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HomeNewsThe OnePlus 9T may be cancelled. Here's what we know so far.

The OnePlus 9T may be cancelled. Here’s what we know so far.

A OnePlus 9 upgrade could arrive this fall. Here’s what we know so far.

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The OnePlus phone release schedule used to be beautifully straightforward: the Chinese phonemaker would release a flagship sometime in spring or early summer, followed by a T model with some minor improvements on the original in late fall. Last year’s OnePlus 8T improved on the OnePlus 8 with its 120Hz AMOLED display and 65W charging at a slightly higher price than the 8. Simple!

But recently, OnePlus started shipping its phones in more markets — and made its lineup more complicated. “Pro” phones appeared in 2019, followed by a surge of mid-range phones like the OnePlus Nord 2 and budget handsets like the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. To top it off, the OnePlus 9R launched earlier this year, which our reviewer noted was essentially a rebranded OnePlus 8T.

In the midst of this crowded lineup and a global chip shortage, the big question for OnePlus fans is whether or not we’ll see a OnePlus 9T in 2021. A recent, widely-covered leak suggested the 9T could be cancelled; will OnePlus truly not release a major new phone through the rest of 2021?

Even if the OnePlus 9T has been “canceled,” it doesn’t necessarily mean the phone won’t be released in some form. If it does still arrive, the OnePlus 9T would undoubtedly improve on the OnePlus 9, one of the best Android phones available today. Here’s everything we know and suspect about this uncertain upgrade.

Jump to:

  • Availability
  • Price
  • Design
  • Specs
  • Software

A great, cheap Android flagship

OnePlus 9

oneplus-9-pro-render-official-morning-mi

$650 at Amazon
$650 at Best Buy

Don’t wait for affordable quality

While we expect the OnePlus 9T to improve on the OnePlus 9 for its display and cameras, the 9 has dropped in price since launch, making it a great deal to snag right now. It has the cutting-edge Snapdragon 888, a 120Hz display, good camera performance, and more cool perks.

OnePlus 9T Availability

oneplus-8t-35.jpgThe OnePlus 8T arrived in October 2020.

As we mentioned, many experts believe the OnePlus 9T won’t launch in 2021, thanks to tweets by frequent OnePlus leaker Max Jambor claiming that there’ll be “no 9T” this year, or possibly at all. He claimed that the OnePlus 9 already has all the features one could want in a flagship, leaving the OnePlus 9T no way to improve on its screen, cameras, or charging.

Why would you need a 9T? What would you expect this phone to do better?A better screen? Better than 9 Series? -NoBetter charging? Better than 65W? -NoNew SoC? The 888+? Maybe, but the 888 is just fineA better cam? 9 Series is already good – maybe some software tweaks

— Max Jambor (@MaxJmb) July 27, 2021

OnePlus itself hasn’t officially commented on this news. Given how congested OnePlus’s release schedule has been, the 9T brand may very well be cancelled in favor of new brands like the 9R. But we still don’t know for sure what form a late-2021 phone launch from OnePlus might take.

Assuming the 9T does arrive this year, it’s easy to predict when it will appear. Each previous T model from the 3T onwards launched somewhere between late September and mid-November, giving a pretty clear window. The OnePlus 8T launched in October 2020, six months after the OnePlus 9 — though other T phones arrived a mere four months after their predecessors.

An un-canceled OnePlus 9T would arrive somewhere in that same September–November 2021 window. Given the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro arrived in early April, an October 2021 launch window would make sense.

OnePlus 9T: Price

oneplus-9-series-8.jpgThe 9T could have a similar price tag to the 9 (above).

The OnePlus 7T shipped at $599, cheaper than the initial OnePlus 7 price, but that T model was a unique case, given OnePlus also released a 7T Pro that year with better features. The OnePlus 8T cost $749, $50 more than the OnePlus 8 did at launch but much less than the $899 OnePlus 8 Pro.

You can safely assume OnePlus would base the OnePlus 9T price on the OnePlus 9, given that it will likely offer similar specs with a slight upgrade. Since the 9 cost $729 versus $969 for the Pro, you’d expect the 9T to fall somewhere in the middle. It’ll trend higher or lower depending on what, exactly, it upgrades.

Also, if you choose to upgrade your storage and RAM, that typically costs an extra $100 for OnePlus phones.

OnePlus 9T: Design

oneplus-9r-lake-blue.jpgExpect OnePlus to switch things up (somewhat) from the recently released 9R (above).

Most OnePlus phones have distinct design aesthetics you’ll recognize across generations; expect a OnePlus to have a glass back with striking color options, plus (in the last couple of years) a flat display.

Otherwise, OnePlus tends to experiment with new designs with its T series phones, then give its next primary phone a similar design. The OnePlus 8T, for instance, flattened the 8’s display while thickening the device itself to fit a larger battery and better cooling vents; then, the OnePlus 9 essentially kept the 8T’s design except for adjusting the camera module.

In other words, the OnePlus 9T likely will resemble the OnePlus 10 more than the OnePlus 9. And we obviously don’t know what that will look like yet.

We can make some educated guesses based on previous OnePlus models. The 9T will likely have an in-screen fingerprint sensor, dual stereo speakers, some water resistance, a glass back, and a plastic frame — but no expandable storage. OnePlus used to rely on metal for its phones — including for the 8T — but after switching to plastic to the 9 and 9R, it’s a safe bet OnePlus will keep reserving metal for Pro models moving forward. And while the 9 and 9R lacked an official water resistance rating, they were both unofficially IP68 resistant, so expect that trend to continue with the 9T.

OnePlus also tends to tweak its camera module with every new phone; the 8T and 9R both have wider camera modules than the OnePlus flagships, for instance. We won’t baselessly speculate on the 9T’s module, but we doubt it will simply imitate what came before.

OnePlus 9T: Specs

oneplus-9-pro-24.jpgLike the OnePlus 9 Pro, the 9T could have an LTPO display.

We’ve only spotted one OnePlus 9T specs leak thus far. A Weibo tipster (spotted by @techdroider) claimed that “OnePlus likely to use Samsung’s 120Hz LTPO E4 Flexible Screen in the OnePlus 9T. 1080P Resolution + Variable RR.” He also said definitively that “There’s no 9T Pro this year.” It seems more and more that the OnePlus 7T/ 7T Pro dual release was a one-year experiment that won’t be repeated.

OnePlus likely to use Samsung’s 120Hz LTPO E4 Flexible Screen in the OnePlus 9T. 1080P Resolution + Variable RR. There’s no 9T Pro this year./Yisten (Weibo) pic.twitter.com/J49BMaNniQ

— TechDroider (@techdroider) May 29, 2021

The OnePlus 9 and 9R both supported 120Hz, but as a fixed mode. Only the 9 Pro supported a variable refresh rate (VRR), improving battery performance for less demanding apps and improving always-on display features. So it’s particularly cool to think that the 9T will get this technology as well — even if it’s only for an FHD+ display instead of the 9 Pro’s QHD+.

From the 9R to the 7T, every non-Pro OnePlus has had a 6.55-inch AMOLED display with a 20:9 aspect ratio…so don’t be shocked if that returns for the 9T. Most start with an 8GB/128GB base configuration with a 12GB/256GB upgrade. And you can expect fast 65W-or-higher wired charging to make a return from the 9 and 9R. But otherwise, we don’t have any hard information on what the 9T will have for its Snapdragon chipset, cameras, battery size, or other specs.

OnePlus 9T: Software

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When the OnePlus 8T arrived, it had Android 11 (or OxygenOS 11) straight out of the box. If the OnePlus 9T has a similar release date and OxygenOS 12 development goes as planned, you may see Android 12 installed by default. And given that OnePlus has promised three years of Android updates and four years of security updates, that would mean the 9T would eventually get Android 15 and have full security support through 2025.

Currently, OnePlus is under fire for throttling app performance on its flagships to improve battery life, without letting users know or adding a toggle option. But it will reportedly allow you to turn off throttling with OxygenOS 12, making this instant access to the OS a useful perk.

A great, cheap Android flagship

OnePlus 9

oneplus-9-pro-render-official-morning-mi

$650 at Amazon
$650 at Best Buy

Don’t wait for affordable quality

While we expect the OnePlus 9T would improve on the OnePlus 9 for its display and cameras, the 9 has dropped in price since launch, making it a great deal to snag right now. It has the cutting-edge Snapdragon 888, a 120Hz display, good camera performance, and more cool perks.

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