After this month’s release of the OnePlus 11, the company is back with a new version of the phone, but you can’t buy this one.
The OnePlus 11 Concept will never go on sale. Instead, OnePlus can only show off the ultra-shiny (now you’ll know why it’s so shiny) new phone at the MWC 2023 event in Barcelona.
OnePlus wants to get us more familiar with this prototype in two ways: first, with a new liquid cooling technology that should help the phone work for longer without getting too hot, and second, with a set of lights and other effects that show how cool the phone is.
OnePlus says that its “Active CryoFlux” technology was inspired by gaming PCs because it pumps liquid through pipes that run through the phone’s body. The pipes are in between the layers of the phone’s body, and a ceramic piezoelectric micro-pump that takes up less than 0.2 cm2 pumps the liquid, which is a mixture of water, oil, and micro-powder. This means that the phone as a whole is not bigger than it was before.
There’s no point in having all that fancy tech if you can’t see it, so the 11 Concept has a transparent back so we can all see the bright blue piping. This design has already gotten some attention because it looks a lot like the shiny Nothing Phone, which was made by former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei.
The chamber module, on the other hand, is surrounded by a circular duct through which more liquid flows. This is more of a design feature than a practical way to cool the air, though. Guilloché engraving, which comes from the high-end watch business, finishes off the look of the lenses. The phone looks very elegant because it has the thinnest bezel and is made of one piece of glass.
Many smartphones already have a small amount of liquid cooling: Today, most hardware is cooled with vapor chambers. Small amounts of liquid are heated up to make vapor, which condenses and cools the hardware. This method is a little different because the liquid will still be liquid.
Xiaomi showed off a similar method called Loop Liquid Cool, but that was in late 2021, and since then, it hasn’t even been in a concept phone, let alone a real product.
The new version from OnePlus sounds and looks pretty good, but most users will probably find the improvements to be at best small.
With Active CryoFlux, you can expect your phone to stay “up to 2.1°C” cooler while you’re playing games. This means that you’ll get a huge 3–4 frames per second boost. During charging, the temperature can drop by 1.6°C, which cuts charging time by 30-45 seconds. When we reviewed the OnePlus 11, it took just 26 minutes to fully charge, so a drop of less than a minute doesn’t seem like a big deal.
Still, flagship wars are won by small margins, so OnePlus could get the upper hand if it made it’s cooling better.
OnePlus has said that the Active CryoFlux technology “will be in a future device,” so it won’t just be a theory for long. This is at least better than OnePlus’s latest concept phone, which was shown off at CES 2020 and had glass that could change from clear to opaque to hide its cameras. That tech never showed up on another OnePlus phone or a phone from any other company.
The top-of-the-line OnePlus 10 Pro came out last year, and in August, the performance-focused OnePlus 10T came out. The 10T is the closest thing OnePlus has had to a gaming phone so far. But OnePlus has said there won’t be an 11T this year, so it’s hard to say when this cooling technology will show up in consumer products. Maybe it will be in the OnePlus 12 next year.
OnePlus also said that the OnePlus 11 is the first Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phone to be certified by Qualcomm as ready for its Snapdragon Spaces XR technology. The company also said that Tower of Fantasy is the first game to support ray tracing enabled by Qualcomm. equipment in the 11.
For the rest, Xiaomi showed off its flagship phones, the 13 and 13 Pro, to the world at MWC. Nokia also released phones that you can fix yourself, and we hope that Honor will do the same with its Magic Vs and Magic 5 terminals later on.