Since its conception a few years ago, OnePlus’s whole smartphone-making mantra was manufacturing high-end phones that could compete against the latest iPhone or Galaxy S handset without hurting your budget. Since then, it launched two phones each year, all of them sporting flagship specs at affordable prices. Of all the Chinese smartphone vendors looking to conquer western markets, OnePlus was one of the most successful ones, reaching a few critical milestones in the past few years. OnePlus partnered with US carriers and was also one of the first companies in the world to launch a 5G phone. In 2019, OnePlus launched two series of phones including the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T. Each model came in regular and Pro versions, which were still more affordable than alternatives from competitors. But come next year, OnePlus will reportedly launch a phone that’s unlike anything the company has made in the past.
In spite of its iconic “Never Settle” slogan, OnePlus had to accept several compromises over the years to keep cost down. Each OnePlus phone was a flagship handset, sporting the same chipset as any other same-year Android rival — and it often fared better in speed tests than its competitors, being one of the few handsets that beat the iPhone.
But come next year, OnePlus might launch a phone it never made so far: a mid-range device. The OnePlus 8 Lite, as 91Mobiles and @OnLeaks call it, will feature a flat screen with a hole-punch display similar to the Galaxy Note 10’s screen.
The selfie camera would sit in the center at the top of a flat 6.4-inch or 6.5-inch screen, according to these renders. The fingerprint sensor would be built into the screen, just like its predecessors. On the back, meanwhile, there’s a dual-lens camera placed vertically in the left corner. The phone might also feature Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors on the back for enhanced 3D photography and AR features.
It’s unclear exactly what makes this a Lite version of the OnePlus 8. We have no specs for the handset, so there’s always a chance the handset in the video below might rock Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865 chip. That would turn the phone into a high-end handset rather than a mid-range one. It could still be a lot cheaper than the OnePlus 8 Pro, however, and could help OnePlus drive up sales.
After years of saying the Pixel line is meant to focus on premium phones, Google launched the more affordable Pixel 3a earlier this year, and the cheaper handsets turned out to be quite popular. OnePlus might be working on a similar strategy, now that several other Chinese smartphone vendors have started making cheap, affordable flagship handsets.