When we tested the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, we found its 'ultra' elements made it unwieldy and annoying to use - apparently a certain company didn't get the memo though, because the rumored OnePlus 10 Ultra could be very similar.
This comes from a Twitter account called TechInsider (opens in new tab) - no, nothing to do with Business Insider's technology supplement of the same name - which apparently found a OnePlus patent that was filed in September 2021 and presumably published recently. We don't know this source, so take the information with a huge pinch of salt.
TechInsider shared imagery found with the patent, which shows a phone that looks similar to the OnePlus 10 Pro but with big changes in one particular area. This is just a sketch, which suggests that while OnePlus is considering the idea, we can't be sure that the 10 Ultra will definitely be like this.
OnePlus Technology did patent this Design in September 2021. This Phone looks a lot like the OnePlus 10 Pro, but the Camera Layout is different. pic.twitter.com/cS3qyhk6rXJanuary 28, 2022
While the OnePlus 10 Pro has three rear cameras and one flash module on its rear bump, arranged in a square design, the Ultra images show similar-looking lenses at the top, but where the bottom two lenses were on the Ultra, there's a square periscope lens as well as a small rear display.
A periscope lens is used for longer-reaching optical zoom than the telephoto which the 10 Pro uses, and is a hardware feature we're seeing more and more premium mobiles use.
In the images, we can also see that the camera bump sticks out a fair way, and between that large extruding island and the rear display, this phone readily invites comparisons to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra, which you can see pictured at the top of this article. That had a gargantuan lens array and a display on the back too.
Since this information comes from a patent, and one from an unknown source too, we'd take it with a pinch of salt for now. But we're expecting the OnePlus 10 Ultra to be a supremely pricey and flashy device, so even if it doesn't look exactly like this, it'll likely have the same spirit.
Analysis: please don't make rear displays a thing
The Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra's rear display wasn't very useful. Its main functions were as a rear viewfinder for photos, to show the time when the device was face-down, and to control music, but we can also blame it on the phone's high price and pocket-filling rear camera island.
We were pretty sour on the Mi 11 Ultra because of this feature, and we really hope OnePlus isn't seriously considering its own equivalent.
Xiaomi 12 Ultra leaks suggest even Xiaomi has given up on the idea, because the next-gen version of the Mi 11 Ultra sounds like it doesn't have a rear display either.
So why did Xiaomi use it at all? We can't say for sure, but the amount of pre-launch hype from tech influencers and fans, wowed by the bold decision of the brand to go for the admittedly-wacky feature, can't have hurt.
OnePlus: even though Xiaomi did build loads of excitement when it unveiled its Ultra, it resulted in a worse phone. And now the novelty on that mobile has died down, people likely won't be as interested in another.