[Update 3: Invisible Camera details and sketches] OnePlus will show off a concept product at CES 2020
OnePlus is gearing up for an eventful 2020. Everyone, of course, expects the Chinese company to launch the next OnePlus flagship pair; and we have already seen leaks of the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro, giving us a fair idea of what to expect. What really surprised everyone was the renders of the OnePlus 8 Lite, a phone that is rumored to be OnePlus’ first mid-range smartphone in more than four years. OnePlus has also been teasing everyone with its presence at CES 2020, and now, the company is teasing the OnePlus Concept One.
We’ll show you something special. See you in Las Vegas.😎 https://t.co/22Vb4Gr0Zk
— Pete Lau (@PeteLau) December 13, 2019
OnePlus’ CEO first put out a teaser a few days ago, but other than the company’s presence at CES 2020, the teaser did not reveal much. Now, OnePlus’ official Weibo has revealed the name “OnePlus Concept One”.
The first guess for the teaser would be a concept smartphone, but owing to the tribute the name pays to the OnePlus One, the company’s first smartphone. But the teaser does not actually mention “phone” anywhere, so our guess remains a guess at best. The Chinese text within the teaser translates into “Variable Design, Variable Future”, which is still very vague and does not shed any light on the exact specifics of the announcement.
We’ll have to wait for CES 2020 to know exactly what OnePlus has planned and what the OnePlus Concept One is. There’s also a possibility that we get some more teasers as a run-up to the announcement — but since this is a concept that is unlikely to be marketed as a consumer product, the announcement itself can be equated with a teaser. We’ll find out soon enough.
Update: OnePlus confirms the OnePlus Concept One is its first concept smartphone
OnePlus has formally announced that the OnePlus Concept One is its first-ever concept smartphone.
The name itself, Concept One, is a clear promise that this device is only the first in a series to come and shows OnePlus’ commitment to applied, innovative technology – bringing users an ever smoother, faster, and more “burdenless” experience. The OnePlus Concept One, demonstrates a vision of both new technology and alternate design approach for the future of smartphones.
The “Alternate Design” element indicates that this might just be OnePlus’ first foldable smartphone, though we are still guessing on what this smartphone could be.
Update 2: OnePlus Concept One’s “Invisible Camera” teased
OnePlus took to Twitter to tease the “invisible camera” setup on the OnePlus Concept One.
We’re bringing the #OnePlusConceptOne to #CES2020, but you don’t have to wait: you can get a sneak peek at it right here, along with its groundbreaking “invisible camera” and color-shifting glass technology. pic.twitter.com/elsV9DKctn
— OnePlus (@oneplus) January 3, 2020
In the teaser, we see the OnePlus logo on a glass panel, and then after a few moments, the camera setup appears above the logo. The text on the tweet mentions the use of color-shifting glass technology for an “invisible camera” setup.
Update 3: More details and sketches
Shortly after posting its video teaser, OnePlus has revealed more details and sketches about the OnePlus Concept One to Wired.
According to the report from Wired, the OnePlus Concept One uses electrochromic glass on the camera lens. This is the same glass technology found in high-end car sunroofs, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when you find out that OnePlus worked with McLaren on the Concept One. The camera lens on the back of the phone sits under this special glass, which is opaque by default and changes opacity when the glass is triggered with an electric signal. The end result is that the camera lens appears when you open the camera app, and disappears from sight when not in use.
OnePlus also talked about the challenges involved in building a smartphone with this strip of glass, which include added thickness, power consumption, speed of change, and reliability. The company successfully tackled all of these confidently enough to have an actual product in hand which they could show off.
OnePlus will show off the Concept One at CES next week. As the name implies, this is a concept smartphone, meaning that it will not be available for purchase for end consumers.