One of the world's largest phone makers, Oppo, announced the R17
not long ago, with one of the most minimalistic, "water drop" style notches around, and the first phone with Corning's Gorilla Glass 6
. It just released the Pro version, too, with the same tiny notch and in-display finger scanner, but a triple-camera setup.
Say what you will about the notch copycat ways of Chinese phone makers, but there is also a rather visible trend for interesting ideas to increasingly come from the likes of Huawei, Oppo, Vivo or Xiaomi lately. Triple-camera P20 Pro
and slide-out Oppo Find X
mechanisms come to mind. What we have on the R17 Pro, however, is not your grandaddy's tri-camera set, like on the P20 Pro
, but rather a sensor tasked with depth measuring time-of-flight (ToF) duties.
Why on the rear camera? Well, the tech is different than the 3D structured light face-reading kits on the front of phones like the iPhone X
or Find X
. What could a ToF camera do at the back? It can help with gesture navigation, and create augmented reality (AR) experiences, like trying on new clothes in the virtual domain, or rearranging the furniture. In addition, the main 12MP lens of the R17 Pro sports a variable aperture, like on the Galaxy S9
, and with exactly the same f/1.5-f/2.4 specs.
This triple camera with 3D ToF sensor may land in the OnePlus 6T
Why are we paying so much attention to a phone that you'd likely only be able to import? Well, it's not only because of the unique 3D stereo ToF camera, but rather because tipsters in the know say that this will be the basis for the upcoming OnePlus 6T
. Despite the PR people protests, it's pretty much established that OnePlus, Oppo and Vivo are under the same holding company, and even use the same conveyor belts to assemble their goods. The OnePlus brand is established as the Trojan horse to take on the Western market without triggering all the backlash that the current trade and spy war with China would entail for a humble local manufacturer.
OnePlus 6T specs
Thus, if the OnePlus 6T
is indeed based on the R17 Pro, it could be the West's first phone with 3D depth-sensing rear camera, in addition to the 25MP AI selfie kit at the front. The upper midrange Snapdragon 710 chipset will probably be replaced with a flagship 845, as is the OnePlus' habit, while the 8GB RAM/128GB storage combo is likely to stay the same.
Thus, we may be looking at a largish, 6.4-inch AMOLED handset from OnePlus with a stellar screen-to-body ratio, and a two-pack battery that will employ new Dash fast-charging
technology. Dash Charge is an offshoot of Oppo's VOOC charging, and would, in this case, allow the combined 3700mAh of battery power to be charged 40% in just 10 minutes.
Oppo calls it Super VOOC charging, OnePlus may call it Super Dash, but it will basically be the same 50W charging premise. Huawei, which is currently at the top of the fastest charging rates pyramid, is expected to introduce 40W charging with the Mate 20 Pro
, but OnePlus 6T might very well get it beat in that department. To recap, these might be the expected OnePlus 6T specs, based on what the R17 Pro carries:
- 6.4" OLED display with waterdrop notch and 1080x2340 resolution
- Snapdragon 845 chipset with 8GB RAM/128GB storage combo
- 12MP main camera with variable f/1.5-f/2.4 aperture + 20MP secondary camera + TOF 3D stereo camera
- 25MP front camera sensor with AI enhancements
- Dual 2x1850mAh battery with 50W Dash Charge (40% in 10 minutes)
OnePlus 6T expected price and release date
Coming a year after the OnePlus 5T
means a November release, when most of the big boys are done and dusted with their fall flagships, so the 6T will have every chance to make a big splash it OnePlus prices it right. The R17 Pro runs for the equivalent of $620 even in China, so OnePlus might have to cut some corners to land a 6T with 8-series Snapdragon at that price or lower, and it remains to be seen which ones.
Alternatively, since T-Mobile is said to be the first US carrier picking the 6T officially
, we might see some subsidies thrown its way when it lands, too. We only hope that the unique 3D-sensing camera on the back with 7-layer lenses, the in-display fingerprint reader, and the 50W charging speeds remain unscathed, as these will make a unique proposition out of the 6T, at what will likely be a price hard to beat.