OnePlus is gearing up to release the OnePlus 9, and the company is also prepping to buck a somewhat detrimental smartphone trend — the absence of a charging brick with new phones — in the process. Writing in response to a query by a potential customer, CEO Pete Lau confirmed the upcoming phone would ship with both a charging cable and charging brick in the box.
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It may seem like an unremarkable thing to note, but much like the headphone jack, it is no longer a guarantee your new smartphone will come with an accessory that was once taken for granted. In a trend popularized by Apple and the iPhone 12, some other phone manufacturers have opted to start shipping their phones in smaller boxes without charging bricks because most users already have chargers lying around and can easily do without them. It’s also being eschewed for environmental reasons aimed at reducing the e-waste from excess chargers.
The difference such actions make to e-waste is still up for debate. Ruediger Kuehr, head of the Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme hosted by the United Nations University said when speaking to Wired last year: “The percentage of chargers coming from tablets, smartphones, et cetera is 0.1 percent of the total e-waste increase.”
OnePlus phones use the company’s proprietary Warp Charge technology. The Warp Charge 30T charger included with the OnePlus 8 Pro charges the battery to full in less than an hour, and even its wireless charging is fast, with a 50% charge taking just 30 minutes. To achieve these speeds, you must use a Warp Charge charging brick and OnePlus’s USB Type-C cable, otherwise it will just charge at a normal, slow speed. If OnePlus takes the time to develop fast charging, and then uses Warp Charge as a selling point, it’s unlikely to force you to pay extra for a charging brick to make it work.
The OnePlus 9 series will launch on March 23, and in addition to talk about the battery and charging, we’re excited to see how a rumored partnership with camera experts Hasselblad works out. We’ll have comprehensive OnePlus 9 coverage on the release day.