It's almost the end of 2016 and with the launch of the Google Pixel, focus now shifts to upcoming Android devices slated for 2017. OnePlus, a smartphone maker that has been steadily growing over the years, is planning to entice its users the coming year with yet another flagship, the OnePlus 4.
The Chinese company, post the release of OnePlus 3, made it very clear that its focus is purely on smartphones and it even gave up an idea for a smartwatch to concentrate on mobiles. IBTimes UK brings you the major specifications you can expect from the flagship next year:
Design and Build
On the lines of the OnePlus 3 the upcoming device is also expected to come with an aluminium curved body. We saw OnePlus do away with the sandstone model after the OnePlus 2 and it is likely to remain that way with the OnePlus 4.
Screen and Resolution
The screen size will remain somewhere between 5.5in to 6in as the company has made it clear that it will not release any phones that are lesser than 5.5in. In a recently conducted Reddit AMA, OnePlus CEO and co-founder Carl Pei, when asked why the company is not opting for a smaller screen size said, "It's too hard to fit a big enough battery into a 5" device."
In terms of resolution the OnePlus 3 had a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution. Going by how the company has tried to constantly upgrade its hardware as every new model is released, the OnePlus 4 will most likely sport a Quad HD resolution that amounts to 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. The screen is also likely to get Corning's Gorilla Glass 5 protection.
Some reports state it could also sport a 4K screen but there have been no indication of OnePlus working on such a high resolution display so far.
Processor, RAM, ROM
OnePlus has earlier harped on the fact that for its next release it is going to arrive with the best hardware configuration to compete with its peers. Although that did not divulge much in terms of specs, the key aspects of hardware are the SoC, RAM and ROM.
We saw OnePlus use the top end Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor for the OnePlus 3, which indicates it will use the best SoC for OnePlus 4 too. Although it is not confirmed, reports say the next powerful chip that Qulacomm will offer will be the Snapdragon 830, which even Samsung is considering using for its Galaxy S8.
OnePlus phones have been known for their mammoth RAM capacity and rumours point to it being the first mainstream company to unveil a smartphone with 8GB of RAM. Remember that OnePlus is still one of the few players in the market to currently install a RAM capacity of 6GB on the OnePlus 3 indicating that it excels in this department.
As for ROM, the company has always had standard internal storage size models since its first device of 64GB. It omitted the 16GB model for OnePlus 3 and is likely to do the same for OnePlus 4 as new and improved software for the device becomes heavier. Although there is a trend of smartphones now introducing models with a 256GB internal memory, no reports so far have indicated any such push from OnePlus.
The OnePlus 4 OS will truly demonstrate what the company plans to achieve by merging the Hydrogen and OxygenOS. In the Reddit AMA the company when asked about OnePlus' software future said:
"We combined platform, system and framework already. Application layer is separated. So, global users will still have the Oxygen experience and users in China will have Hydrogen experience.
However, we will always stick to create a pure Android experience while at the same time adding some features that we believe will be very valuable for our users. We don't aim to completely WOW you. But after you experience Oxygen OS, we want you to think "Yeah, this is actually better than stock Android."
So clearly, the OnePlus 4 will get the goodies from Android 7.0 Nougat while maintaining OxygenOS' custom touch. Having launched the Loop VR this year it is also likely to introduce some VR dedicated functions that benefit users.
Camera and Battery
As of now there are no reliable reports for specification of camera for the OnePlus 4 but some Chinese social media posts have claimed the phone may have a 21MP or 23MP rear camera with Sony sensor integration. In terms of battery, the company has confirmed that it will stick to Dash Charge for its future models but will not introduce any power bank that supports Dash Charge.
"We love Dash Charge. This is a technology that has been thoroughly tested in large quantities in real life scenarios, and we don't foresee any problems. In fact, some may argue that it's even safer due to the 5 levels of security checks in addition to not having to charge overnight," said Pei while interacting with users.
As for exact battery specifications, given that OnePlus 3 had a strong capacity of 3,000mAh, the OnePlus 4 should hold anywhere between 3,500 to 4,000 mAh capacity.
Pricing and release date
There are no hints until now on OnePlus 4's pricing strategy but rest assured it will be more affordable than the Galaxy S8 or iPhone 8. In fact, OnePlus has always aimed to produce quality phones at affordable prices, a reason why it succeeded overnight.
"We've never made a "cheap" phone, and pricing has never been a main focus for us. We start by creating the best products we can and go from there. That said, we are pretty proud of our streamlined operations which allow us to be competitive in terms of pricing," said Bradon Harwood, head of community marketing at OnePlus.
Although the OnePlus 3 was released in June 2016, the OnePlus 4 is expected to be released a little earlier in 2017, possibly in April or May as per preliminary reports.