - The OnePlus team have yet to update social media this morning, but here's a post from the company's CEO Pete Lau showing the team practicing ahead of the big launch.

8:00 - Good morning! We're just finishing off our breakfast before we head to the launch event that's set to take place at Pier 36 in New York City.

Be sure to check back here for our thoughts on the OnePlus 6T while it's being announced on stage. We'll be updating here beforehand as we get to the event too.


techradar phones added by Michelle Foster


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