OnePlus has confirmed that it will showcase its first 5G prototype smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2019 this week. The OnePlus 5G prototype smartphone will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform and the company says MWC attendees will be able to experience 5G cloud gaming on the new prototype device. The company is hosting a panel at MWC on February 26 at 2:15PM local time (or 6.45PM IST) where OnePlus CEO Pete Lau will be joined Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon and Marc Allera, CEO of BT Consumer and EE to discuss future and possibilities of 5G.
The Chinese smartphone maker had earlier sent invite for a closed door event at MWC 2019 where it was rumored to unveil new products. However, the company has confirmed that it will only showcase the prototype 5G smartphone. The confirmation comes after media reports indicated the company might launch the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus TV at its MWC event. At the Snapdragon Summit in December last year, OnePlus had confirmed that it will launch a 5G enabled smartphone in 2019.
The leaks so far suggest that OnePlus is working on two devices, a 5G enabled smartphone and another flagship called the OnePlus 7. It is possible that the 5G enabled smartphone and the OnePlus 7 are the same device. OnePlus says it began research on 5G way back in 2016 and started working with Qualcomm on 5G development device in 2017. The OnePlus 5G project team established a 5G connection to Qualcomm Technologies’ laboratory in San Diego in August of 2018.
Lau also made the world’s first 5G tweet by connecting a prototype device to a 5G non-standalone network via an LTE b7 + 5G NR n78 air interface. OnePlus has also announced that it will be the first to release a 5G commercial smartphone in the UK and its device will be available via EE’s network. “EE and OnePlus have a shared vision: to give our customers the best-connected experience possible. We’re working together on cutting edge technology to deliver that, and we’re leading the world on the journey to 5G,” said Marc Allera, CEO of BT Consumer & EE.
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OnePlus and other smartphone makers are betting 5G as the next big revolution in mobile telephony. 5G not only promises faster data download speeds but it also promises lower latency, which is essential for tasks such as online gaming, controlling smart appliances and streaming video content on the go. Samsung is expected to introduce 5G version of Galaxy S10 at Unpacked tonight while LG is expected to launch its own 5G smartphone in the form of V50 ThinQ on February 24. Huawei, Oppo and Vivo are also expected to launch 5G-enabled smartphones this year while the first 5G iPhone is not expected until 2020.