Today, OnePlus held a secretive press event in their home town of Shenzen, China. What can we expect from this ‘screen technology’ event – and why the secrecy…?
OnePlus – the event
OnePlus sent out press invitations for a ‘screen technology’ event, held at 2 pm local time in Shenzen, Guangdong Province. We are waiting to hear exactly what happened, but we can have a good guess!
Update: OnePlus issued a press release yesterday. The event was a deep dive into the 120 Hz fluid display. Whilst it does not explicitly state that the name of their new handset, it does say ‘we’re sure that OnePlus’s new 120 Hz Fluid Display will be the best you’ll lay eyes on in 2020.’ This is a sure fire indication that the new ‘OnePlus 8’ is due for release this year and will incorporate all the new features on offer.
It’s been a busy week in the world of smartphones, with a plethora of new tech revealed at CES in Vegas.
We reported last week on the new Concept One conceptual phone OnePlus have debuted at CES. There have been leaks shedding light on the new products anticipated from OnePlus this year. These include the new OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, as well as a new OnePlus 8 Lite. The Lite model was a bit of a surprise since OnePlus hasn’t launched a mid-range handset in several years.
18 months led to one incredible concept phone: the OnePlus Concept One, the first phone ever to use electrochromic glass to create an invisible camera and built-in ND filter. #OnePlusConceptOne pic.twitter.com/jkCGNOA2FE
— Pete Lau (@PeteLau) January 7, 2020
At CES, OnePlus launched the Concept One. They call this ‘the beauty of the unseen’.
The big innovation that Concept One offers is electrochromic glass. This is material is capable of multiple tints and levels of translucency. In different lighting or temperatures, the panel tints. It also switches between transparency and translucency according to the conditions.
Whilst this might sound rather gimmicky, it’s actually really clever. The same tech is used commercially in aircraft and skyscrapers. Electrochromic panels help to control the lighting and prevent excessively strong rays from penetrating the glass.
On the Concept One, this means that the rear camera lenses are concealed whenever they aren’t being used. A double-tap reveals the camera in 0.7 seconds.
The handset uses a neutral density (ND) filter. This means that the ND8 filter in the Concept One restricts light entering the lens to one eighth, thus offering better image clarify in bright conditions. OnePlus based their glass on the McLaren 720S sunroof, which features dimmable glass for driver comfort.
Given that the CES debut was purely a concept, we don’t know yet when the Concept One might hit the market. It seems quite likely that today’s press event may have been to reveal more details about the handset…?
As well as the Concept One, at CES OnePlus confirmed that the rumoured 120 Hz refresh rate will be incorporated into their next release. This should be the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro unless they have more surprises up their sleeves!
They worked with Samsung to create a new OLED screen and have improved animations on top of Android to show a smoother image at a higher fresh rate. To achieve this, OnePlus will use MEMC chips (Motion Estimation / Motion Compensation) chips which insert additional frames into videos.
This isn’t new to the smartphone market. Both the Razer Phone 2 and ROG Phone 2 have already hit 120 Hz. The new Samsung Galaxy S is anticipated to feature 120 Hz refresh rates, due to be announced next month.
Speculation is therefore rife about what may have been announced today in China. It might be new information about Concept One. It could be new information about the screen tech on OnePlus 8. Or – it might be something completely different!
Update: The event hosted was a closer look at the 120 Hz fluid screen. It seems that OnePlus are doing a great job of drumming up hype – we’ll all be desperate to try it out as soon as we get a firm release date!
OnePlus’ press release confirmed much of what we know – their newest handset will feature an impressive 120 Hz refresh rate, and use MEMC technology to deliver smoother video playback.
It also reveals that the new fluid screen will feature true-to-life colour display, supporting up to one billion colour shades. They say that this is aimed at designers and photographers as ‘top-notch color accuracy is essential for creative work‘.
OnePlus have achieved a Just Noticeable Color Difference (JNCD) of under 0.8 per single display. This beats current professional displays, which can achieve a JNCD of less one on top-end models. OnePlus says that ‘with a near-perfect display performance rating, users and creators will be able to edit and render images with absolute confidence‘.
Abundary has reached out to OnePlus for comment. In the meantime, we will keep you updated as more news emerges!
[Update 14/01/2020 – We added in comments and information from the OnePlus press release]