OnePlus 8T Concept unveiled as a colour-changing smartphone

OnePlus 8T Concept: world's first colour-changing smartphone
(Image credit: OnePlus)

Have you ever looked at your smartphone and wondered why it can't change colour? No? Us either. Still, that's one of the unique (bold, underlined, italicised) selling points the OnePlus 8T Concept, which features a rear panel covered in a colour-changing film.

The Chinese phone maker has just announced the chameleon-like device, which is loosely based on the existing OnePlus 8T, in a blog post. The firm claimed the tech could one day 'push the boundaries of human interaction'.

But how does it work? The film contains metal oxide. When activated by an electrical current, the film transitions from sliver to dark blue as if by magic – yes, it can only manage two colours at the moment.

To make things a little more interesting, OnePlus has combined the colour-changing tech – dubbed Electronic Color, Material and Finish (ECMF) – with an mmWave radar module that enables touchless controls, plus a breathing monitor.

The firm is tipping the 8T Concept for a variety of uses. It says the glowing panel could be used to notify users when a loved one calls. In another case, OnePlus shows how the gradual pulsing of the light could lead users through mindful breathing exercises. Namaste.

You may remember OnePlus showed off a similar concept phone at CES 2020. That one used electromagnetic privacy glass to obscure the phone lens at the touch of a button. Presumably this latest concept will take a bow at the virtual CES 2021 show in January, but that's yet to be confirmed.

Either way, OnePlus has no plans to release the OnePlus 8T Concept to the public so those in the market for a cutting-edge Android phone might want to turn their attention to the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S21.


Read our full review of the OnePlus 8 Pro

Splash the cash on the best smartphones for music and movies

Prefer iOS to Android? Here's our verdict on the new iPhone 12

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test