OnePlus Mini / X: ClearForce, Side-Touch and Other Possible Features

[UPDATE] As some of you know, we’ve been recently contacted by an anonymous tipster who had a lot to share regarding the OnePlus Mini, based on his experience with a prototype. However, after these hands-on images have surfaced we have been contacted again by the same source claiming that the OnePlus device pictured in our latest findings has nothing in common with the prototype he tested roughly two months ago.

So, a couple of new questions are arising: are the OnePlus Mini and the OnePlus X two totally different devices? Has the OnePlus Mini been delayed (or canceled), and the OnePlus X is here to bridge the gap? This would probably explain why various reports are mentioning that the X is using the SD 801 SoC (as opposed to the info we received, claiming that the Mini is powered by Mediatek’s Helio X10). We will update you as soon as we hear anything new [/UPDATE]

As some of our readers are probably be aware of, last Monday we talked about the fabled OnePlus Mini and its rumored hardware specs.

The data we disclosed arrived in our inbox from a source who wishes to remain anonymous, and the specifications revealed last week allegedly correspond to a roughly two months old prototype which allegedly had, at the time, issues with battery drain and Wi-Fi connection drops (it was a work in progress model after all). In other words, the hardware is subject to change.

More on the matter at hand, today we circle back to the OnePlus Mini (or OnePlus X according to some rumors), as more details have been revealed to us by the same source.

Join us after the break for the full story.


OnePlus Mini / X to Offer ClearForce Support?

Based on the rumors so far, the OnePlus Mini is equipped with a 5-inch IPS 1920 x 1080 display, which should be covered in 2.5D Gorilla Glass. Interestingly enough, our source speculates that this might be the same exact panel used by the Xiaomi Mi4C. If this is indeed the case, the panel could also include the same touchscreen controller used by the Mi4C, namely the Synaptics S3708.

It’s interesting to note that the Synaptics S3708 is one of the manufacturer’s first touchscreen controllers to support ClearForce (which basically is the equivalent for Apple’s Force Touch/3D Touch), advanced hover-detection at up to 25mm, and SideTouch (a feature that is enabled on Xiaomi’s Mi4C).

It all sounds quite exciting, but whether or not the OnePlus Mini/X will make use of ClearForce, Side Touch or the same Synaptics S3708 touchscreen controller is unknown.

Assuming that the OnePlus Mini / X will use the same controller, there’s still no guarantee that OnePlus will enable/implement the aforementioned technology (maybe Side Touch but definitely no ClearForce since this is intended as a mid-range model). However, in theory, if the hardware will be present, modders / custom ROM developers might be able to enable ClearForce on their own.

Aside from the details above, the source also adds that the OnePlus Mini will have not one, but two front facing 1.2W stereo speakers, which are likely to be identical to those found on the Alcatel Idol 3, sans the JBL tuning.

Furthermore, the rumored 13 MP Sony IMX258 camera will not have optical image stabilization, but supposedly it will make use of PDAF (phase-detection autofocus) and EIS (electronic image stabilization).

Our source adds that the terminal will have an IR blaster as well as an FM radio mainly because the Mini will be aimed at a wider (global) release which includes India, where these features are generally more sought after.

In addition, the rear panel will apparently be removable and interchangeable with other StyleSwap covers. However, the battery will not be user-removable because the wireless charging coil is mounted on top of the battery, and also because acquiring an IP67 certificate for a device with a removable battery would be much more difficult.

There’s also the possibility that OnePlus will let users design their own StyleSwap covers. While we don’t have any other details on this, it’s safe to say that OnePlus will probably not go the Motorola Moto Maker route as it doesn’t have either Moto’s resources or logistics. However, it’s possible that the company will provide 3D blueprints so that anyone with access to a 3D printer will be able to design its own StyleSwap cover.

Last but certainly not least, while numerous recent reports suggest that the OnePlus Mini / X will be introduced today in India, our source tells us that this will not be the case, and that the company will take more time to create more hype before the smartphone will be ready to hit the stage.

Another aspect that was touched during our conversation was the fact that, despite the fact that several rumors have claimed that it’s possible for the OnePlus Mini / X to be powered by a Snapdragon 801 (as opposed to a MediaTek Helio X10 MT6795T SoC), going with such an old chipset would not make sense from a marketing point of view. So, our tipster thinks that OnePlus will stick with the Heli X10 chipset.

Bottom line, it looks like OnePlus’ focus with its upcoming smartphone is on features rather than on raw performance. This is allegedly the reason why the company chose to go with cheaper MediaTek hardware (the Helio X10 SoC, the Wireless SoC and the Wireless Charging ASIC) and with “just” 2GB of RAM in order to make room for a lot of other features that are usually found on much more expensive devices.

This is all the information we have at the moment, but we’ll keep you up to speed as soon as we find out more. Until then, remain skeptical if you must, and stay tuned.

Thank you, Anon!