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The OnePlus 7 Pro's display cost 3x more to develop, 'stunned' CEO

OnePlus 7 with 'breakthrough' display
With just three weeks to go until the debut of the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro, company CEO Pete Lau sat down with The Verge to talk about the upcoming smartphones and, in the process, drop some hints about what features can be expected.

The display will "redefine fast and smooth"

“The first time I saw it myself, I was stunned;” that’s how Pete Lau describes the new display technology that the OnePlus 7 Pro will include. The company wouldn’t elaborate on the matter, but rumors suggest the smartphone will adopt new 90Hz displays. This higher refresh rate should result in significantly smoother animations and gameplay, thus coinciding with what OnePlus expects the technology to do – “redefine fast and smooth.”

Although the higher refresh rate typically leads to an improved user experience, the technology also puts a bigger strain on the battery. In order to resolve this issue slightly, the OnePlus 7 Pro is expected to follow in the iPad Pro’s footsteps by adopting a ProMotion-like system. Essentially, this increases the refresh rate during videos, games, or detailed animations but drops it drastically when it comes to static screens that wouldn’t benefit from a higher refresh rate.

According to the CEO, the updated display is a pretty big risk for the company. In fact, OnePlus has tripled its display budget this year in order to develop the technology. Nevertheless, in the long-term the investment will likely be worth it as OnePlus will presumably utilize the feature inside future devices too.

The OnePlus 7 is expected to push up prices, again

This added investment, from the look of things, is all part of a new business strategy. The first few OnePlus smartphones were marketed as budget-friendly ‘flagship killers,’ but since then this position has been taken over by Xiaomi’s Pocophone and OnePlus has slowly moved into the premium segment – the original OnePlus One cost just $299 while the OnePlus 6T starts at $549. 

The OnePlus 7, like the smartphones that precede it, will once again push the starting price up even further – the expectation is that it’ll cost between $579 and $599 – and the company will need to convince consumers that the higher price is worth the money. The Verge states that the regular OnePlus 7 won’t adopt the new display technology, which means that the flagship’s biggest selling points will be the Snapdragon 855, upgraded rear cameras, and new stereo speaker setup.

The OnePlus 7 Pro, on the other hand, will tackle the Samsung Galaxy S10, Huawei P30 Pro and iPhone XS more directly. Pricing information is yet to be confirmed, but the version with 5G could cost as much as $899. This smartphone, like its smaller sibling, will inherit Qualcomm’s latest chip and a stereo speaker setup. In addition to this, it’s curved edge 90Hz display and pop-out camera should prove to be a big selling point, as should the presence of a third rear camera.

Naturally, the OnePlus 7 Pro’s 5G support will also be marketed heavily, although this will be limited to a handful of countries – the US, for example, won’t be receiving the 5G variant.

OnePlus 7 & OnePlus 7 Pro release date, availability 

Both the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro are expected to go official on May 14th. It’s unclear if sales of both devices will kick off simultaneously, but the regular OnePlus 7 is rumored to launch globally on May 22nd. However, if you’re a T-Mobile customer in the US the flagship should be available to purchase immediately after the announcement event. It remains to be seen if either the OnePlus 7 or OnePlus 7 Pro will be sold through other carriers.

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