While OnePlus has traditionally competed in the flagship market, back in 2015 it produced the mid-range OnePlus X. Even though OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said that the firm "aimed to create a best in class flagship-lite product," the phone did not connect with consumers. As a result, the company has shied away from this area of the smartphone industry. That is, until now. While back in October we passed along renders of the OnePlus 8 Pro, today renders of the OnePlus 8 Lite have been posted by 91 Mobiles.
Right off the bat, you can see that the OnePlus 8 Lite has slightly larger bezels than the OnePlus 8 Pro and a centered punch-hole selfie camera. The new flagship phone will also resort to the use of a punch-hole, but that will apparently be placed on the left corner of the display. A quick and dirty estimate calls for the OnePlus 8 Lite to sport a flat display in the 6.4-inch to 6.5-inch range and it will probably feature an FHD+ resolution. It is not clear whether the device will offer a 90Hz refresh rate although an in-display fingerprint scanner seems to be in the cards.
Unlike the OnePlus 8 Pro, which has a vertically mounted camera module in the upper center of the rear panel (with three cameras and a Time of Flight sensor), the OnePlus 8 Lite's vertically mounted module is found on the upper left corner of the curved glass rear panel. And this module features two cameras instead of the three employed on the flagship model, and an LED flash. There also could be a ToF sensor on the OnePlus 8 Lite as well. While the device does come equipped with a Type-C port, it would appear that there is no 3.5mm headphone jack onboard. The phone will measure 159.2 x 74 x 8.6mm compared to 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm for the OnePlus 7T Pro.
OnePlus has come a long way from the 2014 launch of the OnePlus One. The company required invitations to buy its phones in order to match demand with supply, but this also helped create a myth that OnePlus was a financially strapped manufacturer trying to fight the more powerful and highly funded competition. The truth is that OnePlus is a unit of China's BBK Electronics, which owns a varied portfolio of smartphone brands including Oppo, Vivo, and Realme.
In 2016 with the OnePlus 3, invitations were no longer required and the company also issued a refreshed "T" model in the second half of the year which is something it still does to this day. This year, OnePlus added a "Pro" variant of the OnePlus 7 and in 2020 a "Lite" model will seemingly be launched.