USA Today did reconfirm that the 5G prototype of the company's 5G smartphone will make an appearance at MWC 2019 in Barcelona. In fact, the source claims to have seen the device, but it was covered by a heavy-duty case, so not much was discernible. It seems like the company actually brought the final unit to show at MWC 2019, but protected it well against prying eyes, even though a generic 5G prototype was expected to make an appearance.
It was confirmed earlier that the UK carrier, EE, will carry the phone, and USA Today has just confirmed that it will launch first on both EE in the UK, and Elisa in Finland. It is not exactly a secret that the company's 5G handset will be fueled by the Snapdragon 855 64-bit octa-core processor by Qualcomm.
USA Today talked to the company's founder and CEO, Pete Lau, and he admitted that these are still very early days for 5G, but that OnePlus wants to "take the opportunity to raise more awareness, particularly within the OnePlus community".
OnePlus will be showing off the Ace Combat 7 game at MWC 2019 in order to highlight its 5G device's potential for gaming and computing, as the vast majority of computing is done on the cloud level, rather than on the device, said Pete Lau.
Pete Lau wanted to highlight that the US is an important market for the company, and that its 5G smartphones will be coming to the States at some point in the future, as the technology evolves and compatibility between 5G networks is improved.
Pete Lau said something else that was interested, he said that "apart from the chipset, and the ability to support the 5G network, the device itself doesn't necessarily have to have other technical differences from a 4G device", referring to its 5G handset. This could be an indication that the 4G LTE variant will be quite similar to the company's 5G variant, that could be applicable to both specs and the design.
He also said that a "4G LTE version of the phone is in the works", clearly referring to the OnePlus 7, and the fact that Mr. Lau referred to it as a "4G LTE version of the phone", also indicates that the 4G LTE and 5G smartphones from the company may be similar, even though OnePlus earlier said that the 5G unit will not be a part of its usual smartphone lineup, hinting that it will not have the "OnePlus 7" part in its name… but we'll see what will happen in that regard, as Mr. Lau said to USA Today that the name of the company's 5G device "hasn't been decided".
Mr. Lau also said that OnePlus is "very happy" with the T-Mobile partnership in the US, and that it is "looking forward to doing even more this year", hinting that OnePlus will be partnering with T-Mobile yet again with the OnePlus 7, which is expected to arrive in either May or June. The company's CEO also said that OnePlus' 5G handset will be considerably more expensive than the 4G variant, but that the company will keep the price under $1,000.