If a new leak is to be believed, OnePlus is at least considering to including a sliding camera system in the OnePlus 7. A real-life image of a mysterious prototype OnePlus smartphone leaked on Twitter, next to what seems to be the OnePlus 6T. Truth be said, the phone on the right could be another possible design that OnePlus is considering, but it looks exactly like the OnePlus 6T, at least based on the portion of the device that we actually get to see. Both of these phones are obstructed by heavy-duty cases, but the left case is much taller, and it seems to be showing the placement of a front-facing camera and sensors. The design on the left is arguably much more interesting, as it represents a brand new form factor for the company. Now, upon close inspection, you will notice how wide the phone's earpiece is on the top, it's quite possibly the widest earpiece out there, which suggests that the phone's top bezel will be almost non-existent. We cannot know if this is a prototype for the upcoming OnePlus 7, as it seems like not even the source knows that, the source actually wrote "OnePlus 7?" above the image it shared, so… who knows, it's possible. Truth be said, in my personal opinion, I really doubt OnePlus will go down this road, as smartphones with sliding camera designs didn't really catch on thus far, but if it does, that will definitely be a surprise and an interesting choice by the company. In any case, we're waiting to see more leaks, as the OnePlus 7 is not expected to arrive until mid-2019.
Sliding Camera Mechanism Thus Far
We've seen several smartphones which sport a sliding camera mechanism similar to the one that the OnePlus 7 may sport, the OPPO Find X and Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 are prime examples, that's for sure. Both of those phones are almost completely bezel-less, and sport a sliding camera mechanism, though considerably different sliding camera mechanism. In the OPPO Find X's case, both its front and rear-facing cameras are hidden, so they have to be revealed whenever you need to use those cameras, or the facial scanning capabilities of the device. Also, the OPPO Find X features a motorized mechanism, compared to the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3, which comes with a manual sliding mechanism, similar to old slider cellular phones, though a much more refined one. The OnePlus 7's sliding camera mechanism, if it ends up being real, will quite probably resemble more to the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3's solution, it may be motorized or manual, but the point is, its rear-facing cameras will probably be available at all times on the back, as they are on the Mi MIX 3, rather than hidden, like they are on the OPPO Find X. The front-facing camera on Mi MIX 3 is hidden, and if the OnePlus 7 ends up sporting such mechanism, its front-facing camera will also be hidden, that's the whole point of this design, for OEMs to be able to remove the front-facing camera from the front side of the phone's design and thus utilize thinner bezels, as under-the-display cameras are still not ready for primetime, unfortunately. So, all in all, the OnePlus 7 probably will not sport such design, as it's not mainstream and it would be a bit too risky (moving parts, thicker handset…), but who knows, the company may surprise us.