It has been confirmed: the OnePlus 6T has no headphone connection. We let that sink in for a moment.
Indeed, the next OnePlus handset lacks one of the most distinctive features on modern smartphones and TechRadar went to work exclusively with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei to find out why this is the right time to dismiss the connection.
However, we should note that Pei did not name the OnePlus 6T by name, but only refers to the "next OnePlus handset", but thanks to the rumors around this phone, we expect it to be called the OnePlus 6T when it arrives.
Our first line of questions was clear. Why? Why did the farmer close? Why did it now close? For Pei, it's all about timing and creating the best smartphone experience.
"When we started OnePlus, we wanted to make the best possible smartphone, but making a great phone does not mean stopping every part in the device," he said.
"You have to make decisions that optimize the user experience, and understand that things that offer user value can sometimes also cause friction.
"We also had to think about the negative side [of removing the headphone jack] for our users. We found that 59% of our community had wireless headphones earlier this year – and that was before we launched our Bullets Wireless headphones.
"If we would do that [remove the jack] two years ago, the percentage [of wireless headphones owners] would have been much lower and it would have caused a lot of friction for our users. "
Pei expects that 59% will now be higher thanks to the introduction of Bullets' well-received wireless headphones – they've collected an impressive 4.5-star TechRadar review – but even in the four months since their introduction, users have become a bit more accepted from a world without the farmer.
It is not a decision that OnePlus also took lightly, as Pei explained.
"The [removing the headphone jack] was a very controversial decision. We do not do it and because everyone is. We think it is now the right time, because it benefits the majority of our users while the downside remains low.
"We knew this was an option for a very long time, we were just waiting for the right time."
Pei went on to explain that there are user benefits when removing the port, which should give the OnePlus fans some comfort by pouring out one for the headphone jack.
"By removing the jack, we have made more space available, so we can put more new technology into the product," he said. "One of the big things is something our users have asked for, an improved battery life."
Pei would not be attracted by what the "new technology" is going to be, but we already know that the OnePlus 6T will have an in-display fingerprint scanner that eats some of the space left over from the outgoing connection.
Neither did we know from Pei how the lifetime of the battery will improve – although rumors in the OnePlus 6T suggest that a larger power pack will be pressed into the handset – but Pei has revealed that the difference is "substantial enough for users to realize".
OnePlus is aware that some people are bothered by removing the headphone jack, but Pei wanted to emphasize that it addresses these fears in a number of ways.
"We're adding an adapter to the box so you can use your 3.5mm headphones normally," he explained. "We also make a new version of our wired Bullets V2 headphones, which has a USB-C connector."
It is still unknown whether OnePlus incorporates headphones into the box with the OnePlus 6T – wired or wireless – but it is worth noting that the company has never bundled headphones in the box, and we do not expect that things will change.
The reasoning of OnePlus makes sense, but it is not guaranteed to stop the no-sayers and jack-lovers who may feel a bit betrayed by the company.
There will be people who lack the convenience, not to mention the possibility to charge the device while headphones are connected – something that is not possible with the single-port approach. But things can go a little deeper.
The headphone jack is a prominent marketing tool for OnePlus since the OnePlus 3, a phone that came on the market three months before the iPhone 7 came on the market without the port coming on the market, but the rumors were already so big that Apple was about to release it. to dump.
It was logical that OnePlus picked up the paranoia of smartphone users about the rumors and emphasized that its latest device was delivered with the most important (then) port.
You have headphones. The # OnePlus3 has a headphone connection. It is not rocket science;) pic.twitter.com/jdfZWlfMMiSeptember 7, 2016
However, this marketing strategy did not stay with the OnePlus 3 and the headphone connection has surfaced many times since 2016, as the following tweet from November 2017 shows.
Here, the fact that it contains the function in the newly announced OnePlus 5T, actively plays to its community where it uses the headphone jack.
Excited to see which headphones you connect to the # OnePlus5T headphone jack!November 16, 2017
Then, in the run-up to the OnePlus 6 launch earlier this year, Twei tweeted the results of the annual headphone jack poll he runs on Twitter, who found support for the port – at least in the echo room of Pei – still strong used to be.
We would not be surprised if some of the OnePlus believers continue to expect the company to continue to offer the function on their smartphones, and the news that the OnePlus 6T drops the headphone jack may be a bit of a bomb (although it was rumored that while).
Headphone connection stable demand YoY according to my Twitter followers. You would expect it to decrease, do not you? pic.twitter.com/Qe9Q3cGznP15 March 2018
We asked Pei how the company published the headphone jack on previous devices, and about users who might feel confused about the last decision.
"Before it was not the right time, we now have data to back up that this is the right time", was his simple answer.
OnePlus is also expected by the community to continually push the boundaries of design and technology, so there is hope that fans will be more forgiving when they see the bigger picture.
All in all, Pei is convinced that the plus points are greater than the downsides, with the words "we add more technology, improve the life of the battery and reduce friction as much as possible by adding an adapter and a new version of the battery. Bullets V2 to launch. "
Whether that is enough to satisfy his loyal fanbase and attract more consumers remains to be seen, but although dropping the headphones is a big issue at the launch, we think things will soon diminish.
It is worth returning to the crowds (by both the press and the public) about screen notch designs by the end of 2017 and during the first half of 2018. Initially, the function got a mixed reaction, but a few months later and consumers seem to have accepted the notch and went on.
So maybe now is the right time. Time that we accept our loss and continue.