Will the OnePlus 7 be the first 5G smartphone?

The OnePlus 7 could be one of the first 5G-ready flagship phones, the Chinese company has hinted.

The upstart manufacturer is working with Qualcomm on the project and wants to have its first 5G phone available in 2019. This could result in one of the first major handsets to arrive boasting next-generation mobile data capabilities.

Given the OnePlus 7 is likely to arrive next spring, this seems likely to be the phone in question. If that fails to materialise then, if tradition is followed, the OnePlus 7T will deliver the goods by the end of the 2019.

Related: OnePlus 6 review

Speaking to PC Mag at the Chinese Mobile World Congress, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau said he was determined for OnePlus to be at the forefront of the 5G rollout.

With UK networks like EE planning to get things underway as soon as next year ahead of a wider 2020 launch, the inclusion of a 5G-ready modem is likely to be an important flagship feature for the next generation of top handsets.

If OnePlus does push forward with the 5G plan, it would be interesting to see whether the new modem pushes up the price that much. In the past, OnePlus has held off on truly flagship features like waterproofing, wireless charging and a top-of-the-range camera, in order to keep the phones affordable.

OnePlus has already signed on to use the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 family of modems for devices launching in 2019.

Elsewhere in the interview Lau reiterated the company’s interest in having phones available through mobile carriers like AT&T and Verizon in the US. Currently, the only way to get the phones stateside is to buy them outright.

Having handsets available through carriers would likely give OnePlus far greater visibility and a spot on the shelves next to the iPhones and Galaxy S phones of the world.

Will your next smartphone purchase decision be motivated by 5G compatibility? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter?