OnePlus went ahead and built its own version of Google Magic Eraser

OnePlus has always marched to the beat of its own drummer -- for better and worse. Take, for example, the company’s latest foray into mobile artificial intelligence, the AI Eraser. Before you ask, no, this is not simply a rebadged version of Google’s longstanding and very good Magic Eraser.

Nope, OnePlus went ahead and built its own version in a bid to show the world that it has AI ambitions of its own. It's likely the Oppo-owned company has been working on AI Eraser for some time now -- though the world has known about Google’s version since the Pixel 6 event back in March 2021 (Magic Editor, meanwhile, debuted a year back at I/O 2023).

From the sound of its press material, the company went and built this thing ground-up, starting with its own first-party large language models.

“AI Eraser is the result of a substantial R&D investment from OnePlus,” the company notes in its press material. “The proprietary LLM behind the new feature has been trained on a vast dataset that allows it to comprehend complex scenes. Through this advanced visual understanding, AI Eraser is able to intelligently substitute unwanted objects with contextually appropriate elements that naturally elevate the photo’s appeal, empowering users with the ability to make high-quality photo edits anywhere and at any time.”

An AI-powered eraser is an undeniably handy feature, but it’s also one that Google knocked out of the park immediately. It’s probably not the best use of one’s R&D resources to go head to head on that feature -- especially a feature that is currently available across iOS and Android devices via Google Photos.

More than anything, this appears to be OnePlus’s attempt to plant its flag into what has very much shaped up to be the year of the smartphone. Hopefully next time, it will use those resources to build something that truly differentiates itself from existing properties.

AI is rolling out to OnePlus devices this month, starting with OnePlus 12, OnePlus 12R, OnePlus 11, OnePlus Open and OnePlus Nord CE 4. It will not, however, be coming to the R12-D12.