The best smartphone maker you've never heard of is planning to release a new flagship phone that will make Apple and Samsung look outdated

  • OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told The Verge that the company will release a "pro" model of its upcoming OnePlus 7 smartphone.
  • The OnePlus 7 Pro, as it's called, will come with 5G connectivity and a special display.
  • Lau said the new display will be "super smooth" and "very crisp," making it seem likely that it'll have a high refresh rate that will make the OnePlus 7 Pro's display appear smoother than displays from big phone makers like Apple and Samsung
  • The regular OnePlus 7 is likely to have a higher price tag than its predecessor, and the OnePlus 7 Pro will likely cost as much as most high-end flagship devices, which cost between $800 and $1,100. 
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OnePlus plans to release a "super flagship" smartphone alongside a more typical flagship device, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau told The Verge.

The super flagship will be called the OnePlus 7 Pro, and the standard model will be called the OnePlus 7. It will be the first time that OnePlus releases two variants of single smartphone generation at the same time. 

The OnePlus 7 Pro will come with connectivity to 5G — the latest standard in mobile connectivity that carriers promise will be 10 times faster than the current 4G LTE standard we've been using on smartphones to connect to the internet. 

Most US carriers, and carriers around the world, have limited availability for their 5G networks so far. Arguably, 5G connectivity isn't a big reason to consider the OnePlus 7 Pro.

The OnePlus 7 Pro will also come with a new display that won't be included in the regular OnePlus 7, and OnePlus says it spent three times more than it does on its typical displays. Lau didn't go into details about the OnePlus 7 Pro's special display, but he did say that it's "super smooth" and "very crisp."

Indeed, Lau himself teased earlier last week that the company's upcoming device will be "especially smooth." 

 

The "super smooth" part could be tied to the rumors that OnePlus's upcoming smartphone will have a 90Hz refresh rate (most smartphones have a 60Hz refresh rate). That's to say the OnePlus 7 Pro display will have a "smoother" appearance than most smartphones when swiping around the device.

We've seen high refresh-rate smartphones in Razer's Phones, which come with 120Hz refresh rates that are designed to make mobile games play more smoothly. Colors and resolution aren't necessarily better, but the higher refresh rate makes a big impact. Swiping between home screens, playing games, and pretty much any animation you see on the screen, like opening an app, appears far smoother than what you'd see on other smartphones, including high-end devices from Apple and Samsung. It's noticeable, and the effect makes phones with traditional 60Hz refresh rates appear outdated.

Read more: The $550 OnePlus 6T makes me feel like I'm cheating in a world where top smartphones cost $750 or more.

Lau's "very crisp" comment suggests the OnePlus 7 Pro's display will have a higher resolution that the company's recent smartphones, which have stuck to the 1080p resolution while other phone makers have adopted higher-resolution 1440p resolution displays. 

We don't know what OnePlus will charge for its "pro" smartphone model, but with 5G connectivity and a special display in mind, we can expect a significantly higher price tag than its previous smartphones. It could bring the price closer to what big phone makers charge for their devices, which is to say between $800 and $1,100.

As for the standard OnePlus 7 non-pro model, we can expect a higher price tag compared to the previous OnePlus 6T smartphone as well. OnePlus smartphone prices have risen generation over generation while maintaining popularity among its fans because they have similar — or better — performance than the competition that costs twice as much, all while sporting great designs and great cameras. The original OnePlus One cost $300, with prices rising every generation up to the the $550 OnePlus 6T.

We'll have to wait and see what OnePlus has in store for us with its special display. If OnePlus's usual release cycle is anything to go by, we can expect the new OnePlus 7 devices some time in May.

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