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Cannibalizing a three-month old phone shouldn't make sense -- except that's exactly what OnePlus did to last year's 3, following it up right before the busy holiday spending season with the 3T (OnePlus skipped the 4).
Speculation set in when the OnePlus 5 stock ran dry on OnePlus websites, where the company headquarters its sales. Since then, image leaks and alleged hardware specs have begun bubbling up.Watch this: Galaxy S8 vs. OnePlus 5 3:04
Chinese phonemaker OnePlus has quickly made a name for itself undercutting traditional high-priced, marquee phones from Apple and Samsung with cheaper Android phones that share similar specs and perform just as well. For example, last June's OnePlus 3 was powerful enough to beat rival phones like the Galaxy S7 and LG G5 in benchmark tests, but at a retail price of $399 it was an absolute bargain.
OnePlus hasn't made the 5T official; it's strictly in the rumor zone for now. But the company has a history of releasing teaser posts and videos ahead of an official unveiling. Until we hear what OnePlus has in store for us next, we'll fill you in on all the 5T gossip.
Rumored OnePlus 5 specs
A listing of the OnePlus 5T appeared on online retailer Oppomart, which proposed a handful of specifications for the phone. Oppomart's listing was super sketchy and we weren't able to verify where the info came from. But some of it matched previous rumors, so it's worth mentioning until we get better info. Take this with a grain of salt:
2,560x1,440-pixel resolution with a 18:9 aspect ratio
16-megapixel and 20-megapixel dual rear cameras
Snapdragon 835 processor
6GB/8GB of RAM
64GB/128GB of storage
It could launch as soon as mid-November
OnePlus hasn't copped to the 5T, so there's obviously no official launch date yet. Speculation of a mid-to-late November window makes sense. Last year's OnePlus 3T was unveiled on Nov. 15.
OnePlus 5T could get thinner bezels
Assuming that the 5T is a real thing, it could look like a lot like other flagship phones.
A couple of pictures claiming to be the 5T popped up on Chinese social network Weibo (here and here), showing a device with thinner top and bottom bezels. As a result, it seems the fingerprint sensor -- which historically lives right below the screen on the 5 -- could be moved elsewhere, like to the back of the device.
And a larger screen and sharper resolution
With those smaller bezels, the phone might also get a bigger screen. One rumor claims the screen will increase from 5.5 to 6 inches. It's also said that the resolution may get sharper, going from 1080p with a 16:9 aspect ratio to a 2K resolution with a 18:9 aspect ratio. This new aspect ratio would make the 5T screen seem a lot longer, like the Galaxy S8 or LG G6.
The upgraded screen would be a welcome addition, considering that the OnePlus 5's screen isn't all that different from the 3T. They have the same 1080p resolution and 5.5-inch size.
The OnePlus 5T might get more expensive
OnePlus' prices have slowly crept up, with the 3 starting at $399 in the US, the 3T at $439 and 5 at $479. So it wouldn't be unusual for a OnePlus 5T to cost about $500 or even $550. After all, the 128GB storage version of the OnePlus 5 already costs $539.
Oppomart's unverified listing called the 5T's starting price at $549. A higher OnePlus price would nevertheless keep pace with skyrocketing smartphone prices. For example, Apple's iPhone X, which goes on sale Nov. 3, starts at $1,000.
It wouldn't get a faster processor
One of the things that made the OnePlus 3T a step up from the 3 was its faster processor. The 3 released with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chip, then the 3T released with the Snapdragon 821, and the 5 with the 835.
But now OnePlus is caught up, so the 5T may end up with the same processor as the 5, which performed well in CNET's lab and real-world tests. (Maybe too well; OnePlus was accused of juicing its scores.) It's possible the 5T could improve under the hood in other ways.17 OnePlus 5 gets a limited edition designer makeover
What about waterproofing and wireless charging?
The OnePlus 5 doesn't have either, but most high-end phones are water-resistant and some midrange and entry-level devices are, too. Leaving these trendy features out certainly helps cut costs. On the other hand, waterproofing is especially nudging its way to becoming standard. If the 5T doesn't have it, it's a fair bet the OnePlus 6 will.
Will it keep the headphone jack?
An endangered species these days, the OnePlus 5T could be one of the few remaining high-end holdouts. Phonemakers cite being able to create thinner phone bodies and support for USB-C as reasons why they let the divisive headphone jack go.