When OnePlus teased the OnePlus 11 Concept ahead of MWC 2023 earlier this month, we quickly speculated that the mystery device looked more like a gaming PC than a phone.
Well, as it turns out, that assessment wasn’t too wrong. After seeing the concept behind the OnePlus 11 at the annual Barcelona trade show, we can confidently say that this phone is indeed the most PC-like gaming phone we’ve ever seen. But keep applauding because we also know that the OnePlus 11 Concept is definitely not going to earn a spot on our list of the best gaming phones anytime soon.
Unfortunately, the OnePlus 11 Concept is just that: a concept. It’s essentially a prototype version of the OnePlus 11 (you can read our thoughts on this phone in our OnePlus 11 review) which aims to demonstrate how PC-style liquid cooling technology could be applied to future OnePlus smartphones – which is certainly A neat idea, albeit in an early stage of development.
That said, the OnePlus 11 Concept does work as a real phone. The models we were able to deal with at MWC looked and felt like actual devices we could buy, complete with scrolling screens and working operating systems, which in itself is an achievement on OnePlus’s part.
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Active CryoFlux is the appropriately futuristic name OnePlus has given to the OnePlus 11 Concept’s active cooling technology, and the company’s description of how this system works is even more like Doctor Who.
According to OnePlus, “Active CryoFlux incorporates an industrial-grade piezoelectric ceramic micropump at its core, connected to piping sandwiched between the upper and lower diaphragms. The micropump occupies an area of less than 0.2 cm2, allowing the coolant to circulate around the pipelines without adding much weight or thickness to the OnePlus 11 Concept.
“The clear back provides a mesmerizing view of the Active CryoFlux piping at work. The back cover also has a magnetron sputtering coating where metal and alloy are deposited in small amounts onto the case using an electric field.
Piezoelectric ceramic micropump? Magnetron sputtering coating? Truth be told, we’re not entirely sure what any of this means – but it sounds cool and that’s enough for us to notice.
As for the practical benefits of Active CryoFlux, OnePlus says that in lab tests, the system has been shown to be able to lower the temperature of the phone while gaming by up to 2.1°C, improving the FPS of the tested game by 3-4 frames.
Active CryoFlux has also been shown to reduce the temperature of the tested phone by 1.6°C during charging, reducing the total charging time by 30-45 seconds.
Sure, on paper these may seem like insignificant improvements, but if active cooling technology can be proven to be equal to or better than the cooling capabilities of heavy smartphone fans, we’re all for it.
Besides, what person doesn’t want a glowing, “ice-cold” zigzag running down the back of their phone? Include us, OnePlus.