OnePlus 9RT leaked renders appear, and it's landing in China on October 13

OnePlus 9 Pro
(Image credit: Truls Steinung)

While we were expecting the flagship OnePlus 10 to launch as the next of the company’s phones, rumors suggest we’re getting the more affordable OnePlus 9RT instead – and a new leak shows off the phone in what look like official renders.

Before we dig into the leak, we've now heard the phone will be launching on October 13. It's thought that is a China-only launch for now, but it's also possible the phone will eventually land in India.

The OnePlus 9R didn't come to the US or Europe, so we don't currently expect you to be able to buy this handset in those regions.

Noted leaker Evan Blass aka @evleaks tweeted out a trio of photos showing off the back of the purported OnePlus 9RT in crisp detail. 

These seem to be press renders, though they look sharp enough to be photos, and the last image even has a neat red OnePlus-style box, lending added authenticity to the leaks. 

Per the photos, the OnePlus 9RT seems to have slightly rearranged cameras compared to the OnePlus 9 Pro, and could pack one more lens than the OnePlus 9, suggesting it could have a wider photographic range. 

Blass followed up the images with a cryptic tweet with only one word, “Martin” – potentially a codename for the phone. It also included the numbers 10/13, which were then confirmed a few hours later as the launch date for the new handset.

Analysis: OnePlus 9RT isn’t the OnePlus phone we were expecting

The OnePlus 9RT is certainly not the phone we were originally expecting – for years, the company would release an updated version of that year’s flagship as a ‘T’-branded model.

Thus, we anticipated a OnePlus 9T to come out in October or November that would refine the OnePlus 9’s features and perhaps add more perks. Then last month, OnePlus confirmed to TechRadar that there wouldn't be a OnePlus 9T.

Instead, the company seems to be focusing on the OnePlus 9RT that will likely only be available in China and India.

Presumably, this would follow up on the OnePlus 9R released in April 2021 as a more affordable alternative to the OnePlus 9 with some slightly less impressive specs – a Snapdragon 870 instead of the leading Snapdragon 888, for instance. That phone was released in India only, so the OnePlus 9RT could be an updated version with a wider release but we've yet to learn where it'll arrive.

What have we heard about it? Multiple OnePlus 9RT specs leaks suggest will have the same Snapdragon 870 chipset, 4,500mAh battery and 65W fast charging speed as the 9R, but a slightly improved 50MP main camera. 

A different rumor asserts that a Geekbench score was made by a OnePlus 9RT with a Snapdragon 888 chipset, though, so it’s possible the phone may bump up the performance of its more mid-range predecessor up to flagship speeds. We’ll wait to see how these predictions pan out, though.

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.