OnePlus has released a behind the scenes look at the design process for the Mirror Black version of its latest smartphone.
The company reveals how it approached the glass back, the testing process and more.
The first problem the OnePlus had to tackle was consistency. Glass looks different under varying lighting conditions, and OnePlus wanted a consistent look from its glass.
Furthermore, the company wanted the glass to be strong and durable, so it looked to glass materials that already exist for inspiration.
For one, OnePlus took inspiration from automotive windshields. The glass present windshields features a layer of plastic fitted between two sheets of glass. This helps the glass stay in one piece instead of shattering.
Additionally, the company studied polarized glasses. Polarized glasses use a special chemical coating the protects the wearer from excess glare.
Finally, OnePlus chose to use Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and back of the device.
The company ultimately chose from over 70 glass prototypes. It selected a build that reliably reacted to light without sacrificing strength and impact resistance.
The perfect finish
The company conceptualized the dark mirror coating with a subdued polarization effect. Critically, the colour variant would need to last. Accordingly, OnePlus created a five-layer nanotech coating.
Each layer darkened the rear surface of the OnePlus 6 by fractional degrees. Furthermore, the layers helped prevent unwanted colour shifts, contributing to a smooth and uninterrupted finish.
The company also applied a layer of anti-fingerprint coating to help preserve the surface of the glass. Unfortunately in MobileSyrup’s experience, that coating doesn’t do enough. The OnePlus 6 Mirror Black review unit we have at the office is a fingerprint magnet.
Despite this, the Mirror Black does look quite nice. It’s certainly a far cry from the early days of OnePlus. While the sandstone material on the OnePlus 1 felt nice in the hand, it didn’t look great. Even worse, it also faded over time.
Additionally, the smartphone’s glass back contributes to a premium feel, which fits more with the company’s current image.