OnePlus has been working on a vexing smartphone problem: reduced battery performance over time.
As you've likely noticed, the longer you have a phone, the less time it takes for the battery to drain from full. That's partly because lithium-ion batteries wear out faster if they're left at 100 per cent charge for long – like when you're charging overnight.
Other phone manufacturers have already implemented solutions to this issue, and OnePlus has just announced its own, called Optimised Charging. A post on the official forums explains:
"The battery will be charged to 80% initially and suspend temporarily by using our “user sleep cycle detection” function. Your phone will start charging 100 minutes before your daily wake up time, first alarm or first event to 100% level.
This means it will stay at around 80% for most of the night, even though it is connected to the charger the whole time. The OnePlus will then finish charging and should hit 100% just as you take it off the charger to get on with your day. After a few weeks, it will learn that you consistently wake up and take your OnePlus off charge at 8 AM, for example."
That's all well and good if you have a consistent schedule, but what about weekends? What about students? Freelancers? People with chronic illness? Not everyone gets up around the same time every day, by a long shot.
Helpfully, OnePlus isn't making Optimised Charging mandatory. There'll be a notification on the Android pulldown menu with an option to turn it off this time ("continue charging") and you can also go into settings and turn it off entirely.
Overall, Optimised Charging is a good idea for people who want their battery to last as long as possible, and quite a few OnePlus fans do hang onto their phones for years. The company says information about your schedule will only be stored on the phone, so hopefully no sarcastic comments about how this is all just a big ploy to send our daily whereabouts to China.
OnePlus also says it'll be working on ways to improve the feature, including weekend lie-ins, time zones and suchlike. [Android Police]