OnePlus stole the spotlight in CES 2020 with Concept One, a stylish smartphone with disappearing cameras. It introduced the electrochromic glass technology which blew minds all over. However, the company has patented four new designs for its upcoming smartphones, none of which seem close to Concept One. The patents were submitted back in May 2019 and got approved on February 4, 2020. All four designs look pretty much the same with an under-screen selfie camera and a hidden back camera.
Decoding One Plus’ latest patents
The four patents submitted by OnePlus are provided below. While all of them look identical in the front, the different designs of the rear camera(s) set them apart. Three of the patents have vertically-aligned cameras, the number of cameras differing on each. The last one has cameras running both vertically and horizontally.
Most of these cameras will remain hidden, which is a favorable change since phones with multiple cameras are all the rage now. However, we are not sure whether any of these designs will use the Concept One’s USP- the electrochromic glass. According to LetsGoDigital, the designs seem to show a plastic flap hiding the rear cameras, similar to how a digital camera works.
Surprisingly, the phones’ front designs do not show any bezels and display notch/ hole. The phones do not seem to have a pop-up camera either. This implies that One Plus could be betting on an under-screen selfie camera.
Who’ll win the race?
Earlier, Samsung, Xiaomi, and Oppo had portrayed the under-display camera tech too. But neither of the two plan to execute it soon. Now, OnePlus has also stepped onto the bandwagon so we’ll see who will release the first smartphone with an under-screen camera.
OnePlus has really stepped up its smartphone game. First, the Concept One took the internet by storm. Now, these patents which were included in the WIPO Global Design Database are the latest talk of the town.
However, Concept One’s electrochromic glass is a pretty expensive addition. By using a plastic flap to hide and reveal the rear cameras like a regular digital camera, OnePlus’s production cost won’t suffer. Although patents are not always executed, we hope we get to see them turn to real-life products in the near future.
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