The OnePlus 7 will mark a major product strategy departure for the Chinese company, co-founder and CEO Pete Lau confirmed as part of an interview published Monday, clarifying that the upcoming Android smartphone lineup will be much more diversified than what has been the case with the firm's product series so far.
The industry veteran hence confirmed that in addition to the standard OnePlus 7, consumers will soon be able to purchase the OnePlus 7 Pro, a straightforwardly named phablet meant to serve as the ultimate variant of the latest OnePlus generation. Not only will this be the 5G-ready handset OnePlus promised last year but it will also ship with a significant display upgrade, one that the company claims will be superior to any other screen option in the industry.
Smoother than smooth
The improvement is going to cost you, though, as Lau estimates the new module is about three times as expensive as other contemporary small-sized displays on the market and will naturally lead to a price hike, continuing OnePlus's tradition of annual price hikes. Mr. Lau says smoothness has been the company's primary goal while designing the OnePlus 7, though it's still unclear what exactly that pursuit entails.
Rumors of a 90Hz screen being part of the OnePlus 7 package have been circulating the industry for some time now, though it's not like screen refresh rates north of 60Hz are completely uncharted territory - Razer already pioneered such technologies way back in late 2017 and ASUS also already hit the 90Hz mark with its ROG Phone in late 2018. The screen found on the OnePlus 7 Pro will "redefine fast and smooth," Mr. Lau vowed regardless.
The promise of a superior display experience is a rather risky move on OnePlus's part seeing how screens have hardly proved to be the company's forte in recent years; even the ultimate variant of the OnePlus 6T remains limited to an FHD+ resolution and its overall color accuracy and energy-efficiency are hardly best-in-class, not like pursuing individual feature superiority has ever been OnePlus's thing in the first place. Instead, the firm places a much higher emphasis on the overall value of its products, i.e. their ability to compete and even outperform contemporary flagships at a lower price point.
Some of the things said of the OnePlus 7 Pro appear to be signaling a change in that strategy, though it's still difficult to estimate the degree of that shift.
What appears to be certain so far is that the mysterious display upgrade will only be offered with the OnePlus 7 Pro, much like 5G compatibility, and that the latter won't be advertised in a particularly aggressive manner. The Shenzhen-based company appears to understand the limited nature of 5G networks will make them a niche selling point for the time being, so investing significant resources into marketing such solutions doesn't make sense in the immediate future.
The OnePlus 7 is expected to be officially announced in mid-May and should become available for purchase within a week following its unveiling. The aforementioned price hike may not be too significant seeing how numerous leaks and rumors are suggesting the handset will rely on an existing OPPO template.