Pete Lau, the CEO and co-founder of Chinese smartphone company OnePlus, recently sat down with CNET for an exclusive interview. Although Lau discussed quite a few topics during the chat, the most important tidbit is the confirmation of OnePlus’ 5G ambitions with its next series of phones.
During the interview, Lau confirmed that OnePlus is “all-in” on 5G, and the upcoming OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro will both be capable of 5G connections.
“I want to restate our commitment to 5G and our long term investment,” Lau said. “We’ve been investing in 5G for several years and we see this as the direction going forward and one we’re very much committed to.”
To be clear, Lau did not mention what the new OnePlus 5G phones would be by name. The company is incredibly secretive about its upcoming plans, so this is not surprising. However, we are very confident that OnePlus will release a normal and Pro variant of its next series of phones, and they very likely will be known as the OnePlus 8 family.
However, 5G connectivity in smartphones comes at a cost. Lau admitted as much to CNET.
“We’ve always had a position in creating the best product possible at the best price point,” Lau said. “The new technology does add costs, so costs have risen in comparison to 4G products.”
Reading between the lines, that means the OnePlus 5G phones within the 8 series will very likely be more expensive than those in the 7 and 7T series from 2019. Although CNET didn’t provide a direct quote from Lau, the publication did mention that Lau shot down the idea of a OnePlus smartphone hitting the $1,000 range. So the OnePlus 8 Pro will likely land somewhere in the $800 range if we had to guess.
Unfortunately, Lau was mum on the rumors that there will be a so-called OnePlus 8 Lite. Since he wouldn’t talk about this, we have no way of knowing whether this phone will be a OnePlus 5G device or if it will stick with 4G connections to keep the price down.
The OnePlus 8 series is expected to land in early April.