[Update: Poll results out] Opinion: OnePlus may regret ditching the iconic alert slider

New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….

Original story (published on August 01, 2022) follows:

A lot has changed over at OnePlus ever since its smartphone debut. Their focus may have shifted from power users and enthusiasts, but they’ve still managed to keep around some fan-favorite features.

At first, OnePlus focused on shipping devices with special features requested by fans. This worked magic, as expected.

Their market share grew and even overtook established brands in some major markets. OnePlus even became the fastest-growing smartphone OEM in the United States in 2021.

Besides “flagship killer” specs, OnePlus devices were famous for their clean, OxygenOS interface. It mimicked Google’s “stock” Android but with a few fine touches here and there.

oneplus-9rt-android-12-oxygenos12-update

Affordable pricing also made their devices a major hit among power users. But things have changed in recent times.

OnePlus phones now have $1,000 price tags. The clean OxygenOS that propelled their success now has ColorOS at its core. Nothing against ColorOS, but it isn’t the reason people fell in love with OnePlus devices.

Despite the evolution, OnePlus still managed to keep the alert slider – a feature that made OnePlus phones stand out from the crowded Android market.

The OnePlus 2 debuted the alert slider. Ever since, it became a mainstay on top-end OnePlus devices. But things have recently taken a turn. Like OnePlus 10R, the OnePlus 10T ditches the famous alert slider.

Chief designer Hope Liu recently told The Verge that ditching the iconic alert slider aims at creating more internal room for other features.

OnePlus-9-Pro

The space created — about 30mm² — should provide room for a bigger battery, faster charging, and improved network coverage.

Unlike OnePlus 10 Pro, the 10T includes a pair of charging pumps and up to 15 antennas for improved signal. And OnePlus felt that adding the alert slider would have rendered the 10T too thick for many people’s liking.

This is likely the same reasoning behind removing the alert slider from the OnePlus 10R. The phone also supports 150W fast charging technology, although it has an 80W variant.

The 10 Pro’s fast charging also maxes out at 80W. In order to accommodate 150W charging speeds without growing thicker, the 10R had to sacrifice 500mAh worth of battery compared to its 80W counterpart.

You might be asking, but the 10 Pro has an alert slider and a 5000mAh battery? Well, it is 0.6mm thicker than the 10R and also gets slower 80W charging.

OnePlus-10R-150W-charging
OnePlus 10R (150W)

Granted, keeping the 10T reasonably thin required some sacrifices elsewhere in order to accommodate a bigger battery and battery charging speeds that exceed beyond the 80W on the 10 Pro.

No doubt faster charging and a bigger battery are always welcome additions, but I think the alert slider shouldn’t have been the one to bear the brunt.

I don’t mind the extra 0.5mm thickness, after all we already have the likes of Xiaomi 12S Ultra and Asus ZenFone 9 boasting up to 9.1mm thickness yet they’re still quite attractive and functional devices.

OnePlus is the only Android vendor that has a dedicated mute button on their devices. Only Apple did it before OnePlus, and still does it to date. This helped OnePlus phones stand out, but not anymore.

And obviously, the news of dropping the alert slider from the 10T hasn’t gone down well with some fans:

OnePlus-alert-slider
(Source)

Me knowing Oneplus is ditching the alert slider: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”
Source

LMAO Oxygen OS and that mute switch were two of the biggest defining features of OnePlus phones for me, and that was the last one that was going to make me sad about moving to something like the Pixel, or maybe even an iPhone. Great job idiots.
Source

OnePlus has recently been on a downward spiral and as noted earlier, they even ditched their OxygenOS ethos in favor of Oppo’s ColorOS, and now they use the same codebase.

Some OnePlus fans were unimpressed by OxygenOS 12, the first version of the skin to collaborate with ColorOS. And the company did admit it wasn’t up to “a standard that meets our own expectations or those of our Community.”

While OnePlus promises improvements with OxygenOS 13, dropping the alert slider dents its struggling efforts to stay in good books with their loyal fan base.

Given the precarious path OnePlus is treading on, this move might just be yet another nail in the coffin, and it can be seen by some of the comments people are already making.

OnePlus-10T-missing-alert-slider
(Source)

I use the switch several times a day on my OnePlus 7 Pro. This change seems like another step in the wrong direction from @oneplus. IMHO it all went downhill after the 7(T) Pro generation 😐 Wondering if we’ll ever see an exciting OnePlus device again 🤔
Source

No Alert Slider In Oneplus 10T 🙁 8 & 2 mp Cameras.. Is Oneplus High?
Source

OnePlus told The Verge that the lack of Alert Slider on OnePlus 10T is due to the fact that they don’t have enough internal space for it. Still a big loss for the device, IMO. #OnePlus10T
Source

OnePlus seems to be slowly losing its competitive edge. Their phones no longer offer the best value for money like they used to.

The clean UI/UX experience that was once the staple of OxygenOS is long gone, and the overall software is more buggy than before.

Granted, OnePlus may come to regret dropping a signature feature that continued to make their phones stand out, especially now that Nothing Phone is here and seems pretty much hell-bent on bringing back the old OnePlus.

It will be interesting to see how OnePlus performs in the market following this revelation. Only time will tell, but you can also tell us what you think in the comments section.

NOTE: The poll results will be revealed after a week.

Update (August 08)

The poll results are out, and it seems a majority (60%) will be ditching OnePlus just because of the missing alert slider, while 30% will remain loyal to the brand despite this latest move.

Featured image: OnePlus

PiunikaWeb started as purely an investigative tech journalism website with main focus on ‘breaking’ or ‘exclusive’ news. In no time, our stories got picked up by the likes of Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors, and many others. Want to know more about us? Head here.

Want to work for PiunikaWeb and enjoy best-in-industry compensation & benefits? You'll be glad to know we're hiring experienced candidates.

Hillary Keverenge

Review Editor. Besides phones, I also enjoy the farm, music, football, and, of course, food.