OnePlus first to get Snapdragon 855 as 2019 5G plans revealed

OnePlus will be the first company to offer Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 855 chipset, the company has confirmed today, with a new flagship coming next year. The news was announced by OnePlus' Pete Lau at the Snapdragon Summit 2018, Qualcomm's annual event where it previews its upcoming flagship mobile chipset and the technologies that go into it.

Details of the new phone are slim. Indeed, all we really know is that it will be OnePlus' 2019 flagship that uses the Snapdragon 855. Qualcomm has said that the chipset will include an all-new computer vision ISP along with a new, 4th generation multi-core AI Engine, which draws together the Adreno, Kryo, and Hexagon components of the SoC.

The big question was whether the OnePlus 2019 flagship will support 5G. That's been a big part of Qualcomm's push with the Snapdragon 855, as carriers in the US and abroad prepare to light up their 5G networks for commercial service in 2019. OnePlus is no stranger to it, either.

Indeed, in August 2018 the OnePlus 5G Lab conducted the first 5G call with Qualcomm's hardware. The company has been working with carrier EE in the UK on 5G trials, and announced today a new strategic partnership to work together on 5G devices and services. The new OnePlus 5G flagship will be the first 5G device to launch in Europe on the EE network.

EE has already confirmed its first 5G launch cities. London, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, Birmingham, and Manchester will be in the first wave of locations to get 5G service. They'll be joined by additional cities over the course of the year. That includes Bristol, Coventry, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield.

As for when, exactly, OnePlus's 5G phone launch will happen, that hasn't been pinned down. We're expecting the first Snapdragon 855-based products to arrive on shelves in the first half of 2019, however, though whether they'll have the Qualcomm X50 modem with its 5G support remains to be seen. Indeed, OnePlus could indeed opt to launch two versions of its new flagship – believed to be different from the current flagship OnePlus line, expected to next be joined by the OnePlus 7 – first with the X24 Gigabit LTE modem, and then following with a second version with 5G support later in the year.