A five-year-old Chinese smartphone company, whose high-end products are little known outside of a sophisticated niche, enters the US market with the support of two key local allies: chip maker Qualcomm and mobile operator T-Mobile.
OnePlus presented its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 6T, at an event in New York City on Monday.
The 6T takes a page from Apple's iPhone with a tiny notch, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a consumer-friendly price of just $ 549.
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OnePlus presented its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 6T, at an event in New York City on Monday. It has an in-display fingerprint sensor and a consumer-friendly price of $ 549
ONEPLUS 6T SPECS
Starts at $ 549
AMOLED 6.4-inch display with optics
Two rear-facing cameras – 16 megapixels and 20 megapixels
16-megapixel front camera
Up to 8 gigabytes of RAM
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
Up to 256 gigabytes of storage space
3,700 mAh battery
Comes in Midnight Black, Mirror Black
Available from November 1st from T-Mobile
As part of the launch, OnePlus announced that the 6T is available from T-Mobile and operates on Verizon networks.
"The OnePlus 6T is very fast, and we wanted our customers to use it in the fastest US network," said Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus.
The OnePlus 6T will be available from T-Mobile at a pop-up store in New York City on October 29, before it goes anywhere on November 1.
It has a 6.4-inch display, two cameras, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and up to 256 gigabytes of memory.
There is a small notch at the top of the screen, with a chin on the bottom of the device.
At $ 549, the phone contains 128GB of memory and 6GB of RAM. The next stage costs $ 579 for 8GB of RAM. A 256 GB version comes with 8 GB of RAM and costs $ 629.
All three models are equipped with the OnePlus fingerprint scanner, referred to as the "Screen Unlock". The function is powered by an optical fingerprint sensor.
Many phoneme makers, including Apple, have shown interest in the technology, but OnePlus is the first device to ship a device.
"Hiding under the display, you will find our new in-screen fingerprint sensor," said OnePlus on its website.
"The OnePlus 6T unlocks the moment your finger lands on the screen for seamless and intuitive unlocking."
The two cameras on the back of the device have a 16-megapixel camera and a 20-megapixel camera.
With a new Nightscape feature, the device can take better photos in low light conditions, while a Studio Lighting feature enhances portrait photos.
It runs on Android 9 Pie as well as OxygenOS, the proprietary software.
OnePlus' move comes after US mobile operators AT & T and Verizon have pulled away from plans to work with Chinese Huawei on high-end phones this year as the US government put pressure on them.
"I do not know if it's a good time for others," Pei said about the prospect of entering the US mobile market – the dominant distribution channel. "It's a good time for us."
At $ 549, the phone contains 128GB of memory and 6GB of RAM. The next stage costs $ 579 for 8GB of RAM. A 256 GB version comes with 8 GB of RAM and costs $ 629
All three models are equipped with the OnePlus fingerprint scanner, referred to as the "Screen Unlock". The function is powered by an optical fingerprint sensor
OnePlus is uncommon among Chinese technology companies, which typically focus on bulk products for domestic customers.
In contrast, OnePlus sells only premium phones that cost $ 400 or more, almost exclusively online, except in India, and generates two-thirds of its sales outside of China.
With a market share of 40 percent, the company has developed into a top seller for premium smartphones in India. In this price-sensitive market, top-of-the-line phones from Apple and Samsung have gained little traction, according to Counterpoint data.
Worldwide, Apple dominates over $ 400 in the category of phones with 43 percent of the market, followed by Samsung (24 percent), OPPO (10 percent), Huawei (9 percent), Xiaomi (3 percent) and OnePlus (2 percent) , Said Counterpoint.
Within the company, with approximately 1,000 employees, less than 100 are dedicated to sales, while more than half serve product research and development, Pei said.
OnePlus, who claims to have sent the world's first 5G tweet in a test on Friday, said it will launch a 5G phone next year.
OnePlus co-founder, Carl Pei, was concerned that US consumer sentiment might be affected by China-US trade. "At the end of the day, you can control everything yourself."