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OnePlus will launch its 5G phone by June, but not in the US

Published Feb 22nd, 2019 7:06PM EST
OnePlus 5G phone
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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OnePlus has teased a little bit more about its 5G phone. The Chinese smartphone maker says it plans to launch the device during the second quarter, when it will be among the first handset makers to release such a device.

The company, which rose to popularity in part because it brought affordable flagship phones to international markets at affordable prices, has shared an image of the device prototype with USA Today that the company will also be showing off at MWC in a few days. The newspaper reports that “not much is discernible” about the device from the image, though it is known that the handset will run the same Snapdragon 855 processor from Qualcomm that’s found in Samsung’s new S10 line of Galaxy devices.

Per USA Today, the OnePlus phone also won’t be available in the US — at least at launch.

The phone is reportedly going to launch first on the UK carrier EE as well as Finnish carrier Elisa sometime during the second quarter. In an interview with USA Today conducted through a translator, OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau said he’s bullish on the benefits that 5G will bring, even if it’s not clear yet what the consumer response to the network’s improvements will be.

“It’s still very early days for 5G, and we want to take the opportunity to raise more awareness particularly within the OnePlus community, but not just limited to the OnePlus community, in what we can look forward to with 5G,” Lau told the newspaper.

While availability for the company’s first device won’t extend to the US immediately, OnePlus is nevertheless already hinting at future 5G devices coming to the US as the technology improves and compatibility between 5G networks gets better. Lau went so far as to call the US “our most important market” in his interview.

OnePlus hasn’t yet decided on a name for it. The company will also no doubt try to keep the price as competitive as possible, as it did with its previous phone (the 6T) that launched in the US via a partnership with T-Mobile.

Per USA Today, that phone retailed at a starting price of $549 and helped OnePlus grow to become a top 5 maker of phones sold above $500 in the US during the fourth quarter of 2018, according to research firm IDC.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.