OnePlus CEO has candidly shared his views on 5G smartphones and the people's desire for a smaller OnePlus smartphone
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The Annual Qualcomm Summit led to a lot of new information around the Snapdragon 855 chipset, but there were also some very interesting bits shared by OnePlus CEO, Pete Lau. The OnePlus founder and CEO in a conversation with PCMag shared a number of future plans and ideas with the publication, shedding some light on what we can and should not expect from the company in the near future. Part of that conversation obviously revolved around the company’s 5G phone, but there was also a talk of a smaller OnePlus smartphone.
First kicking things off on the 5G front, Pete Lau said that the first generation of 5G phones will end up being carrier specific in terms of 5G. This is because carriers may choose to use different frequencies for 5G, and the radios as of now are not capable of accommodating the entire wide gamut of frequencies. For example, T-Mobile in the US will use the sub-6GHz frequency for its 5G transmission along with 28GHz which Verizon will use as well while AT&T will carry out its 5G operations at 39GHz. In comparison, TRAI has guidelines for the next round of airwaves sale that includ 5G spectrum in the 3300-3600 MHz bands, besides the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz, 2,100 MHz, 2300 MHz and 2,500 MHz range. Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem is currently designed for use at 28GHz along with supporting operating at sub-6GHz frequencies to accommodate 4G, 3G, and even 2G networks. OnePlus has already announced that they are working on a 5G smartphone running on Snapdragon 855, along with having successfully tested a prototype.
After the 5G plug, Pete Lau also touched upon the topic of a OnePlus phone with a smaller device. He said that despite the lack of a headphone jack, OnePlus saw sales numbers in the US grow by 249 percent. "It was a very painful decision, but we can't satisfy everyone," Lau said. "As you know, as the screen gets bigger and bigger, with a bigger battery, it limits the space [inside the phone.] Compared to the OnePlus 6, the OnePlus 6T's battery size is bigger even though its power consumption is lower, so it has a longer battery life." Lau said that he would love to see the company make a smaller OnePlus smartphone, but given the total lack of innovation in the battery space, it's been difficult to make something smaller, with the same kind of battery life. OnePlus takes a lot of pride in the battery life delivered by their products.
So essentially, the first wave of 5G phones may end up being carrier specific, though we don’t know if that will be the case in India. The 5G spectrum auction is yet to happen and is tentatively slated for early 2019. Additionally, if you were holding out for a OnePlus smartphone with a smaller display, you may want to let go of those dreams, at least till they figure out how to deliver great battery life from smaller batteries.
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