How to Enable Ambient Display on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T

OnePlus 3 Ambient Display

You can follow these steps if you want to see notifications as they come in on the OnePlus 3 and OnePlus 3T without having to unlock the device at all.

Ambient Display is a feature we’re starting to see on more and more smartphones these days. I recently talked about this feature for the Pixel phones, and now it’s available on the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T with OxygenOS 4.0.x installed. The feature lets you see incoming notifications without having to unlock the device, and without having to even touch it too. This can be very convenient for those who keep their phone on a stand, or even just keep it flat on a desk.

The feature doesn’t even use much battery life either since it has an OLED panel too. Once the feature is activated, you’ll want to lock the device and then wait for a notification to come in. Once a notification comes in (and you can see all of this demonstrated in the embedded video below), you’ll see the screen activate and the time, along with any notifications will be displayed under it. This only stays active for a second or two though, and then will go back into a lock state again.

OnePlus 3 Ambient Display

  1. Launch the Settings application
  2. Scroll down to the Device section
  3. Tap on the Display option
  4. Scroll down to the System section
  5. Then toggle the Ambient Display feature on
  6. And press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen

Explanation

As with most of the features that are baked into OxygenOS for the OnePlus 3 and the OnePlus 3T, it’s not hard to enable but can be incredibly helpful to simply know that the feature is there and how it works. The embedded videos not only show you where to find them, but they also give me a chance to show off how the feature works. So to start, you’ll want to launch the Settings application and then scroll down until you get to the Device section.

From here, look for the Display option and then tap on it to go into that sub-menu. Now you will want to scroll down a bit again until you get to the System section. The feature is actually in the lower part of this section so you’ll likely have to scroll down a bit further once you get here. Just look for the feature called Ambient Display and toggle it on (if it’s off). I’m not sure if this is on by default but I would think it is not (although I could be very wrong).

OnePlus 3 Ambient Display Notification

This is what an example notification looks like when shown via Ambient Display.

Once enabled, all you have to do is press the Home button to go back to the Home Screen and then you can lock your OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T. Now you just have to wait until a notification comes in. As shown in the video above, I use Pushbullet to send a simple text notification from my PC to the device. You can see the display light up and then display the notification for a few seconds. Sadly, you can’t take any actions on notifications in this black and white mode.

If you’re used to using the Double Tap to Wake feature on the OnePlus 3 or OnePlus 3T, then you’ll likely be familiar with this black and white lock screen. It’s just a way to show you the time and the notifications, and you’ll have to swipe up, or use your fingerprint if you want to actually unlock the device and take action on that notification. Alternatively, you could press the Power button to fully activate the screen and then you can swipe the notification away if you’d like.

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About the author

Doug

I'm working to create an organized and easy to follow central repository of Android tips, tutorials, guides and everything you need to know. With a focus on device specific tutorials now, my goal is to branch out and do more universal tips and tricks that will work on all Android devices.