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OnePlus Prepping 5G Phone for EE in Europe | News & Opinion

The presumed OnePlus 7 will come to EE with 5G, but the phone wouldn't automatically be appropriate for a US 5G network. So what about the US?

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OnePlus Prepping 5G Phone for EE in Europe | News & Opinion

WAILEA, Hawaii—OnePlus made the first European 5G phone announcement here at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Technology Summit today, saying it has a phone coming for 2019 that will support 5G on the EE carrier in the United Kingdom.

"The pursuit of speed has defined the OnePlus DNA since OnePlus was founded five years ago. There's no one more suitable than OnePlus to make a 5G smartphone. Our users are always eager to try new things and they are now ready to experience the next generation of connectivity and speed. In response, OnePlus has poured efforts into 5G research since 2016," OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said at the event.

OnePlus Prepping 5G Phone for EE in Europe | News & Opinion

OnePlus has been booming in the past year. Lau said the smartphone maker, which only generally sells one phone model at a time, doubled its revenue last year and "in 2018, our growth looks very nice as well." The company inked its first sales deal with a US carrier this fall, selling the OnePlus 6T through T-Mobile.

"We're now among the top five high-end Android smartphone brands across the world," Lau said.

The new OnePlus phone will have Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chipset, but that isn't a surprise; OnePlus phones tend to use whatever the latest Qualcomm chipset is. Other than that, Lau didn't announce the name or any other features of the new phone, which I'm calling the OnePlus 7 purely for convenience.

The details of EE's 5G system, meanwhile, mean that the phone wouldn't automatically be appropriate for a US 5G network. EE uses 5G on the 3.5GHz band, which US networks won't initially use. Lau has said previously that he's working with US carriers on a 5G device, but didn't give more details at this show. It could be a different SKU of the phone just announced, or a different device.

We've heard various 5G phone announcements at this show, but they were all for the US, not Europe. AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon have all said they're working with Samsung. Verizon has a 5G Moto Mod, and Sprint has previously said it will have an LG phone.

"Users of OnePlus are the earliest adopters. These are tech fanatics," Lau said. "Members of our community have been discussing 5G for over two years now."

"We have a very demanding customer base, very much into high tech, high quality, and high speeds," said Fotis Karonis, BT/EE executive advisor for 5G.

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OnePlus Prepping 5G Phone for EE in Europe | News & Opinion

PCMag.com's lead mobile analyst, Sascha Segan, has reviewed hundreds of smartphones, tablets and other gadgets in more than 13 years with PCMag. He's the head of our Fastest Mobile Networks project, hosts our One Cool Thing daily Web show, and writes opinions on tech and society. Segan is also a multiple award-winning travel writer. Other than ... See Full Bio

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