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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  • SanX - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    99.99% of users even not noticed smooth hidden change from 100mbit to 1gigbit ethernet in all our PCs in recent years. These chips now cost pennies. Or any difference in anything moving from 150-300mbit to 1 gigabit in WiFi. And QCOM now thinks people will notice any change at all from 4G to 5G in mobiles ? At $300+ ?? :)))))))))) ROTFLOL I need help laughing to death.
  • darkswordsman17 - Friday, December 14, 2018 - link

    They didn't notice it because for most people it didn't make any difference for their actual effective internet speed, as their outside network was the limiting factor in that. Having 100Mbit/1Gbit ethernet doesn't matter when you were getting less than 20Mbit from your ISP. Even now that people can get gigabit speeds from their ISP it would matter. This is more akin to going from tens of Mbit speed cable to hundreds of Mbit or even gigabit speed speed fiber. There are other advantages as well (reduced latency is a big deal), and yes it'll take awhile to get them. But this is no different from any other tech, where it comes out expensive and through improvements in the technology and adoption rate drives costs down.
  • juhatus - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    I can't believe there are still so clueless people here commenting who are claiming that 5G does not have any benefits because speed. "My 300baud modem is still rocking!". If you dont want in-depth information about how cellular network and mobile phones evolve read something else then Anandtech.

    5G is all about sharing the bandwidth and using it so more people have more speed with smaller ping. If you would be alone in a 4G network than that 1-2Gig would be enough, but your not alone and bandwidth gets slower when more people use it at the same time. 5G helps with this.

    There are tons of articles about 4G vs 5G that explain this better than me with my morning coffee. Maybe anandtech could do article about ?
  • SanX - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    Great that you can write while still sweet dreaming. Next time drink coffee first and bring us here at least one application you were dreaming about. I give you in your dreams even not 5G but 100G (don't touch supercomputers)
  • crotach - Saturday, December 15, 2018 - link

    I really like that they'll keep two separate product lines. 5G needs time to mature and I definitely don't want to be paying extra just to be a guinea pig for the telcos. 855 looks really interesting without 5G and it's great you can have it without the additional modem.
  • abufrejoval - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    At 100Mbit/s down and 26Mbit/s up on LTE, I simply fail to see, why I should care about 5G on a phone, which refuses to support desktop replacement or feeding a 4k screen. Why should I pay extra for a potential I cannot imagine using. I've started at 300 Baud, so I value my bandwidth, but after "enough" I have other things to spend money on.

    I love my 10Gbit home LAN and the 100Gbit LAN in the lab. I'd take Gbit Internet up and down for my home, if they didn't charge extra over the 280/25 Mbit I have now, but that's Steam updates for a dozen PCs on games reaching tripple GByte sizes, which doesn't include the phone just yet.

    What am I missing? I cannot really see value beyond my OnePlus 5, even if I try hard.
  • namechamps - Monday, December 17, 2018 - link

    5G means more aggregate tower bandwidth. To the end user more overall bandwidth and thus less congestion, throttling, and capping is the advantage not some higher peak speed.
  • abufrejoval - Tuesday, December 18, 2018 - link

    In other words: I am lucky today, that I get these speeds (which I regularly measured, not projected from specs), but tomorrow I could be stuck in an LTE traffic jam, which I can only avoid by jumping on 5G? I keep thinking that available bandwidth is merely a question of cell density and that whenever the aggregate bandwidth in a mobile cell isn't good for the averate population, you increase the density. Of course there are limits ultimately, just don't know how close we are to the point where 5G is the only solution left. It feels a bit like UMTS to LTE: TelCos may be motivated to thin out older technology and force the end users to upgrade because it's cheaper for them (and I guess some TelCos still sell phones).

    When I watch people in Lyon trams these mornings, everybody is already glued to their cell, watching videos or similar high-bandwidth stuff, so the network is holding up just fine. Unless all these autonomous cars start filling the airwaves with their V2V chattering (and drivers become passenger just like their kids who can now also watch videos), I just don't see who or what would raise it to orders of magnitude higher bandwidth. As much as I like VR and 4K, I don't quite see everybody on the road turning into full VR zombies.

    Is it really so unrealistic to think that bandwidth requirements might not continue on exponential growth paths, when nobody seems to have more time to give to their phones and receives as much resolution as he can ingest? Where would it stop then?
  • ZeDestructor - Sunday, December 23, 2018 - link

    you hit the root cause right on it's head: the imminent IoT explosion is what will blowup 4G capacity. See, while LTE can be speedboosted to 5G relatively easily, it seems (I haven't seen the spec, or work at a mobile carrier to know for sure) like 4G LTE has limitations on concurrent device count.

    For you and me, and even the people glued to their phones streaming 4K Netflix, the 4G to 5G should bring nothing for actual real-world usage, and that's how it should be, unlike the 3G/UMTS/HSPA to 4G LTE transition, which was honestly insanely overdue.

    As for why it's being marketed the hell out of.. well, marketing gon' market. I, for one, have no intention of even caring about 5G tech for the short term. gonna wait for it to become common, ordinary tech first :D
  • Vazi - Saturday, December 29, 2018 - link

    5G deployment is still at least 2 years away. Buying a 5G phone in 2019 is a waste of money.

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