OnePlus 8 Lite might actually be the OnePlus Z, coming later in 2020

The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition
The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition (Image credit: Future)

The OnePlus 8 series launch event is happening on April 14, and while we were expecting three phones to be launched (the base handset with a Lite and Pro variant), it seems that may not be the case.

No, according to multiple reliable leakers the OnePlus 8 Lite isn't to be unveiled on April 14. Instead it will apparently land later, and with a different name.

Firstly, Max Weinbach stated that the OnePlus 8 Lite would actually be called the OnePlus Z, as a spiritual successor to the OnePlus X from 2015 which was a budget alternative to the OnePlus 2. This handset would likely be for fans who are put off by the fact that OnePlus phones are slowly getting more and more pricey.

Oppo, a phone company owned by the same parent company as OnePlus, took a similar route in expanding its Oppo Reno series with the Oppo Reno Z, and Apple is rumored to be doing the same with the iPhone 9 for people who don't want to pay for a pricey iPhone 11.

As for the later launch, Ishan Agarwal tweeted that the OnePlus Z might come later in 2020, and that it could herald the beginning of a whole new OnePlus range.

This, presumably, would be a series distinct from the OnePlus 8T range - which we're also expecting later this year - and would be aimed at a different audience to the main devices.

Most phone companies have multiple lines of smartphones coming out, like Samsung with its Galaxy S, Note, A, M and J phones available in some combination depending on region, so it wouldn't be surprising if OnePlus did the same.

It sounds like OnePlus could be trying to come up with a budget line to sit under its main line, like how Xiaomi has the Redmi brand to hit that market.

We'll likely find out later in the year though, with the April 14 launch dedicated to the OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro by the sounds of it. TechRadar will be reporting on all the news from the event, as well as our analysis and opinions, so stay tuned for that.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.