It’s a foregone conclusion that OnePlus is gearing up to launch a new phone, which it has done around this time for the past two years. The rumored OnePlus 6T has been the subject of a handful of leaks, but the basic stats aren’t hard to figure out if you know where to look. Now, OnePlus has ended speculation about at least one aspect of the phone. It says an in-display fingerprint reader is coming to the 6T.
The admission comes from an email sent to Cnet. In it, OnePlus waxes philosophical about how often people need to unlock their phones. “We unlock our phones multiple times a day, and Screen Unlock reduces the number of steps to complete the action,” the email says. Screen Unlock appears to be OnePlus’ same for the in-display fingerprint reader technology.
This admission doesn’t exactly come out of left field. A OnePlus 6T box leaked last week, featuring an outline of the phone with a fingerprint on the screen with the text “unlock the speed.” We also can’t forget that OnePlus shares a parent company with Chinese smartphone giant Oppo, and the two share designs every year. The recently released Oppo R17 will act as the base upon which OnePlus builds the 6T, and it has an in-display fingerprint sensor. OnePlus will likely change the design of the back panel and swap in more powerful internals for the 6T.
Adding the necessary components for Screen Unlock to the display added just 0.45mm of thickness to the 6T compared with the 6, according to Cnet. The sensor is actually under the display, which is why it only works with OLED panels currently. When you press the screen, the display lights up to highlight your finger. An optical sensor under the panel reads the fingerprint and unlocks the phone. We also expect the OnePlus 6T to move to a smaller teardrop-shaped screen notch. The OnePlus 6 has a notch, and it’s already among the most compact on any Android phones.
Several phones have launched with in-display fingerprint sensors, but they’ve been restricted to China and a few other Asian markets. None of the big international players like Samsung or LG have ventured into the realm of in-display fingerprint sensors. Apple seems to be leaving fingerprint unlock behind entirely with its new focus on Face ID. We don’t really know how well these in-display sensors will work anyway. Maybe it won’t be worth the hassle.
The phone is expected next month with a $550 price tag for the unlocked variant. For the first time, OnePlus may have a US carrier deal as well. Rumors point to T-Mobile selling the 6T in stores.
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