A number of smartphone manufacturers including Xiaomi, Sony, LG, and Huawei are expected to make product announcements at Mobile World Congress that will take place later this month in Spain and while OnePlus isn't likely to reveal a new device at the tradeshow, it surely wants to join in on the fun. The Chinese manufacturer recently sent out invites for a closed-door cocktail party. Something that OnePlus does at MWC (and CES for that matter) every year. Where it invites member of the press to hang out and get some free food and drinks.
It's very unlikely that the company would unveil a new smartphone in Barcelona. That being said, the company surely does have various products planned for the current year. The next smartphone that the company is expected to release is the OnePlus 7, which will most likely be fueled by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC and some reports have also suggested that it will make use of a pop-up selfie camera to maximize screen estate.
OnePlus also plans to release a 5G smartphone this year (it announced a partnership with UK carrier, EE at Qualcomm's Snapdragon Summit in December) but since the new technology is going to drive up the price of the phone, it will be marketed under a separate line while the company will continue offering its current range of flagship killer products at relatively affordable rates.
Apart from that, the company had also revealed intentions of revealing a compact smartphone, provided there is a breakthrough in the battery technology so that no compromises would have to be made on battery life. And lastly, the company had also announced last year that it will release a smart 4K LED TV in 2019. Although the company seems to have its hands full, none of the aforementioned devices is particularly futuristic so none of them make the cut for the event. And even if it does end up demoing one of them, it is most likely going to be a prototype unit and not a finished product.
OnePlus could announce a new partnership, or some new software features at Mobile World Congress. But don't expect anything big from the Chinese smartphone maker. OnePlus has been pretty strategic about when it announces its products. And MWC is not really the best time for OnePlus – a company that still sees itself as a startup – to announce a new flagship smartphone. This is because OnePlus would be competing with a number of other competitors at the show for attention, including Samsung. A company that OnePlus definitely can't compete with, yet.
Many outlets are expecting OnePlus to have some large announcement at Mobile World Congress, and that is because the company has never really had a booth or a presence in Barcelona. But, don't get your hopes up. OnePlus' public relations team has said – on Twitter even – that this is really just a cocktail party, something OnePlus does every year. Some outlets decided to blow it out of the water though, and are expecting more than just a get-together with some other journalists in Barcelona.