OnePlus, the Chinese smartphone manufacturer famed for building cutting edge handsets without the expensive price tag has been reportedly working on a budget model for several months now.
The company made a big splash when it launched its first phone in 2014 with an asking price of just $299. Its prices have crept up since, partly from inflation, partly from more expensive components, and partly because it's possible to get away with it. This new budget model, currently known as the OnePlus Z, but previously referred to as the OnePlus 8 Lite is thought to be a way for the company to cater to consumers who aren't prepared to splash out $649 on a new phone.
A series of leaks in May and June have given us an ever-clearer picture of what the OnePlus Z will look like and what it will contain under the hood.
OnePlus Z Release Date
It's believed that OnePlus may have originally planned to launch the OnePlus Z at the same time as the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, however, it was delayed to the summer. Recent leaks have suggested the OnePlus Z will hit shelves on 10th July.
The same leak suggested that it would go on sale first in India before getting a global launch. This was corroborated by the company's CEO, Pete Lau, who said an "unnamed budget device" would first launch in India.
OnePlus Z Cameras
This is an area that isn't conclusive. A leak from December 2019 that was published on the website OnLeaks showed renders of the OnePlus Z with a two-camera setup on the back. The images also show that the cameras had been moved to the top left corner of the device, moving away from the centre like the most recent handsets.
This would make the most sense since the flagship OnePlus 8 has three lenses on the rear. However, a tweet from renowned phone leaker, @MaxJmb is believed to suggest that the OnePlus Z will have four rear cameras. This seems a little unlikely though since the budget phone would have better photography capabilities than the top of the range OnePlus 8 Pro.
OnePluz Z Processor
One of the most important elements of a smartphone is its processor. A slow one will make the device feel sluggish, create lag, and cause frustration for the user. While flagship phones are usually packed with the most powerful chipsets on the market, corners are usually cut for budget devices.
Although the OnePlus Z isn't believed to be getting the same Snapdragon 865 processor as the OnePlus 8, a benchmark test published by Geekbench is believed to show a Snapdragon 765.
The 765 is an octa-core processor with a clock speed of 1.8 GHz, which delivers less performance than the latest flagship smartphones, but is still very respectable. Crucially, it also supports 5G, meaning the OnePlus Z will be able to take advantage of the new highspeed mobile networks being built across the world.
Despite having a less powerful processor, OnePlus Z will still be capable of running all the latest apps and games. This means you'll be able to enjoy everything from card games from PokerStars to augmented reality gaming with Minecraft Earth, with no performance issues whatsoever.
Since it'll also be running Android 10, you'll get access to the latest features like Desktop Mode so you can take a tiny computer with you, wherever you go.
OnePlus Z Price
The price of OnePlus Z will be one of the most important factors in its success. A leak from Agarwal has suggested the UK retail price would be £400 ($499). That's £199 less than the cheapest OnePlus 8.
Another suggestion, published by Android Authority was that OnePlus Z will go on sale in India priced at Rs. 25,000 ($330). This would mean that the OnePlus Z would be almost as cheap as the original OnePlus 1 back in 2014.
With a rumoured July release, we don't have much longer to wait before we find out.