Making a call to Dominos, only for your phone to reboot after you dial, would be frustrating. For your phone to do the same when making a call to the emergency services would be one of the worst situations imaginable. There are some reports saying exactly this problem exists with the OnePlus 5, the newest phone from the popular manufacturer.
A post made on the r/OnePlus Reddit board, and cross-posted to the r/Android board, highlighted the frightening issue. OnePlus 5 owner Nick Morrelli said he needed to call 911 and report a nearby fire, but the phone rebooted without connecting to the service. This happened a second time, and Morrelli was able to replicate it again at a later point, and capture it on video.
The problem isn’t limited to OnePlus 5 owners in the U.S. either, with one Reddit commenter in the U.K. saying they had also found the same problem after running a test for the 999 emergency number. OnePlus has been quick to respond, and told Digital Trends:
“We have contacted the customer and are currently looking into the issue. We ask anyone experiencing a similar situation to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
There is some speculation about the cause. It may be an issue with third-party dialer apps, or modifications to the Android dialer app when it’s part of a custom user interface. The problem has been noted on phones other than those made by OnePlus in the past, but reports of emergency dialing problems have turned up on the OnePlus forums, indicating older OnePlus phones and software may have suffered from isolated instances of this happening too.
Dialing an emergency number is something none of us want to do, but would absolutely want to work should the situation arise. The question is, how do we know if our phones — whether it’s a OnePlus 5 or not — actually connect with the service? The answer is not to randomly and repeatedly dial 911, or 999. Do not do this. Again, do not just call emergency services to see if the call connects. This could be considered an offense, and may prevent a real emergency from getting through.
If you’re in the U.S., there is an official way to test the line, and directions can be found on the 911 website here. It involves calling your local non-emergency phone number and scheduling a time to do so. In the U.K., contact your local police and ask for advice on how and when to test the line.