OnePlus ignores its own user polling, removes headphone jack on OnePlus 6T


OnePlus is working on a followup to the OnePlus 6, the OnePlus 6T. The company’s latest smartphone should launch sometime in October, and until then we’re getting a slow, continual drip of information on the device. The latest news is not so great. The company has revealed that it’s dumping the headphone jack on the OnePlus 6T.

In an interview with TechRadar, OnePlus CEO Carl Pei confirmed that the “next OnePlus handset” would not have the ubiquitous and universally compatible audio jack. “By removing the jack we’ve freed up more space, allowing us to put more new technology into the product,” Pei told TechRadar. “One of the big things is something our users have asked us for: improved battery life.”

Seeing another company strip the headphone jack off its devices is definitely disappointing. For OnePlus, it’s another move that feels like a continuation of the OnePlus 6 strategy: removing the features that makes the phone unique. Compared to the OnePlus 5T—one of our favorite devices of last year—a lot has changed for this year’s edition. The company went from a metal device with slim bezels and a headphone jack to a fragile all-glass device, yet another notch design, and now no headphone jack.

What’s crazy is that the company knows exactly how much its customers do not want this. Before the OnePlus 6T, the company was one of the few still shipping a 3.5mm jack in its devices. And in the run up to the OnePlus 6’s launch, Pei ran a poll on Twitter asking his followers how much they valued a headphone jack. The results were overwhelming.

An overwhelming 88 percent of the 19,000 participants said they wanted the headphone jack. Of course, this was done to promote the OnePlus 6, which had a headphone jack, but at some point in the last six months OnePlus decided this feedback wasn’t important. The supposed tradeoff is more battery life, which is definitely something we’ll test when the OnePlus 6T comes out.

Now that using a pair of normal headphones is significantly more annoying (you’ll need to carry around a dongle), OnePlus probably hopes you’ll pick up a pair of its new Bluetooth headphones, or perhaps you’d be interested in the new wired USB-C headphones that are also on the way.

While the lack of a headphone jack is disappointing, at least the rest of the OnePlus 6T is looking interesting. OnePlus is owned by Oppo, and usually OnePlus devices are based on an existing Oppo design. Rumor has it the OnePlus 6T will be based on the Oppo R17, which has a unique teardrop-shaped camera cutout instead of the boring iPhone X-style notch that everyone else is using. When all you’re putting in the notch is a front-facing camera, it turns out it can be really small. These rumors are further backed up by some leaked photos of the OnePlus 6T packaging, which shows an outline of the phone that looks just like the R17. OnePlus has also confirmed that the device will have an in-screen fingerprint reader.

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