The OnePlus Concept One smartphone is the next great smartphone trend that will probably never see the light of day.

Back then, Samsung and Apple are two of the biggest trendsetters in the smartphone industry. Many competitors would look to their keynotes and try to replicate what these tech giants are doing. However, the past few years have seen these two goliaths play catch up to the rest of the pack. This is all thanks to the many tech companies in China.

OnePlus Concept One
Concept smartphones are very much like concept supercars — unlikely to happen.

It should be worth noting that the OnePlus Concept One smartphone is not for sale. It made its debut during CES 2020 in collaboration with McLaren, a long-time partner of OnePlus. The supercar maker was part of the design process for the OnePlus 6T and 7T so it’s no surprise to see them join forces once again.

Being a concept smartphone, chances of seeing it in official stores are near impossible. However, the very reason of concept devices is to showcase what the brand is capable of implementing into future designs, much like concept supercars. The OnePlus Concept One smartphone is all about the aesthetics, drawing inspiration from the McLaren 720S.

OnePlus Concept One
The OnePlus Concept One cleverly hides the rear cameras when it’s not in use.

This is evident from the get-go as the OnePlus Concept One is the bleeding edge of what its capable of. It starts off with a glass portion that runs down the centre of the device, flanked by soft and comfortable leather on both sides in a shade of Papaya Orange. This pays homage to McLaren, which is the same shade that drapes its Formula 1 race car. But it is the glass portion that steals the spotlight.

The glass back has a special effect when it reacts against different voltages. In one instance, it’s completely translucent and hides the camera and in the next, it’s completely clear with the cameras in full view. While brands like Oppo and Vivo have found a way to capitalise on a notch-less display, OnePlus works on the rear camera instead and keeps it hidden until it’s needed.

This piece of technology is known as electrochromic. It switches from tinted to transparent at a flick of a switch, which can be found on the sunroof of the McLaren 720S. While there isn’t any real practical use for it, it is surely a piece of technological marvel for a smartphone. This is due to the challenge of constructing it on a much smaller scale without any glitching.

One way OnePlus can benefit from this technological innovation for the future is by introducing it into its front-facing cameras. In doing so, it discards the need for a notch and simply needs a singular front-facing camera with the same piece of tech.

Aside from that, everything else about the device rides the same wave as the OnePlus 7T Pro. This means a Snapdragon 855+ processor, 12GB of RAM, and a 4,085mAh battery with fast-charging capabilities. On the front rests a 6.67-inch quad HD display screen with curved edges and a 90hz refresh rate panel for smoother animations and greater gesture responses.

In the end, the OnePlus Concept One smartphone will never become available in the market. It’s a prototype that has managed to turn heads and with that, its job is done. What is worth looking out for is OnePlus itself. As 2020 has just begun, OnePlus will be gearing up to bring the fight to the big boys. After all, its smartphones are known as the “flagship killer” for a reason.

Wi-Liam Teh
Senior Writer
Wi-Liam is a geek at heart with a penchant for tattoos. Never without a drink in hand (preferably whisky, gin, or Guinness), he is also a writer by day and a keyboard warrior by night. On his day off, he masquerades as a streetwear and sneakerhead enthusiast while his bank account says otherwise.