Qualcomm’s annual Tech Summit is underway in the Hawaiian islands and lot of exciting announcements has trickled our way. However, the biggest of all was the showcasing of Snapdragon 855 mobile platform. This will be the first Snapdragon chipset to boast a 5G support. This System-on-Chip achieves this with the latest X50 5G modem which is speculated to gather ubiquitous speeds of multi-gigabit range.
During the second day of the event, Qualcomm announced that it is working with OnePlus which will be the first OEM to launch a Snapdragon 855 SoC powered 5G ready smartphone. This has been confirmed by the CEO of OnePlus at the tech summit. OnePlus has been working closely with Qualcomm for quite some time now and they seem to be finally ready for their first global debut.
According to Pete Lau, this has been a very challenging task for their company because the new technology requires a lot of revamping from the hardware front. Currently, the company is in plans of launching their smartphone in Europe by collaborating with EE. Furthermore, the company has stuck to the sub-6 spectrum for this new device which is the spectrum that EE is currently deploying in in Europe. It is worth noting that this is not the fastest millimeter spectrum that AT&T and Verizon are employing for launch in the US.
The problem with millimeter waves is that they are of very high frequency which entails low penetration and high absorption from obstacles. So you need to have a more dense network of network towers which act as repeaters to the signal connection. Moreover, smartphones also need to be redesigned to house multiple antennas which will very like impact the look of the smartphones. This is evident from the Motorola’s prototype for their 5G ready smartphone in which they used a mod to include 4mm antennas so that the mobile can be held in any orientation without obstructing the signal.So for now, OnePlus is sticking to the lower speed variant of the 5G spectrum to launch their first 5G ready commercial smartphone which is going to be available as early as the first quadrant of 2019. It is also worth noting that this phone will be costlier than the usual OnePlus flagships by at least 200 to 300 dollars placing it right in the domain of other flagship smartphones. We need to wait and see to what all features OnePlus manages to pack in this new smartphone apart from that costly X50 5G modem.