(Pocket-lint) - In the run-up to Mobile World Congress 2019, OnePlus confirmed that it would be showing off its forthcoming 5G handset on the Qualcomm stand.
True to its word, the OnePlus 5G phone is on show in Barcelona, but there's a catch. OnePlus and Qualcomm are using this as an opportunity to demonstrate that the hardware exists and that it will perform on a 5G network.
So what you have is a phone encased in a white plastic shroud, under a canopy, with the real design of the phone far from prying eyes. There's nothing you can discern about the new handset, except that it runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 with X50 modem and that it looks to have a pretty big display.
The gaming demo uses a game that only puts about 20MB of data on the phone, with the rest streaming. That's why it's a great showcase for 5G, because you're getting a lag-free experience thanks to the performance of 5G. Yes, in this instance it's running on a 5G network that Qualcomm and Ericsson have setup on the stand, especially to demo 5G.
So we still don't know too much about OnePlus' plans; we don't know if this is going to be the OnePlus 6T with new hardware, we don't know if this will be a variant of the OnePlus 7. We did see some of the setup of the demo on the booth and we did catch a glimpse of the phone out of the white container - and it was black, surprise, surprise.
Carl Pei, OnePlus co-founder, then took part in a 5G panel session. While little was revealed, Pei did use the opportunity to reinforce why OnePlus saw itself as a leader for 5G, basically that it had the right audience of tech-savvy early-adopters and that the launch on EE paired the fastest phone with the fastest network. Little has been said on price, but Pei did say that OnePlus' approach meant fewer middlemen, and that would mean it could offer it at a "fairer price".
Subsequently, we were told by OnePlus that the price would be "under $1000", and that the OnePlus 5G will be launched alongside a 4G device and the differences between the two would be minimal. That launch will be taking place some time in Q2 - and as it will be launching onto EE's 5G network, that gives is a vague timeline in the summer - something that EE previously confirmed to us.