OnePlus 12 wood texture leak fires off Internet debates on bold design choice

Although it seems to have become a bit quieter and more business-minded of late, OnePlus was a brand that boasted bucking trends both in the way it designed phones and how it conducted its business. The first OnePlus phone, for example, sported a removable back cover and cover designs that included uncommon materials like sandstone and wood. More recent OnePlus designs have become less daring and more conventional, though the company does offer unique variations or accessories from time to time. Such a time might be coming later this year with the new OnePlus 12, which might don a wooden back yet again, whether as an integrated rear panel or an aftermarket accessory.

Designer: OnePlus (via Digital Chat Station)

The OnePlus One was quite the rebellious teen when it launched back in 2014. It carried flagship specs but dangled a price tag that sounded too good to be true. It brought back removable batteries and back covers that you could swap to your heart’s delight. The latter was an important detail that appealed to a style-conscious market, a market that tends to make things go viral on the Internet, which is probably what helped make OnePlus an overnight sensation. Those days are long gone, but the company might be making a throwback soon, depending on how you interpret this latest leak.

According to a reliable tipster, the OnePlus 12 will feature a “classic wood grain shell,” a phrase taken from an auto-translation of the original text. The image below shows proof of that, complete with all the unevenness and imperfections that give wood its natural beauty. Naturally, with only one part of the phone’s back shown, the revelation sparks plenty of discussions and speculations on what that “shell” really means.

On the one hand, it could be a completely new variant that uses wood or “faux wood” as the material for the OnePlus 12’s back panel. This is a possibility if you consider that OnePlus no longer makes its back covers removable, just like every other smartphone in the market today. On the other hand, it could simply be a special edition of protective cases, though it would seem to be extra slim if that were the case (no pun intended).

What makes the guessing game a bit more complicated is that OnePlus has actually done all of those over the course of its history. The OnePlus One, for example, was notable for its SwitchStyle covers that included bamboo, walnut, and sandstone textures. More recently, it launched a limited “Marble Odyssey” edition of the OnePlus 11 5G that employed 3D microcrystalline rocks to achieve the unique look and feel of marble. Suffice it to say, OnePlus is at least still keen on pushing the boundaries of materials, textures, and designs that give its smartphones more personality than your average handset.