When will the OnePlus 8T launch?
The economic effect of the global pandemic has scattered mobile manufacturers' strategy and marketing plans like bowling pins but if OnePlus can steel its resolve, we'll still likely see at least one, if not two, T-Series devices in the latter half of 2020.
Each year since the October 2016 launch of the 3T, OnePlus has kept its release schedule pretty regular, with the OnePlus 5T (there was no OnePlus 4 or 4T) arriving in November of 2017 and the OnePlus 6T launching in October 2018.
By the time it was the 7T-Series' turn, the company changed things up somewhat, with a late-September 2019 unveiling for base OnePlus 7T, followed by a two-week hiatus before the reveal of the OnePlus 7T Pro.
Even so, there's still a general consistency to OnePlus' release pattern that we expect to endure with the OnePlus 8T and 8T Pro - most likely making their debut in October 2020.
How much will the OnePlus 8T cost?
There's something to be said for OnePlus in 2020. In many ways, the company is now releasing the very types of products that it originally set out to try and subvert. OnePlus no longer makes 'flagship killers', it now just makes flagships and prices its products as such.
Based on OnePlus's pricing strategy for last year's 7 and 7T devices, as well as the further increases for this year's 8 Series, there's the possibility of an additional £50/$50 being added to the enhanced 8T and 8T Pro, coming in at £649/$749 and £849/$949 respectively.
One thing we're no longer likely to see is a McLaren special edition SKU of either the 8T or 8T Pro; not to mention the non-retail Concept One phone that showcased at CES 2020. This is because OnePlus is no longer an official partner with McLaren, bringing an end to the run of orange-tinted special editions we've come to expect.
What features will the OnePlus 8T have?
At this early stage, there's little-to-no direct information about either the 8T or 8T Pro, however, there are enough clues to help assemble a probable spec sheet.
The cameras will likely see an upgrade (although it may be in software-only), as will the charging tech. As of May 2020, MySmartPrice spotted that safety testing and certification outfit - TUV Rhineland - had placed a 65W charger through its paces, tied to OnePlus' trademark.
This leak was then compounded in June 2020 by developer Lavin Amarnani, who discovered strings within OnePlus' Android 11 beta software that made mention of a 'Super Warp Charger' and quoted that same 65W charging speed.
It's unclear whether this tech will arrive alongside the 8T and/or 8T Pro, or if it's destined for a future device, but timing-wise it seems fair to assume that we'll see faster charging from this year's T-Series handsets.
Support for fast wireless charging - something the OnePlus 8 currently lacks - may also land on both devices.
Perhaps the most surprising move will be the continued use of Qualcomm's existing flagship Snapdragon 865 chipset, in place of an upgraded 'Plus' model - as was the case last year. For reference, the 7T Series moved up from the 7 Series' Snapdragon 855 to the enhanced Snapdragon 855+.
This hypothesis comes as a result of a statement from the CMO of fellow phone-maker, Meizu, who (as reported by MyDrivers) in April published on Chinese social media platform Weibo, stating that Qualcomm isn't planning on releasing a Snapdragon 865+ chipset any time soon.
This seems credible enough, simply because of Meizu's presence as an established smartphone manufacturer, however, there is some contradictory information out there that might suggest otherwise.
Benchmarking information found on the Geekbench website, tied to the rumoured Galaxy Note 20, highlights a variant of the Snapdragon 865 running at a notably higher clock speed than the model currently powering phones like the OnePlus 8 Pro.
The Galaxy Note20 + will use the Snapdragon 865+ processor. Why do you say this? Because from the Geekbench results, we found that the processor's large core frequency is as high as 3.09GHz, and the 865 frequency is 2.84GHz, so we have reasons to think that it is 865+ . pic.twitter.com/I9bU87RPRD— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) April 2, 2020
The '+' and 'G' variants of Qualcomm's mobile chips come with additional performance overhead, primarily built with gaming in mind - a higher clock speed like the one spotted by known-leaker IceUniverse casts some doubt over the definitive nature of the statement from Meizu's CMO.