One of the key announcements at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Tech Summit in the past week was around OnePlus: CEO Pete Lau stood on stage and stated that the company would have the first Snapdragon 855 enabled device to market. Due to some special sleuthing, this isn’t the case. OnePlus also expanded on its plans for 5G, as well as what it expects to cost.

Be Prepared to Spend More

In several interviews with the press, CEO Pete Lau discussed how 5G will affect the price of upcoming mobile devices. The official line is that 5G-enabled smartphones, before any additional data plan is considered, could cost $200-$300 more than current flagship devices. Part of this comes down to the modem, but also the RF front end and antennas – ultimately it will depend on if the phone supports both sub-6 GHz and mmWave, given the need for special mmWave antenna modules in the first round of products. Exactly how OnePlus will be implementing a 5G policy is unclear, however we were told at a satellite event that OnePlus expects to run two concurrent product lines: one with 5G and one without. The naming and timing on those is still fluid for now, about whether the 5G device should continue the current numbering scheme or continue with its own sub-branding, and even when the product will be released.

(One of) The First With Snapdragon 855

As reported by Engadget, OnePlus had a slight translation issue in its slide decks. In English, and with the deck presented on stage during the keynote, OnePlus announced that it would be the first device to market using the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 chipset. However, the deck that was distributed to the Chinese media said something different – the same slide stated that OnePlus would be ‘One of the first’ to use the new chip. Kudos to Engadget here – they tracked down the relevant PR people and confirmed that the mistake was in the English slide. At this point who exactly will have the first S855 device is unknown (but does it really matter?).

OnePlus and EE in the UK for 5G

Another key announcement from OnePlus and from Everything Everywhere is 5G in the UK. The companies will be working together to bring 5G devices into the UK market, in what they call a 'strategic partnership' starting in the first half of 2019. It was specificallty stated that OnePlus and EE 'will be the first to bring 5G to Europe'.

We're looking forward to working with OnePlus with our 5G coverage next year.

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  • melgross - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    What a joke! 5G is a mess, and will be for years to come. Buying a 5G phone next year is insane. Even in 2020 it will be premature..

    Read the article in Arstechnica Technica today. It’s a very good roundup of the problems.
    Reply
  • Sahrin - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    The Ars article reads like it was written to justify Apple holding off for a year.

    They did the same thing with LTE and 3G using the same justification. Both times competent products were on the market a year or more before Apple was on the market.
    Reply
  • wolrah - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    @Sahrin counterpoint:

    I owned the first 4G (WiMax) phone in the US, the HTC Evo 4G. It's cousin, the HTC Thunderbolt, was the third commercially available LTE phone but the first flagship-tier offering (the first and second were garbage-tier phones from MetroPCS).

    Both the Evo and Thunderbolt had significant compromises in battery life in particular, but also other areas, to support their 4G radios that most of us couldn't even use. In the time I had my Evo I actually used the 4G capabilities maybe a half dozen times.

    The second generation of 4G devices were much better.

    That's not justifying Apple's decision to hold off though, I wasn't paying attention to them during the 4G switch but look at their first 3G attempt compared to the second (3GS). Those who waited were much better off. No matter when a particular vendor switches, it's best to wait for generation 2 unless you have a use case that really benefits from the new technology.
    Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    Not really. 5G is going to take many years more to truly roll out and be beneficial. If your friends are impressed with "I have 5 Gs" and you get a warm feeling from basking in the glow of their adoration then get a 5G phone. If you just want a phone that works then do not get a 5G phone yet. Neither approach is right or wrong. You have to decide for yourself if you are going to pay extra as a first adopter and subsidize the new tech for others, or is your phone working just fine as is and you can wait 4 or 5 years till your phone breaks and you get a new one. Reply
  • shabby - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    Qualcomm can only dream we will spend 2-300 more. Reply
  • CheapSushi - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    This. Well all of the companies are. For the folks spending $800+ on their phones. How are you justifying it? Reply
  • Icehawk - Sunday, December 16, 2018 - link

    Yup, I needed a new iPhone this year and I opted for an 8+, the X series are just priced way too high and don’t bring meaningful improvements. That extra $$$ for the X phones means hard pass now that phones aren’t subsidized. My really nice 8700k PC cost less than some of the models wtf Reply
  • Azethoth - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    Easy, I am no longer upgrading phones every two years. The iPhone battery scandalgate taught me that I can get even longer life from an iPhone by replacing the battery.

    Therefore my maxed out XS Max will be hanging out for 3 or 4 years to get a new battery and then another 3 or 4 years before replacement or inability to upgrade to the new iOS, whichever comes first. Spread over 6-8 years it is the cheapest iPhone I have ever purchased AND it finally has enough memory for my entire music collection. Also waterproof, so there is no new phone feature I care about or will want etc.
    Reply
  • iwod - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    I would be happy if we stick to 4.9G for years to come. eLAA, Massive MIMO etc. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    "...$200-$300 more than current flagship devices."

    Lovely. I know people that are throwing over $300 USD at phone bills for a family of four due in part to the +$1k cost of each phone that is rolled into the price of service. Sure said people are shooting themselves in the proverbial feet, but I can see the personal finance news articles a decade from now telling people that the shouldn't have porked their futures up the backside by dumping almost $4K a year into phone service instead of a 401K.
    Reply

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