OnePlus Shows Off Its Prototype 5G Smartphone at MWC 2019

BY Evan Selleck

Published 25 Feb 2019

Right on schedule, OnePlus has given onlookers the first glance at its prototype 5G smartphone at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

OnePlus had a small demonstration of the device at the convention, keeping it secured on a display while individuals were able to play a streaming game on the device. Those in attendance were not able to actually touch the phone, or use the device’s touchscreen controls to play Ace Combat 7, but they were able to use a Bluetooth-connected Xbox controller to play the game. OnePlus was streaming the combat flight game from a server in Amsterdam. And while the streaming seemed solid enough for the most part, there were issues (mostly due to the setup):

“Since Spain’s 5G network isn’t yet widely available, the actual 5G part of the connection was limited to a small mmWave base station that had been installed over the Qualcomm booth. From this base station, the traffic then travelled across a more traditional internet network to the cloud-based server.

This setup meant there were plenty of variables which impacted upon the speed of the connection. Whether it was the controller’s Bluetooth connection or the fact that the phone was communicating with a remote server over a network that was overwhelmingly not 5G, the game itself felt laggy. I’d press an analogue stick, and half a second later the plane on screen would respond. Playing a full PC game on a mobile was novel as a proof of concept, but the demonstration stopped short of showing how 5G could make it viable.”

For the device itself, OnePlus does say that this is an entirely new product and not just an upgraded version of an existing smartphone the company offers. Previously, OnePlus’s CEO has said the handset will use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and that the handset will probably cost between $200 and $400 more than LTE-equipped handsets. However, there is no definitive word just yet on how much this handset will cost, or when it will launch.

OnePlus says the device can reach up to 500 Mbps download speeds. Otherwise, the company is keeping things pretty close to the vest, including the overall design of the handset. You can see it in the image above, but, unfortunately, there isn’t much to look at.

[via The Verge]