Will we see the OnePlus Mini in the near future? We take a look at the alleged specs and how it will compare to the OnePlus 2.
OnePlus will follow up its well-received OnePlus 2 with the launch of the smaller, even more affordable OnePlus Mini. That's the word on the internet, anyway.
So how will the new phone compare to its classy older brother? Let's take a closer look.
Out goes the metal
We're intrigued to see how the smaller OnePlus shapes up after OnePlus took a notable step forward in its design work with the OnePlus 2.
Inevitably, this will mean saying goodbye to the OnePlus 2's metal body. OnePlus is clearly going to be aiming for a highly competitive price point with the Mini, so a return to the plastic of the OnePlus One is pretty much inevitable.
We're not just making idle predictions on this front either - a leaked render appears to show a device that's pure plastic, though not in a bad way. The render also seems to suggest a flatter, sleeker device than the OnePlus 2.
This plastic body, combined with its inevitably smaller dimensions, should mean that the Mini is a fair bit smaller than the OnePlus 2. Otherwise, what would be the point?
Still, there's little doubt that the OnePlus 2 will be the nicer phone to look at and hold.
Smaller but sharper screen
Leaked specs for the OnePlus Mini seem to suggest that it'll have a 5-inch LCD display. While it's true that this'll hardly makes it a small phone, it will be significantly smaller than the 5.5-inch OnePlus 2 and OnePlus One.
And that, we suppose, is what the 'Mini' name is referring to.
Another interesting point to note here is that the OnePlus Mini's display will reportedly have the exact same 1080p resolution as the OnePlus 2's. Allied to its smaller size, this will actually make for a more pixel-dense picture.
Of course, it remains to be seen if the Mini's screen is as bright, vibrant, and just plain well-calibrated as the OnePlus 2's. We were very impressed with the latter, likening its just-right calibration to the iPhone 6. High praise indeed.
The main point of compromise here appears to relate to the relative performance of the OnePlus Mini.
Early reports seem to agree that the OnePlus Mini will run on a 2.2GHz MediaTek MT6795T processor. This is a perfectly capable CPU, but it offers nowhere near the performance gains of the OnePlus 2's Snapdragon 810 CPU.
In particular, the MediaTek chip's GPU is known to be a little on the weedy side. The Snapdragon 810's Adreno 430 should trounce it for 3D performance.
This performance differential continues when you compare the two memory allotments. While the OnePlus 2 impresses by offering either 3GB or 4GB of RAM, depending on the model you choose, the OnePlus Mini will reportedly feature just 2GB of RAM.
Related: OnePlus 3
Similar camera - but not the same
An initial skim of those spec leaks would suggest that the OnePlus Mini will share its camera with the OnePlus 2, but that's probably not accurate.
While both have 13-megapixel main cameras and 5-megapixel front cameras, the components appear to vary quite a bit.
A recent spec leak for the OnePlus Mini suggests that it'll pack a Sony IMX258 image sensor. The OnePlus 2's sensor is an OmniVision OV13860 unit.
The latter is a larger-than-normal image sensor, offering pixels that are 35 percent larger than other 13-megapixel sensors. The result is superior low-light performance.
We also don't know if the OnePlus Mini will have the OnePlus 2's OIS or laser autofocus systems, but the aforementioned leak does mention that it has the same dual-tone LED flash.
More flexible storage (possibly)
We're a little confused and even suspicious of the latest OnePlus Mini leak, partly because of its claims about its memory.
Apparently, this supposedly mid-range device will come with 32GB of storage as standard. Given that the entry-level OnePlus 2 offers just 16GB of storage (there's also a 64GB option), you'll see why we're wary.
Also, the report claims that the OnePlus Mini will have a microSD slot. This would be a first for a OnePlus phone - neither the OnePlus One nor the OnePlus 2 has such storage potential.
It sounds great, but we remain to be convinced concerning the OnePlus Mini's storage options.
Related: Best Android Smartphones 2015
NFC or not NFC? That is the question
Another thing we're dubious of is the claim that the OnePlus Mini will ship with NFC support when the OnePlus 2 famously omitted it.
Why would OnePlus take a decision on dropping this feature for its flagship phone, only to go back on this decision for its cut-price follow-up mere months later? It just wouldn't make sense.
If NFC did show up in the OnePlus Mini, of course, we'd be more than happy. With Android Pay just around the corner, it would be a great addition. But we can think of plenty of OnePlus 2 owners who wouldn't be best pleased.
It remains to be seen just how accurate those early OnePlus Mini specs are. Keep in mind that the latest spec leak stems from an alleged prototype.
Still, it seems clear that we're going to be getting a solid mid-range smartphone with a lower price and a significantly smaller body than the OnePlus 2.
It's unlikely to have the premium feel or additional bells and whistles, of course, but we're always interested when manufacturers attempt a decent 'small' phone.
Would you be interested in a OnePlus Mini? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below