OnePlus Unveils Concept One at CES

Concept devices are more usually the realm of the automotive industry but OnePlus has been teasing their Concept One smartphone for some time….and today at CES the phone was unveiled and there is a connection. It’s orange…McLaren orange.

The design draws heavily on cues from luxury vehicles and supercars, incorporating leather and specialised glass into the smartphone. The use of electrochromic glass was highlighted by CEO and Founder, Pete Lau a few days ago and continuing OnePlus’ partnership with McLaren, the two companies collaborated on the concept phone’s design, drawing inspiration from similar technology used in McLaren’s 720S luxury sports car. The supercar features a glass roof panel that can alter its tint and control the amount of light allowed through. This allows the windows to blend with the body of the car and become virtually invisible when completely darkened. In a similar way, the Concept One conceals the rear cameras behind the electrochromic glass. In the photo above, the cameras aren’t visible but in the one below they can be clearly seen.

This concept phone is a significant experiment into the future form of smartphones. OnePlus started this initiative with the goal of bringing the “burdenless” user experience to the next level. The invisible camera stands as a new form of camera design, one that spares the user from the compromises of current camera layouts. The rear camera lenses are hidden by the dynamic electrochromic glass and only become visible when the camera is in use. This optimal solution is what OnePlus calls “Electronic CMF”—a new approach in industrial design,” said Pete Lau, “This is just the beginning as we explore additional possibilities in the future.

Additionally, the OnePlus Concept One design integrates both glass and leather, using the same stylish, premium quality leather specially tailored for McLaren’s own cars. The device is an exploration in smartphone CMF (color, material, finish) design and lays the foundation for future smartphones with radically new designs and capabilities. OnePlus has always experimented with different and interesting materials. The OnePlus One had a changeable rear cover that came in a range of woods and other finishes: bamboo, wood, Kevlar, Alcantara. Matte-frosted glass and ceramic made an appearance in the One Plus X.

The glass of the OnePlus Concept One uses organic particles to change from clear to opaque and the glass also works as a polarising filter to block reflections and let the cameras take clearer and more detailed photographs in strong sunlight. The glass can change tint in just 0.7s, so by the time the camera app’s been launched and the shot’s been framed, it’s good to go.

This is an amazing looking phone with the leather in McLaren orange and I imagine it feels great in the hand – it’s certainly not going to be slippy. Using the glass to keep the back smooth and the cameras concealed is another great idea. I really hope that these features make it into future OnePlus devices. I want one!