Smartphone maker OnePlus finally brought its OnePlus Concept One to India. We managed to spend some time with it at the flagship OnePlus Experience Store in Connaught Place, New Delhi. OnePlus initially revealed the smartphone about a month back at CES 2020. The Concept One essentially showcases the fruits of the partnership between OnePlus and the McLaren design team.
However, before we talk about the specifications and the design of the smartphone, it is worth clarifying something. This new device is not one sale. It represents a concept outlining the future of smartphones. OnePlus also clarified that Concept One represents a resounding success in the exploration of new materials, finishes, and colors. It also comes as an alternative design for future smartphones. It is quite possible that the smartphone may hint at the future OnePlus devices.
Watch: OnePlus Concept One First Impressions
Design and the disappearing camera
In terms of design, we can see similarities between the OnePlus Concept One and a McLaren supercar. But, the highlight of the smartphone is no doubt the disappearing camera setup on the back. OnePlus has used an electrochromic glass to hide the camera setup when the camera is not in use. Additionally, the company can also use the hiding mechanism as a built-in ND filter. McLaren uses a similar material on its supercars to make the glass opaque.
OnePlus ensures that the mechanism hides the camera in just 0.7 seconds. Given that the material uses electricity, OnePlus has also ensured that the entire operation uses a very small amount of power. The rear camera setup is not exactly hidden under direct light. The challenge for the company was to minimize the technology to just 0.35mm in thickness.
Moving on from the hidden camera sensor, we also get a soft-leather finish on the back along with a glass strip running in the middle. This is a similar leather-like material used for the interiors of McLaren supercars. Shifting away from the leather-like material, we also see a glass strip running across the back panel. This glass strip also comes with the text OnePlus x McLaren below the camera setup. Taking a closer look, we also get golden metal strip around the device with a Gold-colored alert slider. This gives the device a premium look.
Specifications of the OnePlus Concept One
Talking about hardware specifications, we get a familiar curved screen with a 90Hz refresh rate. The software includes a theme that is similar to what we have seen on the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition. Other hardware specifications including the SoC, and RAM are also identical to what we saw on the McLaren Edition. However, none of it matters as the device will not go on sale.
Given that the smartphone will not be available on sale, it changes the entire outlook of the device. The lack of sale means that there is no direct value associated with the device in a price-sensitive market like India. Instead, OnePlus thinks of the Concept One has an “Alternative Design” from a different future. As noted above, the device may also give us some hint about future OnePlus devices. We can see similar hidden camera technology in the upcoming OnePlus 8 series or possibly the OnePlus 9.