OnePlus 6 will indeed have a notch at the top of its display, similar to the iPhone X. OnePlus has confirmed it will be the next smartphone manufacturer to join the industry trend popularised by Apple, and even provided an image of how the notch will look on its next flagship alongside exact dimensions. OnePlus Co-Founder Carl Pei made the revelations in an interview that also explained the Chinese company’s motivations for the move, as well as UI changes it will make to accommodate the notch in its design.
Speaking to The Verge, Pei said OnePlus has implemented the notch on its next flagship – expected to be called the OnePlus 6 – with care. Its size is between the notches seen on the Essential Phone and the iPhone X, based on the number of components the company intends to squeeze into the space. It will contain the earpiece, front camera, ambient light sensor, and LED notification light. Pei said the company won’t require the notch to be as large as the iPhone X’s as it won’t contain a structured light component similar to the dot projector that powers Apple’s Face ID tech. It will measure 19.616×7.687mm.
Pei also said OnePlus had manually tested 1,000 of the top Google Play apps to see how they would react to the inclusion of the notch, and to assess what sort of compatibility mode the company would need to engineer. The OnePlus 6 will move the clock to the left of the display, providing more space for the other status icons. Pei also said the smartphone would hide the notch when a full-screen video is playing. Other revelations made by Pei included the fact the smartphone would house the largest display in a OnePlus device yet, have a screen-to-body ratio of 90 percent, and that it won’t be larger than any of the current OnePlus flagship models in size. Pei also said the OnePlus 6 won’t be identical to the Oppo R15, as recent speculation had concluded.
As for the company’s motivations to use a notch in the display of its next flagship smartphone, Pei said OnePlus wants to give users as much screen real estate as possible, and to achieve this, the notch is the best way forward. It has already started testing iPhone X-like gesture-based inputs on its previous flagships to help remove the need for Android’s onscreen navigation buttons. The notch will then help further the aim of more screen estate by moving the notification and status bar into the spaces on either side of it.
In the interview, Pei confirmed that the iPhone X was indeed an inspiration for the company, agreeing that Apple “accelerates the adoption of things within the industry”, at least, “where it makes sense.” Pei explained that last line, saying that the OnePlus 6 will retain the 3.5mm headphone jack. Also unlike the iPhone X, the OnePlus 6 would retain a bottom chin – this is not for any aesthetic or a UX-based reason, but rather because Apple’s implementation is too expensive. The Cupertino giant employed a flexible OLED panel that moves the ribbon connector seen in conventional displays to the back of the smartphone by bending it backwards. With the price constraints that Android manufacturers work with, this wouldn’t be a feasible solution for them, Pei added. Instead, they would retain the bottom chin design to house the display’s ribbon connector.