Bad news for bargain hunters: one of the best smartphone values on the market is no more. And it's unclear when a replacement model might appear.
The OnePlus 5T, a $499 phone with specs that matched more expensive models from Samsung and Apple, is no longer available in the U.S. OnePlus's website lists the phone as out-of-stock. And OnePlus confirms that it's not planning to make more phones to meet any remaining demand.
"OnePlus sells one phone at a time," a spokesperson told Tom's Guide. "We gauge demand for devices by looking at sales from the previous year and the market. Even after projecting an appropriate number [for the 5T], we sold out sooner than we anticipated."
In other words, if you were eyeballing the OnePlus 5T as a possible lower-cost alternative to the Galaxy S9, iPhone X or Pixel 2, you had better look elsewhere.
OnePlus running out of phones is hardly a shocking development if you're familiar with the company's history. OnePlus has a track record of only making a limited number of phones available in the U.S., with supplies drying up a few months after launch.
Take the 5T's predecessor, the OnePlus 5. It debuted last June to rave reviews, but by October, the phone was out of stock. The 5T followed in November, even offering a limited edition sandstone white version earlier this year. But like the OnePlus 5 before it, the 5T appears sold out after five months of availability.
"Moving forward, we'll definitely take the success of the 5T into consideration for making decisions on our future approach, but it's too soon to speak on that quite yet," the OnePlus spokesperson said.
What's a bargain-hunting smartphone shopper to do? Among currently available phones, the Honor View 10 is best positioned to fill the void of flagship phone with midrange price tag that the OnePlus 5T is vacating. Like OnePlus's phone, the Honor View 10 has a $499 price tag and a high-end processor — in the View 10's case, that's the same Kirin 970 CPU you'll find in Huawei's Mate 10 Pro. Motorola's Moto X4 doesn't have quite the horsepower inside — it runs on a Snapdragon 630 mobile processor — but it does offer dual rear cameras in a $399 device. Buy the Android One version of the X4, and you can use it with Google's Project Fi wireless service.
Then again, you could always sit tight for the next OnePlus phone. The OnePlus 6 will reportedly feature a top-of-the-line Snapdragon 845 processor, dual rear cameras and an expansive display with an iPhone X-style notch at the top of the screen. OnePlus is mum about its next phone, though rumors suggest it will debut sometime in the second quarter of 2018.
If you do plan on holding out for a new OnePlus phone, though, just make sure you're ready to buy when the OnePlus 6 does arrive. Those phones have a tendency to sell out quickly.
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Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.