OnePlus 6 Will Have a Notch Display; Company Explains Why

In an interview with The Verge, OnePlus has confirmed that its upcoming handset, the OnePlus 6, will come with a notch display design. While this decision will likely anger many notch haters, OnePlus’ co-founder Carl Pei has explained to the publication why they have gone with the notch.

Pei says that the notch on the OnePlus 6 has been implemented “with more thought and care.” By implementing the notch, OnePlus is giving users more usable screen area as its essentially lifting the entire notification bar up.

The notch on the OnePlus 6, as seen in the image above, is significantly smaller than the iPhone X’s notch. Yet, its bigger than what we have seen on the likes of the Essential Phone. Pei says that the company could not have gone for a smaller notch without affecting the quality of other components. This includes the earpiece, LED notification light, and the ambient and proximity sensors. OnePlus does not feel like its phone needs “structured light” i.e. iPhone X’s Face ID tech which is why its notch is smaller than that of the iPhone X.

To ensure that the notch does not pose a distraction while viewing videos, OnePlus will be tweaking its software to disguise the notch whenever a video is played. Additionally, it has also made its engineers test the top 1,000 apps on the Play Store to figure out which ones would need to be run in compatibility mode. The company will also be moving the status bar clock on the left so as to maximize the area for notification icons.

Whatever reasoning OnePlus gives here, there’s no denying the fact that its move is inspired by the iPhone X which has kickstarted the trend of notch display designs on phones. Borrowing another cue from the iPhone X, OnePlus is working on a gesture-based navigation method for its phones. This feature is currently available for beta OxygenOS testers with a OnePlus 5T. On this, Pei says that Apple adopting any technology helps accelerates the adoption of that technology within the industry albeit in situations where it makes sense.

“We saw the implementation [of gestures] on the iPhone,” admits Pei, and “maybe it would have taken longer if Apple hadn’t done it.” He has the same answer when I ask him whether OnePlus would have done a notch design had it not been for the iPhone X: “Maybe not as fast. 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.” OnePlus agrees with the widely held view that Apple “accelerates the adoption of things within the industry,” adding the subtle caveat of “where it makes sense.” (Related side note: the OnePlus 6 will have a headphone jack).

While the OnePlus 6 will have a notch, it won’t have a bezel-free design like the iPhone X. Like the OnePlus 5T before it, the OnePlus 6 will have a small chin at its bottom. This chin is necessary to house the display ribbon cable which connects to the motherboard. Apple circumvented this problem by using an OLED display that curved internally which pushed the display ribbon cable backward. While an ingenious solution, it is expensive and complex which is why other Android OEMs are not too keen on implementing it.

Carl also says that the company’s next phone will have the biggest display ever used in its smartphones, feature a screen-to-body ratio of over 90 percent, and yet it will not be larger than any of its existing phones. More importantly, perhaps, he says that the handset won’t look like Oppo’s latest flagship phone. OnePlus’ flagship phones are known to have the same design as flagship Oppo phones but the former is looking to change things this time around.

[Via The Verge]