The OnePlus 9T was expected to be the next OnePlus flagship phone, due some time this autumn - or so we thought, until OnePlus itself confirmed that it won't be launching a 9T after all. It's not all bad news, as the company has now revealed the OnePlus 9RT instead.
This 'T' version of the OnePlus 9R will once again be exclusive to India and China, but is at least a considerable upgrade on its predecessor.
Here's everything we know about the 9RT - and why the OnePlus 9T has been cancelled.
When will the OnePlus 9RT be released?
OnePlus launched the 9RT in China on 13 October, with the phone then going on sale from 19 October - though pre-orders are already open from JD.com and Suning.com. An additional blue-green finish will go on sale from 1 November.
An Indian event is expected to follow soon, but as of yet nothing official has been announced.
Much like the original OnePlus 9R, the 9RT isn't expected to go on sale officially outside China and India, though will of course be available to import elsewhere.
How much does the OnePlus 9RT cost?
In China the 9RT starts from ¥3,299 (£375/$515) for an 8+128GB model, rising to ¥3,499 for 8+256GB (£400/$545) and ¥3,799 for 12+256GB (£435/$590).
We don't yet have official pricing for India, but those Chinese prices roughly convert to ₹38,499, ₹40,999, and ₹44,499 - very close to the original Indian prices of the 9R, so at this point it looks like a safe bet that prices will remain steady.
That matches what we'd heard from leaker Abhishek Yadav, citing a source, but journalist Yogesh Brar immediately hit back at that, telling him to "find a new source" - though didn't say if he expected the price to be higher or lower than the original 9R.
You should find a new source— Yogesh Brar (@heyitsyogesh) August 25, 2021
Why has the OnePlus 9T been cancelled?
We'd heard from various leakers that there would be no OnePlus 9T this year, and eventually OnePlus itself confirmed the news to Pocket Lint. CEO Pete Lau told the site that the next flagship OnePlus phone - presumably the OnePlus 10 - will launch next year, meaning there will be no 9T or 9T Pro.
The 9T had felt inevitable following the launch of the OnePlus 9 series this spring - OnePlus has followed its flagships up with 'T' models for years, and despite the official confirmation we're still not sure why the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro aren't getting the same treatment - though the industry-wide chipset shortage is likely the problem.
It could also be that software is to blame. Lau told Pocket Lint that the company's 2022 flagship will be the first to feature a new operating system that unifies OxygenOS with parent company Oppo's ColorOS, all based on Android 12. Perhaps the company wanted to focus its efforts on prepping a new flagship to make the most of this new software, rather than splitting its efforts across multiple devices.
What are the specs of the OnePlus 9RT?
'T' variants aren't always major advancements from the base models, but without the 9T and 9T Pro to worry about, OnePlus does seem to have pulled out all the stops for the 9RT.
The design hasn't changed much, other than tweaks to the camera module that make it look a little more like the regular OnePlus 9. The main release is black and silver, though a green/blue variant is also launching later in China.
The screen is very slightly larger at 6.62in (up from 6.55in), with Gorilla Glass coating the front and back of the phone, and an aluminium frame.
The display is roughly the same: similar size, same resolution, same 120Hz refresh rate, but it is slightly better quality - it's now an E4 AMOLED, which should net improved colours and contrast compared to the 9R. It also has a 600Hz touch sampling rate.
The bigger change is to the chipset, where we now find the Snapdragon 888, a decent jump in performance from the Snapdragon 870 used in the 9R.
It's paired with LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage, available in the usual OnePlus configurations: 8+128GB, 8+256GB, and 12+256GB - though it's possible that a 6+128GB option will be added for the Indian launch.
As for power, the phone will use the same 4500mAh battery as the original 9R, so there'll be no change there. It's also still 65W charging, but has had a slight upgrade to the more efficient OnePlus 65T charging tech, so should get a full charge in 29 minutes.
After the chipset, the camera is the other major upgrade for the 9RT. The phone now uses the 50Mp Sony IMX766, used for the wide-angle cameras in the 9 and 9 Pro, and also used for the main sensor in the more recent Nord 2 - which is how it's used here, where it also supports OIS.
The 50Mp main camera is joined by a 16Mp ultrawide and a macro lens, while for selfies you'll find a 16Mp punch-hole camera on the front of the phone.
That’s all we know so far but be sure to check back regularly as we’ll be updating this article as more information becomes available. In the meantime, take a look at best new phones coming to the UK this year and our roundup of the best smartphones.