OnePlus isn't a company that adds features just because others are doing it.
- Smartphone company OnePlus gave its latest smartphone a glass back, which could have allowed the company to add wireless charging to the phone.
- However, its latest smartphone – the OnePlus 6 – doesn't come with wireless charging.
- The company isn't facing pressure from its users to add the feature.
- The feature isn't important enough to add, especially when you consider its potential consequences.
OnePlus announced its latest smartphone, the OnePlus 6, on Wednesday, and it's looking really good even though it doesn't offer much more than the previous model, the OnePlus 5T.
One of the new features on the OnePlus 6 is a glass back, which serves two purposes on the phone. It looks and feels more premium than metal, and it allows for ultra-fast gigabit data speeds (if your carrier can support those speeds).
Meanwhile, replacing metal backs with glass has allowed most other smartphone makers to add wireless charging to their smartphones, as metal doesn't allow for it. Apple did this with its latest iPhone 8 and iPhone X, both of which have new glass backs. Previous models as far back as the iPhone 5 – and the original iPhone – had metal backs.
Yet, despite its glass back, the OnePlus 6 still doesn't have wireless charging, even though pretty much every high-end flagship devices carries the feature now.
When I asked some OnePlus representatives why the OnePlus 6 doesn't have wireless charging, they simply shrugged and said "we don't really feel the need to add wireless charging. We're not going to add a feature just for the sake of it."
OnePlus is a company that listens carefully to its customers, who are often Android power-users who like to tweak the operating system to customize their devices. Apparently, OnePlus users don't really ask for wireless charging very often.
Wireless charging is a nice feature, and some smartphone users have come to love it. But it's not a "must-have" feature. Wireless charge speeds are slower than wired charging, and there's also a built-in barrier that could dissuade the average person from adopting wireless charging: You have to actively buy a wireless charging pad separately, as they're not often included with smartphones, if at all.
It would also involve adding extra hardware into the smartphone itself, which could have some unwanted effects, especially for those who have no interest in wireless charging. It could drive up the cost of the OnePlus 6, and a comparatively lower price tag is one of the signature features of OnePlus devices. Or it could make the phone heavier and thicker. Why should anyone who's uninterested in wireless charging suffer for the sake of the few who are?
To top it off, the OnePlus 6 comes with the company's Dash Charge technology, which is the best fast charger on any smartphone. The Dash Charge brick itself harbors all the parts that get hot during charging, which lets the OnePlus 6 charge at full speed even when you're using it for intensive tasks when a phone gets hot, like playing a game. When other smartphones get hot, charge speeds are throttled so that the phone itself doesn't get too hot and potentially damage the components inside.
So, those are the potential disadvantages of wireless charging, and it doesn't make sense if few are asking for it, or if there's no guarantee that a lot of people will use it. With all this in mind, the lack of wireless charging in the OnePlus 6 has no negative impact on how I view the phone.