OnePlus is one of the first few companies to be working with Qualcomm to launch a 5G capable smartphone in the first half of 2019. OnePlus is heading to MWC this year to show off a seemingly functional prototype of its upcoming 5G phone to members of the media and telecommunications industry. While there is still no word yet on when its 5G phone will be ready for prime-time, the prototype that OnePlus will demo at MWC 2019 should reveal more information. Xiaomi will be also showing off a 5G-ready variant of its slider phone Mi Mix 3 at the trade show.
“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,” OnePlus says in its invite for the showcase.
OnePlus isn’t expected to launch any new phone at MWC which means the OnePlus 7 is technically not coming anytime soon. The 5G prototype could be the basis for the OnePlus 7 5G phone that OnePlus is rumoured to be working on. This 5G OnePlus 7 will be obviously limited to select markets where 5G will be available and also it will invariably cost higher than the standard OnePlus 7 sans 5G.
The invite seems to be stressing on the gaming aspects of the OnePlus 5G phone, which suggests the company may be looking to market its upcoming product as a high-end gaming phone. This phone will be powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 855 processor and will use the new Snapdragon X50 5G modem for all things 5G. The 5G prototype that OnePlus will show off at MWC 2019 will also pack the same core hardware and OnePlus says it will allow visitors to experience the phone and its gaming prowess on a fully functioning 5G network.
It is still early days for 5G but Qualcomm has already stressed that all those brands that don’t jump on-board the 5G bandwagon this year, will be little too late to the party. Qualcomm had in fact taken a dig at Apple at CES 2019, quipping that “you’ll definitely be too late if you’re launching a 5G phone in 2020.” Apple isn’t expected to launch a 5G-ready iPhone before 2020.
OnePlus will be one of the first few companies to launch a 5G phone this year. Samsung is also seemingly working on a 5G variant of its next high-end flagship phone, the Galaxy S10, that it may show off at its Galaxy Unpacked keynote event on February 20.