A hot potato: Is the 3.5mm headphone jack in phones going the way of the dinosaurs? After including the long-used port on the excellent OnePlus 6 handset, we’ve now got confirmation that the highly anticipated successor, the OnePlus 6T, will ditch it.
The news comes from a TechRadar interview with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei. "When we started OnePlus, we set out to make the best possible smartphone, but making a great phone doesn't mean putting every component available into the device," he said. "You've got to make decisions that optimize the user experience, and understand that at times things that provide user value can also add friction."
Pei added that 59 percent of the OnePlus community already owned wireless headphones earlier this year—a figure that’s likely to have increased following the launch of OnePlus’ Bullets Wireless earphones. He admits that ditching the jack two years ago, which is when Apple first removed the port from its handsets starting with the iPhone 7, would have brought much more negative feedback.
Just as Apple did in 2016, Pei emphasized that the removal of the jack will bring benefits by allowing more space inside the phone for extra tech—possibly a reference to the larger battery that the OnePlus 6T is expected to feature. While he wouldn’t reveal any specifics, Pei did say that the difference would be "substantial enough for users to realize."
The news will still disappoint many who are eagerly waiting for the OnePlus 6T. A leak last week showed the phone’s teardrop-style notch and triple camera setup, and the company later confirmed that it would feature an in-display fingerprint sensor. It’s also suspected to follow the OnePlus tradition of being hundreds of dollars cheaper than most flagships—something many will appreciate in light of the new, expensive iPhone XS and XS Max. OnePlus is also including a 3.5mm to USB Type-C adapter in the box; a feature Apple has decided to drop.
While OnePlus has joined Google, Apple, Sony, and others in dropping the headphone jack from its flagships, Samsung remains a dedicated fan of the 3.5mm port—but for how much longer?