OnePlus is looking to seriously shake things up with its next smartphone.
Brand-new leaked images appear to confirm that the Shenzhen-based company is considering an all-new circular camera on the back of its handset that looks very similar to the one that appears on the recently leaked poster for the Huawei Mate 30 Pro due out the same month as the next handset from OnePlus.
The latest leak comes courtesy of prolific tipster Evan Blass. It shows a simple illustration of the handset, similar to what you'd find filed with an official patent. It has the OnePlus logo in the same location as found on the OnePlus 7 Pro, but with the vertically-aligned triple-camera system gone.
In its place is a new prominent, circle-shaped camera set-up. Unfortunately, it's not possible to work out exactly how many cameras are included in the set-up. But given that there are three cameras on the OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, it seems highly unlikely the company will launch a new handset with anything less than that.
Blass posted the schematics in response to a tweet from another prominent leaker, Ishan Agarwal, who shared a photo of OnePlus CEO Pete Lau toying with what appears to be exactly the same handset. Agarwal shared the tweet on December 19, 2018 with the caption: "Here's your first look at an upcoming OnePlus Device I don't know much about. This image shows the device in prototype/designing stage and it is not final but this is probably how the device may end up looking."
EXCLUSIVE! Here's your first look at an upcoming OnePlus Device I don't know much about. This image shows the device in prototype/designing stage and it is not final but this is probably how the device may end up looking. That's Pete (CEO of OP) in the img and the device itself. pic.twitter.com/Yau9EsgSDyDecember 19, 2018
OnePlus typically updates its flagship handsets every six months of so – with alternating between a new numbered release, followed by a minor "T" refresh.
As such, we're due a OnePlus 7T Pro in the coming months, however watchers have speculated that this leaked design is too radical for the so-called "T" update, which usually focuses on smaller, internal tweaks. Instead, it's more likely this design will be used for the OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 8 Pro.
Despite the solid track record of both leaksters, it's worth taking all of this with a sizeable chunk of salt. After all, OnePlus has previously talked about the vast number of prototypes that it uses before settling on a new handset... so it's plausible this design was rejected months ago. Stay tuned for more news on the next OnePlus smartphone, as well as the OnePlus TV due to launch in the next few weeks.