New OnePlus 7 Hardware Could Be Hiding In A Box

Did the world see the OnePlus 7 at Mobile World Congress this week? Or did we just see a screen inside a beautifully sculpted box?

OnePlus has been on a PR push this week in Barcelona as it sets out its 5G credentials to the industry. Part of this is promoting the company’s management as thought leaders in the space with a number of prominent panel appearances; part of it is being a good partner and supporting the likes of Qualcomm and Google as they show off their technologies; and part of it is meeting with carriers to have its new OnePlus 5G taken into consideration for the new faster networks.

But there’s also a little bit of an ankle on show. As the company itself highlighted, OnePlus’ 5G hardware is on show at the Qualcomm stand. Well… the screen is. Because the rest of the smartphone is tucked away inside a rather large box, which itself is inside a display case.

You can look at the power of 5G, but if you were hoping for a look at the new OnePlus design for 2019, you can think again.

Visitors to the Mobile World Congress technology trade show can take a look at the new products at Qualcomm’s booth. (Photo by Clara Margais/picture alliance via Getty Images)GETTY

As always, it’s a smart bit of marketing from OnePlus. Questions are already being raised online about the elongated display… is this the actual screen for the 5G handset? Why is there no

And perhaps the biggest question? Is this actually the OnePlus 7?

OnePlus has a pretty predictable release schedule, with a new handset showing up late in Q2 and early in Q4 for the last three years. Every indication is that the same plan is happening this year, but with the quirk that a 5G handset will be added to the mix with support for carriers implementing the new technology. It may have stepped up into the mainstream, but OnePlus is still a ‘lean’ company that works on tight margins and efficient operations.

Time for a touch of speculation on my part.

I would expect the design of the presumptively named OnePlus 7 to be the ‘base’ for both the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7T… and I would expect the same design to be used for the OnePlus 5G (perhaps with an extra millimeter or two of depth to allow for a larger battery and a reworked antenna design).

And at MWC we have OnePlus hardware, running 5G, in a box. It could be a ‘PC tower-like’ box with different components spaced out for engineering access, but in a world where OnePlus is likely testing engineering samples of the hardware for Q2 2019 (and no doubt quietly showing off the design behind closed doors to carries to tempt their buyers) if I was a betting man I would say that the box was hiding this year’s design from the media… while tempting them with a glorious large screen that asks more questions than it answers.


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