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Is this a leaked photo of the OnePlus 7? We're not so sure

The image supposedly shows off the OnePlus 7, but would OnePlus opt for a slider form factor when punch-hole cameras are the latest trend?

Published onJanuary 14, 2019

An image purportedly showing the OnePlus 7 in a case.
  • A new leak purportedly shows the OnePlus 7 next to the OnePlus 6T.
  • The image reveals that the company’s upcoming flagship could have a slider design.
  • A slider form factor would be a strange move for OnePlus given the trend towards punch-hole cameras.

A rather interesting image popped up over the weekend, apparently showing the front of the OnePlus 7 compared to the OnePlus 6T. The image, via CoolAPK and spotted by SlashLeaks, certainly leaves us with plenty of questions.

The picture shows both phones encased in a… case. But the apparent OnePlus 7 case has circular and pill-shaped cutouts at the top, suggesting the phone has a sliding mechanism; this where the camera and proximity sensor would appear when you slide the rear of the phone upwards. It also has what looks like an earpiece speaker (in the silver bar above the display).

Android Police also pointed out the red alert slider on the middle-right of the phone. Alert sliders have long been a fixture on OnePlus devices.

Why a slider phone though?

There are a few reasons to suspect that we’re not actually looking at a OnePlus 7, however. The first reason is the lack of an actual slider mechanism in the photo. Surely the leaker would pop up the slider to actually show off the design?

Then there’s the fact that it’s a slider phone in the first place. We’ve seen the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and the HONOR Magic 2 adopt slider designs, but we don’t see this same form factor in volume-shifting flagships from the companies. Between the actual mechanism, the internal layout, and the thicker design, they’re more complex to produce than other technologies.

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is one of several slider phones released in recent months.

It can also be argued that OnePlus adopting a slider mechanism for the OnePlus 7 would be a step backwards in 2019. Punch-hole cameras have become a big trend already, as Hisense, HuaweiSamsung and others reveal devices with the design. And while it’s not quite a full-screen solution like sliders, it certainly seems like a far less complicated solution.

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 review: What's old is new again

Another interesting note regarding this leak is that the source website has seemingly deleted the article since publication. This could mean OnePlus or the source requested that the article be removed (because it’s the real deal), or that the render wasn’t correct in the first place.

It seems more likely we’re looking at one of many early prototypes, a 5G variant, an OPPO slider (OnePlus occasionally adopts its stablemate’s designs), or even just a plain old hoax, than a sliding OnePlus 7 phone. But at this stage anything’s possible — I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

NEXT: Is Sony going to axe its Compact range of Xperia smartphones?

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