OnePlus released its first smartphone back in 2014, and the company had a fantastic strategy at that time: release a phone that offered flagship specs and performance at half the price of a flagship phone. Since the OnePlus One launched with prices starting at $299, OnePlus smartphones have gotten far more expensive. In fact, the cheapest current-generation OnePlus 6T you can buy costs $579. But if you look more closely at that $579 phone, you’ll find that it packs a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, a flagship Snapdragon processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a dual-lens camera system on the back. A similarly equipped Galaxy S10+ costs $1,000, and the cheapest iPhone XS Max you can buy costs $1,100. In other words, OnePlus is still making phones that are just as powerful and impressive as flagships from big-name brands, and it’s still charging about half as much money.
In 2019, OnePlus is expected to release three new flagship smartphones, the first of which is the OnePlus 7. And as has been the case with generations past, we have very high expectations for this upcoming new OnePlus handset.
Last year’s OnePlus 6T was the first smartphone to be released in the United States with an in-display fingerprint sensor, and it was also among the first to feature a tiny new teardrop notch. (A few earlier handsets had similar notch designs dating all the way back to the Essential PH-1 in 2017, but practically no one even knows that phone ever existed.) In 2019, the OnePlus 7 is also expected to bring some more firsts our way.
The most notable new design feature rumored to be arriving on the OnePlus 7 is a pop-up selfie camera. There are already a few Android phones in China that have this design, and it’s an interesting solution as smartphone makers continue their quests to achieve a 100% screen-to-window ratio. Instead of placing the front-facing camera in a notch or in a whole that’s cut out of the screen like the Galaxy S10, this design places the lens in a small piece that pops out of the top edge of the phone when you need it. The front-facing camera then retracts and remains out of sight when it’s not in use, and this type of design allows manufacturers to almost completely eliminate the bezel at the top of the screen.
We’ve seen a few different reports claiming the OnePlus 7 will have this type of front-facing camera design, and now a YouTube user named Waqar Khan has created renders that show us what the new OnePlus flagship might look like.
Beyond the pop-up selfie camera, we can also see Khan’s vision of the new triple-lens rear camera rumored to be arriving on the OnePlus 7. The phone is also expected to feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset like other top Android flagships in 2019. The OnePlus 7 will like be released at some point in the second quarter this year, and you can check out a video featuring Khan’s renders below.