11 December 2018
As expected, Qualcomm's Snapdragon Tech Summit is seeing 5G network connectivity as the center point of all announcements and releases from different companies. Samsung and Motorola have already talked about their 5G plans and now, it is time for OnePlus to share details about what is going on and what to expect next year.
To start off, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau announced that OnePlus will be the first company to bring a 5G smartphone to Europe. He said that the phone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and they have partnered with EE UK to make the quick European release possible. Once it becomes available on EE UK, it will be expanded to different carriers around the world at a gradual pace.
In an exclusive talk with CNET, Lau said that they want to launch the first OnePlus 5G phone as soon as May 2019 but not later than June 2019. It is safe to assume that we are likely to see the unveiling of the device within the first half of the year. And as we knew already, this 5G phone will be a part of a completely new lineup. It will not be OnePlus 7 which will be succeeding the OnePlus 6T.
As for the pricing, Lau told The Verge that the first OnePlus 5G phone is expected to cost $200 to $300 more than the non-5G offering depending on different factors. It means considering the launch price of OnePlus 6T and speculated price bump for OnePlus 7, the 5G variant should cost anywhere around $800. This will definitely make it a premium-priced flagship which is something we have not seen OnePlus do so far.
But it is worth noting that if OnePlus is going to charge about $800 for a 5G phone, one can only expect more from other OEMs like Samsung and Huawei. Interestingly, none of these globally established smartphone makers share any details about the expected pricing and tried to avoid such questions. This brings us to the question that how many of the tech enthusiasts and early adopters would love to pay a premium for 5G that is likely to get coverage only on select carriers and select places. As for the answer, we will have to wait and watch.