In the past decade, OnePlus has gone from a niche provider of enthusiast phones to a staple of carrier stores in the US. The company releases multiple phones every year, and there’s a new one launching in just a few weeks. The upcoming OnePlus 10T has been revealed in official renders, and something’s missing: the iconic mute switch is gone. Oh, OnePlus has its reasons, but fans of the company aren’t having it.
Anyone who has used an iPhone knows how useful a physical mute switch can be. Apple has always offered that feature on its devices, and OnePlus started doing something similar with the OnePlus 2 in 2015. Every flagship phone from the company since has had the same slick three-position mute switch (sometimes called an alert slider), allowing users to choose between sound, vibrate, and silent.
This feature always struck me as a great add-on that helped OnePlus stand out from other Android OEMs — you can see the textured slider in the above image. The OnePlus 10T (below) will be fully revealed on August 3rd, and OnePlus has provided an official render to tide us over. The official image clearly shows there is no alert slider on the 10T. The phone will technically have all the same functionality without the slider, but you will have to change the alert settings in the phone’s software. With the slider, you can just change modes on the fly without even waking the screen.
According to The Verge, OnePlus made the decision to drop the slider because it takes up too much internal space. In previous OnePlus phones, the motherboard had to set aside 30 square millimeters for the slider, which is a lot when you’re talking about a smartphone that has to be nominally pocket-sized. The company says it wanted to focus on different things with the 10T, including a refined wireless setup with 15 antennas arrayed around the phone and faster charging. The response from fans of the company is overwhelmingly negative.
The potential for faster charging is interesting. OnePlus has been among the few OEMs to push higher charging speeds in the US — the OnePlus 10 Pro supported 65W charging in the US, which was slower than the Chinese version of the phone. Still, 65W was already very fast for the US market, and something that can charge even faster would be great to see. But at the expense of the alert slider? This seems like a very questionable decision.