OnePlus will demonstrate a 5G phone running on an operational 5G network
The company has emphasised gaming as a 5G experience
OnePlus is expected to launch its first 5G smartphone by May 2019
OnePlus has invited members of the media and telecommunications industry to try out a demonstration of a prototype 5G smartphone on a fully functioning 5G network at Qualcomm's booth at the upcoming MWC 2019 trade show in just two weeks' time. The company has not stated that this is an example of a product that it will launch, but instead has indicated that the device will allow people to experience 5G speeds. The invitation curiously emphasises “5G gaming” as an example of what it will show off, which could indicate that the actual 5G phone that launches later this year might be aimed at gamers.
The announcement of the 5G demonstration at MWC was posted by XDA Developers. It states: "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."
The fact that the product to be demonstrated at MWC has been described as a prototype also indicates that we might not be able to determine much about OnePlus's actual plans for a product rollout, including specifications, camera capabilities, and physical design. Those will have to wait till the company is ready to launch its final products.
CEO Pete Lau told CNet in an interview last year that he isn't expecting huge sales for the 5G model when it launches. Also, being one of the first to market with a 5G phone is not about bragging rights, but about allowing it to learn and iterate for future products. The company is well known for the relatively short life cycles of its products, with improved versions launching roughly twice a year.
OnePlus will not be the only company announcing or demonstrating 5G smartphones. Huawei, Samsung, Vivo, LG, and ZTE are amongst those likely to join the bandwagon. OnePlus has not announced any plans to have its own booth or launch other products at MWC. The company prefers to host its own global launch events rather than share attention with the world's biggest brands.
Will MWC 2019 introduce port-less phones to the world? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.
Jamshed Avari has been working in tech journalism as a writer, editor and reviewer for over 13 years. He has reviewed hundreds of products ranging from smartphones and tablets to PC components and accessories, and has also written guides, feature articles, news and analyses. Going beyond simple ratings and specifications, he digs deep into how emerging products and services affect actual users, and what marks they leave on our cultural landscape. He's happiest when something new comes along