The OnePlus 9 series is going to be one of the most anticipated sets of premium phones we are set to see in 2021. After all, it is what OnePlus does best, i.e. churn out high-powered smartphones at reasonable prices. Earlier leaks confirmed that alongside the vanilla OnePlus 9 and the OnePlus 9 Pro, there will be a cheaper OnePlus 9E as well. Thanks to a new leak, we now know it is called the OnePlus 9 Lite and it leads OnePlus into the Galaxy S20 FE territory.

Based on a report from Android Central, the OnePlus 9 Lite will be the newest addition to the flagship series of phones that eyes wider reach over ambitious specifications. This phone is said to utilize the Snapdragon 865 chip from 2020 instead of the newer meant-for-2021 Snapdragon 888 chip. None of the other specifications are mentioned but the fingers seem to point towards a repurposed OnePlus 8T at a more competitive price.

OnePlus 9 Lite another repurposed OnePlus 8T?

In the past, we have seen OnePlus continuing an older phone for the next year with slight changes. Remember the OnePlus 7? It was essentially a OnePlus 6T with a newer Snapdragon 855 chip, an improved fingerprint sensor, and revised camera sensors. The OnePlus 7T Pro was a slightly refreshed version of the OnePlus 7 Pro. The OnePlus 8 itself was based on the OnePlus 7 Pro with certain omissions.

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Hence, OnePlus knows well how to recycle the good stuff. The OnePlus 9 Lite could essentially be a reworked OnePlus 8T with a couple of compromises. It could be the same phone that leaked on the Internet a few weeks ago (the silver OnePlus prototype device).

We assume OnePlus could retain the 120Hz OLED display on the OnePlus 9 Lite, along with the same set of cameras for the rear. If it is the same phone we saw in previous leaks, OnePlus could simply retain the main and ultra-wide camera while chopping off the macro and depth sensors. The Lite could also retain the same battery capacity as well as the 65W fast wired charging system.

What remains to be seen is how OnePlus plays the pricing game. The OnePlus 8T currently retails at Rs 42,999 for the base variant. If the past is anything to indicate, the OnePlus 9 Lite could start at a much lower price than this one. In fact, it could replace the old OnePlus 7T with a possible starting price of around Rs 36,000. This is achievable given that the Snapdragon 865 is now old and could be available at a lower price.

Most importantly, it will challenge the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy S20 FE, with the latter being more expensive than the current-gen OnePlus 8T. The Galaxy S20 FE isn’t a 5G phone and is certainly not the favorite when it comes gaming performance, as we found in our review. The OnePlus 9 Lite could also come as a viable alternative to the Xiaomi Mi 10T, which is expected to get more affordable once the Mi 11 drops.

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