The OnePlus concept is one essentially a scam of the 7T Pro McLaren Edition with a distinctive feature: the camera is "invisible" thanks to a glass dimming that can be revealed with a double press of the power button.
But is this extra feature a gimmick we don't need, or an elegant solution to hide the ugly camera bumps and lenses? In a sense, it is. What do you think about it, it's also undeniably cool, and we love to see for the first time on phones that nod to the future.
How does this camera work?
- Electrochromic glass hides cameras from view
- Double press the power button to reveal in 0,7s
- Can be used as a neutral density filter (throat N 8)
- Triple camera setup:
- Standard: 48MP, f/1.6 aperture, optical image stabilization (OIS)
- 3x zoom: 8MP, f/2.4, OIS
- Ultra-wide: 16 megapixels, f/2.2 aperture
On the back of the OnePlus concept smartphone are the same three cameras as you'll find on the 7T PRO, albeit hidden from view thanks to the dark glass. It's actually electrochromic glass - the same one you see used on modern aircraft, as one example - which means the current passing through can make it almost 100 percent clear, too. Everything that happens with a double click of a button, and in just 0,7 seconds.
This means that small delays in cameras can be used, but it also highlights another feature that this glass layer can be used for: a Neutral Density (ND) filter. Those who know photography will be familiar with this idea, where wide open aperture means you'll struggle to get longer exposures in bright light. The pro camera concept mode has an nd8 filter, which means that one eighth of the light enters the lenses.
Why aren't there other ND options like nd2 and nd4 or? Divorce says throat N 8 was the only possible stable option at this stage, despite the study of ND16 and other options prior to release.
Getting glass to do the right thing was tricky in this design situation. Typically, electrochromic glass is not 100 percent clear, its thickness had to be cut straight down to avoid optical distortion or reduced light, and the rate of change is typically a few seconds. These were all issues that OnePlus had to overcome in designing the concept, which takes its inspiration from the glass hatch of the McLaren 720s category, as well as the features of glass dimming.
As cameras, the triple setup is versatile and quick to function, just like it is in the 7T Pro. The 48MP mainly produces great shots, while the 13mm ultra-wide and 3x zoom will give you plenty of shooting options.
7T Pro McLaren design and specifications
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor, 12GB RAM
- Aluminum alloy frame with 24 carat gold plating
- Maclaren orange leather with stitching
- 4085mAh battery, 30W fast charging
- 6.67 inch fluid AMOLED display
- 1440 x 3120 pixels
- Refresh rate 90Hz
- 19.5 ratio: 9
The OnePlus concept also showcases some additional design elements not found in the McLaren 7T model. The metal frame uses aluminum alloy with 24 carat gold plating to add extra shine, using a process called physical vapor deposition (PVD) instead of the normal oxidation used on other phones. What gives the golden edge a beautiful sheen, it is not rough.
The rear has the same iconic orange leather as you'll find in the McLaren 720s category, with distinctive stitching. This makes for a really eye-catching look that's also comfortable to hold and nicely grippy.
However, the specs are the same as the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren, which is not sad at all: which means a 6.67-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate for fluid playback, a large battery with fast charging, tons of power from the current best- Qualcomm's in-business CPU and a bunch of RAM.
We won't go into huge details on how it all performs, but it will be the same 7T Pro. What can I say: it's great. The OxygenOS operating system on the OnePlus sequence, which has the better Android 10, is great to use in our opinion, too, so it's hard to speak poorly of such a powerful machine.
Not something you can buy. The clue in the title is actually: it's a concept. But given the backlash, you can bet that OnePlus will use these invisible cameras in a future phone. Why not? Without the camera's ugly bump, there's actually a lot of point to the 'divorce' decision.