OnePlus Buds Pro snubs Google Fast Pair for its own solution

One of OnePlus' strengths has always been its commitment to a clean Android experience, one that has kept Android purists satisfied until recently. With OxygenOS 11, it seems that the company is slowly starting to move away from that identity to establish its own character, even if it means going its own path. Basing OxygenOS on OPPO's ColorOS is one thing, but it now seems that OnePlus is also willing to ditch other common Android conventions, like Google Fast Pair for its OnePlus Buds Pro that would have made it trivial to pair the earbuds with any Android phone.

To be fair, Google hasn't exactly been consistent in its Bluetooth-related features in the first place. Fast Pair is just the latest iteration designed to simplify the pairing process and even associate Bluetooth accessories to the same Google account. It should be a standard Android feature by now, but manufacturers clearly aren't all on board yet.

Fast Pair uses both Bluetooth and location data to detect nearby accessories and quickly start the pairing process. Those accessories can even be shared with other devices logged into the same Google account as the first paired phone. Both the OnePlus Buds and OnePlus Buds Z followed this staple Android feature, but the company has just confirmed to 9to5Google that the OnePlus Buds Pro won't.

Instead, OnePlus is offering its own pairing solution that is just as fast as Google Fast Pair. The difference is that it is only available on OnePlus phones, presumably with a specific version of OxygenOS as well. You can still use the buds on other Android phones, of course, but you'll have to go through the "normal" process of pairing phone and buds.

Alternatively, you can use OnePlus' "HeyMelody" app on those other phones to immediately detect the OnePlus Buds Pro and pair with it. You will have to install the app first, though, which means it isn't as instant as Fast Pair. It's definitely disheartening to see OnePlus ditch a more common Android feature rather than be a champion for it, especially when there doesn't seem to be any significant reason to go its own way.