We know some key aspects of the next OnePlus flagship already, with various leaks and rumours currently doing the rounds online. Some of the reveals have even come from OnePlus itself.
Make no mistake, this is a company with every confidence that its next product is going to be winner. Here’s everything we think we know about the OnePlus 7.
OnePlus 7 release date – When is the OnePlus 7 out?
Here’s when previous mainline OnePlus smartphones (not including the X or the T series) have been announced:
- OnePlus One − April 2014
- OnePlus 2 − July 2015
- OnePlus 3 − June 2016
- OnePlus 5 − June 2017
- OnePlus 6 − May 2018
As you can see, there’s a clear pattern of… somewhere in the middle of the year, for mainline OnePlus phone releases. Interestingly, last year’s May OnePlus 6 announcement was the earliest since the OnePlus One in 2014.
We’re expecting OnePlus to bring the OnePlus 7 announcement even further forward. At Qualcomm’s recent Technology Summit in Hawaii, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau officially confirmed that the company’s next flagship phone would launch in early 2019.
We might see another May or even April launch, then. There’s also the tantalising − but very slim − possibility that OnePlus might unveil the OnePlus 7 at MWC 2019 in late February. However, this is unlikely to materialise.
OnePlus 7 – 5G?
Before going any further, we need to talk about 5G. During the aforementioned Qualcomm Tech Summit in Hawaii, OnePlus claimed that it would be the first company to launch a 5G smartphone in 2019. Company co-founder Pete Lau also tweeted about a deal with EE that means this will be the first 5G device in Europe.
OnePlus confirmed back in 2018 that it will release a 5G smartphone this year.
However, when talking about this mysterious 5G phone, the company has always been careful not to call it the ‘OnePlus 7’.
At present, we simply don’t know if the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus’ upcoming 5G phone will be the same device or completely separate devices. Or indeed if there will be 5G and non-5G models of the OnePlus 7.
According to a November report from CNET en Espanol, “a spokesman for the company” has confirmed that the OnePlus 7 will not be a 5G phone. The report claims that OnePlus’ 5G smartphone will instead be “part of a totally new line”, and will be unveiled “at the beginning of 2019”.
So why is OnePlus said to be thinking about creating a whole new line of smartphones? Essentially, it appears that OnePlus is at a crossroads.
The company has built its brand on smartphones that offer high-end features at affordable prices, and the firm’s planned 5G smartphone will likely be considerably more expensive than all of its existing devices.
It can either include 5G support on the OnePlus 7 and risk upsetting scores of existing fans by ramping up prices significantly, or it can try to cater to everyone by not adding 5G support to the OnePlus 7 and keeping prices low in the process, and rolling out a pricier new line of 5G smartphones for anyone who can afford them.
Whatever direction it chooses to head in, it seems inevitable that the company − fairly or unfairly − will face criticism. Price rises could lead people to conclude that this is the end of an era for OnePlus, while failure to include 5G support on the OnePlus 7 could raise questions about the the company’s ‘Never Settle’ ethos.
All of which brings us to…
OnePlus 7 price – How much will the OnePlus 7 cost?
The OnePlus 6 launched last year at a starting price of £469. Prior to that, in 2017, the OnePlus 5 went for £449.
Moving further back, the OnePlus 3 was just £309 (swiftly increased to £329 because Brexit), the OnePlus 2 cost £289, and the OnePlus One first landed in 2014 for just £229.
There is a clear trend here, with each successive mainline OnePlus phone being more expensive than the last. But after the big price hop from 3 to 5 (there was no OnePlus 4, in case you were wondering), things have evened out a little.
One other factor to mention before we make a calculated estimation is that the OnePlus 6T received a bump up in price to £499.
If we were to take an educated guess on a OnePlus 7 price, it would be the same as that 6T: £499. The OnePlus brand still stands for value, as there’s a lot of weight behind the idea of a flagship-level phone for literally half the price of Apple’s and Samsung’s latest efforts.
There’s a chance we’ll see another price bump, but if that happened we wouldn’t expect it to stray too far north of £500 for the base model.
With a 5G model also looking likely (more on that further down the page), you can expect to pay a good chunk more for that.
“The forecast from Pete is between $200 and $300 higher for the 5G device – not necessarily a problem for our users because it’s what they’re after,” Eric Gass, OnePlus’ director of global brand partnerships, told Trusted Reviews last year.
“Because 5G will still be very much for a small, unique portion of enthusiasts though, we will also have a 4G product developed and available in parallel.”
OnePlus 7 − Camera
Speculation has tipped a triple camera on the back of the device and a pop-up selfie camera on the front to allow for a full screen display (more on this in the following section).
Now there’s a further hint that those twittering little birds might be onto something. The noted Twitter leaker IceUniverse has published an image of a case, claiming it to have been made for the OnePlus 7.
The admittedly cheap-looking accessory does have a rear orifice suited to a triple camera, as well as a barely-visible gap on top, fit for a pop-up selfie camera akin to those we’ve seen from OnePlus stablemates like Oppo and Vivo.
While this is far from confirmation of those features, Ice Universe does have an excellent track record when it comes to this matter. Thus, there is a good possibility the case is faithful to the design of the forthcoming OnePlus 7.
Another March leak, this time from @OnLeaks, offered up picture and video renders showing both of those features.
To date, we haven’t seen many smartphones with slider cameras, but the Vivo Nex S is one that immediately springs to mind.
In our review, we wrote: “This is a neat solution to the issue of hampering the screen, and it feels well put together – but it also looks vulnerable to drop damage. This is a bigger problem than you might initially believe: on rare occasions, the camera popped open with the phone in my pocket, and didn’t close – even with the screen off.”
OnePlus 7 – Performance and features
It’s worth reflecting on why OnePlus was at Qualcomm’s aforementioned Tech Summit in Hawaii. It was to announce a partnership with the major chip manufacturer, which will see the OnePlus 7 become the first smartphone to utilise the new Snapdragon 855 processor.
This chip is built using a smaller 7nm process, so you can expect it to be significantly faster and more efficient than 2018’s Snapdragon 845.
We’ve already seen some of the performance gains that can be made using such a process, with the Apple A12 and the Kirin 980, both of which outperformed the Snapdragon 845 on key metrics.
OnePlus always fits its phones with stacks of RAM, which helps with their butter smooth feel. Predicting 6GB or 8GB would be a safe bet, but there’s reason to hope that OnePlus might go further.
The recently released OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition packs a staggering 10GB of RAM. Might the OnePlus 7 follow its lead?
Unfortunately, the OnePlus 7 will not be the first in OnePlus’ range to include wireless charging. In an interview in February, the company’s CEO Pete Lau called wireless charging inferior to the wired charging solution offered by the OnePlus 6T.
“OnePlus charging is one of the best,” Lau told Cnet through an interpreter. “Wireless charging is far inferior.”
That doesn’t sound like a man who’s ready to offer a cable-free charging solution for its flagship phone, does it? Lau pointed out that the OnePlus 6T can be charged by 50% in just 20 minutes when plugged into the mains. The newest device in the range can be fully replenished in after an hour, thanks to the company’s Fast Charge technology.
Charging a device wirelessly tends to take a lot longer due to the comparative wattage able to reach the battery using this method.
Wireless charging is one of the most requested features from OnePlus fans, but the company is yet to embrace the capability on the majority of flagship phones.
Given OnePlus phones are still undercutting competitors in terms of pricing, the lack of wireless charging is one of the few sacrifices customers have to make when buying a handset from the company.
OnePlus 7 – Design and display
Back in January, SlashLeaks provided a leaked picture of an apparent mystery OnePlus device in a form-disguising case. As you can see, it appears to have a proper edge-to-edge screen and − notch haters rejoice! − no screen cutout.
As mentioned above, it looks like the phone will feature a Vivo Nex S-like popup front-facing camera you’ll be able to slide in and out of the phone’s main body.
As for the precise nature of that display, we would expect OnePlus to stick to its guns and go with a 6.5-inch(ish) AMOLED.
There’s room for the company to make the jump to a QHD resolution, especially if the screen gets any bigger. But traditionally the company doesn’t tend to see the benefit in relation to the hit on battery life and performance.
With that Snapdragon 855 onboard, though, who knows?
For the time being, we’ll leave you with this lovely concept video from DBS Designing, which shows what that popup camera could look like.
What would you like to see from the OnePlus 7? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.