OnePlus 9 Lite Rumored For Q1 2021 Launch With Surprising SoC Choice

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According to previous leaks, OnePlus has two smartphones geared up for launch during the first quarter of 2021: the flagship OnePlus 9 Pro, which will be joined by the lesser OnePlus 9. Both smartphones are expected to incorporate Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 888 5G Mobile Platform, which as we've seen from new benchmarks, will provide quite a boost over the outgoing Snapdragon 865.

However, there's fresh news today that claims that a third member smartphone will also launch in Q1 2021 to take up a lower price point. It's rumored that the OnePlus 9 Lite will join its higher-end siblings, and will make a few sacrifices to reach a lower price point.

For starters, according to Android Central, the OnePlus 9 Lite won't use the Snapdragon 888. Instead, it's reported that OnePlus will continue to use the Snapdragon 865 that debuted with the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8. The Snapdragon 865 is by no means a slow chip, and still provides more than enough performance to tackle anything that you throw at it. The big disadvantage, however, is that it is a two-chip solution that requires a separate Snapdragon X55 5G modem, while the Snapdragon 888 has an integrated Snapdragon X60 modem.

It's also reported that in many ways, the OnePlus 9 Lite will share a lot of its hardware fundamentals with the OnePlus 8T. Rumor also has it that the camera arrangement of the OnePlus 8T will also carryover along with support for 65W Warp Charging. There's no word on the display at this time, but we'd imagine that OnePlus will stick with the 120Hz panel, while reserving 90Hz for its mid-range Nord family of smartphones.

One big unknown revolving around the alleged OnePlus 9 Lite will be pricing, given that it is likely to share a lot with the OnePlus 8T. The current OnePlus lineup consists of the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8T, and OnePlus 8 Pro priced at $599, $749, and $799 respectively. It's highly probable that the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro could be priced from $699 and $899 respectively, which were the original MSRPs for the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro. That could lead to some tough pricing and positioning decisions for the company with regards to OnePlus 9 Lite and the current OnePlus 8T, which is only a few months old.