OnePlus has revealed a new OnePlus 8T Concept phone. With a colour shifting back and equipped with a radar module, the smartphone itself is quite fresh, though it is not available for commercial sale at the moment. However, the phone isn’t the brand’s only concept device. OnePlus has been making special phones for a while now. Some of these you can purchase, while some are purely for flaunting value. Here is a list of all the Special Edition and concept phones by OnePlus we have seen over the years.
OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
The first device that symbolised the partnership between OnePlus and Automobile brand McLaren, the OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition offered more than the regular variant when it came to both the design as well as the specifications. Flaunting a carbon fiber body with McLaren’s signature Papaya Orange accents, the phone looked quite stunning when put next to the regular 6T. It also donned the McLaren Logo at the bottom, which slightly changed under varying lighting conditions.
The phone was the brand’s first to feature 30W Warp Charging, which promised to charge half the battery in 20 minutes, while staying cool during simultaneous usage and charging. The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition also featured 10GB RAM, opposed to the regular variant which maxed out at 8GB. The rest, including the Snapdragon 845 SoC remained the same. Other features included redesigned packaging, charging adapter, USB cable and fresh UI elements like boot animations and wallpapers.
OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition
By the time the second McLaren Edition device was rolled out, OnePlus had split its phones into the regular and Pro variants. When it came to the 7T series, the brand decided to maintain the exclusivity of the McLaren Edition by reserving it only for the Pro series. Hence, the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition was born. There was no bump in the specifications, since the regular OnePlus 7T Pro in itself was a pretty maxed out device. Users did get a new exclusive flat braided cable though.
However, the phone did sport the signature McLaren edition design, complete with the Papaya Orange accents, the carbon fiber detailing, as well as the McLaren logo on the back. Custom icons, wallpapers, and other UI elements followed too. The brand went a step further this time, providing a special McLaren Edition Case with the package. This had an Italian-made Alcantara fabric, which is also used on the interiors of McLaren’s luxury sports cars.
OnePlus Concept One
The brand’s first Concept Phone, the aptly named OnePlus Concept One was the first special edition device from the company that you could not purchase. It was showcased at CES 2019. The Concept One portrayed the possibilities of the future of smartphones. Collaborating with McLaren once more, the brand developed the magically vanishing rear camera setup.
This was made possible due to the special electrochromic glass used on top of the camera setup. This glass, which came straight from the tech McLaren used in its sunroofs, was brought to a slim avatar to make it usable on the back of a phone. This allowed a user to control the opacity of the glass layer covering the setup. When the camera was not in use, the layer would go from completely transparent to near opaque in 0.7 seconds, making the triple-camera setup and the flash ‘vanish’.
The controllable glass also allowed users to regulate between three modes of intensity to use the glass as an ND (Neutral Density) filter when in the Camera app’s Pro mode. The phone featured a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor paired with 12GB RAM and 256GB of internal storage. There was also a 4,085mAh battery with 30W fast charging and a 6.67-inch QHD+ display panel with curved edges and 90Hz refresh rate support.
OnePlus 8T CyberPunk 2077 Edition
Celebrating the launch of the much-awaited open-world action game CyberPunk 2077, OnePlus collaborated with CD Projekt RED, the developers of the game to give life to the OnePlus 8T CyberPunk 2077 Limited Edition phone. The device is available to purchase only in China, and hence, ships with only Hydrogen OS, and not Oxygen OS. There were no other changes to the internals of the phone, only the design and UI.
However, the changes in design this time are more than just a regular paint job. The OnePlus 8T Cyberpunk 2077 Limited Edition sports a black carbon finish on the back with two glossy panels. The glass panel of the camera module has been extended purely for aesthetic reasons, now sporting the CyberPunk 2077 branding. The cameras retain their original configuration from the OnePlus 8T. The phone also has its own CyberPunk themed UI, boot animation, icon pack, live wallpapers and more.
OnePlus 8T Concept
The OnePlus 8T Concept is the third rendition of the same device. While most of the internals of the phone are the same, the 8T is equipped with a brand new back, and a new radar module that gives it some perks over the regular OnePlus 8T. The back of the phone can shift its colours to alert the user of elements like calls and notifications. This is made possible by what the brand calls a metal oxide film that sits under the glass back of the device.
Just as the OnePlus Concept One could change its opacity on demand, the new film is capable of changing its colour based on the voltage. Another addition is the new mmWave radar module next to the camera sensors. This lets the 8T Concept “perceive, image, locate, and track objects,” somewhat similar to what the possibilities of Google’s Project Soli. This allows you to use some of the phone’s features without actually touching it, making the phone what OnePlus calls a “biofeedback device”.
While the OnePlus 8T Concept will not be available for purchase, it does make its point, showing us the possibilities for smartphone design and engineering moving forward. Perhaps, the electrochromic film could one day become a feature OnePlus brings to its next flagship device.
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