OnePlus' 5G smartphone is coming, and it will cost a lot. There's no way around it, after OnePlus' CEO, Pete Lau, shared some info with The Verge, confirming that the company's upcoming 5G smartphone will be $200-$300 more expensive than its current flagship, the OnePlus 6T. To put things into perspective, the OnePlus 6T is currently priced at $549 in the US, its base model is, and it has been that way since the phone launched less than two months ago. If you add $200 on it, you'll end up with a price tag of $749, while adding $300 will result in an $849 price tag. When Qualcomm's President, Cristiano Amon, was asked to comment on this, he basically suggested he thinks that the price bump is a bit high, and that he's seen "people being way more aggressive on price". Based on Mr. Amon's comment, we'll see much more affordable 5G smartphones in 2019.
Now, on top of commenting on the price tag of its upcoming smartphone, Pete Lau also said that the company is developing both its 4G and 5G smartphones at the same time, as OnePlus is expected to announce the OnePlus 7 (name still unconfirmed) in mid-2019, and stick to its usual release cycle. The OnePlus 7 will not support 5G, the company had already announced that a while back, which kind of makes sense as 5G will not become available to consumers until H2 2019 (quite probably Q4), and it will not become a standard this year at all, only some carriers will support it from the get-go, as its expansion will take time, as it was with 4G when it first arrived.
Background: It was announced yesterday, during Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 event, that OnePlus will release the first Snapdragon 855-powered smartphone, and that device will support 5G. The standard Snapdragon 855 comes with the Snapdragon X24 modem, which debuted inside the Snapdragon 845, but the Snapdragon 855 variant that OnePlus will use in its 5G-enabled smartphone will pack in the Snapdragon X50 modem, a new wireless modem with 5G capabilities. Interestingly enough, the company's 5G-enabled smartphone will first launch in the UK, as EE announced that it will have a timed exclusive on the device. That device will quite probably be available exclusively via EE for a short period of time, quite probably, before OnePlus makes it available in other regions as well. We still do not know when will the phone launch, though, it seems like OnePlus is planning to announce such a device in the near future, and considering that Samsung will probably release a 5G-enabled Galaxy S10 smartphones in February, OnePlus' phone will probably arrive sooner than that, as it will be the very first 5G-enabled device out there.
So, as things stand at the moment, OnePlus is actually planning to announce at least three smartphones in 2019, its 5G-enabled phone, the OnePlus 7, and the OnePlus 7T. The company, of course, did not confirm that the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T are coming, but it did say a while back that the 5G-enabled phone will not be a part of its usual release cycle nor smartphone lineups, which suggests that both the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7T will arrive in 2019. As already mentioned, the OnePlus 7 will not support 5G, and it will be considerably more affordable than the company's 5G-enabled phone, as it will probably cost a bit more than the OnePlus 6T. The OnePlus 7T, on the other hand, is still a mystery, it remains to be seen if OnePlus will make that phone 5G-compatible or not, but chances are it will not, as 5G will not become a must-have feature until 2020, at the very least, as not many carriers around the world will support it, at least not fully, it always takes time for such technology to catch on.
The OnePlus 6T, on the other hand, is basically still a new smartphone. The company's 5G-enabled smartphone is expected to arrive within a month or two, which means that the OnePlus 6T will be only approximately three months old at that point. It will still be quite relevant, though, as not many people will look to buy a phone for its 5G capability so early in the game, as they still can't even use 5G yet, and the OnePlus 6T will be considerably more affordable than said 5G smartphone. The OnePlus 6T was announced back in October, and at this point in time, the company is offering three different colors of the phone, Mirror Black, Midnight Black, and Thunder Purple. A special edition McLaren OnePlus 6T will become official later this month, as the company already announced a press conference that will take place in London. That device is actually rumored to offer more RAM than any other OnePlus 6T model, as it is rumored to ship with 10GB of RAM, though OnePlus usually doesn't change RAM count for special edition phones, so it remains to be seen what will happen.
Impact: OnePlus was basically always more affordable than the competition, which is a part of the reason why its smartphones are so successful, but it seems like the company's 5G smartphone will change things around. That doesn't mean that the OnePlus 7 will offer a considerable price bump over the OnePlus 6T, though, as it will not support 5G, but the company's 5G-enabled phone will definitely become OnePlus' most expensive smartphone yet. That phone is still a mystery, as we do not know what it will look like, nor what specifications can we expect on the inside, aside from the Snapdragon 855, of course. The phone will likely resemble the OnePlus 6T quite a bit, though, and chances are it will be made out of metal and glass. The device is also expected to pack in 8GB of RAM, though a 6GB RAM variant may be an option as well. The device will ship with Android 9 Pie out of the box, of course, and on top of it, OnePlus will include its very own skin, OxygenOS, as expected. The company may share more info regarding this phone in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.