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OnePlus’ new concept phone is its coolest yet

OnePlus’ new concept phone is its coolest yet


Those colorful strips on the back are designed to show off the company’s Active CryoFlux cooling system, which OnePlus says boosts gaming performance and charging speeds.

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Rear of OnePlus 11 Concept device
Those glowing blue lines on the back aren’t (just) for show.

OnePlus’ latest concept phone is all about keeping cool. The company showed off the OnePlus 11 Concept device at MWC Barcelona, which features glowing blue pipelines on its back to represent the cooling liquid of the company’s “Active CryoFlux” cooling technology.

Yes, it’s designed to look flashy, but OnePlus argues the cooling system serves an important and practical purpose. By keeping the phone cooler under load, the company claims the system could offer better performance in games and (slightly) faster charging speeds — all without the need for the “size, weight, and noise” of a physically spinning fan like we’ve seen from the likes of Nubia or in smartphone cooling accessories from Razer or Asus.

Two quoted performance benefits include a drop in temperature of 2.1 degrees Celsius (around 3.78 degrees Fahrenheit) during gaming, which OnePlus says could result in a performance uplift of between three and four frames per second. Or, alternatively, the Active CryoFlux system could bring down temperatures by 1.6 degrees Celsius (around 2.88 degrees Fahrenheit) during charging, reducing its charging time by 30–45 seconds.

OnePlus 11 Concept from the rear.
The device didn’t feel significantly thicker or heavier than normal OnePlus phones.
Close up of OnePlus 11 Concept camera bump.
There’s also a blue halo around the phone’s camera bump.

Unfortunately, none of these performance benefits were on display with the OnePlus 11 Concept devices the company was showing off during its MWC demonstration, so we’ll have to take the company’s word on the practical benefits. They sure look pretty, though.

OnePlus says an “industrial-grade piezoelectric ceramic micropump” pushes liquid throughout the cooling system’s pipelines and that the micropump takes up less than 0.2 square centimeters of space. The concept phone didn’t feel especially thick or heavy in the hand, although it’s unclear if other internal components were made smaller to make space for the concept elements.

Unfortunately, it’s not clear when — or if — the Active CryoFlux cooling system might make it into a consumer device. OnePlus has revealed similar concept devices before, including one with a color-changing back and another with disappearing cameras, but we’ve yet to see either technology released in the world. It’d be a shame if the OnePlus 11 Concept were consigned to the same fate.

Photography by Jon Porter / The Verge

Correction February 28th, 2:33PM ET: This article originally stated that a 2.1 degree Celsius and 1.6 degree Celsius drop in temperature would translate to drops of 35.8 and 34.9 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. This is incorrect. It actually translates to drops of 3.78 and 2.88 degrees Fahrenheit. We regret the error.