Somewhat unsurprisingly, at the Qualcomm 4G/5G summit in Hong Kong, OnePlus officially announced the intention to be one of the first to market with a 5G smartphone.

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei also confirmed that the company has been working on 5G projects since 2016, but enlisted the support of Qualcomm in 2017. That is paving the way for a 5G enabled smartphone in the coming years. OnePlus has even managed to establish a 5G connection to Qualcomm’s United States based laboratory, which points even further to a potential device hitting the market in the not-to-distant future.

Pei commented, “As OnePlus is at the forefront of technology and innovation, we hope to continue breaking barriers and be the first to release a phone which supports 5G.”

His statement mimics Qualcomm’s own promise that the first wave of 5G Snapdragon devices will hit markets at some point in Q2 2019. Qualcomm company President, Cristiano Amon, told Tech Advisor UK that he expects most manufacturers to release at least two flagship 5G devices by the end of 2019 — pointing towards one release during the first half of the year and one towards the latter half of the year.

Whilst we don’t expect the upcoming OnePlus 6T to feature the new wireless standard, it is definitely a teaser as to what might become a key selling point for the next device, potentially the OnePlus 7, although it is still very early to speculate which future OnePlus smartphone will bring 5G compatibility. That being said, this isn’t the first time OnePlus has been reported to adopt 5G. Earlier this year, Carl Pei mentioned that the company was aiming for a 2019 launch.

With the company going from strength-to-strength, this could be a major core strategy for the brand, adopting newer technologies at higher rate than the more established ‘old guard’. 5G might be very much in the development phase, but we expect more devices to use the technology as a core strategy to market devices in the near future.

In the US, this could be a major attraction, with carriers such as Sprint confirming the rollout of 5G in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. during the first half of 2019 — great news ahead of these potential smartphone launches.

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Damien Wilde

Damien is a UK-based video producer for 9to5Google. Find him on Twitter: @iamdamienwilde. Email: