OnePlus CEO Pete Lau confirmed his company is preparing to manufacture a second 5G phone before the end of 2019, this time being 5G-capable globally, according to the Financial Times (paywall). This device should pick up the mantle from its predecessor OnePlus 7 Pro, the company’s first 5G-capable phone (at least on the UK’s EE network). Given recent OnePlus history, the phone will likely be called the OnePlus 7T (which might come in a 4G variant and a 5G-capable “Pro” variant). Even if a lower-cost 4G variant is released, Lau indicated in the Financial Times article that a flagship phone in late 2019 must be 5G-capable to be competitive, as he expects 5G coverage to become far more widespread in 2020.
I’m inclined to agree that 5G will reach a turning point in 2020 in which it’s expected in a new device rather than the relative luxury it’s considered to be now. That said, I’d be rather surprised if Google’s Pixel 4 (also scheduled for late 2019 release) is 5G-capable. As for OnePlus, I’d expect their upcoming 5G phone to feature the newer Snapdragon 855 Plus (it’s too early for the 865 and the Android blogosphere would probably have a collective conniption if it came with the regular 855 despite there being precious little difference between the two processors). It’ll probably have an in-display fingerprint sensor and a popup selfie cam like the OnePlus 7 Pro.
As for which networks it’ll draw 5G speeds from, we can be reasonably certain that at least Sprint will be included in the United States. It’s difficult to say what else might distinguish the new 5G phone from the OnePlus 7 Pro aside from perhaps some hardware and software improvements in the cameras. While highly unlikely, it’s also possible that we could see an under-display selfie cam since fellow company Oppo teased its take on the technology a couple of months ago, but I’m not holding my breath for such an unproven technology so soon.
Source: Financial Times (paywall)