OnePlus’ second flagship phone of the year, presumed to be called the OnePlus 6T, is shaping up to be more than the incremental update we were anticipating.
In addition to being available on T-Mobile (which would be OnePlus’ first US carrier deal), the company confirmed that the OnePlus 6T will feature an in-display fingerprint reader.
Currently available on a few Vivo phones (the Vivo V11, X20 Plus UD, X21 and Nex) and the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS, a fingerprint reader embedded into the display is a first for OnePlus. The new feature, which OnePlus brands as Screen Unlock, also streamlines the phone’s design and saves users the extra step of picking up their phones to unlock their screens.
‘We unlock our phones multiple times a day, and Screen Unlock reduces the number of steps to complete the action,’ said OnePlus in an email to CNET. ‘By adding this feature as an addition to other display unlocking options such as Face Unlock, users will have options to unlock the display in a way that is most efficient for them.’
Alleged leaked images of the OnePlus 6T’s box first hinted that the phone would have the fingerprint-on-display, or FOD, feature. In addition to officially confirming the feature, OnePlus said that it originally intended to introduce the technology on the OnePlus 5T. However, because ‘the technology wasn’t mature enough to meet [OnePlus’] standards for delivering a fast and smooth user experience,’ it was delayed until the OnePlus 6T.
Despite being known as ‘in-screen fingerprint readers’ the technology is actually embedded underneath displays. When you touch the designated area of the screen with your fingers, a sensor array turns on the display to light your finger. Your fingerprint is then read by an optical image sensor and an AI processor. If the print matches, the screen unlocks.
Because of the feature, the OnePlus 6T’s design is slightly tweaked compared to its OnePlus 6 predecessor. The 6T is slightly thicker by 0.45mm, the internal hardware had to be rearranged, and now that the back of the phone doesn’t have a sensor, it has a more unibody look, according to OnePlus.
Along with Vivo, Huawei and OnePlus, more phone companies are expected to jump on this FOD bandwagon. An April report from financial services firm IHS Markit estimated that by 2019, 100 million phones will carry this technology.
Other OnePlus 6T rumors include triple rear-cameras and a $550 US price tag. The company is expected to launch the phone some time in October, so it won’t be long until we know more. Until then, at least having an in-display fingerprint sensor is one thing we can check off on our OnePlus 6T wishlist.