Four weeks ago I reviewed the OnePlus One mostly favourably. One of the issues I had with the phone was an apparent inability to distinguish between two taps at close intervals to each other when typing. This results in ghost swipes and missed letter and gives a fairly poor user experience when using tap typing. It does not affect swipe typing but I like the choice of the two for my use. A bug report was filed with CyanogenMod and it received a lot of attention from others users experiencing the same bug.
Since then another screen issue has presented itself. I noticed that when the phone was in the car cradle I was unable to zoom in on maps. The screen would do crazy things as if it was registering ghost touches. This seems to be a fairly common issue with the thread on the OnePlus forums receiving a lot of traffic. It appears that multi-touch is broken for a majority of devices with the display unable to register multiple touches accurately when the device is not being held or plugged in. Many users have posted YouTube videos of their devices having the multi-touch issue so it appears the issue is fast becoming an epidemic as users realise their device has this bug.
OnePlus admitted to the issue, albeit in a very unofficial way, when responding to a user’s RMA complaint:
Andy Zhang (OnePlus)
Aug 07 02:04
We’ve recently realized that all OnePlus One devices have this problem, and we’re actively working on a solution to fix this. As a temporary workaround, if your phone is plugged in via USB or the headphone jack is plugged, earthing is no issue. Sorry for the inconvenience!
– Andy “
Except for that small slip there has not been any word from OnePlus themselves about the issue, why it happens and how they propose to fix it. Having to replace or fix a majority of devices for a small, new company already operating on a shoestring budget and could have devastating effects. Users have been getting very frustrated and I have to admit I came very close to purchasing an LG G3 last week. To test if your device has this issue place it on a pillow, the bed or a couch and use a multi-touch app to determine whether your device can handle more than one touch at a time.
Today a member of CM Inc, Ciwrl, aka Abhisek Devkota, has released a statement to explain the issue.
Status Update on this ticket (and related):
As many of your comments have already found, our investigation into this issue has led to isolating the cause of the behavior to the touchscreen firmware found within the One. Unfortunately, Cyanogen does not control this element, we merely serve as a vehicle to deliver and utilize the firmware as provided by other partners.
We are working with those partners to provide a permanent solution to this issue. In the meantime, in the absence of an immediate remedy, we are placing workaround solutions – including the kernel patch linked above.
When this fix will arrive is unknown but they still need to release their “July OTA” and plan on doing that over a two week period. The July OTA is currently with Google and other parties going through the approval process. A temporary workaround for the freezing display issue (related to this) will be next to be certified but CM Inc are pursuing the workaround and the fix as a matter of urgency considering the frustrating nature of it. Hopefully the display/digitiser manufacturer can provide the new firmware in short time and Google give it the green light equally quickly. The promise of a fix inbound has made me reconsider purchasing a LG G3 as the OnePlus is a great phone except for these display issues.
While all other manufacturers are not immune to issues with hardware (remember the Nexus One digitiser issues?) they often ignore users or have enough money in the bank to just replace devices as required. OnePlus, although mostly silent on this, have done the right thing informing users today. OnePlus have such a tight budget that a mass replacement of devices could see them go under in their first year so we hope for a favourable outcome which would be a software fix rather than a hardware repair/replacement. Hopefully they can get a fix for this issue out to those devices already out in the wild and avoid folding so early in their lifetime.
Do you have the issue on your OnePlus One? Are you surprised by this? Did you suspect that a new company would run into these issues?