Making a specific version of a smartphone just for a single carrier isn’t uncommon, but for the past several years we’ve seen hardware variations on those devices kept to a minimum. The “OnePlus 8 5G UW” on Verizon, though, makes a few more changes which, in turn, will affect the accessories you’ll be able to buy.

First pointed out by a Redditor, the Verizon variant of the OnePlus 8 (not the Pro, which Verizon doesn’t sell) is different in one aspect from its unlocked and T-Mobile counterparts. Specifically, the phone’s volume buttons are slightly shifted in location.

Instead of being a little above the power button and almost directly across from the alert slider, the OnePlus 8 5G UW moves those buttons slightly downward. This change can be seen pretty plainly in accessories. A Speck case for the Verizon model compared to a T-Mobile GoTo case for the regular version shows the difference nicely.

The folks over at PhoneArena also did some digging into regulatory documents to further show how things differ. Specifically, we can see that the button was moved because, on the Verizon variant, there’s an additional 5G mmWave radio in that location. The main difference between the unlocked and Verizon variants is the mmWave connectivity and, by its nature, that requires some hardware modifications.

What does this mean for buyers? Basically, not all cases will fit on the Verizon model. Most likely, a case will only work with the OnePlus 8 sold by Verizon if you can also buy that case from Verizon directly. That even includes OnePlus’ own cases such as the new Sandstone options.

If the phone turns out to be popular, more cases will probably pop up on Amazon and from other case makers, but in the meantime, selection is very limited with just a few cases from Speck, Otterbox, and a single OnePlus-designed bumper case.

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Ben Schoon

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