Now that the OnePlus 5T is essentially dead, we’re not far off from the debut of the company’s next flagship. Lately, there have been quite a few leaks and rumors about the device, but today we’re getting our first official reveal from OnePlus.

Speaking to The Verge, OnePlus has officially released the first image of the OnePlus 6. This new shot shows off the most controversial aspect of the phone, and it comes along with a message from OnePlus’ co-founder Carl Pei.

We’ve known for a fair bit that the OnePlus 6 was going to have a notch in tow, but today’s image release officially confirms that. The notch itself is going to have the front-facing camera, earpiece, and ambient light sensor, as well as the LED notification light OnePlus fans have always requested. OnePlus was keen to mention that its notch doesn’t have iPhone X features such as support lighting, so its notch is considerably smaller. However, Pei also mentioned that it couldn’t go as small as the Essential Phone without compromising earpiece quality.

Our notch, it will be there. It’ll be bigger than the Essential Phone, smaller than the iPhone. How big a notch is always depends on your choices as a company.

OnePlus sees the notch as an extension of the screen. By “moving the entire notification bar up,” the notch gives users more of the screen to work with. This should prove especially true on the OnePlus 6 with it’s even taller aspect ratio. For those curious, the notch measures in at 19.616mm x 7.687mm.

To ensure a good experience for its users, OnePlus says it has tested the “top 1,000 apps” on Google Play to see if a compatibility mode is needed for the device. To keep the software in check, OnePlus is also shifting the clock to the left side of the screen (like Android P) to “allow more room for status icons.” Like the Essential Phone, photos and videos will “disguise” the notch, which should be effective with an OLED display.

OnePlus also took time to acknowledge Apple’s part in moving this sort of technology to the mainstream. Unlike a lot of other Android OEMs, OnePlus wants to make it clear that this move was not made for aesthetics but to maximize screen real estate. He also mentioned the iPhone X-like gestures we saw debut on the 5T, saying that it may “have taken longer if Apple hadn’t done it,” stating the same about the notch itself.

Pei also had an interesting tidbit of information about the “chins” we’ve seen on many Android phones taking a stab at the iPhone X’s design. He says that the chin is needed to drive the display, but with the iPhone, Apple has those components in the back of the phone, flexing the display around to avoid the chin. He says that this is a costly method of avoiding a chin, which is why we’ve not seen in elsewhere. So yeah, the OnePlus is definitely going to have a chin.

Currently, there’s no viable way to ditch the chin for a notch, as they come together for Android makers until someone comes up with a more affordable way to hide that display tech. Pei says users should “learn to love the notch” because it’s still giving more screen real estate to the user at the end of the day.

OnePlus didn’t confirm the “OnePlus 6” name or any other details about the phone during this meeting with The Verge, but it’s interesting to learn these details surrounding the most controversial aspect of the phone.

9to5Google’s Take

OnePlus has done a great job here defending its call to include a notched display on the OnePlus 6, and the benefits it lays out are clear. It’s also great to finally get an explanation behind the “chin.” That said, I think many will agree that the “notch+chin” look isn’t really a step forward compared to something along the lines of last year’s OnePlus 5T or the Galaxy S9.

I also question decisions like shifting the clock’s position. It may make “more room for status icons,” but in the case of OnePlus or Google, that’s not really a concern unless the notch is the size of the iPhone X’s. Notifications are far more efficient for that space.

Clearly, there’s going to be no moving away from the notch, but hopefully, OnePlus’ clear explanation takes some of the hurt away from users who were very against this move.

What do you think about the OnePlus 6 having a notch? Does the company’s explanation for the “chin” make up for its presence? Drop a comment below and let us know!

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About the Author

Ben Schoon

Ben is a writer and video producer for 9to5Google.

Find him on Twitter @NexusBen. Send tips to schoon@9to5g.com or encrypted to benschoon@protonmail.com.