Touchscreen latency marks the difference between the tap and swirl of your finger and what the device recognizes as your digit’s current position while it moves. A typical smartphone will have 50 milliseconds of latency. The OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T are not typical smartphones, though — they are “Flagship Killers”. One review has measured the 3T’s touch latency at a whopping 93ms.
XDA-Developers member arter97 made it known to OnePlus through its forums that this issue is one that should be taken care of.
OnePlus 3 has the worst latency I’ve ever had on an Android device,” arter97 wrote in an extended post on Pastebin. “iPhone always had the lowest latency and iPhone switchers are already noticing the latency on the OnePlus 3.”
Even comparing a Galaxy device and a OnePlus One, the lag was noticeably different.
The operative smoothness of an interface is exclusive from the touch latency of a smartphone display — digging into the hardware, we’re talking about the graphics processing chip versus a touchscreen controller. While the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T may scroll smoothly and with visual pleasure, getting it to do so takes some finagling.
Arter97 believes that all signs point not to Synaptics, the touch sensor manufacturer, nor the Android or Linux kernel, but the tinkering of the touch firmware — clearly in OnePlus’s court. Specifically, they believe that the “move sensitivity,” or the amount of finger movement it takes for a tap to be registered as a scroll, is set too high.
Dozens of users have backed the claim. In a separate thread, the issue was recognized by a OnePlus Bug Hunter and has been forwarded to the development team. A recent software update dated from November 22 for the OnePlus 3T mentions “Updated touch panel firmware and optimized accuracy.” The OnePlus 3 has not gotten a similar update.
This isn’t the only time OnePlus has been taken to task for how it tunes its hardware. The OnePlus 3, despite having 6GB of RAM, was criticized for heavily limiting the number of apps it was able to simultaneously keep in memory. The company followed through with a software tweak.
Media is misinterpreting my message. pic.twitter.com/UTAxTdEVzX
— arter97 (@arter97) November 30, 2016
The developer goes onto explain that while the touch latency on the OnePlus 3 falls behind what’s found on other devices, they believe that the phone still falls within the “Normal-High” tier of delay and does not a pose a “deal breaker” for purchase.
“The reason I’m complaining,” Arter97 said, “is because I know for a fact that it is fixable by the software.”
They mention AnandTech‘s critique of the OnePlus 3 when it was originally launched. The lack of an sRGB color gamut mode was remedied shortly after. Pocketnow has also mentioned the OnePlus 3’s aggressive RAM management that was eased off in a later update.
Arter97 has since retracted a claim on the Pastebin post that the OnePlus 3 has the “worst latency” they’ve experienced on an Android phone.
We’ve decided to amend the title to this article in accordance with that retraction. We should also disclose that a representative for OnePlus has asked us to change the title to this article as well.
For its part, OnePlus is including a tweak to tighten the latency for the OnePlus 3’s and 3T’s Android Nougat build, expected out within the next month.