Modern smartphones have become incredibly water resistant, so much so that even foldables are boasting they can survive a 30-minute bath without crapping out. The one issue is that wet touchscreens are still a pain to control, and holding a phone out in the rain guarantees you’re not scrolling until you dry it off. Phone brand OnePlus now claims it has an edge on the competition with a phone that responds just as well in a storm as under a dry, summer sun.
OnePlus is planning to release its China-based Ace 2 Pro smartphone next week, and is now promoting its “Rainwater Touch Control,” which can register touch even with water droplets pummeling the screen. A video posted to Weibo earlier this week shows off OnePlus’ upcoming Ace 2 Pro in a side-by-side with an Apple iPhone 14 Pro.
As first noticed earlier this week by Gizmochina (via AndroidPolice), the feature seems to offer seamless controls in both rain and fog. The device doesn’t seem to have any problems with a downpour either, and it didn’t seem to ghost on user inputs despite the water smacking against the screen. According to the company, this new feature is due to a new custom chipset for the screen and several core touch screen algorithms. Actual information on this system is very light, but the video does speak for itself.
Mind you, this is only a promo video, so we have yet to see how the device works out in the open, but it is interesting enough the feature could easily be integrated into more devices worldwide. One thing to consider is how this feature will integrate with Android’s often-unremarked “High touch sensitivity” setting, which is used for people wearing gloves or who struggle to interact with a normal screen.
According to GSMArena, citing Weibo posts, the Ace 2 Pro is set to be unveiled Aug. 16. It’s supposed to have a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, like many other flagship phones, and 24 GB of LPPDDR5X RAM. According to the company’s China president Li Jie, the phone should be able to run a ludicrous 53 apps simultaneously. There’s no hint on price yet for the China-specific device, but with specs like that it will likely be somewhere in the ultra-premium realm.
OnePlus is more known for its back-to-basics approach to smartphones. Devices like the OnePlus 11 are designed for Android users who want solid hardware for a fair price. However, OnePlus’ parent company Oppo has been making moves in the foldable market with its China-centric Oppo Find N2 Flip, a kind of flat, clamshell device with a slightly larger exterior screen than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, but smaller than the Z Flip 5 and Motorola Razr+.
Compared to some other gimmicks from smartphone developers like ultra-fast charging or scrollable phones, a truly waterproof screen seems actually useful.