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The OnePlus 6T ditched the headphone jack, CEO Pete Lau tells us why

With the subversive new OnePlus 6T now officially unveiled, we ask the questions that have been on smartphone fans’ minds since the phone was merely a rumour.

Speaking to CEO Pete Lau, following the OnePlus 6T launch event in New York, Trusted Reviews discovered why the new flagship finally ditched the headphone jack and whether wireless charging was (or is ever) a possibility on one of the company’s phones.

OnePlus 6T: No more headphone jack

OnePlus is far from the first company to make this move. The trend itself began after Apple’s decision to remove the long-established 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus back in 2016.

Other manufacturers like Motorola to Huawei followed suit, but others like Samsung and OnePlus had shown an unwillingness to adopt the trend. However, the latter’s second handset of 2018 has finally made the jump. But why now?

Pete Lau Cristiano Amon QnA OnePlus 6T launch

OnePlus’ Eric Gass, CEO – Pete Lau and Qualcomm’s President – Cristiano Amon talking after the launch of the OnePlus 6T.

In the case of the 6T specifically, it’s all to do with one of the phone’s star new features. Speaking via an interpreter, OnePlus’ CEO spoke candidly about the company’s decision to omit the headphone jack from its latest flagship.

He said, “As a product manager, I spend a lot of time looking at hardware decisions and looking at tough ‘yes’ or ‘no’ decisions… With the loss of the headphone jack, we thought it was a necessary step in order to accommodate both the FOD fingerprint sensor and the phone’s bigger battery.”

After he was asked how such a decision might affect OnePlus’ active fan community, Lau continued, “To create a product that everyone likes is nearly impossible, so we listened to our fans. We sent out a survey to members of our community and found that 60% of people were already using wireless headphones.

“Whether we do this now or three years in the future, there will always be people who are very vocal against such change.”

Related: Best Wireless Headphones

Referring to the company’s own wireless Bluetooth headphones, which launched alongside the OnePlus 6 and received a new colourway at the launch of the 6T, Lau also joked that, “If it [removing the headphone jack] pushes people to buy more Bullets Wireless, then great!”

OnePlus 6T: Why is there no wireless charging?

Although the OnePlus 6 brought about a change in the company’s phones to a glass-backed design, neither it nor its successor, the OnePlus 6T, supports wireless charging. Samsung has offered the feature on every one of the Galaxy S and Note devices since the Galaxy S6 and Apple’s 2017 iPhones onwards, along with this year’s Google Pixel 3, have all adopted the feature too, so what gives?

Lau echoed Huawei’s stance. He said OnePlus wouldn’t implement wireless charging until it thought the technology was mature enough to offer an experience worthy of OnePlus users’ expectations.

He added: “The technology for wireless charging is not terribly complex  – we could implement it, but we haven’t wanted to. It’s too slow and we don’t think it drives the value that we want for our users.”

Related: Best Wireless Chargers

Sat beside Qualcomm’s President, Cristiano Amon, Lau also stated that: “Qualcomm might have a solution that works, that can deal with the heat and other drawbacks of current technology.”

So there you have it. While it doesn’t look like the 6T was ever destined to offer wireless charging, OnePlus’ CEO isn’t against the idea. However, he wants the technology to reach a point where OnePlus considers it a worthwhile addition.

What do you think? Was OnePlus right to nix the headphone jack and leave out wireless charging altogether? Let us know by leaving your thoughts on the Trusted Reviews Facebook page or on Twitter.

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