Perhaps more than any other smartphone maker in the market, OnePlus has really taken to heart its philosophy of involving its customers in the development of its products, both hardware and software. It isn’t just through simple feedback forms or surveys but through a system of letting users vote on their most requested feature, even if that feature actually went against OnePlus’ recommendations. Such was the case for Always-on Display or AOD, a feature that may finally be coming to the company’s phones in just a few months.
OnePlus has had a rather rough relationship with AOD. In 2018, it removed that feature from the OnePlus 6 exactly for the reasons you might think. Having the screen actually on, even if lighting up only a few pixels, will continually drain the battery, something OnePlus decided it didn’t want no matter what. Unfortunately, the demand for the feature was so strong that it had no choice but to look for the best compromise instead.
Last March, OnePlus put out a vote for a new feature that it would work on and, unsurprisingly, AOD won. While OnePlus yielded, it gave a caveat that if it couldn’t find an acceptable way to minimize the battery drain, it would rather not push such a feature out, even if it would only be optional. Apparently, they did find such a compromise given an update it published in May.
Now OnePlus CEO Pete Lau is teasing on Twitter something that definitely sounds like an always-on display feature. No timeline was given but a pointer to “11” clearly suggests an OxygenOS 11 feature release.
While some OnePlus owners might be overjoyed at finally getting their requested feature, they should probably temper that excitement with realistic expectations of a dip in their normal battery life. OnePlus has also yet to reveal which phones will be getting the feature and it won’t be much of a surprise if only the latest models with larger batteries will be compatible.