A few weeks ago, OnePlus teased a press event for early January at CES 2020 and we learned in reports that followed that it may be planning to launch a phone called the OnePlus Concept One. We had no idea what this concept device would look like at the time, and wondered whether OnePlus was also making a button-less, port-less smartphone like the devices we saw in early 2019. But it turns out OnePlus might have been working on something totally different, a foldable device of its own.
After years of waiting for foldable handsets to become a reality, 2019 brought us three such devices and proved the technology isn’t quite ready for the foldable phones of our dreams. The Galaxy Fold’s durability issues ruined the phone’s launch in April, and Samsung had to delay the redesigned version until November. In turn, Huawei delayed the launch of the Mate X foldable, and Motorola unveiled the new Razr a few weeks ago. Others, including Xioami, Oppo, and TCL, teased plans of their own to make foldable handsets but had no announcements to make this year.
A report from The Korea Herald about the upcoming phone announcements from CES 2020 has this little gem in it:
Market watchers think Concept One will be another foldable-display smartphone, like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, Motorola’s Razr, and Huawei’s Mate X. But no details about the new model have been disclosed.
As you can see, we have no firm details about the OnePlus foldable at this point, but it’s certainly not surprising to see a concept like this from OnePlus. The Chinese smartphone maker challenged traditional Android handsets with its affordable flagship phones and grew to become a widely known brand. In spite of its short history, OnePlus rushed to become one of the first smartphone makers to launch a 5G phone this year, showing that it’s ready and willing to compete with its bigger rivals.
Then again, OnePlus is part of the same giant conglomerate that makes phones under Oppo, Vivo, Realme, and Iqoo brands, which means it has access to more extensive resources and a sizeable supply chain. If Oppo is indeed working on a foldable phone of its own, the chances are that OnePlus is doing the same thing. The Concept One, however, might not be a OnePlus device that you can actually buy, as the name suggests. OnePlus is still expected to launch its OnePlus 8 series next year, possibly including a more affordable “Lite” version.