OnePlus has a slightly confusing lineup up front – there is the OnePlus 9, the 9 Pro and a surprising entrant called the OnePlus 9R – with very little difference between them. With a ‘T’ version on the horizon, we believe OnePlus will make it very difficult for us to keep count. Anyway! The company, by way of founder Pete Lau, had officially announced that it would not be releasing a T version of its flagship series this year. The idea to sit back on the T variant was derived from the global chip shortage, at least that’s how it was perceived.

It turns out now that the Chinese smartphone maker has a T version ready for launch. It is still not for the flagship models but for the more affordable OnePlus 9R. Supposedly called the OnePlus 9RT, the device is expected to launch in the next week, October 13 to be precise.

This entry-level flagship is not likely to deviate much from the basic design language of the 9R. The most significant change could be in the processing, which may get a beef up from Snapdragon 870 to Snapdragon 888. Other than this, a 120Hz display and a Sony lens for the main camera are other possible changes. That’s not much of a difference if we consider the design and feel are going to remain exactly like the previous model. Before you strike off the OnePlus 9RT for being a twin of its predecessor, here is what we know about the upcoming phone.

Design and display

OnePlus 9R is almost a clone of the company’s 8T handset. And if you want an idea of how the OnePlus 9RT will be, have a look at the 9R. There was a chipset upgrade and slight change in the camera setup on the back of the OnePlus 9R from the 8T and the same is expected to happen with the upcoming 9RT apparently only to release in China and India.

The phone will start out with a flat panel, 6.5-inch 120Hz super AMOLED display and just like the 9R, the new OnePlus 9RT will probably have a glass back and an aluminum frame. There is no mention of colors, but rumors suggest we can expect OnePlus 9RT in three fresh colors. Besides, the phone shall be waterproof, feature an under-screen fingerprint sensor, slender deviation in the rear camera setup, and dual stereo speakers.

Power and battery

Like the OnePlus 9R, the upcoming 9RT is believed to run on Snapdragon 870 chipset. Going by the past record, a minor bump in the processing power is due for the new T variant. Our bet is that the Snapdragon 870 will be replaced by flagship-level Snapdragon 888, which should make the OnePlus 9RT worth its weight in its category.

The rumored OnePlus smartphone has appeared on Geekbench with a processor that is performance-wise identical to the Snapdragon 888, which further adds to the possibility of the OnePlus 9RT arriving with the upgraded chipset. The change in processor with 12GB RAM is the biggest change expected in the OnePlus 9RT from the OnePlus 9R. The chip difference will translate to higher clock speeds and better performance in about the same price segment.

OnePlus 9RT will feature a 4,500mAh battery with 65W charging support and will excitingly run Android 12-based OxygenOS 12 right out of the box. OnePlus has assured users up to three years of OS updates and nearly four years of security updates, this means the OnePlus 9RT will receive Android 15 and would remain relevant for a very long time with unhindered support from the company.

Camera

Other than the chipset upgrade, the other important change that users would appreciate will in the camera module. While the basic design of the OnePlus 9RT is the same as the 9R, the camera module is expected to be slightly wider on the back of the upcoming device, which will comprise a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 lens with image stabilization.

The main camera on the 9R was a 48MP lens; on the OnePlus 9RT, if upgraded to 50MP, a difference in photography is a giving. In addition to the main sensor, three other lenses on the back include 16MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, in the same punch-hole setting, the phone will have a 20MP wide selfie camera.

Pricing and arrival

Considering that the OnePlus 9RT is going to borrow a lot of hardware and its design from the predecessor, the price for it would remain somewhat similar as well. We do not have the exact pricing details at the time of writing but going by the cost structure of the OnePlus 9R – which sold between ₹40,000 ($530) and ₹44,000 ($590) in India – the new phone should fall somewhere in the similar price bracket. A reliable leaker reveals that the OnePlus 9RT could be even cheaper in China where it is likely to retail between ¥2,999 ($460) and ¥3,599 ($560).

OnePlus has officially teased the launch date for the 9RT. The leak suggests the phone would be made official in China on October 13. What is disappointing here is that the phone is only going to launch in China and India only. There is no mention of global availability.
Wrap up

The launch of the OnePlus 9R at the beginning of the year was surprising for many of us. And now the same phone getting a T model is even perplexing. Ideally, OnePlus launches the T phone as an experimental device with a new design overhaul to set base for the next flagship device. OnePlus 9T would have been a more preferred choice in this case. However a step back on the possibility initially meant there wouldn’t be a T version this time, but here we are looking at the probable rollout of the OnePlus 9RT in the next week.

The affordable entry-level flagship with Snapdragon 888 and a nice camera addition should compare well with the other Android phones in its league. It will give buyers an option of a well-designed and capable phone with near-flagship specs for an economical price.