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article imageOnePlus denies it's behind a tiny powerhouse phone spotted online

By James Walker     Aug 5, 2016 in Technology
A phone that observers claim could be the OnePlus 3 Mini has appeared on an online benchmarking tool. The device has extremely high performance specs in a small chassis, packing 6GB of RAM and a flagship processor into a very compact 4.6-inch form factor.
Specifications for the device were found on GFXBench. While benchmarking tools cannot confirm a phone's existence, they have revealed accurate details of unlaunched phones several times in the past.
If the spec sheet is accurate then the handset will be the most powerful compact smartphone ever created. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor underneath, this pocket friendly device will be able to rival current flagships that typically have 5.5-inch displays.
There's also 6GB of RAM, a huge quantity for any smartphone. The modest chassis will house one of the most competent multitaskers on the market, offering enough memory to put many desktop PCs to shame. Internal storage is also high at 64GB. The main and front cameras are flagship-class too at 16- and 8-megapixels respectively.
The 4.6-inch display is Full HD with a 1920x1080 resolution. While it is small by contemporary standards, palm-sized phones are beginning to make a comeback. Last year, Apple launched the 4-inch iPhone SE, based on customer demand, demonstrating that the phablet revolution of recent years hasn't appealed to all.
Not everybody wants a phablet. They can be more difficult to handle than the devices of a few years ago, especially when finished with the glass and aluminium back that's common in modern smartphone designs. However, most smaller handsets have lacklustre internals and are positioned low in manufacturers' ranges. You can have a small-screened phone but only if you're willing to also take cuts in the processor and storage departments.
Because of this characteristic, devices like the OnePlus Mini and iPhone SE have proven to be popular, offering flagship specifications inside a manageable form factor. Since the launch of the OnePlus 3 earlier this year, people have been asking OnePlus to update the Mini. No replacement has arrived yet but this week's discovery on GFXBench has excited many people.
There's good reason to believe that the device is a prototype OnePlus 3 Mini. The phone is overdue for a successor and fans are requesting one. Perhaps more significantly, the GFXBench listing details specifications identical to the full-sized OnePlus 3, indicating OnePlus is behind the device. However, the spec sheet doesn't reveal the handset's manufacturer and model name and OnePlus has pointedly denied any involvement.
In a tweet last night, company CEO Carl Pei responded to the circulating rumours with a simple "No." Pei didn't leave the point up for contention, instead closing down the reports in a single word. Either the company doesn't want to talk about the phone yet or it really isn't responsible for its existence.
Nevertheless, the rumours are persisting. If OnePlus isn't developing the phone then it may be about to come up against a major new rival. Whoever is behind the handset could about to release the most powerful compact smartphone ever built, a proposition sure to appeal to sceptics of the current age of phablets.
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