Update: The latest OnePlus 4 rumor tips the phone to pack in a whopping 8GB of RAM. A good looking spec on paper, but essential pointless in real-world situations.
The OnePlus 4 is expected to arrive in the coming months, as the Chinese startup looks to continue to buck the high-price flagship trend.
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 3T, which has a massive 6GB of RAM, along with a premium build and high-end specs throughout, all for just $439, £399 (around AU$580).
It's a remarkable phone then, but it's not perfect and we've come up with a wish list of things (on page 2) that we want to see for the inevitable OnePlus 4, or the OnePlus 5 as there's a chance it might be called.
Why 5? The number 4 is a sign of bad luck in China, which may see the firm skip a number and go straight to the OnePlus 5. It would also, technically, be the fifth flagship phone with the OnePlus 3T taking the fourth generation spot.
You'll find all the latest news and rumors about the OnePlus 4 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 £400, $439, AU$580
OnePlus 4 release date
- A June or July launch
It's more than likely then, that the OnePlus 4 will land in mid-2017, to keep the Chinese firm on the annual rotation of new handsets which is commonplace in the mobile industry.
The November launch of the OnePlus 3T (essentially a slightly upgraded OnePlus 3) has muddled things a bit, but it's unlikely we'll be waiting until November 2017 for the OnePlus 4.
Weibo tipster i ice universe claims a June or July OnePlus 4 launch, though that could easily be guesswork.
If we had to nail down a more exact OnePlus 4 release date we'd be tempted to say June 2017, but the launch could be sooner after Twitter leak Evan Blass posted a teasing image which could be the new wallpaper for the OnePlus 4.
You know what this means, don't you? pic.twitter.com/rBCiDUSGHnMarch 7, 2017
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, but there's no evidence of that happening.
TechRadar's take: For now, June is our best guess. We'd be surprised if the OnePlus 4 landed before June though.
OnePlus 4 news and rumors
What can we expect from the OnePlus 4/OnePlus 5? There aren't many rumors 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. These sections will all be updated as and when any new rumors roll in.
OnePlus 4 screen
- A change in technology
- A 5.3-inch 2K display
The OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T have 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.
That exact possibility has now been rumored, with talk of a 5.3-inch screen of that resolution.
The resolution of the screen on the OnePlus 3T 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 was 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 rumored drop in size to 5.3 inches is more surprising. OnePlus only makes one or two phones a year 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'd be surprised if it really gets any smaller, but any bigger pushes it into phablet territory, which is a relatively niche market.
We may see a move from AMOLED back to LCD though, as OnePlus is struggling to source enough AMOLED panels to keep up with OnePlus 3 demand. Then again, the first OnePlus 4 rumors point to AMOLED still.
TechRadar's take: We reckon the OnePlus 4 will have a 5.3-5.5-inch QHD LCD screen - so roughly the same size as the OnePlus 3, but higher resolution to catch up with rivals, and a return to previous tech due to AMOLED shortages.
OnePlus 4 design
- A metal/glass body
The first design rumors suggest we could see a big change in the look of the OnePlus 4, with apparently a glass body in place of the OnePlus 3's metal one.
You can see a rough render of how that might look below - note the absence of antenna bands, which wouldn't be as needed with glass.
We're not totally convinced by this though, as 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 may see something similar for the OnePlus 4. It won't be identical – look out for something slimmer and more refined, but it could 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 3T, which means the OnePlus 4 should be able to slim down too.
We won't mind if OnePlus makes its next flagship 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.
TechRadar's take: The OnePlus 4 could go glass, but we think the changes will probably be smaller - think evolution, not revolution.
OnePlus 4 camera
- A dual-lens camera
- Augmented and mixed reality features
The first camera rumor points to a dual-lens snapper, with augmented reality and mixed reality functions, though no details are given on the specifics, or the megapixel count.
These changes are believable, if vague. A lot of work was put into the camera on the OnePlus 3T. Both rear and front sensors have a high megapixel count (16MP on both), 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 16MP is far higher than most rivals already.
TechRadar's take: A 12MP rear camera is likely, as this would both change things up and fall in line with rivals. There's a good chance it will also be dual-lens.
OnePlus 4 battery
- A 4000mAh juice pack
- Seriously fast charging
Battery life is one area which OnePlus will hopefully be focusing on for next year's handset. The company delivered great life with the 3400mAh OnePlus 3T and we want to see a repeat of that - or something even better.
Fortunately, it sounds like that might be what we'll get, with rumors of a 4000mAh juice pack.
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.
TechRadar's take: We doubt the battery will get much smaller than 3400mAh and there's a good chance it will get larger.
OnePlus 4 OS and power
- A powerful Snapdragon 830 or 835 processor
- 6GB or 8GB of RAM
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 chipset of the moment is, which by then will probably be the Snapdragon 835.
The Snapdragon 830 has now been specifically rumored though, with Weibo leaker i ice universe claiming the OnePlus 4 will use it - though they have a mixed track record.
But we've also heard from another Weibo source that the OnePlus 4 could use that chip, or even the Snapdragon 835, paired with 6GB or 8GB of RAM.
The 8GB of RAM spec has also been outed by PCPop.com, and it would certainly be eye-catching on paper - it's unlikely to have much of an noticeable advantage in general usage though.
The OnePlus 4 will almost certainly run Android (likely Android Nougat) overlaid with OnePlus' own Oxygen OS.
TechRadar's take: The Snapdragon 835 is the obvious chip choice for the OnePlus 4, but RAM might stay at 6GB, since the OnePlus 3T is already ahead of the pack there.
OnePlus 4 other features
- 128GB of storage
The OnePlus 3T 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 has started 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.
The other question is whether the OnePlus 4 will come with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Motorola and Apple have dropped the aging audio technology from recent phone releases - including the Moto Z Force and iPhone 7 - and it seems Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, is interested in whether the community thinks the headphone jack is necessary.
Do you like headphone jacks?October 25, 2016
The result was overwhelmingly in favor of the OnePlus 4 keeping the headphone jack, so it looks likely the phone will keep the 3.5mm jack.
TechRadar's take: We don't expect feature-overload on the OnePlus 4, but old features like the fingerprint scanner and headphone jack are likely to return.