There are companies for whom a tie-up with an iconic racing car brand would mean a license to go crazy with product design. And then there is OnePlus. The brand tied with McLaren for a special edition of its OnePlus 6T last year but preferred to let the phone’s performance rather than its design do the talking – yes, there were hints of the Papaya Orange color that is McLaren’s trademark but the touches were subtle. The device’s speed did most of the talking.

And we think the same is the case with the second OnePlus device to come with the McLaren tag – the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren edition. This is basically a OnePlus 7T Pro with a McLaren touch, and once again the touch is a very subtle one when it comes to the phone (the packaging pretty much screams McLaren with its bright orange color and branding). If you want to know more about the proportions and specs of the phone, go right ahead and read our first cut of the OnePlus 7T Pro because this is essentially largely similar hardware – the same display (curving over the sides and a 90 Hz refresh rate), processor, battery, cameras, software and so on. There is however one significant hardware difference – the McLaren edition comes with a massive 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, making it easily the most powerful OnePlus device out there and perhaps one of the most powerful Android phones anywhere. McLaren-like speed? This phone is specced to deliver it!

[first cut] oneplus 7t pro mclaren edition: a subtly designed speed demon - oneplus 7t pro mclaren edition design

But if the spec sheet screams “McLaren,” the design of the phone utters the word in a gentler undertone. The front of the phone is exactly the same as the OnePlus 7T Pro, but as you turn it, hints of McLaren start to emerge. The Alert Slider on the right comes in Papaya Orange and stands out in a manner reminiscent of the power/display button on some Pixel phones. Flip the phone over and what you will see totally depends on the angle at which you view it. From one angle, the back might seem a jet black version of the OnePlus 7T Pro, but turn it slightly and you will see a Papaya Orange outline running along the borders of the back, shining slightly when the light does fall on it. The capsule containing the triple camera unit on the back also has a similar accent.

However, the most striking feature of the phone is perhaps what is around that camera capsule. Move the phone a little and you will see a hologram-like design appearing around the camera unit, forming a shape that from above looks like a formula one car. It is a very nuanced touch and the outlines change color depending on the light falling on them. Mind you, the design is so nuanced that at least two people thought that it was actually a smudge of a stain and tried to clean it – well, that glass back is a fingerprint magnet. But yes, we can understand there being no cover in the box – this is not a phone you want to cover. People will walk past it when you place it face down on a table. And will then walk back to try and spot what they just saw.

[first cut] oneplus 7t pro mclaren edition: a subtly designed speed demon - oneplus 7t pro mclaren edition camera

Priced at Rs 58,999, the OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren edition is made for speed, but not designed to be stared at by everyone. Those who do spot that pattern on the back, though, will be hard-pressed not to stare.

Disclosure: The editor of this blog is in London for the launch of OnePlus 7T Pro on invitation from OnePlus.

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