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Are those… light strips on the back of OnePlus’ new concept phone?

Are those… light strips on the back of OnePlus’ new concept phone?


From its initial teaser images, it looks as though OnePlus is taking a little inspiration from Nothing’s Phone 1.

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Blue Pipelines across the back of the OnePlus 11 concept.
The “blue pipelines” sure look a lot like light strips.
Image: OnePlus

OnePlus is teasing a new concept phone in a pair of images released today. It’s called the “OnePlus 11 Concept,” and while the company is refusing to confirm exactly what the images are showing (this is meant as a “sneak peek,” after all), it looks like the device might come equipped with light strips similar to last year’s Nothing Phone 1.

An official announcement isn’t expected until next week’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, but for now here’s how OnePlus describes the “flowing back” teased today: 

“The images show the engineering breakthroughs of the OnePlus 11 Concept by highlighting the icy blue pipelines which run through the entire back of the phone, almost like OnePlus 11 Concept has its own series of blood vessels. OnePlus 11 Concept’s pipelines are housed inside a bold and futuristic unibody glass design inspired by the calm stillness and vast power of a glacial lake.”

A cross section of the OnePlus 11 Concept.
The pipelines are “housed inside a bold and futuristic unibody glass design.”
Image: OnePlus

So, yes, it’s far from clear exactly what purpose these “icy blue pipelines” will serve. But it sure would be hilarious if OnePlus is taking inspiration from Nothing, which was founded by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei after he left the Oppo subbrand in 2020. As a reminder, the Nothing Phone 1’s rear light strips can flash and blink to indicate incoming notifications or show off the phone’s battery level. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s helped the phone stand out in a sea of similarly-specced competitors.

OnePlus is likely to make a big song and dance about its concept phone at MWC, but that doesn’t guarantee it’ll actually see a consumer release if its previous concept devices are anything to go by. We really liked the OnePlus Concept One the company showed off at CES 2020 — which was equipped with fancy glass on the rear of the device that could turn opaque to hide the rear cameras — but it was never brought to market. Same with this color-charging handset shown off later that year.

Expect the OnePlus 11 Concept to be officially revealed next Monday, February 27th.