[Updated] Let's talk about screens

  1. Pete
    Founder of OnePlus Staff Member Mar 29, 2018

    Pete , Mar 29, 2018 :

    Hey everyone,

    Even among tech communities, the OnePlus Community is a little different. Through your tech-savviness and passion you hold us accountable for our decisions. In doing so, your help has been instrumental to our success. By now, most of you are aware that our next device will feature a cut-out near the top of the display, popularly known as a “notch”. A fiery debate has sparked online, so we wanted to give you guys some insight into our rationale behind this product decision.

    One of our biggest challenges as a smartphone manufacturer is to make the most out of every square inch of your device. A well-known principle in tech is that individual components become smaller with each passing year. Our role as a smartphone manufacturer is to maximize the use of the space we free up. Since our components no longer require the entire width of a top bezel, we focused our efforts on maximizing the amount of screen real estate. It’s easy to get caught up in a debate on aesthetics, but to us this decision was simply about pursuing optimal phone design. Being able to offer more screen without compromising on size or performance is a great benefit. That said, we wanted to offer the biggest display possible without compromising on hardware, which is why we opted for the notch design.

    A central placement is optimal for our front-facing camera for several reasons. Moving the module elsewhere would also affect the angle of the camera, making it harder to orient the camera and take photos quickly. Such a move would also compromise the speed and reliability of our industry-leading Face Unlock feature. We also considered using a smaller module, but decided not to as this would have lowered the quality of your photos. Other speculative technologies, such as a mechanical ‘pop-out’ camera, are currently in their infancy. While interesting, the technology is not at a stage where it can deliver on durability, speed and performance.

    To offer our users the best possible viewing experience, we work with world-leading screen manufacturers. We prioritize three key considerations when implementing a new display. First, we look to maximize the viewable area. Through the notch, we can free up a considerable amount of space near the top of the display, absorbing the notification and status icons. At 19.616mm by 7.687mm, the notch occupies a minimal amount of space in the top-center part of the display. Our research has shown that the space occupied by the notch typically goes unused in standard use. The notch makes optimal use of the vacated space. You gain more viewable space, without losing anything.

    Our second priority is display performance. Whether you’re looking at brightness level, chromatic accuracy, or color range, there are a lot of factors that determine whether a display is comfortable to look at. Our displays have to match a wide range of requirements, before we consider them ready for market. We ultimately selected a display that matched all of our criteria. It was also optimized for a notch-based design, which we considered an additional benefit. The result is a screen with a larger viewable area and superior performance.

    Finally, as our devices gain in worldwide popularity, we need to scale up production accordingly. That means using a display that is readily procurable is the only way we can keep up with global demand. This translates to fewer delays, faster shipping, and the ability to service more people. Our mission is to share the best technology with the world. We dedicated ourselves to implementing a display that is both scalable, while delivering a viewing experience that matches our quality standards. To grow into a sustainable business, we have to deliver a high quality experience on every level. In order to do so, we will continue to make use of any opportunity to improve the accessibility of our devices around the world.

    We believe in offering our community the best possible smartphone experience. By listening to your opinions and feedback, we aim to design smartphones that meet your needs and standards. While many of you have asked us not to increase the physical size of our phones, others requested larger and more immersive displays. The notch helps us accomplish both requests. No two people have the same opinion on smartphone aesthetics. Our focus was to deliver the biggest and best screen we've ever had, without compromising on the tech you love. When all is said and done, that’s what matters most.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    We know you guys have a lot of questions. Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve seen.

    Will the notch cut off my notifications if the status bar reaches a certain width?
    OxygenOS will be optimized to work alongside the notch, ensuring you will always be able to view and access all of your notifications.

    The notch cuts into the display, so the actual display size is smaller!
    You actually get more screen. Thanks to the notch, we have managed to significantly increase our screen-to-body ratio. It’s like booking an airplane seat with extra leg room, which is used to absorb the clock and status bar.

    If you’re integrating the front-facing camera, receiver, and LED light in the notch, why do you still need a chin?
    A ribbon found at the bottom of each display connects the display to the internal hardware. This connection in itself demands the use of a bottom bezel. Our goal is to maximize the amount of real estate available to the user. So, we decided to reduce the size of the top bezel. The result is the largest viewable area we have ever produced.

    The notch ruins my ability to enjoy movies and games. Can’t you block out the notch through software?
    We understand the need to tailor your experience to your personal preferences. That’s why we have a compatibility mode on our next device. By setting this mode to individual apps, you are able to black out the sides of the notch when in landscape mode. We have tested compatibility mode with the 1000 most popular apps in the Play Store, and it works wonderfully.

  2. Pete
    Founder of OnePlus Staff Member Apr 4, 2018

    Stickied Post
    Pete , Apr 4, 2018 :
    A black-out feature was seriously considered in the early stages of the development of the OnePlus 6. At the time we decided against adding this feature. We wanted to focus all of our time and resources on delivering an exceptional full-screen experience. I still believe the best way to experience the OnePlus 6 is using the full potential of the display. Recently many users have raised interest in having a black-out function. We respect your feedback, and would like to give everyone the ability to choose. This function will enable you to black out the background of the notifications and status bar. It will be added in a future software update released after the launch of the OnePlus 6. Look forward to sharing this new update with you all. Thank you for making us better!

  3. smartbuddy
    Ice Cream Sandwich Mar 29, 2018

    smartbuddy , Mar 29, 2018 :
    OnePlus 6 is coming with a Notch screen, Petes post makes it official !!!

    OnePlus is disconnected with user feedback these days in following the usual competition instead of innovation.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018

  4. Vansh99
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Mar 29, 2018

    Vansh99 , Mar 29, 2018 :
    So when r we getting the lightning port and losing the headphones jack? OP7?

  5. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 29, 2018

    dsmonteiro , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Have you ever considered doing some A/B testing with OnePlus users, outside of China?

    This is a clear example where your ideas clearly don't match what the average customer wants. I understand that you need to be cost-efficient and share production with Oppo and Vivo, but all polls I've seen point to around 80% people not wanting a notched phone.

    My personal opinion is that you're finding a solution for a problem that doesn't exist. Most people I've talked to, much rather have a symmetrical design like the one on the OnePlus 5T, rather the one on your new yet to be released device. You can check people's opinion here: https://forums.oneplus.net/threads/poll-do-you-prefer-a-notch-or-a-notchless-oppo-r15.807951/

    Here's a poorly made image made by me, based on the Oppo R15, that should closely resemble your new device (that for some curious reason you still haven't called OnePlus 6). 80% prefer A over B.


    95% sure this means you're going back to IPS LCD and dropping AMOLED. If that's the case, I'll let you in on a little secret. Start writing the answer to the shitstorm that will follow.

    P.S.: I do prefer IPS.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018

    Benji Gozzi, Adiriko, juza and 307 others like this.
  6. Cheetosdust
    Moderator, Content Coordinator Moderator Mar 29, 2018

    Cheetosdust , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Thanks for the explanation @Pete

    Hopefully this will calm down the waters a bit around here.

    Also, I think this post and the interview yesterday is a confirmation the OnePlus 6 will be released way before June.



    mariogold42, Dheyl, Stijnvi and 23 others like this.
  7. derLenno
    The Lab² - Oclean X Pro Elite Reviewer Mar 29, 2018

    derLenno , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Thank you. Everyone should stop crying about the notch. It's not a cutout IN the display, it's like your display having ears ON it. You lose no screen.

  8. MikhailTheItalian
    Honeycomb Mar 29, 2018

    MikhailTheItalian , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Especially given the lack of availability in the US market

  9. daive®
    Gingerbread Mar 29, 2018

    daive® , Mar 29, 2018 :
    its gonna be hard to distinguish which product one's using with all the similar notch haha but oneplus 6 is gonna be litfam i just hope the front cam isnt fixed focus this time lol

  10. Cheetosdust
    Moderator, Content Coordinator Moderator Mar 29, 2018

    Cheetosdust , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Also that. No way OnePlus is ok with selling zero phones there for 2-3 months.

  11. jimeetjim
    Eclair Mar 29, 2018

    jimeetjim , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Simply put, the design is taken from the X, but nonetheless, well explained.. Hope the future would eliminate the notch completely. And its better to launch a device after some significant new upgrades then to launch at every small upgrade.

  12. airiartev
    Jelly Bean Mar 29, 2018

  13. GopalB.
    Nougat Mar 29, 2018

  14. MikhailTheItalian
    Honeycomb Mar 29, 2018

    MikhailTheItalian , Mar 29, 2018 :
    the Essential Phone was the first to do the notch in recent times... So realistically Apple copied it from them.... They just popularised it because apple is so prevalent in the market

    pvilarinho, Dheyl, ankitkay and 39 others like this.
  15. youbi
    Head Moderator Head Moderator Mar 29, 2018

    youbi , Mar 29, 2018 :
    I think that this covers indeed most of the questions, and I did hoped that the bottom chin was smaller, but if I had to have a much thicker and expensive device probably I would choose one with a bit of bottom bezel too. :sweatsmile:

    My guess is that, like always, when Oneplus is about to launch a new device, you get all sort of exaggerated reactions, and this year notch is just another chapter of the relation between Oneplus and its passionate community. So I bet that in some time the "Notch Hate" will calm down a bit, and people will start seeing it for what it his, the best possible compromise between big body/screen ratio, and the needed sensors.

    Like you said, the pop cameras may look cool, but moving parts in smartphones tend to not to go along that well. :p

  16. Dextter
    Jelly Bean Mar 29, 2018

  17. Deactivated User
    Mar 29, 2018

  18. raiyan hossain
    Donut Mar 29, 2018

    raiyan hossain , Mar 29, 2018 :
    have you considered making the bezels as small as Samsungs? I'll let you guys in on a secret, they ACTUALLY look BETTER than gimmicky large screen phones with iPhone X notches and non iPhone X chins.

  19. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 29, 2018

    dsmonteiro , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Not Really™.

  20. G_adel_shaikh_Bxmt
    Gingerbread Mar 29, 2018

    G_adel_shaikh_Bxmt , Mar 29, 2018 :
    Well a good explanation but I would love the notch like the essential phone, put the notification led on the chin, Earpiece ultra slim and ultra top and sensors between Earpiece and camera that would calm down most users... that's just me but let's see what everybody wants....

  21. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Mar 29, 2018

    dsmonteiro , Mar 29, 2018 :
    See my post above. :p