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Latest: The OnePlus 10T’s alert slider is gone — and so is the OnePlus you knew

The OnePlus 10T’s lack of an alert slider is a setback for both the company and consumers.

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Both positive and negative news can be found in The Verge’s latest OnePlus 10T teaser(opens in new tab). Here, you’ll see official renders of the phone in its two green/black color variants as well as indications of its remarkable specifications. For the first time on a premium OnePlus phone, there is no alert slider to switch between standard, vibrate, and mute sound settings.

OnePlus Nord CE 2 and OnePlus N200 5G have already established this pattern, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise. While the implications for the firm and the whole smartphone industry are concerning, this is something I hoped wouldn’t happen to OnePlus’ high-end devices.

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OnePlus’ chief designer Hope Liu told The Verge that the alert slider had to be removed or the phone had to be made thicker to accommodate for the OnePlus 10T’s increased battery capacity, faster charging, and enhanced antenna. How much thicker the phone would have to be in order to accommodate the alert slider is an interesting question. In theory, OnePlus could have stacked the motherboard to give us all the advancements and keep the alert slider on the OnePlus 10 Pro, which isn’t particularly thick.

The durability of the alert slider may have been a factor in OnePlus’ decision to remove it. A bend test on the OnePlus 10 Pro resulted in a phone that was unusable for a long time, thus it’s more critical for the OnePlus 10T’s long-term durability if the slider is removed.

Maybe the OnePlus 10T will deliver all of the company’s promises when it comes next week, making it one of the best Android phones we’ve ever tested, and then we can forget about the missing alert slider. Most of those who care about the health of the smartphone market, or who have followed OnePlus closely, will be disappointed by this decision.

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Oppo, OnePlus’ associate firm from 2021, could be held responsible for the omission of the alert slider. However, as previous opinions on the state of OnePlus have noted, OnePlus has been on a trajectory towards conventionality for some time, arguably starting with the release of the OnePlus 7 Pro in 2019. When the OnePlus 10T was released, the company’s output became more generic, with the removal of the alert slider from the OnePlus 10T being the most evident indicator so far of this trend in the company’s products.

As phones like the OnePlus 10 Pro and the OnePlus Nord 2T demonstrate, this hasn’t necessarily led to a decrease in quality. Rather, the company has evolved into an established player in the Android smartphone market alongside Samsung and Google.

You’ll hear this from any decent therapist or Instagram wellness influencer: Change is inevitable. Although OnePlus prides itself on being user-focused, it doesn’t seem like a change its loyal supporters would ask for to ditch a well-loved feature that has been on its phones since the beginning.

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Battery capacity and charging speed are both desirable things, however the OnePlus 10 Pro already had a fair amount of battery life and a fast 80W charging speed (or a still quick 65W in the U.S.). The improved speed and durability will have to be weighed against whether or not the OnePlus 10 Pro’s upgrades are too minor to warrant the removal of the slider when the phone is reviewed.

Looking at the market more broadly, Android phones with long battery lives and lightning-fast charging are relatively prevalent, whereas iPhones with alarm sliders are not. A wide range of functions should be available to smartphone buyers when they go shopping, and OnePlus appears to believe that this strategy will help company sell more phones.

OnePlus may be able to deliver more impressive specs numbers by removing the alert slider. As a result, new cellphones’ feature sets have narrowed, which isn’t good news for potential buyers.

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For the time being, those looking for a OnePlus flagship with an alert slider will have to settle for the OnePlus 10 Pro for the time being instead. At the very least, we may hope that the OnePlus 11 (or whatever name they choose) will retain the alert slider on one of its models next year. Not only because it’s one of OnePlus phones’ most distinguishing attributes, but also because the phone market needs more unique features like this in order to provide more people exactly what they want.

However, if you’re ready to give up on OnePlus, you can always look at the finest iPhones. The two-position Ring/Silent switch can be found on every iPhone, from the cheapest iPhone SE (2022) to the most expensive iPhone 13 Pro Max. That would be a major setback when it comes to physical phone controls if Apple does remove the switch from the iPhone 14 later this year.

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