OnePlus Pad will bring a somewhat unusual design to the tablet market

Until Apple started trying to present the iPad Pro as something to replace traditional computers, the tablet market seemed to be on its last breaths. Suddenly, plenty of new slates started popping up, not yet counting the foldable phones that unfold into small tablets. Despite that revitalization, the fundamental formula for tablets had changed very little, especially when it came to cameras. With the front-facing camera taking a more important role, the rear camera is almost like something that’s there just for the sake of being complete. Ever the upstart, it seems that OnePlus wants to make that camera more prominent, suggesting that it could have a bigger role to play in its first-ever tablet.

Designer: OnePlus (via Steve Hemmerstoffer)

Tablet cameras have always been less impressive compared to their smartphone cousins, even if both come from the same generation or year. The reasoning is perhaps the lack of uses for a rear-facing camera on a tablet, while the front camera will be heavily utilized for video calls. That said, more recent high-end tablets from Apple and Samsung have indeed stepped up their game, but they have barely changed when it comes to their design.

The OnePlus Pad, the brand’s first Android tablet, is aiming to stand out from the crowd visually, which isn’t that difficult considering how similar-looking most tablets are these days. While the tablet is expected to have a metal unibody design and flat edges, a staple of premium tablets these days, it will have one design detail that you will rarely find in others of its kind. According to renders and confirmed by OnePlus itself, the OnePlus Pad’s rear camera will be placed in the middle of its long edge rather than in the typical corner.

This makes the camera more prominent and visible on this large 11.6-inch tablet, which suggests it might even be more capable than your typical tablet cameras. Indeed, it has a large circular bump that is reminiscent of the confirmed camera design for the OnePlus 11 that will be launching on the same date, February 7th. It could simply be a visual embellishment, but OnePlus is known to be a bit more modest in design changes that don’t bring any functional benefits.

Together with the placement of the front camera, which is also on the same long edge, OnePlus is using design to inform people how this tablet is meant to be used. Unlike most tablets, the OnePlus Pad is designed for a horizontal or landscape orientation, which is how you’re most likely to use it not only to watch videos but also to do some work. OnePlus will probably focus on these use cases when it makes the big announcement next week, pitting the OnePlus Pad against big shots from Apple and Samsung.