OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has been going through the media rounds since the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit and has continued to promote the company’s efforts on its first 5G phone. While interpreting from Chinese has led to a few errors along the way, the general sentiment is that OnePlus wants to be part of the leading charge on the new wireless technology in Europe.
Lau has told CNET what has been said before: the OnePlus 5G phone would be separate from the mainline OnePlus smartphone series. It will also strive to appear much like how today’s smartphones do, even though there are component bulking challenges to implementing 5G reception on smartphones.
To achieve a relatively familiar and usable product, Lau laid out some of the factors of its partnership with UK carrier EE. For one thing, the EE 5G network — launching in six cities early next year with 10 more in the queue for 2019 — will rely on spectrum below the 6GHz level, meaning that signals will reach farther while still providing broader bandwidth while consumer hardware won’t have to accommodate as much to receive them.
The medium between the tower and the phone will be the Snapdragon 855 chipset and the additional Snapdragon X50 modem. The launch timeframe? Within May. The price? Perhaps up to $300 more than a OnePlus 6T.
And the reward? Very little, at least in the short term.
“The 5G product is not expected to equate to huge sales,” Lau said through an interpreter. “It’s still early stage. But by 2020 it could already be very different.”
Why not get started as early as it can?