OnePlus confirms the OnePlus 8 will support 5G connectivity
This may not come as much of a surprise to you, but the upcoming OnePlus 8 will be 5G-enabled. This information comes straight from OnePlus CEO Pete Lau, via CNET. Mr. Lau says the company is “all in on 5G” and they are committed to long-term investment in supporting the network technology. As one of the first companies to release a phone with support for 5G, today’s announcement isn’t the least bit shocking, but there’s more to talk about.
The OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro are heavily expected to feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC, which means it’s almost a certainty that both devices support 5G since the only compatible modem for the Snapdragon 865 is the 5G-enabled Snapdragon X55. However, not every device with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 will actually support 5G out-of-the-box. For example, the iQOO 3 that was launched in India has the Snapdragon 865, but Vivo opted to offer both 4G and 5G models, likely to cut down on certification costs. Similarly, it’s possible there could be 4G-only models of the OnePlus 8, especially in countries without a 5G network such as in India. Alternatively, OnePlus could do what most other smartphone makers are doing and offer a 5G-capable model in every country regardless of carrier support, which is what Realme has done with the X50 Pro 5G in India.
Mr. Lau was firm on his stance that OnePlus was fully moving ahead with 5G on the OnePlus 8, but we’re not sure if that includes the rumored OnePlus 8 Lite. That phone is rumored to feature the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 processor. The Dimensity 1000 has an integrated 5G modem, so it’s certainly capable of supporting 5G connectivity like its higher-end siblings. If the Lite model does end up supporting 5G, that might make it the first MediaTek-powered 5G smartphone sold outside of China. (The Chinese OPPO Reno3 is currently the only device with the Dimensity 1000 and 5G support.)
There’s also the matter of the type of 5G that will be supported. It’s been long-rumored that Verizon will sell OnePlus devices and that seems to finally be happening with the OnePlus 8. We found explicit mentions of a Verizon OnePlus 8 SKU in our APK teardown of the OnePlus Launcher, essentially confirming the device will be offered by Big Red. Verizon’s “Ultra-Wideband” 5G network is based on mmWave frequencies, which requires the phone to have multiple mmWave antennas around the body because of the short range and easy interference of signals carried over mmWave frequencies. Thus, the OnePlus 8 on Verizon could have mmWave antennas while other carriers would get models without the mmWave antennas. Alternatively, OnePlus could also go the Samsung route and launch the OnePlus 8 globally with support for both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, reducing the number of SKUs on the market. Regardless, today’s announcement means that the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro should at least support the sub-6GHz 5G networks of most carriers around the world.
As for price, Mr. Lau didn’t confirm or deny if the OnePlus 8 Pro will approach the $1,000 mark. However, he did confirm that the standard OnePlus 8 model won’t be that expensive, as the company is aiming for that device to have “more modest specs and an accessible price tag.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article stated that the Chinese Reno3 Pro has the MediaTek Dimensity 1000 SoC when in fact it is the Chinese Reno3 that has this processor.