The OnePlus 6T may have removed the headphone jack but it will be giving buyers in the US something perhaps more important in return. It may be purely coincidental that the “T” in its name matches its availability from T-Mobile but the OnePlus 6T won’t be locked to that single US carrier. In fact, it might also be the first OnePlus in its four-year run to work with Verizon’s CDMA network.
This is, again, not to single out Verizon aside from technical reasons. Verizon’s, and Sprint’s, networks are “special”. Not only do they use CDMA instead of GSM, but the CDMA bands that OnePlus phones do support are also unfortunately not enough to support Verizon’s LTE. To be fair, that is true for any phone that has not been prepared to be used in the US from the get-go.
That’s a major stumbling block for both users and OEMs. The former have to carefully read the geeky fine print when importing international versions of phones. The latter not only have to make sure their hardware supports it, but they also have to undergo certification processes to get carrier approval. The latter is what tripped up Razer recently when it was revealed, contrary to its advertising, that its Razer Phone 2 is actually not yet certified on Verizon’s network.
It seems that OnePlus has taken pains to make sure it doesn’t end up with egg on its face in the same way by going through the certification even before the OnePlus 6T launches. Of course, OnePlus hasn’t made any compatibility claims just yet but if this is when it makes its big US splash, it will definitely need to make sure its eggs are all lined up.
According to PCMag’s sources, that is indeed the case and the OnePlus 6T is certified to work on Verizon’s networks. The OnePlus 6T might still be a major T-Mobile phone but it isn’t closing the doors to other networks, at least for the unlocked version. It also paves the way for when OnePlus does decide to make future phones officially available from Verizon and may other carrier’s as well.