In Short: Based on a poll opened a couple of days ago on Google+, OnePlus users actually want the company to manufacture a more compact flagship handset. This poll had been opened on 'OnePlus Community' on Google+, and at the time of writing this article, 452 people gave their vote on the matter. Options offered are simple, 'Yes' or 'No', and based on the results so far, 42-percent of people who voted actually want a smaller OnePlus flagship, while 58-percent of them do not. Truth be said, there are still more people who don't see the point in a more compact OnePlus flagship, but almost half of them do want it, so the question is, should the company actually manufacture it? OnePlus has always been releasing rather large phones, truth be said, there are larger phones than the OnePlus 6 out there, and many people do not even consider it to be that large, but it's not for everyone, that's for sure.
The OnePlus 6 sports a 6.28-inch display, so its overall footprint, having that display size in mind, is not that huge, but there's only so much companies can trim down bezels when such a large display is in play. Well, the aforementioned poll actually asked users whether they'd like to see a OnePlus flagship with a 5.7-inch or 5.8-inch display, in addition to the large one. So, the company is launching the OnePlus 6T soon, and chances are it will sport a 6.4-inch display, which means that it will almost certainly be noticeably taller than the OnePlus 6, even though its width will remain almost the same, we're only guessing, based on leaks. If the company, however, released a 5.7-inch or 5.8-inch OnePlus 6T, it would be quite a bit smaller than the 6.4-inch one, of course. The device would be able to compete with the likes of the iPhone Xs, Galaxy S9, Honor 10, Pixel 3… and a number of other more compact smartphones out there.
Background: OnePlus has always been releasing rather large devices, with the exception of the OnePlus X, which was the company's attempt to release a mid-range handset to the market. The OnePlus X featured a 5-inch display, and it was quite compact, but the thing is, that phone was a mid-ranger. The OnePlus X was kind of a disappointment for the company, which is why OnePlus did not release its successor. Well, if OnePlus actually opted to release a smaller flagship, the results may be different. Not everyone wants a huge phone, that is obvious, and based on the results of this poll, quite a few of them would like to see a smaller phone out there. The OnePlus X was released back in 2015, along with the OnePlus 2, and those two phones shipped with 5-inch and 5.5-inch displays, respectively. Having said that, bezels were noticeably thicker back then, but the difference between these two phones was quite significant, nonetheless. The OnePlus X measured 140 x 69 x 6.9mm, while the OnePlus 2 measured 151.8 x 74.9 x 9.9mm. In this day and age, OnePlus is able to implement a much larger display in its smartphones, and the same would probably be the case for the smaller phone, as a 5.5+-inch display would probably fit in a phone that would be roughly the size of the OnePlus X.
Other companies are offering more compact flagships, even though not many of them, as it seems like pretty much every smartphone manufacturer rather opts to release one large flagship and be done with it. For one reason or the other, smaller form factors have become tied down to inferior devices, mostly entry-level ones, even though there are mid-range compact devices out there as well. As far as flagship offerings are concerned, the iPhone Xs, Xperia XZ2 Compact, Pixel 3, Honor 10, Huawei P20 and the Galaxy S9 come to mind at the moment, but most companies out there do not release compact flagships, not even Xiaomi, at least not anymore. Xiaomi had been releasing compact flagships until this year, as the Xiaomi Mi 5 and Mi 6 arrived in 2016 and 2017, respectively, both with 5.15-inch displays. Well, their successor, the Xiaomi Mi 8, actually sports a huge 6.21-inch display, which is a rather odd move by Xiaomi, as sales of the Mi 5 and Mi 6 were substantial, but there you go. For some reason, companies seem to think that there's no market for smaller flagships, despite the fact sales numbers are claiming the opposite for quite a few of them.
Impact: Samsung has been selling quite a few of their Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S9 units in the last year and a half, the Honor 8, 9, and 10 have been selling like hotcakes, while Huawei's P20 handset has been quite popular as well. So wouldn't OnePlus release a more compact flagship as well, and see what will happen. There's certainly a market for such a smartphone out there, and even though only a couple of hundred people participated in the aforementioned poll, all of them are OnePlus users, or have been recently. OnePlus has been releasing two flagships per years for a years now, and those two flagships, that are released within the same year (mid-year and end-year) sport the same processor, and same RAM variants, Most of the internals when it comes to the two phones are identical as well, so wouldn't it make more sense for OnePlus to release one large phone in May or June, as they've been doing thus far, and then release a more compact follow-up in November. Or, if the company really wants to stick to releasing two larger flagship phones per year, they can always try releasing a smaller one next to one of those two phones, as Sony does with its 'Compact' lineup. The point here is, that the smaller phone doesn't end up being inferior to the big one, so that the only difference between the two devices ends up being overall size, display size, and battery size, that's it, that's the only way the company will be able to see whether it's feasible to release smaller devices out there, just because their mid-ranger did not do all that well, it doesn't mean a more compact flagship phone wouldn't. That will not happen with the OnePlus 6T, there's no way OnePlus will release a smaller flagship in 2018, but who knows what will happen next year, or the year after.