The OnePlus 7 appeared again, this time in a series of renders primarily meant to depict one of the third-party protection options that will become available later this spring once the device becomes official.
Made by arguably the most (intentionally) trigger-happy accessory maker in the industry, MobileFun, the cases whose listings went out today may actually be more relevant than the device they're shown encapsulating. That's not meant to be a knock on the next Android phablet from OnePlus but a reflection of the fact this particular OnePlus 7 wasn't rendered by the Chinese firm and was instead made by the author of the advertised accessory. In other words, only one of the two products at hand is definitely depicted accurately.
So accurately, in fact, that it's quite plainly communicating how the OnePlus 7 will differ from its predecessor in the camera department; while cynics would say its actual predecessor comes from OPPO, what's important is that the Chinese brand did away with the notch, one of the most polarizing design choices that appeared in the mobile industry in many years. Following two takes on making such a cutout look good or at least bearable, OnePlus abandoned that initiative, i.e. followed suit after OPPO did.
As a result, the OnePlus 7 will be one of the first Android handsets (and smartphones in general) that will utilize a pop-up camera, a module that's literally designed to be elevated from the body of the phone that houses it. This elevator-styled design allowed the company to further improve the screen-to-body ratio of its newest phablet which is now bound to be north of 90-percent. As a side effect, the case MobileFun designed for the OnePlus 7 is closer to emulating the Swiss cheese look than anything this company delivered to date. Whether that's good or bad is up to personal taste but given the overall look of the Olixar-branded cases listed today, one can only hope the OnePlus 7 will be waterproof.
Water-resistance actually seems like a logical upgrade for the upcoming device that's shaping up to be a rather capable smartphone in overall, though truth be told, that's what many people were saying about the OnePlus 6T as well and it didn't deliver. What it did deliver is an in-display fingerprint reader and was the first to do so in the United States. This mini-achievement was apparently indicative of what the firm is trying to turn into a bigger trend related to a concept that wasn't truly associated with its brand beforehand – innovation. Well, hardware innovation, to be exact.
Alongside their prices, OxygenOS has been the only truly unique selling point of Android smartphones from OnePlus up until last year. Since the firm now managed to get a foot in the largest flagship market in the world, it has to do more to stay competitive and continue growing, or at least that's the likeliest explanation for this product strategy shift as the Chinese firm has otherwise never been too eager to cut into its profit margins which the original concept of its brand – delivering high-powered smartphones at aggressive price points – already trimmed quite a bit. Sure, OnePlus probably didn't spend that much time and money innovating while designing its next handset but OPPO probably did and needs more than just the F11 Pro to justify its investment.