2019 is an important year for OnePlus as it marks the first occasion whereon the company is diversifying its portfolio of high-end Android devices. Sure, the OnePlus X happened (even though OnePlus likes to pretend it didn't) but that handset was never envisioned as a flagship or flagship killer in the first place. However, we're less than 24 hours away from the OnePlus 7 lineup being announced and the Chinese firm already confirmed the range will consist of two distinct models – a regular OnePlus 7 and an ultra-high-end OnePlus 7 Pro.
Today, the base model appeared online yet again, having been spotted in a number of renders surfaced by tech scoop specialist Roland Quandt. The official-looking depictionst of the device, compiled into a single image that can be see above for your viewing convenience, are entirely in line with previous sightings of the OnePlus 7 and add even more credence to already extremely credible industry claims about the OnePlus 7 being essentially more of the same, a OnePlus 6T with a newer processor and limited improvements in other areas. And no, the 3.5mm headphone jack won't be making a return.
While the OnePlus 7 Pro will finally see the Shenzen-based company embrace QHD+ resolutions and ditch the polarizing display notch in favor of an even more bezel-free design with a higher screen-to-body ratio while moving the front-facing camera to a pop-up module, its more affordable sibling seems to be nearly identical to the smartphone released late last year, with the only notable difference being the fact that the "Designed by OnePlus" slogan appears to have been scrapped in favor of more straightforward branding on the back of the device. And cynics said OnePlus will never back away from copying Apple!
Joking aside, the OnePlus 7 truly seems like an odd product to launch in spring of 2019; it's an incremental upgrade over its predecessor, one that isn't expected to yield massive real-world performance gains compared to the OnePlus 6, yet it's still on its way to the market with your annual $30 price hike. On the other hand, the OnePlus 7 Pro isn't just a true sequel to the firm's 2016 line but also marks the start of the next phase in the manufacturer's long-term strategy – the one that will see it take on established handset makers directly, without a massive price advantage.
OnePlus was never shy about why it prices its products as aggressively as it does – doing so helped it maintain growth momentum and establish its brand as a viable supplier of high-quality mobile experiences over the course of the next half a decade. Ultimately, it's no surprise that it likes money as much as any other business and will be trying to generate more of it with healthier profit margins, the kind you can't attach to anything other than a full-fledged flagship.
That's why the OnePlus 7 Pro is not only looking to outshine every other product from the Chinese firm to date but also pursue industry firsts like the Fluid AMOLED display which is said to be the most expensive mobile screen ever created. Stereo speakers, up to 12GB of RAM, optional 5G capabilities – all of those things are meant to work toward the same goal – turning OnePlus into a brand that aims to create superior smartphones, not just handsets that offer good value for money in the upper price bracket.