OnePlus first burst onto the scene back in 2014, with the OnePlus One. This phone was the first serious contender to earn the “flagship killer” name. Since then, that became OnePlus’ entire brand image. They were the ones who made phones that competed with the iPhones and the Samsungs of the world but at a fraction of the cost.
After every few generational releases, however, OnePlus’s latest and greatest would see a price hike that pushed their products closer and closer to that high-end market. They did try to sweeten the deal by offering cutting-edge features to go along with the price bump. Last year’s OnePlus 7 Pro lineup was among the first mainstream smartphone releases to feature a 90 Hz display.
Well, it seems like OnePlus’ upcoming lineup of phones, presumably the OnePlus 8 Series, is going to see another significant price bump. This due to the fact that it is highly likely that they will all be 5G compatible.
Expanding Their 5G Lineup
In an interview with CNET, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau had this to say, “I want to restate our commitment to 5G and our long term investment.” He further added, “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.”
This wouldn’t be OnePlus’ first 5G compatible handset. Last year’s OnePlus 7 Pro had a model at the highest end that had 5G support. It was first released in the UK, before making its way to the US with Sprint as its carrier. Their special McLaren Edition of the 7 Pro also had 5G compatibility.
This does mean that the OnePlus 8 Series will be more expensive than the 7 Series. According to Pete Lau, the increased costs associated with 5G hardware are to blame for this. “We’ve always had a position in creating the best product possible at the best price point. The new technology does add costs so costs have risen in comparison to 4G products,” he said.
A Cheaper, Lite Version?
The news that the latest OnePlus devices will likely cost more than last year’s models at release may be disheartening to some. There may be a silver lining, however. There have been rumours that OnePlus may unveil a OnePlus 8 Lite. This would be a cheaper phone than the regular version and the Pro version that we’re expecting to see.
In that same CNET interview, Pete Lau refused to say that OnePlus are abandoning 4G phones. Considering that OnePlus has been vacating that mid-range price bracket, a OnePlus 8 Lite with 4G instead of 5G would slot in nicely.