OnePlus will debut its first 5G-capable phone in Barcelona later this February at the Mobile World Congress conference — but only sort of.
The device isn't exactly a phone, only a prototype — an early version that may or may not be released later on as a more polished model. Even so, it's a good thing that OnePlus is ready to show off its first 5G hardware, a sign that other manufacturers might be on track to get there soon too.
OnePlus 5G Phone
OnePlus has been talking about 5G for months, but with very little to show for it. The company will be walking the walk once and for all later this month, though. OnePlus will have a presence at the Qualcomm booth during the MWC, and there it'll show its "5G prototype."
Attendees will be given a chance to "connect and communicate" with the community using next-generation wireless technology. OnePlus is also set to demo the possibilities of "5G gaming," which is a phrase that hasn't been associated with 5G until now and should be pretty intriguing.
"OnePlus, at Qualcomm's booth (Hall 3 Stand 3E10), invites all to connect and communicate with our community over a 5G network. Attendees will also be able to experience the capabilities of 5G gaming on a OnePlus 5G prototype. Keep an eye out for the limited-edition Qualcomm x OnePlus pin badge, only available at the OnePlus stand," the company said.
The statement makes it seem that OnePlus is more likely going to show off the phone's 5G capabilities rather than the phone itself. That in turn suggests that the phone will be nothing special and could just be a barebones placeholder device that OnePlus will use purely for demo purposes.
OnePlus has said that it's going to release a proper 5G smartphone down the line. There's not much information about it just yet, except that it will come equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and a Qualcomm X50 modem, both of which are needed for a phone to be compatible with 5G networks.
Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus, has already suggested this phone might cost between $200 and $300 more than other OnePlus handsets and that it might have a similar design to its previous phones. Lau has confirmed that it won't be the OnePlus 7. OnePlus likely won't make an announcement during the MWC, but surprises could always happen.
Other than OnePlus, Samsung is reportedly also planning to develop a 5G-capable phone. Rumors say the highest-end variant of the Galaxy S10 lineup will feature 5G connectivity.