Just when you thought OnePlus has finally survived a launch without any issue, along comes what could be a problem. A minor one perhaps, but still a problem. Early birds who just gotten their hands on the new OnePlus 6 are now reporting that one feature has silently been removed after the first update. That feature is the Always On Display or AOD, which made its first appearance on a OnePlus phone this year. Well, now it’s gone and OnePlus might not be too keen on bringing it back.
Always on displays haven’t exactly been much of a thing. It’s purpose is simple but not exactly essential, allowing you to see at least the date and time without having to wake up your phone. It’s a power-saving technique, at least relatively speaking. You don’t have to wake up the CPU from its low-power state or light up the entire screen just to see the time.
It’s not without its costs, of course. There is still some battery drain in keeping even just a portion of the screen lit up. It works best with AMOLED screens since the display is actually turned on but doesn’t require power to “display” black pixels. In other words, it only requires power to show non-black parts of the screen.
That said, something in OnePlus’ implementation may have hit a snag, at least enough for the company to pull it out without warning. While there is no official word yet, a company representative has been quoted to explain that the feature was removed due to battery saving concerns. Samsung, among those who have had an AOD feature for years, seem to have no problems.
The removal of the entire feature itself is perhaps more puzzling than the reason for it. It could have been left as an optional feature that users can enable at their own expense. But more importantly, it’s curious that the feature passed QA if it was such a problem in the first place.