The excellent OnePlus 6T is just rolling out now, but rumours and supposed leaks are already sprouting around the OnePlus 7.
We're probably still six months out from the next numbered OnePlus, as of this writing, but the rumour mill is always churning – and fans certainly have their wish lists of what they'd like to see from the next iteration of the "budget flagship." But if OnePlus keeps adding big features, then we may need to drop that budget tag at some point.
Details are still sparse right now, but here's what we've heard about the OnePlus 7 so far – and otherwise, what we can deduce from the past.
When will the OnePlus 7 be out?
The OnePlus 6 released in May 2018, while the OnePlus 5 shipped in June 2017. The company has a tendency to launch in that early summer window, following the spring barrage of other Android flagship launches.
We haven't heard any solid leaks about a release date, but we think a May-June 2019 launch is almost completely certain. OnePlus had previously teased something for 15 January, before the OnePlus 6T (shown) was unveiled, but it'd be madness to launch the OnePlus 7 two months after shipping the 6T. Can you imagine how angry those 6T buyers would be?
Early summer 2019 still looks like the right window to us.
How much will the OnePlus 7 cost?
Short answer: we don't know yet. But we can look to history here to see how OnePlus prices have risen over time.
Remember the original £219 OnePlus One? That's kind of astonishing to think about now. Back then, OnePlus offered nearly the same kind of flagship-level experience at less than half the price of Samsung, but the price gap has closed significantly over the years.
Just since the start of 2017, we've seen the OnePlus 5 and 5T at £449, the OnePlus 6 at £469, and now the OnePlus 6T at £499. Breaking the £500 barrier feels like a big move. But it's one that is entirely likely when the OnePlus 7 comes around.
We hope OnePlus sticks with the £499 tag for another model, but given the company's growing high-end aspirations, don't be surprised to see another price bump.
What will the OnePlus 7 look like?
Is this the OnePlus 7? No, it is not – it's a concept render produced by Ben Geskin, who has delivered spot-on leaks in the past.
But it could be close to the final product we see next year. Samsung is reported to be pursuing this kind of design for the Galaxy S10, which isolates the camera with a little dot on the screen instead of giving it a full notch cutout, and OnePlus could certainly follow with this format.
It's an incredibly striking design, but is it what OnePlus is actually going for with the OnePlus 7? Time (or future leaks) will tell.
We wouldn't be surprised at all to see something like this on the next OnePlus, along with a bunch of other phones, but for now it's just speculation.
What about the OnePlus 7's screen?
OnePlus keeps resisting the urge to bump the resolution up from 1080p, and honestly, we don't see that changing anytime soon.
A Quad HD screen (or anything higher-res than 1080p) is often the difference between a £700+ handset and a £500-or-less one, and it's a fair trade-off. OnePlus keeps making tech upgrades, but this is one that we think would push the price tag over the edge. Another 1080p AMOLED sounds right to us.
We're just taking a guess at this point, but we don't see OnePlus boosting the resolution past 1080p just yet.
How much power will the OnePlus 7 pack?
OnePlus always turns to the latest and greatest chips from Qualcomm, and the next on the horizon is the 7nm Snapdragon 8150 (a.k.a. the Snapdragon 855).
It hasn't even been officially revealed by Qualcomm yet, but we already know of a phone that's using it – the foldable Royole FlexPai smartphone. And a benchmark test is already floating around out there that shows gains over the previous Snapdragon 845 seen in the OnePlus 6 and 6T (shown).
But if the test is real, the Snapdragon 8150 doesn't quite match up against the best competition out there. The multi-core test shows a result that's a smidge ahead of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro's Kirin 980 chip, yet still behind Apple's A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XS Max. And in single-core testing, it's well behind the XS Max, while still below the Mate 20 Pro and Exynos 9810-packing Samsung Galaxy Note 9.
The next Snapdragon should pack plenty of power, even if it doesn't top Apple's industry-leading chips.
What kind of cameras will the OnePlus 7 have?
OnePlus cameras, on recent handsets, have been routinely pretty good… yet not quite as strong as those seen in pricier flagship smartphones. Will that trend continue?
Seems like a safe bet, given the kind of price difference that OnePlus likely wants to maintain here. Question is, will OnePlus stick with a dual-camera setup, or will we see OnePlus chase the triple-camera trend? There aren't any leaks on this front just yet, but we'll be keeping an ear out for any news on this front in the coming months.
We don't know enough to make a call at this point.
Is there anything else I should know about the OnePlus 7?
Yes! It's possible that the OnePlus 7 will be one of the first major 5G-compatible phones on the market in 2019... but it could be a pricier special edition version.
It's true: 5G networks are rolling out very soon, and OnePlus confirmed at October's Qualcomm 4G/5G summit that it will be one of the first companies to release a 5G phone. The company now suggests that it will show that phone at the start of 2019.
OnePlus says that its first 5G phone won't be the successor to the OnePlus 6T, according to CNET, but that's probably a matter of pricing. Rather, we expect that the standard edition will skip 5G to keep the price low, while a special 5G version will bump up the price tag to accommodate the newer tech within.
Maybe OnePlus will launch a 5G edition of the 6T (shown) first, but in any case, we'd be shocked if OnePlus' 5G handset isn't an enhanced version of the OnePlus 7.