Update, October 2, 2020 (03:30 PM ET): At this point, we are only a little over a week away from the official launch of the OnePlus 8T. We now are confident that some of the features below won’t make it for this release cycle, while some others will. We also know that there won’t be a OnePlus 8T Pro.
For the latest rumors and confirmed info surrounding this upcoming phone, check out our hub here.
Original article, July 1, 2020: The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro are here and available to buy. The two devices were a logical step forward of the OnePlus 7 series from 2019. That leaves us wondering: what could be on the way with the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro?
Obviously, we are far too early in the release cycle to even say with confidence that there will even be a OnePlus 8T and 8T Pro. The existence of the OnePlus Nord (and other rumored Nord devices), as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, could all have effects on how and when OnePlus releases flagship smartphones.
However, judging from the company’s history, we’re operating under the assumption that there will be a OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro landing sometime this Fall. Below, you’ll find some of the features I hope these new phones will have. These are not based on rumors we’ve heard or any kind of industry insight — it’s literally a wishlist made by a smartphone geek.
That being said, the wishlist is realistic. I’m not going to hope the headphone jack will return or that expandable storage will finally debut on a OnePlus phone. The list below is made up of features that OnePlus might put into the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro.
Wireless charging for OnePlus 8T Pro and OnePlus 8T
In the six-years-long history of OnePlus, I don’t think there’s ever been a time in which I didn’t hear fans complain about the lack of wireless charging on OnePlus phones. This year, OnePlus finally gave fans what they’ve been asking for and delivered wireless charging — but only on the OnePlus 8 Pro.
It’s pretty much a given that wireless charging will appear on the OnePlus 8T Pro, but I hope it also lands on the OnePlus 8T. It doesn’t even need to be the super-fancy 30W wireless charging system we saw on the OnePlus 8 Pro. In fact, that kind of disparity between the two phones would help keep the 8T Pro premium in comparison to the vanilla 8T.
Honestly, I don’t even use wireless charging. The main reason I want this is that it will finally stop the complaints about OnePlus devices lacking the feature.
Ditch the gimmicky camera
There’s a quad-lens camera system on the back of the OnePlus 8 Pro. As such, it’s fairly certain we’ll also see a quad-lens setup on the OnePlus 8T Pro. However, I really hope that the fourth lens is something useful and not the gimmicky color filter lens that’s on the 8 Pro.
The image above gives you an idea of what the color filter lens does. While this is a neat trick, the existence of that lens drives up the price of the phone. And for what? For taking artsy photos once or twice and then forgetting the feature even exists?
The chromatic filter lens also got OnePlus into some PR trouble recently when it was exposed that the camera could act as a pseudo-x-ray lens. The company pushed an update that temporarily disabled the lens in response, although it did re-enable it shortly thereafter.
In place of this silly lens, OnePlus could put in something useful such as an optical zoom lens, or hell, even the macro lens we saw on the vanilla OnePlus 8. Anything but the color filter lens would be welcome.
Up the storage capacity
OnePlus has shown no fear when it comes to upping the amount of RAM in its phones. The OnePlus 7 Pro from 2019 was one of the first commercial devices to offer a whopping 12GB of RAM, and the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus Nord also have 12GB variants. However, OnePlus hasn’t ever released a phone with more than 256GB of internal storage and it’s time to break that barrier.
Since no OnePlus device has ever offered expandable storage, offering a OnePlus 8T Pro in a 512GB option would be a real treat. People who might overlook OnePlus phones because they need as much storage as possible will finally be able to give the brand a chance.
This move would also have two positive side effects: it would allow OnePlus phones to directly compete with other major flagships that offer 512GB options (including iPhones) and the company could just charge extra for the higher capacity. It’s not even like it would lose money with the option. It’s a win-win for everyone!
All colorways available to all
A few years ago (but after the weird invite system), buying a OnePlus phone was very simple: head to OnePlus.com, pick your phone, and away you go. Now that the company has carrier partnerships and third-party retailers to think about, it’s started fracturing its portfolio to only allow certain colors and configurations to be sold by certain sources.
I’ve written about how annoying this is before, and I really hope OnePlus doesn’t become another Samsung in this regard. Even if the company decides to only sell a carrier version of the OnePlus 8T or OnePlus 8T Pro in one color, fans should be able to buy the device in any color/configuration available from OnePlus.com. It can (and should) be that simple.
To be clear, I’m not even saying that the OnePlus 8T and 8T Pro should come in the same colorways. That would be nice but I’m not even going that far. What I want to see is that if a colorway exists for a OnePlus phone, I should be able to get it in my country by buying it directly from OnePlus. I don’t even understand why that wouldn’t be common sense.
Dial back the curve just a bit
There are lots of debates about the benefits of curved displays. While they do have an aesthetically pleasing look that makes it seem as if the display just continues on to infinity, they do make holding a phone cumbersome. They also can cause apps to have problems displaying controls that appear near the edge of the screen. Gamers, in particular, hate how it can cause problems while holding a phone in landscape mode and using on-screen controls.
Myself, I actually quite like curved displays, but I would agree that maybe OnePlus has taken the feature a bit too far. Going back to a totally flat screen on the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro might not be in the cards, but dialing back the curves a bit would be a best-of-both-worlds solution that should make most users happy.
For what it’s worth, Samsung did just that with the Galaxy S20 series. Those phones still have curved displays, but they are much less pronounced than the ones we saw on the Galaxy S10 series. Apple is also expected to do the same with the iPhone 12 series. Follow Samsung’s and Apple’s leads here, OnePlus.
OnePlus 8T and 8T Pro pricing stays the same
We’ve got a running tally of just how much OnePlus has increased its prices over the years, which you can read here. Traditionally, the “T” series of phones feature very small price increases or sometimes none at all.
Considering that the OnePlus 8 Pro is now the most expensive offering from the company, I really hope the OnePlus 8T Pro comes in at the exact same price. Obviously, it would be nice if the company lowered the price, but that’s not likely to happen. OnePlus has jumped to the next tier on the pricing chart and it’s very rare for companies to jump back down once doing so.
However, now that we know a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus exists, it’s very possible the OnePlus 8T series could have it, which would inevitably bump up the price. I guess the best we can do at the moment is to keep our fingers crossed.
In-display selfie camera or bring back the pop-up
Ok, I will admit that the company using an in-display selfie camera system is very, very unlikely to happen with the OnePlus 8T Pro, let alone the OnePlus 8T. Instead, if we see this at all soon, it would be in the OnePlus 9 or even the OnePlus 9T.
Still, I can’t help but hope OnePlus figures out a way to get rid of the display cutout on the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. For the OnePlus 8 Pro, in particular, the display cutout seems like a step backward from the all-screen all-the-time display on the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7T Pro.
Unfortunately, I can’t decide what’s more likely: an in-display selfie camera or the return of the pop-up camera. I fear that this will be the pipe dream I won’t see come true this year.
What do you hope to see on the OnePlus 8T and OnePlus 8T Pro? Hit a button on the poll below and then head to the comments to explain your answer!