The first real 5G phone is launching later this week in China, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, which had appeared in a variety of teasers in recent days. But come next year, Qualcomm expects two waves of 5G Android flagship launches, which likely means most Android vendors will have at least one 5G phone out in 2019, if not more. OnePlus will be one of them, as a new report suggests that the OnePlus 7 might be the first OnePlus phone to sport 5G connectivity.
Speaking at the 4G/5G Summit in Hong Kong, Qualcomm president Cristiano Amon said the company is expecting “at least two waves of major flagships” with 5G radio next year. Some of them will launch in the first half of the year, while the rest will arrive in the holiday season, Engadget explains.
That’s almost exactly what has been happening in the Android universe in the last few years. Most companies launch a flagship in the first half of the year and a second wave hits towards the holiday shopping season.
According to Engadget, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei followed Amon on stage, and the exec said that the company will release a 5G device next year. Without explicitly mentioning the OnePlus 7 by name, Pei said that to his knowledge OnePlus will be one of the first, if not the first company to launch a 5G phone. The exec also said that OnePlus had already conducted a 5G test at Qualcomm’s headquarters in San Diego.
Given what Pei said, it’s very likely that the OnePlus 7 will be included in the first wave of Qualcomm-powered devices to support 5G. But again, the very first 5G phone is expected this week. And the Xiaomi phone in question is very likely to pack Qualcomm internals, including 5G modems and antennas.
Also worth noting is the fact that Samsung is expected to launch a 5G version of the Galaxy S10 early next year. Usually, new Galaxy S phones launch before new OnePlus handsets every year. But Samsung’s phones may pack 5G hardware built in-house, in which case Pei would still be right, the OnePlus 7 would be one of the first 5G devices to rock Qualcomm 5G hardware.
The OnePlus 6T, which has an announcement scheduled for October 29th just a few days after the Mi Mix 3 is unveiled, isn’t expected to include 5G support.