Android Pie rolling out now to OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T

Android Pie rolling out now to OnePlus 5, OnePlus 5T


Pierre Suu via Getty Images

The OnePlus 5 and 5T are finally getting Android Pie. The latest version of Google’s operating system is being made available to the OnePlus handsets via an over-the-air update. The rollout started this morning and will make its way to most devices over the next couple days according to OnePlus.

The official update to Android Pie comes after OnePlus launched an open beta period to test the new OS on the OnePlus 5 and 5T. Shortly after the beta, an official update was made available for Chinese users. While the 5 and 5T get to make the jump to Pie and the OnePlus 6 got a Pie update almost immediately, there’s been no word on whether the rest of the company’s lineup will be getting the upgrade any time soon.

With today’s announcement, the OnePlus 5 and 5T join Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and S9+ in getting the call up to Android Pie. Samsung started rolling out the update to its flagship smartphones earlier this week, even though Pie wasn’t scheduled to be made available for the devices until January 2019.

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The OnePlus 6T McLaren edition packs 10GB of RAM

The OnePlus 6T McLaren edition packs 10GB of RAM

OnePlus can’t stop making different variants of its flagships, and its latest effort is the result of a team-up with car maker McLaren. The new OnePlus 6T McLaren edition is basically a tweaked version of the phone maker’s latest flagship, that’s designed to deliver the speed you’d expect from a race car-branded handset.

Gallery: OnePlus 6T McLaren edition first look | 9 Photos

The most obvious upgrade is the McLaren 6T’s 10GB of RAM, compared to the 6GB or 8GB on the regular model. This should provide plenty of power for multitasking, on top of the beefy Snapdragon 845 processor that also sits in the original flagship. By our count, there are only three other phones with this much RAM on the market, but those are pretty niche devices that are mostly available in China right now.

The McLaren 6T is also speedier in getting back to full strength, thanks to OnePlus’ new standard Warp Charge 30, which is supposed to give you “a day’s power” in 20 minutes. It uses a new charger and battery design and refined power management system that delivers juice to your phone quickly even when you’re using it. Warp Charge 30 is also supposed to prevent the device from getting too hot while plugged in.

Other than these two tune-ups, the changes in this special edition of the OnePlus 6T are cosmetic. An orange stripe (in McLaren’s signature Papaya Orange) runs along the bottom edge of the phone before fading into black near the middle, and the Warp charging cable comes in the same shade of orange as well. You’ll also notice a subtle dot pattern on the phone under the glass rear, which is based on the car maker’s carbon fiber design.

OnePlus 6T McLaren edition

In person, the dot pattern is subtle and alluring when it catches the light. The orange stripe is unique and the first time I noticed it I thought it was a glowing effect. The whole phone feels as premium as the glossy version of the OnePlus 6T, which is nice, but is oh so prone to fingerprints and smudging.

There are some other Easter eggs with the McLaren edition of the handset that should please car racing fans. A McLaren AR app on the phone activates behind-the-scenes and special feature videos when you point the camera at the booklet that comes in the box. That box, by the way, features the McLaren Speedmark logo recreated in F1 AA-grade carbon fiber — the same material used in the company’s MCL33 2018 Formula 1 car.

We haven’t put the OnePlus 6T McLaren edition through its paces yet, and can’t vouch for how much better it performs against the regular flagship. What I can tell so far though is that my experience with the AR app was smooth for the most part, with small delays before some of the videos loaded.

It seems like we can expect more McLaren editions of OnePlus devices in the future, too. The phone maker’s CEO Pete Lau said in a statement that this handset is the “start of an exciting partnership with McLaren, giving people a feeling of incredible speed and performance.” In the meantime, the OnePlus 6T McLaren edition will be available in North America, Europe and India on December 13th starting at $699. That’s about $120 more than the original 6T, which is a steal considering the specs rival the likes of far more expensive phones like the iPhone XS Max and Galaxy Note 9.

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On-stage mistake means OnePlus won’t have the first Snapdragon 855 phone

On-stage mistake means OnePlus won’t have the first Snapdragon 855 phone

OnePlus was thrust into the limelight earlier this week when CEO Pete Lau announced on-stage that one of its 2019 flagship phones would be the first device to launch with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 chipset. As it turns out, what seemed like a major coup for the upstart hardware maker was actually a huge mistake.

Chinese versions of the slide deck Pete Lau used to make the announcement at Qualcomm’s Tech Summit in Hawaii said that the phone in question would be “among the first” smartphones to use the 855 — the problem is, the slides used for the presentation in Hawaii definitively said it would be the first. Needless to say, that’s a serious blunder for a company enjoying a moment under the spotlight, not to mention a disappointment to the many fans who took that slide at face value.

A OnePlus spokesperson confirmed the mistake to Engadget, and said that the person who wrote the slide was not a native English speaker. As a result, our original report was mistaken (we’ve since updated the story), but the issues here run deep. On multiple occasions on Wednesday — including in an interview conducted with CEO Pete Lau — OnePlus spokespeople confirmed to Engadget that its phone would indeed be the first device with a Snapdragon 855 chipset. It wasn’t until we informed the company of the discrepancy between its different slide decks that any of its employees even noticed the problem.

“We appreciate the opportunity to clarify that we will be one of the first to have access to, and use, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, and apologise for the miscommunication,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The confusion appears to center around the use of the word “feature” — some inside apparently believed that by saying the phone in question would be the “first to feature” the 855, it was actually saying that the company was the first to get access to the chipset from Qualcomm. While that may be true, the language used in the slide presented to an international audience of journalists clearly suggested otherwise. The confusion ran so deep that members of the OnePlus social media team trumpeted the announcement on Twitter, apparently unaware of the miscommunication.

OnePlus

At least Qualcomm doesn’t appear to be concerned about the mistake. When asked for comment, a spokesperson told Engadget that “it’s on not us to claim which partner is going to be first to do anything.” Even with that being the case, the very public nature of the error also calls into question OnePlus’s overall maturity as a company.

OnePlus shipped its first smartphone in 2014, and has succeeded in growing a devoted base of users around the world, but the progress hasn’t come without its perils: The credit card details of up to 40,000 OnePlus users were intercepted between November 2017 and January 2018, and before that, the company inadvertently left a backdoor open in certain devices that allowed root access to the device without having to unlock its bootloader first. And less than a month before that, the company drew the ire of users and privacy advocates when it was revealed that OnePlus devices relayed personally identifiable device information to the company without specific user permission.

OnePlus’s on-stage mistake is one of the company’s more public (and likely most embarrassing) errors, but it’s only one of a handful of notable missteps made in the past two years. As OnePlus’s profile continues to rise, we can only hope that it more consistently tries to address issues like these (and others) before they begin to seriously impact the company’s business.

Chris is Engadget’s senior mobile editor and moonlights as a professional moment ruiner. His early years were spent taking apart Sega consoles and writing awful fan fiction. That passion for electronics and words would eventually lead him to covering startups of all stripes at TechCrunch. The first phone he ever swooned over was the Nokia 7610, because man, those curves.


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OnePlus’s CEO is working to keep its 5G smartphone under $1,000

OnePlus’s CEO is working to keep its 5G smartphone under $1,000

OnePlus built something of a minor smartphone empire by building cheap flagship phones, and that trend just might continue as it ventures into 5G territory. In an interview with Engadget, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said he would do his best to make sure the company’s first 5G phone available to customers for under $1,000. If true, that means OnePlus would be able to offer access to ultra-fast data speeds for less than the price of a standard, 2018 flagship smartphone.

That’s a big deal any way you look at it, but the reality of the situation might even be easier on your wallet than that. While the company isn’t quite ready to talk final prices yet, Lau mentioned (with the help of an interpreter) that he personally wants to keep the 5G premium to around $2-300 — that would mean that 5G device could cost between $750 and $850 when it launches.

To be clear, that’s relatively pricey for a OnePlus phone, but still plenty competitive for a flagship device. And for now at lease, Lau’s comments provide one of the first glimpses into smartphone pricing as we begin to step into the 5G era. The new components needed to make phones compatible with 5G are (perhaps obviously) more expensive than the bits you’ll currently find in smartphones, though it has been difficult to tell exactly how much more expensive. Samsung, the company producing the first 5G smartphones for Verizon and AT&T, hasn’t talked about price yet, and neither have the carriers involved. Needless to say, it still feels a bit like we’re in the Wild West of the 5G era — not that the laconic Lau is particularly worried.

That’s made more interesting by the fact that OnePlus — and by extension, Lau — have made almost startlingly big steps forward in recent months. With the launch of the OnePlus 6T, the upstart hardware maker landed its first US carrier deal with T-Mobile, gained a crucial certification from Verizon, finagled a deal to become the first smartphone maker to produce a Snapdragon 855-based phone and partnered with UK carrier EE to launch the first 5G phone in Europe next year. Just like that, OnePlus isn’t just a company that makes cheap flagship phones — these announcements give it a level of clout it never had before. As far as Lau is concerned, though, the impact on the team and its underlying priorities has essentially been nil.

OnePlus

“First and foremost, we’re centered on getting the product right and focusing on our users,” Lau said, before adding that the company would continue its flagship-only focus. As it happens, “getting the product right” has some very specific connotations inside OnePlus — Lau pledged that the future 5G OnePlus phone would feature a design that was as sleek as existing devices like the 6T, mostly because the company didn’t want to alienate its long-time fans. Of course, that’s not to say Lau will necessarily stick to business as usual while navigating the company into these new waters. He’s fascinated by the idea that these devices are becoming “smarter,” and with that boost in intelligence comes a potentially game-changing shift in how we actually interact with our phones.

“You should be able to feel that you can use [your phone] in a traditional sense less,” he said. “The device should be capable of doing more things for you their behalf without needing to necessarily interact with it.” That process of heightening a device’s intelligence comes as a result of persistent, high-speed 5G data connections and the hardware-level machine learning improvements found in the Snapdragon 855, and Lau said that a more pronounced focus on AI was the “larger direction” OnePlus was moving in.

While OnePlus has largely stuck to an understandable formula since launch — sell high-end components for a mid-range price — the company seems to be on the verge of even greater performance. Not bad for a company that only released its first phone four years ago. And thankfully, we won’t have to wait too long to take the world’s first Snapdragon 855 phone out for a spin. Publicly, Lau has said that the company is broadly targeting the first half of 2019 for an official launch. That said, when asked whether OnePlus would push out its 5G phone around Mobile World Congress, Lau and his translator said that the time period I was guess was “close to on-point.”

Chris is Engadget’s senior mobile editor and moonlights as a professional moment ruiner. His early years were spent taking apart Sega consoles and writing awful fan fiction. That passion for electronics and words would eventually lead him to covering startups of all stripes at TechCrunch. The first phone he ever swooned over was the Nokia 7610, because man, those curves.


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The purple OnePlus 6T is coming to North America and Europe

The purple OnePlus 6T is coming to North America and Europe


OnePlus

When the OnePlus 6T launched earlier this month, buyers had two options when it came to color — a matte black and a glossy black. But soon, customers in North America and Europe will be able to snag a purple variant of the phone. The Thunder Purple option will be available through OnePlus’ online store starting November 15th.

These won’t be the first markets to get the new variant, however. Thunder Purple debuted in China last week, but at the time, it wasn’t clear if the variant would be a regional launch or if it would be expanded elsewhere. Phones in the new color variant are black at the top and gradually fade into purple.

Thunder Purple phones come with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Like the other color variants with that configuration, it will cost $579.

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OnePlus 6T is coming to T-Mobile on November 1st

OnePlus 6T is coming to T-Mobile on November 1st


Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Yes, the rumor was true: OnePlus is making its phones available through a US carrier for the first time. T-Mobile will sell the OnePlus 6T through both its retail stores and online as of November 1st as part of an exclusive deal. It’ll normally sell for $580 up front in an 8GB/128GB configuration ($0 down and $24.17 per month for two years), but it’ll be available for $300 ($0 down and $11.67 per month) for a “limited time” if you trade in qualifying hardware. And if you’re particularly eager, you can score the 6T at the T-Mobile store in New York City’s Times Square on October 29th at 5PM Eastern.

It’s a landmark arrangement for OnePlus. Carrier deals are frequently a must-have for strong phone sales in the US, and this promises to expose millions of Americans to the OnePlus badge for the first time — it’s not just for in-the-know enthusiasts anymore. This is also a coup against OnePlus’ fellow Chinese rivals. Where Huawei and ZTE have quickly become personas non grata in the American market due to allegations of Chinese surveillance, BBK-owned OnePlus is making inroads. The brand just doesn’t have that stigma attached to it — and it may succeed where a giant like Huawei was shut out.

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Life with the OnePlus 6T: A better phone with less compromise

Life with the OnePlus 6T: A better phone with less compromise

OnePlus has been churning out two smartphones a year since 2016, and that sheer speed means some of those rapid-fire sequels weren’t as exciting as we would’ve hoped. (Here’s looking at you, 5T.) Despite sharing a lot with its predecessor, you can’t really say the same of the new OnePlus 6T.

It’s a phone that, in many ways, is defined by its firsts: this is the first phone to be sold in the US with an in-display fingerprint sensor. This is the first OnePlus phone ever to work on Verizon. And it’s the first OnePlus ever to get the full sales support of a major US carrier — in this case, T-Mobile. For years, the company has insisted on measured growth, but now it seems to be sitting right at the edge of a huge moment. We’ve had the phone for less than a week and publishing a full review didn’t feel quite right yet, but in the meantime, I find myself nearly sold. As the company prepares to go big in the US, this phone just might be the right phone at the right time.

OnePlus 6T hands-on

I don’t mean to sound shallow, but that’s at least partially due to the phone’s looks. OnePlus will release the 6T in glossy and matte black finishes, and they both look great. The most striking change, however, is the display: we’re working with a new 6.41-inch Optic AMOLED screen with a tiny dewdrop cut out of it to accommodate the front-facing camera.

This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen this approach to the notch, but it is one of the first we’ve seen on a phone in the US, and it makes a world of difference. It’s hardly noticeable after a few moments, and it helps keep this big screen feeling as immersive as it should. And size isn’t everything in this case, either: it runs at 2340 x 1080 so everything is nice and crisp, and you’ll get some very bright colors right out of the box. (Thankfully, the 6T supports some fairly nuanced screen color controls if the default isn’t really your thing.)



Nestled under that display is a full-blown fingerprint sensor, and yeah, the novelty hasn’t worn off yet. There’s still something delightedly mind-breaking about pressing my thumb onto the screen and watching the 6T spring to life. That said, it is a bit — and in my experience, noticeably — slower than a standard fingerprint sensor. OnePlus concedes the difference in speed but notes their in-display approach is just a fraction of a second slower than the traditional sensor baked into the 6.

Still, it’s there; on a few occasions, the incredibly quick Face Unlock feature kicked in before the fingerprint sensor did. Whether anyone aside from persnickety phone people will actually make note of this speed is another story entirely. More importantly, OnePlus says this fingerprint sensor is as secure as any other they’ve used in the past, and it’s usable for authenticating payments and Play Store transactions.

It’s also worth noting that the 6T is actually a bit thicker than the phone it replaces. We’re talking about a fraction of a fraction of an inch here — the actual change in thickness is something like .45mm — but some people will definitely notice. Personally, I think the slight redesign was worth it because it meant OnePlus could pack a 3,700mAh battery in the 6T, up from the 3,300mAh batteries the company has used for years. That might not be the most dramatic change in an age where smartphone batteries can easily hit 4,000mAh, but I’m certainly not going to complain since the 6T routinely sticks around for 1.5 days of use. (We’ll have some more specific battery life figures ready when we publish our full review.)

Gallery: Hands-on with the OnePlus 6T | 7 Photos

Other components inside the 6T will sound familiar — we’re once again looking at a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, and this time it runs Android 9.0 Pie like a dream. (Google would do well to copy a few of the flourishes here, like the simple navigation gestures.) Certain aspects of performance, like app launch times, should improve over time too. That’s all thanks to a new feature called Smart Boost — long story short, the phone is designed to figure out what apps and games you use the most and will load some assets directly into RAM in anticipation of you actually doing your thing. That’s the idea, anyway: for now, the feature is only tuned to work with games since they typically need to load lots of data on first launch.

And as usual, the 6T is available with either 6 or 8GB of RAM, but the real difference is how much storage you’ll get right out of the box. The standard, 6GB model comes with 128GB of storage, while the pricier 8GB model is loaded with 256GB of storage. That increased storage goes a long way in justifying the 6T’s higher, $549 starting price, to the point where this still feels like one of the best smartphone deals you’ll find right now.

There is one first that OnePlus shouldn’t feel too proud about, though: as of the 6T, the company has officially ditched the headphone jack. The move wouldn’t sting so much if its own fans didn’t overwhelmingly seem to support wired audio, but OnePlus’s corporate parents may not have left it with many choices.



For better or worse, though, the camera hasn’t really changed much. OnePlus went with the same dual-sensor setup as it did earlier this year, pairing a Sony-made 16-megapixel main camera with a 20-megapixel secondary cam that’s only ever used for depth and background blurring effects. For those who haven’t used a OnePlus camera, the experience has historically been pretty average — the photos they churned out were always pleasant enough, but a long way from flagship quality.

The same goes for the 6T. The biggest addition to the mix here is a Nightscape mode that works a lot like the super-low-light modes we’ve seen in other devices this year; the phone captures a handful of different exposures over the course of about two seconds, then stitches them all together for a single photo with improved clarity and dynamic range. The results have undeniably solid so far, but it’s a relatively niche feature and not terribly well-suited for bars and restaurants — the two places I tend to see people using smartphone cameras in the dark most. With all that said, though, the main camera’s f/1.7 aperture is remarkably good at sucking up light in dark places; it’s just too bad that the 6T seems to have trouble focusing when the world around you is dim.

Until we finish our full review, it seems premature to make any sweeping verdicts. I will say, however, that OnePlus has learned a lot in its handful of years in the market, and the 6T is proof that it’s really starting to hit its stride. It might not be a must-have for people who already invested in this year’s OnePlus 6, but everyone else is in for what might be the smartphone steal of the year.

Verizon owns Engadget’s parent company, Oath (formerly AOL). Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.

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OnePlus 6T review: A hero phone without the sky-high price

OnePlus 6T review: A hero phone without the sky-high price

This is how I know I’m in a tech bubble: When I’m with colleagues and peers at work, mostly everyone is familiar with OnePlus. But once I step out into daylight, say, when someone at a party asks what I do and then follows that up to ask what phones I like, I’m always caught off guard when they say, “OnePlus who?”

I don’t blame them. After all, OnePlus’ main advertising method is word-of-mouth, pop-up shops and a strong social media and online presence. Altogether, it makes for a loyal and enthusiastic fanbase. But with no brick-and-mortar retailers stocking its products, no (prior) carrier relationships and no commercial advertising in the US, it makes sense that people here have hardly heard of the brand — despite it now launching its ninth phone, the OnePlus 6T.

The company is trying to change that though. Though its phones work unlocked with GSM networks including AT&T, OnePlus is partnering for the first time with a carrier, T-Mobile, to sell the 6T. And while it has no commercial relationship with Verizon, the 6T is certified to work on the network. I tested it and it indeed makes calls and connects to LTE with a Verizon SIM. It doesn’t work on other CDMA carriers like Sprint, however.

This is a good thing because if you’re looking for a top phone, you should know about the OnePlus 6T. In a market where premium phones that go for more than $700, sometimes topping even $1,000, it offers much of the same top-tier hardware — including a speedy Snapdragon 845 chipset, great dual-rear cameras and the latest Android Pie — for hundreds less. (For specifics, check out the price chart below.) It’s also the first widely available phone in the US to feature a fingerprint sensor embedded inside its display.

OnePlus 6T pricing

Phone Storage RAM Price
OnePlus 6T 128GB 6GB $549, £TBD (AU$774 converted)
OnePlus 6T 128GB 8GB $579, £TBD (AU$817 converted)
OnePlus 6T 256GB 8GB $629, £TBD (AU$887 converted)

Faithful OnePlus fans are already privy to all this. And they might actually be disappointed in some of the 6T’s changes, including the lack of a headphone jack and a higher starting price than before. The price was bumped up because the baseline storage option doubled from 64GB to 128GB.

But whether you knew about the company for years or just heard about them today, the OnePlus 6T is a fantastic phone that costs much less than its competitors. And if the company continues to make inroads with carriers and retailers in the US and other countries, it won’t be long before I won’t have to explain what it is at my next social gathering.

So if you don’t know OnePlus by now, it’s time you do.

OnePlus 6T’s forward-looking in-screen fingerprint scanner

Though available on other phones like the Vivo Nex, Oppo R17, Xiaomi Mi 8 Explorer Edition and Huawei Mate 20 Pro, the OnePlus 6T wins bragging rights as the first in the US to have a fingerprint-on-display scanner (or FOD). That means you can scan your fingerprint on the front of the display to unlock your screen. It also means that the phone can have really thin bezels all around.

By putting the fingerprint scanner inside the screen, OnePlus claims it’ll also eliminate the extra step of picking up your phone to unlock it. But I didn’t notice any big improvements in my day-to-day life. When the phone is already in my hand, I have to look for the (relatively small) sensor area on the display and scoot my thumb down to use it. When the reader was on the back of the OnePlus 6, my grip would stay the same and I’d just move my finger (without needing to look for the sensor) to unlock my phone. 

Also, while the FOD works fast enough the majority of the time — and OnePlus claims that at 0.34 seconds, it’s the fastest FOD sensor — there were instances when it didn’t appear to work as quickly as the dedicated fingerprint scanner did on the OnePlus  6 (which could scan your fingerprint at 0.2 seconds). It might just be a hair of a difference, but from having used the 6 regularly, I can feel that split second variance.

oneplus-6t-2969

The OnePlus 6T’s teardrop-shaped notch.


James Martin/CNET

If you’re not feeling the in-screen fingerprint scanner, you can still use your face or a PIN to unlock the phone. But know that this is just the beginning for FOD. Other companies are getting into it, including Samsung, and 100 million phones are estimated to ship with it in 2019

It’s not gimmicky that OnePlus included it in the 6T, as it looks like it could be a major feature in future phones, and I suppose it’s always nice to be one of the first. But it could stand to work faster and take up a larger area on the 6T, so there’s definitely room for the company to improve for the next iteration.

Because of the space the FOD takes inside the phone, OnePlus also lopped off the headphone jack on the 6T, joining the likes of recent iPhones, the Google Pixel 3 and others. The company confirmed this decision in September, but it may still sting for OnePlus fans who, given OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei tweets from years past, believed the company wouldn’t abandon it. But alas, it did.

If you don’t already own wireless headphones to listen to music and calls, OnePlus included a USB Type-C to 3.5-millimeter headphone port dongle in the box. As someone who likes her regular wired headphones, the whole move is a drag and carrying around an adapter gets annoying.

oneplus-6t-3446

Without a headphone port, you’ll need to use a dongle to connect your 3.5mm wired headphones.


James Martin/CNET

Other design takeaways:

  • The onscreen notch is smaller than it was on the OnePlus 6. It’s now a less obtrusive “teardrop” instead of a black tab (more like blech tab, amiright?) and I like it. (It makes sense to shrink the notch anyway since the front of the phone doesn’t include extra sensors or an infrared camera that, say, an iPhone requires to make FaceID work.) But if you still hate the teardrop, you can blacken the sides that flank it in Settings for a more traditional look.
  • Though it’s only apparent when you have both in the hand, the OnePlus 6T is heavier than the 6, and it feels much more dense. For specifics on the phone’s measurements, as well as more info on the display, check out the spec chart at the end of this review.
  • OnePlus 6T comes in two coatings: a matte Midnight Black variant and a glossy Mirror Black. I prefer the understatedness of the matte variant. OnePlus didn’t mention any other colors in the works for the 6T, but in the past, it released other variants after an initial phone launch (such as red, gold, white, pink and even an obscenely expensive black and white design).

OnePlus 6T serves up Android Pie

Running Google‘s latest Android 9.0 Pie out of the box, the OnePlus 6T incorporates many of Pie’s updates including gesture navigation, adaptive battery (in which the phone learns what apps you don’t use often and limits system resources to them) and more options to tweak your phone’s settings when it’s in Do Not Disturb mode.

There are additional gestures unique to OxygenOS — that’s what OnePlus calls its Android skin — that you can enable too, though I rarely recall them while using the phone (like drawing “||” on the lockscreen to play or pause music??). But other than that, and a few extras things listed below, OnePlus didn’t add much else to the OS. I welcome this, given that one of my favorite things about OnePlus phones is its minimalist take on Android and lack of bloatware.

oneplus-6t-3431

With Android Pie’s gesture navigation, you’ll need to swipe upward from the bottom to access recent apps.


James Martin/CNET

More software tidbits:

  • The accent color can be any color. This is an unimportant thing, but I’m jazzed that accent theme colors aren’t limited to eight shades any longer. You can choose any color now, and even search by hex code. Woo!
  • Smart Boost works in the background and helps to launch your frequently used apps and games faster. I haven’t used the phone enough to notice any differences, but OnePlus claims the feature improves launch speeds by 5 to 20 percent.
  • Activate Google Assistant by long-pressing the power button (coming soon). Though not available at the time of release, you’ll be able to launch Google’s voice-powered digital assistant by the power button. You can still access it in other ways, like saying “OK Google” or long-pressing the onscreen home button.

OnePlus 6T camera: Minor but welcome improvements

Though all hardware specs between the 6 and 6T’s cameras remain the same, OnePlus updated the latter’s software to take brighter, more detailed shots with the overall aim of improving photo quality. And on the whole, the OnePlus 6T has a nimble camera that takes vibrant and sharp photos.

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Bragi asks court to block sales of OnePlus ‘Dash’ products

Bragi asks court to block sales of OnePlus ‘Dash’ products


Richard Lai/Engadget

Bragi isn’t willing to wait for the court to resolve its dispute over OnePlus’ use of the word “Dash.” The audio device maker has filed for a preliminary injunction that would block OnePlus from using the Dash name in association with its products while the trademark dispute unfolded. While OnePlus had signaled that it was “phasing out” use of the Dash Charge name for its fast power technology in favor of Warp Charge, it allegedly refused to say whether or not the upcoming OnePlus 6T would adopt the new naming scheme. Bragi had to make this move to “ensure” the 6T launch didn’t violate its trademark, according to the filing.

The company reiterated some of its justifications for the trademark dispute, including claims of similar branding, similar categories and the increasing likelihood of overlap (such as OnePlus’ Bullets Wireless earbuds). However, it acknowledged that it didn’t have evidence of “actual confusion” among customers and argued this shouldn’t affect the outcome.

A hearing for the injunction is slated for December 12th.

We’ve asked OnePlus for comment. It’s reasonable to presume that the company will object to the potential injunction, though, especially if the 6T is still using anything Dash-branded. If the court grants Bragi’s request, it could disrupt 6T sales mere weeks after the phone’s November 6th release. OnePlus can change the packaging and software references, of course, but that’s likely something it would want to avoid at this stage.

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OnePlus will release one of the first 5G smartphones

OnePlus will release one of the first 5G smartphones


Richard Lai/Engadget

Shortly after Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon told us to expect at least two 5G flagship smartphones next year, you kind of know what to expect when OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei joined him on stage. Nope, they weren’t here to talk about the new launch date for the OnePlus 6T, but Pei has just confirmed that his company will indeed be releasing a 5G device next year, and that according to his knowledge, OnePlus will be one of the first, if not the first, to do so. The exec also mentioned that his team had already conducted a 5G test at Qualcomm’s headquarters in San Diego back in August.

Given that OnePlus now solely releases flagship smartphones, chances are this 5G device will also have top specs. As such, it’s likely the same product due to arrive in 1H 2019 as teased by Amon earlier, and likewise, it may rely on the Snapdragon X50 5G modem and the further downsized QTM052 mmWave antenna module. Now it’s up to the non-Qualcomm-backed smartphone brands to see if they can beat OnePlus to the 5G race.

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OnePlus moves 6T launch to October 29th to avoid clashing with Apple

OnePlus moves 6T launch to October 29th to avoid clashing with Apple


Richard Lai/Engadget

If you’re the sort who regularly tunes into device launches, you’ve probably noticed that Apple’s October 30th iPad Pro event was set to clash with OnePlus’ 6T premiere — in fact, they were within an hour of each other. That’s a bit of a problem, isn’t it? OnePlus certainly thinks so. To that end, it’s moving the 6T debut to one day earlier, on October 29th. If you were inclined to follow both, you won’t have to juggle multiple liveblogs or streams just to stay current.

In a lengthy statement posted to the OnePlus community forums, CEO Pete Lau said that the company’s communications with technology journalists led it to believe that its event would be “overshadowed.” But the company said that its fans were a more important consideration:

We talked to some of our most loyal users, knowing we could not make a decision of this magnitude without your input. For we know you would be most affected by this change. Flight tickets have been booked, hotel rooms reserved, and plans rescheduled. Internally, we were incredibly divided on this decision. We agonized for hours before we came to one of the most painful decisions we have ever made.

Ultimately, the company knows that it was in a bit of a no-win situation and didn’t want “to let one of the most important products in our history be affected by another great product launch.” In a pretty generous gesture, however, the company says it’ll refund tickets for anyone unable to attend and will even pay the cost for people who need to change airfare or other accommodations:

If you’re still committed to joining our event, first of all: Thank you! We will cover any costs you might incur to change your plans. If you need to pay to move your flight, we’ve got your back. Same goes for those of you who booked a hotel or made other arrangements. Our team will be getting in touch with all ticket owners individually to help you out.

Despite the difficulties the company had in changing its plans, this isn’t a shocking development. No tech company wants a competitor to overshadow their big moment, and Apple probably wasn’t going to move its event (whether or not it could). Not that you’re likely to complain if you’re looking forward to OnePlus’ big news. You’ll learn that much sooner whether there’s more to the story than an under-the-display fingerprint reader and the death of the headphone jack.

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OnePlus 6T will go on sale November 6th

OnePlus 6T will go on sale November 6th

We haven’t actually seen the OnePlus 6T yet, but apparently we already have a release date for the high-tech version of the OnePlus 6 handset. The device will be unveiled on October 30th and will be available starting November 6th, according to The V…

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The OnePlus 6T will be unveiled on October 30th

The OnePlus 6T will be unveiled on October 30th

The OnePlus 6T, a more high-tech version of the OnePlus 6, will launch on October 30th, the company announced. It’s expected to pack an in-display fingerprint sensor and feature a much smaller notch than Apple’s latest iPhones and (apparently) the Go…

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Bragi sues OnePlus in Europe for using the word ‘Dash’

Bragi sues OnePlus in Europe for using the word ‘Dash’

Do you see much of a connection between smart earbuds and fast smartphone charging? No? Bragi would beg to differ. The audio company has sued OnePlus in the European Union for allegedly infringing on its trademark for the Dash. According to Bragi, On…

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OnePlus rolls out its version of Android Pie

OnePlus rolls out its version of Android Pie

OnePlus isn’t wasting too much time in bringing its version of Android Pie to its phones. A little over a month after Google released the OS, OnePlus is rolling out OxygenOS 9.0, which includes Pie features such as gesture navigation, adaptive batter…

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