This is the first official image of the new OnePlus phone
, likely to be called the OnePlus 6
And yes, it will have a notch, just like the iPhone X
, but OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has gone out of his way to explain why notches are good and why the OnePlus 6 has chosen to adopt the notch. In a talk that OnePlus initiated with The Verge, Pei explains that the notch is all about maximizing the screen space and reveals interesting technical details about why most bezel-less phone will have a "chin" bezel at the bottom, at least in the near future.
A notch the OnePlus way
First, Pei says that with the notch “what you are essentially doing is moving the entire notification bar up, giving users more content on their screen.” Putting things from this perspective, it was an easy choice for OnePlus to adopt the notch and give users the maximum screen space.
But would have the company adopted the notch if it was not 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,” Pei said. OnePlus agrees that Apple “accelerates the adoption of things within the industry.” However, OnePlus is also proudly keeping the headphone jack on its phones - the OnePlus 6 will also have a headphone jack - because the company thinks it makes sense (Pei recently ran a Twitter poll and his followers voted overwhelmingly in favor of keeping the headphone jack).
As to the notch, OnePlus could have made it smaller, similar to the one on the Essential Phone
, but the company actually wanted to keep key components like the ambient light sensor, LED light and front camera, so the notch is slightly larger. At the same time, OnePlus does not feel it needs to perform the complicated Face ID tactics for face recognition, so the notch will not be quite as big as on the iPhone. Pei actually unveiled the exact size of the notch: 19.616mm x 7.687mm.
Another thing that OnePlus has done is test 1,000 of the most popular Google Play
apps with the notch to make sure it works well. After this testing, the company has decided to move the clock to the left to allow more message for taskbar icons. Moreover, OnePlus will also conceal the notch when a video is played, so you don't get the annoying cutout in view.
Gesture-based interface coming to OnePlus 6
There is one other key feature that OnePlus is borrowing from Apple and this time Carl Pei himself openly admits: “We saw the implementation [of gestures] on the iPhone and maybe it would have taken longer if Apple hadn’t done it.”
The company has already rolled out gestures for navigation in OnePlus beta software and we also love the functionality, and not having to deal with on-screen navigation keys. In the current implementation, you swipe up from the central bottom part to go back to the home screen and swipe up from the edges of the bottom part of the screen to go back.
OnePlus 6 will have a bottom "chin"
Another interesting question that OnePlus preemptively answers is about the "chin" bottom bezel on Android phones. The company says that it is almost inevitable, but what it does is more: it explains why.
It turns out that the each display unit has a ribbon to connect to the motherboard of the phone and this component has to be in the bottom of the phone, so even if there is a thin chin, the very design of a display necessitates the chin. What's more interesting is that OnePlus also reveals the way the iPhone X goes around this issue: it has an OLED curved display that actually curves into the bottom edge of the phone, so much so as for the display ribbon to go under the display and avoid the chin. Apparently, no other company has gone to such design lengths to avoid the chin, but also because this makes the phone thicker and more expensive (the OnePlus 6 will also have a tiny "chin" bezel).
At the end of the day, OnePlus reveals the first official picture of the OnePlus 6, says the phone will have a screen-to-body ratio of nearly 90%, while keeping about the same size as earlier OnePlus phones, and best of all: the new OnePlus 6 will likely be released earlier than the usual June OnePlus release window.
Pei concludes about the notch: “it’s a very clear decision: more real estate for the user. In conclusion, learn to love the notch.”
What do you think about the OnePlus 6 coming so soon after the 5T and with a notch? Do you like where the company is going?