OnePlus has managed to consistently stand out from the crowd by offering high-end hardware at a mid-range price.
But even to say that undersells its achievements. The company often out-specs rivals with its ‘Never Settle’ mantra and clearly puts time and thought into its phones, yet still manages to sell them for less.
All of that is true of the OnePlus 3, which has a massive 6GB of RAM, along with a premium build and high-end specs throughout, all for just US$399, £309 (around AU$450).
It’s a remarkable phone then, but it’s not perfect and we’ve come up with a wish list of things that we want to see for the inevitable OnePlus 4.
You’ll also find all the latest news and rumors about the phone on this page. There’s not much to go on yet, but for now we’ve speculated about what we might see and when we’re likely to get it.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The next affordable flagship from OnePlus
- When is it out? Mid 2017
- What will it cost? Probably around £300, US$400, AU$450
OnePlus 4 release date
The OnePlus One launched in April 2014, the OnePlus 2 in July 2015 and the OnePlus 3 in June 2016.
It’s more than likely then, that the fourth generation OnePlus flagship with land in mid-2017, to keep the Chinese firm on the annual rotation of new handsets which is commonplace in the mobile industry.
If we had to nail down a more exact OnePlus 4 release date we’d be tempted to say June 2017, but if OnePlus can get it out a couple of months earlier it could land around the same time as the Samsung Galaxy S8, HTC 11 and LG G6 – which could really get the wind up the competition.
OnePlus 4 news and rumors
What can we expect from the OnePlus 4? That’s anyone’s guess right now, but fortunately we like to guess and by looking at trends and upcoming technologies we can round down the likely specs and features of the phone.
So that’s exactly what we’ve done, split up into sections below, so you can find out all about the likely screen, design or whatever else you might be curious about.
OnePlus 4 screen
The OnePlus 3 has a 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 display, just like the OnePlus 2 and the OnePlus One. Given how staunchly the company has stuck to that size and resolution combination it’s tempting to think it will do the same with the OnePlus 4, and that’s certainly possible, but we reckon it will push the resolution up to 1440 x 2560.
The resolution of the screen on the OnePlus 3 is one of its few faults and one of the only areas you can really point to and say that’s where the company cut corners.
To make an impact next year it’s likely to push the resolution up, especially since by then just about every flagship is likely to have a QHD or higher resolution screen.
But why do we need to push resolution above 1080p on such a small screen? Two letters: VR. Virtual Reality is big in 2016, even OnePlus has got in on the act launching the OnePlus 3 in VR (and the OnePlus 2 in 2015), but for the best experiences you need a high resolution display.
A 2K screen would improve the VR experience on the OnePlus 4, as well as giving a boost to movies and gaming.
The size however probably will stay the same. OnePlus only makes one phone a year in general (after it axed its OnePlus X series) and while there’s no such thing as one size fits all the company is going to want to get close.
Big phones are growing in popularity and it’s done well with the 5.5-inch size point, so we can’t see the OnePlus 4 getting any smaller, but any bigger pushes it into phablet territory, which is a relatively niche market.
We also expect the screen will be AMOLED again. That was new for this year and it’s unlikely that OnePlus will switch back to LCD given how vibrant the OnePlus 3 display is.
OnePlus 4 design
While it’s tough to pinpoint how OnePlus has kept the cost down in the final design of its handsets it presumably aims to keep spending to a minimum during the development of the phone, which means a whole new design every year isn’t likely to be on the cards.
The company completely changed the design for the OnePlus 3, giving it a truly premium metal build, so we expect to see something similar for the OnePlus 4. It won’t be identical – look out for something slimmer and more refined, but it will likely have a similar overall look.
We’re hoping for further bezel slimming – allowing the OnePlus 4 to sport a more compact frame even though it houses a 5.5-inch display. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge also boasts a 5.5-inch screen, but it’s narrower and shorter than the OnePlus 3, which means the OnePlus 4 should be able to slim down too.
We won’t mind if OnePlus makes its fourth gen phone slightly thicker, allowing it to reduce bezel size while making a bit more room for a bigger battery. And space for a microSD slot? We can but dream.
OnePlus 4 camera
A lot of work was put into the camera on the OnePlus 3. Both rear and front sensors have a high megapixel count (16MP and 8MP respectively), there’s optical image stabilization and plenty of other features.
But the end result is a snapper which still isn’t quite up to the standards of the best around, so expect the camera on the OnePlus 4 to be further tuned and improved. That’s not to say it’s a bad offering, it’s just the bar has been raised so high it’s difficult – on a budget – to match it.
The megapixel count on the rear snapper may change, but if so it will probably be dropped in line with the current trend of 12MP snappers from the likes of Samsung, Apple and Huawei.
We doubt the front-facing one will get a new megapixel count though, as 8MP is higher than most rivals, while still low enough to take a good shot.
It’s also possible that OnePlus will mix things up further by adding a dual-lens camera, especially as this looks to be the next trend, but then the company doesn’t always follow trends, so don’t count on it.
OnePlus 4 battery
Battery life is one area which OnePlus will hopefully be focusing on for next year’s handset. The OnePlus 3 charges up fast, but its juice pack has shrunk to 3000mAh, a reduction in size from its predecessors.
Performance of the battery suffers, and the OnePlus 3 can just about see out a full day with moderate usage – so we’re hoping the OnePlus 4 gets a boost in this department.
The Dash Charge tech OnePlus has employed in the 3 is impressive, and we fully expect to see it return in the OnePlus 4. It could be even faster too, as sister company Oppo unveiled an even speedier charging tech at MWC 2016.
OnePlus 4 OS and power
OnePlus flagships are always among the most powerful around, at least on paper, and we don’t expect that will change with the OnePlus 4.
So it’s likely to have whatever the processor of the moment is, which by then will probably be the Snapdragon 830. That chip, while not official yet, is rumored to support 8GB of RAM, so don’t be surprised if the OnePlus 4 comes with that much, given that the OnePlus 3 already has 6GB.
It will almost certainly run Android (likely Android N) overlaid with OnePlus’ own Oxygen OS.
OnePlus 4 other features
The OnePlus 3 has a fingerprint scanner, so expect that to return. It’s possible that OnePlus will add other features for its next phone, perhaps an iris scanner for example, since Samsung is possibly about to start using them.
But on the other hand the company will likely be focused on making the best phone it can while keeping costs down, so if it doesn’t think a feature is worthwhile or likely to be used by many then it probably won’t include it. An example of that is the lack of NFC on the OnePlus 2.