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OnePlus 9 RT launch date revealed?

The OnePlus 9T is expected to be the next OnePlus flagship phone, due some time this autumn – or so we thought, until leakers started pointing to the release of a OnePlus 9 RT instead.

The company has released updated ‘T’ versions of its flagships for the last few years, and since 2021 has already seen the launch of the OnePlus 9 series, it should be a safe bet that the 9T is on the way soon – but is it? Here’s what we know so far.

When will the OnePlus 9T be released?

OnePlus has a steady release schedule for its flagship smartphones, with the number model (7,8,9 etc.) arriving around March or April, followed six months or so later by the T models (7T, 8T, 9T, etc.). This means you would normally be looking for the OnePlus 9T around the end of September or start of October.

Android Central has reported that the company is planning a launch in October, but that it will be the OnePlus 9 RT, not the 9T – a follow-up to the Asia-exclusive 9R from earlier this year. OnLeaks has since tentatively predicted a 15 October launch for the phone, which is expected to once again be limited to India and China.

Android Central claims that the 9 RT is the only OnePlus flagship on the way in the rest of this year. Normally that would seem odd, but we’ve already heard from leakers Max Jambor that there won’t be a 9T, and from Yisten that there’s no 9T Pro – so evidence is adding up.

If so, that means that European and American fans won’t have any new OnePlus flagship to look forward to, and will be limited to the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro from this spring.

For its part, OnePlus has responded to the rumours with a social media post of its own that hints that the 9T is still coming – though in turn, immediately tells us not to read too much into it.

How much will the OnePlus 9T cost?

Pricing has been something of a thorny issue with OnePlus fans. When the first few devices arrived, they did so with premium specs and budget prices. Over time, the latter part of the equation has risen to move closer to its competitors.

These days the cheaper models with impressive, but not top-tier, components wear the OnePlus Nord name – most recently the OnePlus Nord 2, Nord CE 5G and Nord N200.

Since the most likely phone to launch right now is the 9 RT, let’s start with pricing for that. The 9R starts from ₹39,999 for an 8/128GB model, rising to ₹43,999 for 12/256GB.

Leaker Abhishek Yadav claims, citing a source, that the new phone will cost about the same, but journalist Yogesh Brar immediately hit back at that, telling him to “find a new source” – though didn’t say if he expected the price to be higher or lower than the original 9R.

As for the possible 9T pricing in the US and UK, here’s how much the last few core models have cost:

  8GB/128GB UK 12GB/256GB UK 8GB/128GB US 12GB/256GB US
OnePlus 9 £629 £729 $729 N/A
OnePlus 8T £549 £649 N/A $749
OnePlus 8 £599 £699 $699 $799

As you can see, there’s something of a fluctuation within the pricing, but as a rule of thumb you’re looking at around £600/$700 for the 8GB/128GB configuration and £100/$100 more if you want 12GB of memory and 256GB of storage.

If you’re interested in the possible (but even less likely) 9T Pro model, then you’ll need to pay a little more. Here are the previous Pro entries:

  8GB/128GB UK 12GB/256GB UK 8GB/128GB US 12GB/256GB US
OnePlus 9 Pro £829 £929 N/A $999
OnePlus 8 Pro £799 £899 $899 $999

What are the specs for the OnePlus 9T?

We’ve had no confirmation at this point as to what you’ll definitely see in the OnePlus 9T when it probably arrives later this year, but there have been a few tech leakers throwing their hats in the ring – though many of these leaks are now complicated by the separate rumours for the 9 RT, and some of the early leaks may in fact have been for this phone after all.

Display

Chinese leaker Yisten posted on Weibo (re-posted here on Twitter) that OnePlus will be using Samsung’s 120Hz LTPO E4 Flexible screen in the OnePlus 9T.

This yields a 1080p resolution and variable refresh rate, which will bring the OnePlus 9T closer to the 9 Pro, matching its display in just about every spec except resolution (which is QHD+ in the Pro model).

The current OnePlus 9 sports a 6.55in AMOLED display, as did the 8T before it, so this could be the size that OnePlus has settled on for the non-Pro models.

If the 9 RT arrives, as Android Central predicts, it will also reportedly use a 6.55in 120Hz AMOLED panel – the same as used in the original 9R, and thus likely not LTPO.

Design and build

Dimensions have also been consistent across the standard OnePlus models, with the 8T and 9 both measuring in at 160 x 74 x 8mm, give or take fractions of millimetres here or there. With this mind, we’d say there’s a good change this will continue with the OnePlus 9T or 9 RT.

Expect a metal frame, with the front and back coated in glass.

Processors

Processors are again something that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 was the silicon of choice in the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro, and is likely to return in the 9T if it launches.

There is also a chance that the upgraded Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ makes it onto the OnePlus platform for the first time. This could bring subtle enhancements in performance over its predecessor, making the OnePlus 9T something of a powerhouse.

As for the 9 RT, this is expected to simply re-use the Snapdragon 870 already found in the 9R. It will also supposedly use the same 4500mAh battery and 65W charging.

One quick note on specs and performance – OnePlus got into hot water this summer over reports that it was artificially limiting performance on some of its phones in order to enhance battery life. The company has apologised for the lack of transparency, and says it’s working on adding an optional toggle for the setting in Oxygen OS 12, likely to arrive around the same time as the 9T. So at least the phone should be able to take full advantage of whatever components the company puts inside it.

Cameras

One of the big selling points of the OnePlus 9 was the inclusion of technology from photography legends Hasselblad. This wasn’t quite what many had hoped though, as you’ll see from our full OnePlus 9 review.

To remedy this, there have been reports that OnePlus is set to include a 108MP Hasselblad Quad camera in the 9T. It should be pointed out that the leaker in question has since had their account suspended, so take that how you will.

That being said, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and Xiaomi Mi 11, Realme 8 Pro and Motorola Edge+ all sport a 108MP sensor, so OnePlus could be feeling industry pressure to adopt a higher resolution sensor.

Android Central predicts that the 9 RT will use the 50Mp Sony IMX766 used for the wide-angle cameras in the 9 and 9 Pro, and also used for the main sensor in the more recent Nord 2 – which is how it will be used here.

Many other smaller 9 RT specs are detailed in this spec list shared on Twitter, which matches up well with Android Central’s reporting, but otherwise remains unconfirmed:

That’s all we know so far but be sure to check back regularly as we’ll be updating this article as more information becomes available. In the meantime, take a look at best new phones coming to the UK this year and our roundup of the best smartphones.


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