That “jelly” scrolling effect on the OnePlus 5 may be “natural” behavior, but according to composite testing and analysis from XDA-Developers, it is only the symptom to one big design issue with the device.
For those who aren’t aware of the issue, OnePlus 5 users have been noticing that as scrolling speed increases, some lines of the display scrunch or bellow up while others get stretched. As scrolling speed evens out, things normalize. The most prominent example of this behavior is when scrolling through text and pictures.
OnePlus responded on the issue by saying that the AMOLED display used is of high quality and that the issue is not covered under warranty. While a small number of users may notice it, some may not even consider that grounds for a return and refund.
Well, further research into the device’s kernel found one interesting option allowed by Qualcomm: panel orientation editing. And indeed, the code was set to output at 180 degrees from normal orientation. Other phones don’t display this line in their kernels, which presumably means that the default setting is “null”.
Hardware teardowns also confirm that the display cable attaches in an area almost exactly opposite from where the OnePlus 3T’s attachment was. It also shows a fairly busy situation at the top end, unlike the 3T. And they both use the same display from Samsung.
On Reddit, a OnePlus team member said that the dual-camera sensors would have protruded more than they already did from the rear if they were to be placed not at the corner, but at the center — a hint that design considerations affected the intentions of OnePlus’s component placement.
Correlations between an inverted display placement and jelly scrolling are purely anecdotal at this point, but they have involved executing code to flip the displays on other devices.
How much pain OnePlus should get from the public on this issue will depend on how much parsing we can do about the display’s calibration or perhaps even Qualcomm’s setting. There’s more speculation that we can dig into, but ultimately, it’s OnePlus that made the executive decision to make the inversion and it’s OnePlus that will take the pain, period.