OnePlus Concept One: An interview with ID team

  1. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Jan 23, 2020

    dsmonteiro , Jan 23, 2020 :

    Hey everyone,

    Making the best use of the time I spent at OnePlus HQ, I was lucky enough to have a sit-down with @Kevin Tao, from the Industrial Design team, and pick his brain about the OnePlus Concept One and the thought process behind it. As someone deeply interested in new technology and its implementation, it was great to know a bit more about this concept phone.
    • Hey Kevin, thanks for taking the time for this talk. One thing I keep hearing about is OnePlus’ commitment towards "burdenless design". How does this design fit that philosophy?
      For OnePlus, to be "burdenless" is a design principle that’s guided every product design and refinement to the user experience. A product shouldn’t impose on the user, it should free them, and the OnePlus Concept One is a perfect testament to that idea.
      There are no camera parts sticking out, no awkward layouts, just applied technology and aesthetic design bringing out the best in each other to give you a phone that looks as good as it feels.
    • Electrochromic glass has been applied to other products in the past. What’s the difference in Concept One’s implementation of that technology?
      Fast Color Shifting was very important to us. The OnePlus Concept One’s Invisible Camera was thoroughly tested and calibrated for speed: it takes only 0.7s for the glass to transition from solid black to fully clear, faster even than the camera itself takes to fully activate. And it uses almost no power. The OnePlus team spent three months tuning and optimizing both the speed and power consumption for the most carefree user experience possible.
    • Do you think OnePlus can bring an invisible camera to the market in the future?
      This concept phone and its camera setup are one experiment in the future of smartphone design, and OnePlus' R&D and product teams are continuing to test and extend the technology behind them. A new technology application requires user and market feedback, and when the time is ripe we will introduce it to the market.
      That is exactly what it means to be "burdenless."
    • What can we expect besides an invisible camera?
      Today we're taking a step into new territory: ECMF. The "E" stands for electronic, and when it is put together with traditional CMF (Colors, Materials Finish), an entirely new field of design possibilities is offered, one where traditionally static materials become dynamic and reconfigurable. By marrying the physical material of a device to the electronics inside, we amplify the capabilities of both, and we shift the scope of what's possible in smartphone design.

      We are now working with materials that have dynamic properties, properties we can control and tune however we like, and that then become part of the functionality of a device.
    • Like using this glass as an ND filter. For those that aren't pro photographers – what is an ND filter?
      In photography, such a filter blocks light so that it can enable the smartphone to capture scenes that would have been too bright and overexposed otherwise. Alternatively, it can enable longer exposure shots for some dramatic effects of scenes such as running water.
    • You also decided to apply a new material to the back: leather. Why was that
      This is the first time OnePlus explored leather back design. We believe leather is a material that achieves the premium build quality we strive for, providing a soft touch, while also create a thinner handfeel when compared to glass. We worked with McLaren on applying the same premium leather that is used on the 720s. In future, if we intend to apply similar back design, we will look into alternate materials that can achieve the same look and feel with leather, while being more environmentally friendly and easier to keep clean in the long run.
    I'd like also like to share with you a couple pictures of the Concept One prototype at an early stage stage of development.



    @Kevin Tao will also be checking this thread to see if he can answer your questions, so be sure to leave your questions about the OnePlus Concept One in the comments below.

  2. Kevin Tao
    Product Designer Staff Member Jan 31, 2020

    Stickied Post
    Kevin Tao , Jan 31, 2020 :
    We are exploring many different possibilites with ECMF, applying it on the whole back of smartphone is one of them. Only when a design is mature in mass production and receive good feedback from the market, we will consider introducing it to the market.

  3. Kevin Tao
    Product Designer Staff Member Jan 31, 2020

    Stickied Post
    Kevin Tao , Jan 31, 2020 :
    The two things aren't mutually exclusive. We are also developing hiding the front camera, but the technology behind it is a little different from ECMF. Hiding the back camera is just one of the things that electrochromic glass allows us to do. ND filter is also a very important camera feature, so ECMF is not only about design, but also about function.

    Simple and burdenless design have always been the attitude of OnePlus, we are willing to invest money to a better design.

  4. Kevin Tao
    Product Designer Staff Member Jan 31, 2020

    Stickied Post
    Kevin Tao , Jan 31, 2020 :
    Quality and differentiated design are our focus when talking about the design, hence ECMF is an important direction, bringing users an all-new design and visual effect. While design has always been important to us, we don't think that it's the only thing that makes a device stand, that's why we also place a big emphasis on software optimisation and camera development for example.

  5. Kevin Tao
    Product Designer Staff Member Jan 31, 2020

    Stickied Post
    Kevin Tao , Jan 31, 2020 :
    Even though this is only a concept device, produced in limited quantities, we still applied the same mass production standards and tests to make sure it is solid enough in terms of sturdiness and durability.

    W1575277191557 and KRishna9044 like this.
  6. Cheetosdust
    Moderator, Content Coordinator Moderator Jan 23, 2020

    Cheetosdust , Jan 23, 2020 :
    Pretty cool interview, @dsmonteiro and a special thank you to @Kevin Tao for answering the questions.

    People should really read this quote (and the whole interview, really) and understand what a concept is, what it can do for the brand marketing wise and how the features showcased can be tuned or discarded during their next iterations.


    So you are showing us a prototype of a concept? Isn't the concept a prototype itself? :D :p

    This looks so much better than the papaya-pink-flashy-flashy version we saw before. Is this the OnePlus 8? When can I buy it?

    Hope we can see this or a variation of this design in a consumer product someday. :cool:

  7. Liehjan
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Community Expert Jan 23, 2020

    Laree, bakiNS, Evoldark and 10 others like this.

  8. #4
  9. Dresa91
    User of the Year 2016; Most Active User 2020 Community Expert Jan 23, 2020

  10. YRJ
    The Lab - OnePlus 7T Reviewer; Community Hero 2020 Community Expert Jan 23, 2020

    YRJ , Jan 23, 2020 :
    Hello @Kevin Tao ,
    Welcome to the forums and congratulations on being the brains behind the concept one, I have to acknowledge you have put forth a beautiful phone with some great tricks up it's sleeve ;)

    Also, I like that darker shade very much. keep the camera lens clean, it will be just fine without the carbon fiber :p

    I'd like to ask, what are your views on replacing the entire back with the ECMF glass? Ofc, it's going to be pricey but I think with the McLaren branding people wouldn't mind paying a premium.

    That's said ECMF glass on smartphone devices sure sounds intriguing and I hope we will have this on a commercially available phone in the near future.

    Bouncer71, MosheG1, B.I.T.S. and 6 others like this.
    KitKat Jan 23, 2020

  12. thoma_hawk
    Honeycomb Jan 23, 2020

    thoma_hawk , Jan 23, 2020 :
    Would like to know more about other ECMF projects in OnePlus (if it can be revealed). If there is a tech that lets users choose any color for their phone, it would be pretty epic. Thanks for sharing this interesting thread.

  13. Deactivated User
    Jan 23, 2020

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2020

    KitKat Jan 23, 2020

    ASCHENTE_V , Jan 23, 2020 :
    Why is it "awfully ugly"?


  15. Ziertus
    Froyo Jan 23, 2020

    Ziertus , Jan 23, 2020 :
    I'm interested in why Oneplus has explored the possibility of a leather back design. Nowadays, it seems to be too risky to use a phone without a phone case. Unless I'm not understanding the situation, not many people will be able to "enjoy" this new development as it will be covered by the case. Of course people don't have to use a case, but I like to care for my devices and want more insight into the matter.

  16. Dave1482
    Ice Cream Sandwich Jan 23, 2020

    Dave1482 , Jan 23, 2020 :
    I sure hope you meant Papaya Orange

  17. zix47
    Gingerbread Jan 23, 2020

  18. Vasi Lupu
    Cupcake Jan 23, 2020

    Vasi Lupu , Jan 23, 2020 :
    The papaya orange leather with that black camera glass and the entire body of the phone is hands down the best design I've ever seen.
    I just hope that we can buy that OnePlus as soon as possible because I can't wait to get my hands on that phone, and my eyes on that beautiful display that is coming.😍
    Great job, @Kevin Tao and thank you!!

  19. avinash@10
    Gingerbread Jan 23, 2020

    avinash@10 , via OnePlus 6 , Jan 23, 2020 :
    I want to know one thing. Is this Concept One smartphone better than the 7T Pro ?
    What about the Camera ? Which one has a better camera when both are compared to each other ?

    RajulChadha likes this.
  20. B_Wrath
    Junior Moderator Junior Moderator Jan 23, 2020

  21. SpencerAR
    Gingerbread Jan 23, 2020

    SpencerAR , Jan 23, 2020 :
    Thank you @dsmonteiro for bringing us this interview, and @Kevin Tao for willing to be interviewed.

    On another forum thread, one user (I forget who) suggested using the electrochromic glass on the forward facing camera. It would be a great way to hide notches or pinholes. Do you see that as a viable possibility for future generations of the OnePlus handset (say the 9 or 10)?

    Related to @Ziertus' question, has/will OnePlus be entertaining looking at phone construction techniques that might make the use of phone cases unnecessary on future devices? If not, what about incredibly thin, clear cases that still provide handset protection so we can better appreciate the look and the feel of the OnePlus devices that we own?

    I find the use of the orange/black combo color scheme to be a striking statement to complement the potential of the Concept One (and your future handsets in general). I hope that you'll be offering something similar on future releases, along with color choices more subdued for those who don't appreciate colors so bold.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020

  22. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Jan 23, 2020

    Starcommander , Jan 23, 2020 :
    Hey @Kevin Tao welcome to the forums.
    Thank you @dsmonteiro for this interesting interview.
    Is it possible 😝😋

    Honestly I don't have much questions about its design. I love the way it looks.
    However one question I always had in mind :
    Why did you not chose a symmetry leather design in the back?
    This design reminds me of :

    I feel symmetry would have looked better. (personally)
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020

  23. meatandy
    Oreo Jan 23, 2020

    meatandy , Jan 23, 2020 :
    All this mumbo jumbo sounds nice , but when can your average user get their hands on
    the Concept One ?


  24. #20
    Bouncer71, drmartin, meatandy and 5 others like this.