OnePlus has patented four new smartphone designs. Those designs are extremely similar one to the other. The newest OnePlus designs include both an under-display camera, and a hidden back camera, or so it seems.
These patents were submitted back on May 24 last year in China. They were approved on February 4, so yesterday. They were also included in the WIPO Global Design Database.
The company patented four different designs
Now, if you take a look at the images provided below, you'll see four different smartphones, kind of. Their front sides are identical, but the difference is visible on the back.
These phones differ only slightly due to the different design of the rear camera module. Three out of four have vertically-aligned cameras (different camera count, though), while the last one has both horizontally and vertically-aligned cameras.
You can also see that those cameras can be hidden. On some models, all of them can be hidden, while on some the vast majority does.
OnePlus had introduced the Concept One smartphone at CES 2020, and that phone's rear cameras can be hidden. That phones will not become available, and was only shown for that disappearing camera tech.
OnePlus actually uses something called electrochromic glass in order to make this happen. That technology will make it to future OnePlus smartphones, but we don't know when exactly.
Well, that technology is coming, but it doesn't seem to be included on the provided phones. These sketches suggest that the company will use some sort of a plastic flap to hide the shown cameras, at least according to Letsgodigital, who shared the news.
OnePlus patented a device with an under-display camera, it seems
The more interesting aspect of these designs lies on the front. If you take a look at the design of the phone's front, you'll notice that it doesn't have any bezels whatsoever.
On top of that, a display notch is not included, and neither is a display hole. The device doesn't even have a pop-up camera. That could indicate that the phone will include an under-display camera.
This could be just a reference design of some sort, but such patents often indicate new tech is coming. OnePlus could have easily included a display hole here, or something of the sort.
The under-display camera tech was demoed by both Xiaomi and OPPO already. Neither of the two companies are planning to bring it to life that soon, though, as there are some kinks to work out. So, don't expect it on the Xiaomi Mi 10 (Pro) or OPPO Find X2. OnePlus may be planning to include it on an upcoming phone, though, but not the OnePlus 8. We may have to wait for such tech a bit longer, probably even until 2021, but we'll see.