The OnePlus 8T has only just gone on sale, but all the talk this week is about the next-gen OnePlus 9.

Firstly, a leak appeared to confirm the codename for the device and now we’ve got word of a potential early release date for the next major OnePlus flagship.

According to an Android Central report, the OnePlus 9 will launch in March 2021, a month earlier than its releases of the last couple of years. According to the source, the company is currently eying a mid-Match release date for its phone

A March release could put the OnePlus 9 on a collision course with the next flagship from the Samsung Galaxy S range, which has traditionally been unveiled in February before going on sale in late Feb or early March.

OnePlus following suit would suggest it feels more confident in directly challenging Samsung in a head-to-head battle for hardware sales. Given the likes of Nokia, Xiaomi, Huawei, LG and Motorola traditionally launch devices during that MWC period, OnePlus could really shake things up in 2021.

Related: OnePlus 8T vs OnePlus 8

However, given rumours that Samsung plans to go event earlier this year and launch the Galaxy S21 in January, OnePlus might find itself playing catch up with one of its major rivals.

Because the OnePlus 8T has only just arrived, it’s difficult to tell what the company might bring to the table next time around. All we can really do is look at what the OnePlus 8T still lacks.

A missing piece of the puzzle is an IP rating for water and dust resistance, while our OnePlus 8T review pointed out the need for better secondary cameras. Of course, it’s likely to arrive with the next-gen Snapdragon 875 processor and all the RAM you can shake a stick at.

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It’s also probable we’ll see the return of the Pro version of the device after it was nixed for October’s mid-cycle update.

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