OnePlus finally yielded to fan pressure and confirmed it’s working on adding always-on display functionality to its smartphone portfolio. While the company’s Twitter announcement was light on details, it’s likely that OnePlus AOD support will debut with the OnePlus 8 series before making its way to previous generations of the popular Chinese handset brand.
OnePlus: defying expectations and common sense since 2017
The omission of AOD capabilities from the OnePlus smartphone family has always been puzzling industry watchers and tech enthusiasts for years now. The company ditched LCD panels in favor of Optic AMOLED modules way back in 2017, thus jumping over the final technical barrier to integrating always-on display functionality into its Android smartphones. Or so we thought, that is. Three years later, this common-sense feature is still nowhere to be seen within OnePlus’s portfolio, which is quite something for a product family that now starts at almost $700 in the U.S.
The top IDEA is Always-On Display. We hear you, and our OS Product team has replied: it's on our roadmap.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) March 27, 2020
OnePlus has always been a brand aggressively geared toward value, which is nothing to scoff at seeing how many flagship killers it released over the last half a decade or so. However, you can’t have affordability without compromise, and nothing illustrates that better than countless quality of life features the company was slow to implement. Its lack of AOD functionality is as good an example of that trade-off as any seeing how the technology itself is nothing short of ancient in electronics terms, having debuted on the Nokia N86 way back in 2009 before being perfected by Samsung in the following decade.
OnePlus should share more details on its AOD development in the coming weeks. As for its next Android device, the OnePlus 8 will likely be officially announced in the second half of April, as suggested by the company’s existing track record with product releases.