Ill-advised auction listing for $3,000 confirms design seen in earlier leaks.
What you need to know
- A OnePlus 9 prototype device appeared on eBay over Christmas, priced at $3,000.
- The listing has since been pulled, but photos showing the design match up with earlier leaks.
- The eBay photos show the phone’s ID number watermark, which will make the leaker easy to trace.
If you’re testing a prototype of an unannounced future smartphone, it’s not a good idea to leak it onto the Internet. If you do leak it onto the Internet, it’s not a good idea to do so in the form of an eBay listing offering to sell it for a cool $3,000. If you do leak it onto the Internet and offer to sell it for a cool $3,000, it’s not a good idea to include photos in that listing showing the unique ID number of the phone, allowing it to be traced by your employer.
That’s exactly what happened to one early OnePlus 9 unit in recent days, in theory giving unscrupulous buyers the chance to purchase the successor to one of 2020’s best Android phones — albeit for a sizeable markup on the eventual retail price. The eBay listing itself has since been pulled, but remains archived for all to see — including that all-important code at the bottom of the screen, which uniquely identifies the device.
Codes like this, displayed over the screen at all times on prototype and pre-release devices, are one of the many ways phone manufacturers attempt to foil leakers by tracking photos like this back to the individual employee. Presumably whoever tried to sell this preproduction OnePlus 9 either wasn’t aware of this, or the unit in question may have been stolen by the eventual eBay seller.
The listing was spotted by Mishaal Rahman and @Deadman_Android over on Twitter. Rahman speculates that it may be the same physical unit which has recently appeared in other leaks online, which shows temporary branding on the back panel in place of the usual OnePlus logo.
Here’s a prototype of the OnePlus 9 5G. These images come from an eBay seller/listing that seems to be the same source that gave live images to @PhoneArena recently.eBay listing: https://t.co/YSOx3IrfEfArchive: https://t.co/P094gF342SH/T @Deadman_Android pic.twitter.com/LBcu3lvwQw
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) December 26, 2020
Whatever the case, this latest outing confirms several details shown in previous OnePlus 9 leaks, including a bronze-hued back panel and iPhone-style camera module packing two large lenses, LED flash and a third smaller lens.
Images of the Settings app shows a lot of placeholder information, including 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage — so it’s unclear if this is legit information. Other info matches up with what we’d expect to see from a OnePlus prototype, including an early version of OxygenOS 11 and a model number of LE2117. T-Mobile’s 5G logo is displayed in the status bar — and the eBay listing says it’s shipping from the U.S. — suggesting this may be a T-Mo OnePlus 9 variant.
The OnePlus 9 is rumored to feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, a flat hole-punch display, 30W wireless charging and 65W quick charging. (Bringing the best of Warp Charge from the OnePlus 8 Pro and OnePlus 8T respectively.)
AC has previously reported that the OnePlus 9 series is due to break cover in March 2021, and consist of a OnePlus 9, 9 Pro and 9 Lite.
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