OnePlus' CEO, Pete Lau, got interviewed by CNET recently, and the company has now shared the details of that interview. The main top of the interview was the company's upcoming 5G-enabled smartphone, and it seems like it will arrive later than expected. Pete Lau said that the company is aiming to launch its first 5G smartphone "before the end of May", while it was expected to arrive in the first quarter of the year, at least based on previously shared info. In any case, it seems like OnePlus will not be the first company to launch a 5G-enabled device, as a mistake happened during Qualcomm's press conference, where it was hinted that OnePlus' 5G-enabled smartphone will be the first to support 5G connectivity, but that will not happen, though OnePlus will be one of the first to bring it to market.
In any case, Pete Lau said to CNET that OnePlus is not making a 5G smartphone for the money, instead, the company is doing it for strategy reasons, as 5G will develop quite a bit in the coming years, and this move will give OnePlus a head start. Mr. Lau also said that it is not expecting the company's 5G handset to attract a ton of consumers, as 5G is not here yet for consumers, but he is expecting everything to change by 2020, once the adoption of 5G increases. Now, OnePlus may not release the very first 5G-enabled smartphone, but the company will be the first in Europe to offer a Snapdragon 855-powered smartphone, due to its partnership with the UK carrier EE, which will get a short exclusive.
We recently found out that the company's 5G-enabled device will be quite pricey, it will be $200-$300 more expensive than the regular variant of the OnePlus 6T, and Mr. Lau says that the price hike can be attributed to pricier 5G components, compared to 4G components. Mr. Lau also said that the company is still trying to decide what extra features will this phone sport over the regular OnePlus flagship, as the company may differentiate it in more ways than one. Mr. Lau was also asked to share the name of the upcoming 5G smartphone, but declined to do so, which was to be expected.
Background: The company has been talking about its 5G-enabled smartphone for quite some time, and based on its teasers, and some rumored info, the phone was expected to arrive in the first quarter next year, but it seems like that will not happen. The company's 5G-enabled handset will arrive mid-2019, which is the same time the company's OnePlus 7 flagship is expected to arrive. The OnePlus 7 will probably launch in either May or June, though the company's 5G-enabled device may mess with that release date, as the company probably doesn't want to reveal both phones at the same time, and will look to leave some space between those two launches.
OnePlus had recently introduced its new flagship, the OnePlus 6T, and even though the phone originally arrived in two variants, Mirror Black and Midnight Black, OnePlus had introduced two other variants soon after. The Thunder Purple OnePlus 6T arrived soon after the initial launch of the device, while the McLaren Edition of the device was announced yesterday. The McLaren Edition of the OnePlus 6T actually comes with faster charging (Warp Charge 30), and more RAM (10GB) compared to the regular version of the OnePlus 6T, which includes 6GB or 8GB of RAM, depending on which variant you opt to get. The OnePlus 6T features a 6.41-inch fullHD+ Optic AMOLED display, while the device is fueled by the Snapdragon 845 SoC. The phone is made out of metal and glass, while it includes an in-display fingerprint scanner, and a teardrop notch. Bezels on the device are extremely thin, while the phone ships with Android 9 Pie out of the box, with OnePlus' OxygenOS skin on top of it. A 3,700mAh battery is included in the package, while there are two cameras on the back of the device.
The company's 5G-enabled smartphone is a real mystery at this point, in both design and spec departments. Some rumors did surface, but nothing concrete, so we can only guess what will OnePlus include in the device. That smartphone will definitely be fueled by the Snapdragon 855, that much had been announced already, and it remains to be seen what build materials will OnePlus use, but chances are it will be made out of metal and glass. The phone will include at least 6GB of RAM, though considering how much more expensive than the OnePlus 6T it will be, OnePlus may include 10GB from the get-go. A large battery will definitely be included in the phone, while it remains to be seen if the company will go for a fullHD+ or a QHD+ panel, in any case, we're expecting to see an OLED panel included in the phone. The device will ship with Android 9 Pie out of the box, and chances are that an in-display fingerprint scanner will be included as well, same goes for facial scanning.
Impact: We knew that the company's 5G-enabled phone is coming but its release date was quite the mystery. Well, Mr. Lau now suggested that it may arrive later than anticipated, and it will be interesting to see how will OnePlus coordinate the OnePlus 7 and 5G OnePlus handset launches, as the two phones are expected to launch rather close one to the other. The company's 5G smartphone definitely won't be its best-selling handset in 2019, as the OnePlus 7 and 7T are still expected to arrive, as planned, and chances are that both of those smartphones will support 4G only, well, the OnePlus 7 will for sure, that much had been confirmed thus far. The OnePlus 7 will also be fueled by the Snapdragon 855, though it remains to be seen how will it differentiate from the company's 5G-enabled device, both in terms of hardware and software, though chances are OnePlus will not make many software-related changes between the two devices, as it will want to stay true to its OxygenOS Android skin.