We’ve been familiar with the concept of always-on displays since Samsung made this concept widespread in 2016 with the launch of the Galaxy S7/Galaxy S7 Edge. Many smartphone manufacturers, including Google and Xiaomi among many different others, have started catching up on this trend, but one company that has held out has been OnePlus: none of their devices sport the always-on display feature despite having featured AMOLED panels for years. This is, however, set to change in a future OxygenOS update.
In case you’re not familiar with this feature, Always on Display is a feature that typically shows information such as the date/time, battery percentage, and notification icons on the display while the phone is idle. Despite being “always on,” OEMs manage to reduce battery life by using AMOLED displays (which can light up just a few pixels at a time to display information while the rest of the screen remains turned off), reducing the refresh rate of the display considerably, and shifting the content a few pixels once in a while to prevent screen burn-in.
OnePlus has, however, held off from implementing it so far, citing battery life concerns, despite being a feature users have requested for years (and one that they implemented themselves very briefly, and then removed, on the OnePlus 6). Finally, though, in response to the top-rated request in the new OnePlus IDEAS forum, OnePlus will be implementing an AOD in OxygenOS.
The top IDEA is Always-On Display. We hear you, and our OS Product team has replied: it's on our roadmap.
— OnePlus (@oneplus) March 27, 2020
We don’t know whether this feature will be coming exclusively to the upcoming flagships OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro or if it will be rolled out as an update to current devices. If it is, though, then it would tentatively include the OnePlus 7/7T lineup (and their respective Pro variants) as well as the OnePlus 6/6T. There’s also a glimmer of hope for the OnePlus 5/5T, although chances are slimmer for these since the upcoming OxygenOS 10 update, based on Android 10, is set to be the last major one, and it will likely only get security updates from that point onwards. We also don’t know yet how this feature will look like or what kind of information will be displayed.
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