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OnePlus talks OnePlus 6T missing notification light, AOD, and more in AMA

OnePlus employees - including co-founder Carl Pei - dished on the latest smartphone from the company, the OnePlus 6T.

Published onNovember 1, 2018

  • Several OnePlus employees — including co-founder Carl Pei — conducted an AMA today using the official OnePlus forum.
  • The AMA centered mostly on the OnePlus 6T, which officially went on sale in the U.S. and a few other countries today.
  • The AMA doesn’t give us much info on future releases from the company, but it does offer some explanations for OnePlus 6T design elements.

Today, the OnePlus 6T is officially for sale in the United States, Canada, and India. In the U.S., for the first time ever, you can walk into one of 5,600 T-Mobile stores and buy a OnePlus 6T right off the shelf.

To celebrate the release of the latest OnePlus device, several employees — including Carl Pei, the company’s co-founder — took to the official OnePlus forums to conduct an AMA. The attendees were Pei, Manu J. (works on OxygenOS), Louis S. (product manager), Bob X. (OnePlus accessories manager), Jimmy Z. (camera products manager), and Emily S. (e-commerce specialist).

OnePlus 6T: Where to buy, when, and how much (Update: McLaren Edition info)

Although there wasn’t much information about future devices and releases from the company, the folks involved did explain some of the reasoning behind OnePlus 6T design elements. Check out the highlights below!

  • Where’s the notification light? — The company’s Carl Pei explained why the new smartphone lacks a notification LED, saying they “wanted to maximize the amount of screen real estate while minimizing bezels from all sides.” In light of the missing feature, the company says “you can pick up your phone to show notifications and tap the screen to show new notifications. These features will help you to check new notifications without turning on the display.” Of course, that doesn’t really help when the phone is out of arm’s reach. But an always-on display would help, which leads to the next question…
  • Where’s the always-on-display? — An AOD has been a long-requested feature for OnePlus phones, but the OnePlus 6T still doesn’t have it. According to OnePlus, the “Always on Display is a great feature to have on a smartphone. However, we are still considering the functional value vs power consumption of this feature before we implement it.”
  • Which 6T features are coming to older devices? — OnePlus sums it all up quite nicely: “Camera features [Nightscape, Studio Lighting, etc.] are dependent on hardware and might not be available on older models, but software improvements such as Gestures 2.0 and smart boost will be available on the 5 and 5T.”
  • Why doesn’t the OnePlus 6T come with headphones? — Carl Pei himself fielded this question: “We believe that it would unnecessarily create waste and increase the price of our products for something people already own. And most likely, they already own a pair of earphones that are better than what’s usually included in the box.”
  • Why no IP rating from the OnePlus 6T? — OnePlus staff actually took the time to write quite a bit in answer to this question: “We’ve improved our water resistance, so whether it’s checking a map in the rain or an unfortunate drop in a puddle your phone can take splashes and keep running. We believe in balance and creating the best possible device for the majority of users. Not many people actually take their phone swimming or in the water for an extended period of time. We build and test our phones so that they handle water resistance in everyday situations such as rain or a drop in a puddle. To be certified for IP ratings, every component must go through rigorous testing which dramatically increases the cost – about $30 per device. Is it worth it to increase the cost of the device by $30 to serve a small selection of users, considering our own water resistance precautions? We think not.”
  • Will there be a OnePlus smartwatch? — Don’t get your hopes up, as the curt response to this question was simply, “No plans at this time.”

If you would like to read all the questions answered during the AMA, click the button below.