OnePlus is stripping a key feature from its next flagship - and fans aren’t happy

An official OnePlus 10T marketing image
(Image credit: OnePlus)

Leaks hinted towards it, but now the company has confirmed it: the upcoming OnePlus 10T will be the first main-series OnePlus phone to arrive without an alert slider. It's an intriguing shift of focus for the company.

The news comes directly from OnePlus, which has been frantically detailing information on its new phone ahead of the official launch on August 3. In a forum post, OnePlus defended its decision to lose the feature, blaming new features coming with the phone.

"Our users expect OnePlus devices to have high wattage charging, a large battery capacity, and better antenna signal. To excel in each of these three areas, the space inside the OnePlus 10T needs to be occupied by new technology."

This line of reasoning does make sense - there's only a certain amount of space within a phone, and unless a brand is willing to make a huge mobile (which apparently OnePlus isn't), sacrifices must be made.

Alert sliders were popularized by iPhones, but in the Android phone world, OnePlus has been the real champion of them. They're a physical slider that you can use to easily jump among silent, vibrate, or full-volume ringing modes, which saves you from having to unlock your handset and change these settings if you go into a meeting or want to catch a call.

Most recently, the OnePlus 10 Pro had the slider, though we should point out that the feature isn't used in the company's mid-range and cheap OnePlus Nord devices.

Analysis: clearly an unpopular decision

This decision hasn't gone down well with OnePlus fans.

In comments in the forum thread, many fans expressed displeasure, with some accusing the brand of stripping away the uniqueness of its devices, and one pointing out the irony of the brand's slogan (Never Settle) when it's going to remove features like this.

Still, it's possible that those fans will change their tune when the mobile launches. 

Fast charging, in particular, is a popular feature among phone fans right now, and OnePlus debuted 150W fast charging in phones earlier in 2022. So, it's very possible that the 10T will get it, too.

We'll need to see what hardcore OnePlus fans say beyond August 3 when the company launches its next mobile. Be sure to check back then, as we'll have our initial impressions on whether this could join our ranking of the best smartphone.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.