OnePlus Z Preview: OnePlus X's Spiritual Successor

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This article will be regularly updated with new information on the OnePlus Z (this is a preview article) — both official teasers and credible leaks, rumors, and insider claims — as it becomes available in the run-up to the release of the upcoming Android smartphone. The last update was made on May 8.

The OnePlus Z is the company's upcoming mid-range smartphone. The device has been leaking for quite some time now, and based on the latest information, it will become official in July. As most of you know by now, OnePlus did announce two flagship-grade phones in April. Well, the OnePlus Z will be a more affordable alternative to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro.

The OnePlus Z will become a spiritual successor to the OnePlus X, kind of. The OnePlus X, for those of you that don't remember, was a mid-range smartphone that launched alongside the OnePlus 2. That was way back in 2015, and since then, OnePlus did not release a single mid-range smartphone. The OnePlus X was quite popular in the tech community, but its sales were not as good as OnePlus had hoped.

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Well, considering that the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are quite expensive, the company seems to think it's a good idea to offer a more affordable alternative. The OnePlus Z will resemble its siblings a bit, but not as much as you may think. In this article, we'll talk about what you can expect out of the OnePlus Z, as this is a preview article after all. So, let's get started.

OnePlus Z or OnePlus 8 Lite?

Before we get down to the design portion of this preview, let's talk about the name of the device. The OnePlus Z will be its name, it seems, but that was not the case from the get-go. Initial rumors and leaks suggested that the phone will be called the OnePlus 8 Lite. That would make sense as the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are the company's flagships. Well, OnePlus has decided to go down a different route, it seems.

Every single report in the last couple of weeks seems to suggest the device will be called the OnePlus Z. Even some high-profile tipsters confirmed it, so that's what we're expecting. This will not be the first product in the 'Z' lineup, though. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z earphones had been announced alongside the OnePlus 8 series.

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This will be a first Z-branded smartphone, though. We're not sure why OnePlus opted for that name, but there you go. The OnePlus X wasn't exactly called the OnePlus 2 Lite either, so… it seems like OnePlus wants to completely differentiate those devices. It wants to keep its flagship lineup completely separate.

A centered display camera hole, and a flat display

OnePlus 8 Lite render leak 7

The OnePlus Z will resemble the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, but only to a degree. It will be made out of metal and glass, as those two phones, but it'll be easy to recognize it. Unlike the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, the OnePlus Z will feature a flat display. On top of that, it will have a centered display camera hole, not one on the side. The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro include such a hole in the top-left corner of their displays.

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The back of the device will also look different. The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro include a centered display camera setup, while the OnePlus Z's will be moved to the side (top-left corner). The camera module itself will look different as well. The OnePlus Z is rumored to include two or three cameras inside its rear camera module, less than both OnePlus 8 phones.

The alert slider will be included

The power / lock key will be placed on the right side of the phone, along with the alert slider. The volume up and down buttons will be located on the left. The phone will not include a 3.5mm headphone jack, even though some people were hoping it will. OnePlus has completely abandoned the audio jack it seems.

Many people will probably appreciate a flat display on this phone, as the curved display was one of the main complaints when it comes to the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. The OnePlus Z is also expected to be a bit smaller than its siblings, especially the 'Pro' model. It's rumored to include a 6.4 or 6.5-inch display. An initial leak, containing CAD-based renders, suggested the phone will measure 159.2 x 74 x 8.6mm.

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If that information ends up being true, it will be a bit shorter, and a bit wider than the OnePlus 8. It will be considerably shorter than the OnePlus 8 Pro, though. Those measurements are probably accurate, at least approximately.

Powerful mid-range specifications, and 5G support

The OnePlus Z will be quite a powerful mid-range phone, if rumors are accurate. The phone will be fueled by the Snapdragon 765 64-bit octa-core processor. That is the most powerful mid-range chip that Qualcomm has to offer, and it supports 5G. The OnePlus Z will be one of the most compelling mid-range phones with 5G support.

The device was initially rumored to include the MediaTek Dimensity 1000L, but that won't be the case. OnePlus either changed its mind, or the original rumor was inaccurate. The device will also include a 90Hz display. OnePlus said, a while back, that it will not release any more smartphones with regular, 60Hz displays. That basically confirms a 90Hz panel for the OnePlus Z.

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The OnePlus 8 includes a 90Hz display, while the OnePlus 8 Pro comes with a 120Hz panel. The OnePlus Z will probably include a fullHD+ 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display, like the OnePlus 8, but that display will be flat, and possibly smaller than the panel on the OnePlus 8. As mentioned earlier, we're expecting to see a 6.4 or 6.5-inch display on the device.

OnePlus 8 Lite render leak 8

The phone is expected to offer at least 6GB of RAM, though that information hasn't leaked yet. Chances are only one RAM variant will be available, but we'll see. We don't have any information regarding the storage just yet, but you can expect 128GB to be included in the base model. That storage probably will not be expandable.

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Android 10 coming, along with a 48-megapixel main camera

Android 10 will come pre-installed on the device, along with OnePlus' OxygenOS skin. The OnePlus Z may include a 48-megapixel main camera on the back, the same sensor as the OnePlus 7 series, 7T series, and the OnePlus 8 (regular model). In addition to that, we're expecting to see an ultra-wide camera on the back. A third sensor is a possibility, we'll see.

An in-display fingerprint scanner will be included inside of this phone, an optical one. You can also expect the device to offer a large battery, and 30T Warp Charge fast wired charging. That is a 30W charging, the same one you can find on the OnePlus 8 series. The device almost certainly won't support wireless charging. The device probably won't offer an IP rating either.

How affordable will it be?

Well, the OnePlus Z's price tag hasn't surfaced yet. The OnePlus 8's base model is priced at $699 / €729 in the US / Europe, so the OnePlus Z will probably be considerably more affordable than that. This phone will still be quite compelling, but in order for it to sell, it needs to undercut the OnePlus 8 by a significant margin.

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We can only guess at this point, as nothing surfaced when it comes to the phone's price tag. If we have to guess, we'd say it will cost below $549 / €549. We'll have to wait for some rumored information in order to be more specific, though. Such information will hopefully surface in the near future.

It's coming in July, it seems

OnePlus Z July launch

OnePlus still did not announce when will the OnePlus Z launch. The company didn't even acknowledge the existence of the device just yet. Well, that may be the case, but a well-known tipster already revealed the phone's launch timeframe. Max J. reported that the OnePlus Z will become official in July. In addition to that, he also confirmed that it will be fueled by the Snapdragon 765, and support 5G.

The OnePlus Z was initially rumored to arrive in July, and it seems like that information was accurate. We still do not know when in July will the phone launch, but it sure seems like it's coming next month. If that information is accurate, OnePlus is expected to start teasing the phone's arrival soon, as it did with the OnePlus 8 series.