Rumours of the upcoming OnePlus 6 smartphone have been making the rounds on the internet and almost all of them highlighted the presence of a notch on top of the smartphone’s screen. Now, Carl Pei, the company’s Co-founder, has confirmed the same in an interview with The Verge. The cover image of the OnePlus 6 with a notch was officially released by the company and it confirms speculation suggesting that the OnePlus 6 will arrive with a notched display. Pei also confirmed that the device will retain the 3.5mm audio jack. This was not unexpected as prior to the OnePlus 5T launch, company’s CEO and founder Pete Lau had made it clear that their smartphones won’t be ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack anytime soon, citing ‘user freedom’ and ‘audio clarity’ as the key driving factors behind the decision.
Carl Pei made it clear that OnePlus has moved past the dilemma of whether to embrace the notch or not. He says, “How big a notch is always depends on your choices as a company. What you are essentially doing is moving the entire notification bar up, giving users more content on their screen.” Pei leans on the fact that in order to give their users more screen area, they will have to reduce the top chin of the device into a notch. He also said that their upcoming notch is smaller than the one on the iPhone X and provided exact measurements for it as 19.616mm x 7.687mm. He says that the “notch-assisted” OnePlus 6 will feature a screen-to-body ratio of 90 percent.
Pei made the aforementioned revelations regarding the company’s upcoming smartphone in order to make a case for why it requres a notch. He says that the notch has been implemented after a lot of “thought and care.” It is said to be larger than the one seen on the Essential Phone as they couldn't make it any more compact without compromising their smartphone’s front-facing camera and earpiece quality or without removing the proximity and ambient light sensors, or the “user-requested” LED notification light. Pei further adds, “we don’t feel the need to have structured light on our phones,” referring to Apple’s Face ID.
The report states, “On the software front, OnePlus has had its team manually test the top 1,000 Play Store apps to determine which would need a compatibility mode with the notch. The company is shifting its clock to the left side of the screen to allow more room for status icons, and it’s going to disguise the notch any time video is playing on the phone in a way that recreates the overall screen curvature.”
OnePlus 6 will also support gesture based navigation, similar to the iPhone X, and possibly remove the soft navigation keys for adding more screen area. These gestures are already available in beta for the OnePlus 5T. “We saw the (gesture) implementation on the iPhone,” says Pei, and “maybe it would have taken longer if Apple hadn’t done it.” He admits the same for the notch design saying that if it weren't for Apple, the company might not have adopted the notch design as fast. He adds, "But we have access to the roadmaps of all the screen manufacturers, and when they gave us the opportunity to make cutouts at the top of the screen, it just made sense.”
Since the launch of Apple’s iPhone X, other smartphone manufacturers also decided to adopt the notched design for their mobile phones. However, this didn’t sit well with Android enthusiasts who declared the Google powered phones as mere clones of Apple’s flagship smartphone. Many users also questioned that why did these smartphones with a notched screen don’t have a reduced chin, same as the iPhone X. Pei addresses this by explaining that the iPhone’s “chin is on the back of the phone,” as it’s flexible OLED screen bends internally for pushing the ribbon connection to the rear, making the bezel-less chin possible. As Samsung is not too keen in sharing the design which is used for the iPhone X, Android devices still have a considerable chin, at least for now. Pei didn’t divulge any other details of the OnePlus 6 but it is speculated to be launched earlier than June and contrary to what earlier reported tipped, it won’t sport a design similar to the Oppo R15 smartphone.
Cover image credits: The Verge