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From zero to 5G

OnePlus was founded in December 2013, making us barely five and a half years old today. But our age has never stopped us from pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. 5G is going to change the world. It’s a natural extension of our mission to bring you the world’s best technology, with a truly fast and smooth experience.

From as early as 2016, we were pioneering 5G research and considering what impact it could have on the future. In 2017 we partnered with Qualcomm to create a joint 5G-innovation project. In 2018 we began working with EE, the UK’s biggest and fastest network. EE was the first UK network to launch 4G and has a strong history of innovating new mobile technology. Later in 2018 we completed our first 5G call, sent the world’s first tweet over 5G, and then in 2019 we launched the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G at our global launch event in London – side-byside with Qualcomm and EE.

It’s not just the UK where we’ve worked with our friends to give you an incredible 5G experience. Finland holds a special place in our hearts. As the nation’s best network, Elisa took a chance on working with OnePlus years ago, becoming our first-ever network partner. We have shared ideals, about putting people first, and offering the best possible experience, so we knew that joining forces once more to change the industry would be a winner.

Technology is one of the most exciting drivers of change in society. As technology evolves, so does our behavior and we’ve always watched this closely. We believe that technology should serve you and your needs, not the other way around.

Some of you may be too young to remember this, but even just a few years ago it used to be that you would patiently tether and sync your MP3 player to your computer over USB to get audio onto your device. A painstaking process, you would have to dedicate time, as well as consider the capacity of the MP3 player (a few years
before, this was even more of a challenge with cassette tapes!).

Eventually, mobile networks improved data transmission efficiency and costs. Hardware manufacturers created devices with in-built connectivity, and cloud-based playback. Suddenly, you could stream the latest album as easily as pressing a button. That was one of the great benefits of 4G – data speeds increased and supported new services, like Spotify and Netflix, on-the-go. And now we can’t imagine a world where we can’t stream films and TV in HD wherever we are. It’s an effortless experience, one where you never need to plan ahead – content is available whenever you need it and disappears when you don’t need it.

That’s also why working with EE to launch the UK’s first 5G network was so important. EE has led the industry time and time again and understands how people want to use their devices. We worked closely together for months, developing the 5G experience.

We knew we wanted to build our 5G device based on the OnePlus 7 Pro, with its stunning 90Hz QHD+ Fluid AMOLED screen. Why have superfast 5G if you can’t enjoy the content in the best possible quality? We have the best viewing experience already, and that’s taken to the next level when you can stream ultraHD in a split second – but creating a 5G device is far from easy.

The 5G antennae was redesigned in the device so they performed better while also reducing their physical size. We didn’t want to compromise on the OnePlus experience, purely for the sake of speed. And we experimented at length about how to optimize the positioning of the antennae so that we could always ensure superfast performance.

We also faced a decision about how we included NFC. The existing component would have made the device too bulky and we refuse to compromise on our design ethos. Everything must work together in harmony, so we went back to the drawing board and again had to redesign the components. Now the NFC is 50% smaller than before without losing performance. To maintain the physical look and feel of the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, we adopted a stacked PCB design, which required a completely different approach to the internal layout of components.

After months and months of hard work, we announced the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G on EE, to a huge audience of our users, and media from across the world. It’s always exciting to see so much passion from our community. Shortly after, the EE network officially went live, and on the first day of sales we even had a queue outside of an EE store in London – thank you to everyone who attended! The reaction has been incredible, with people racing around London experimenting with speed tests.

And in June, we stood with And in June, we stood with our friends at Elisa and launched 5G officially for all in Finland. After joining Elisa’s event, we also hosted our own celebration at Kamppi Narinkkatori. You may have even seen us – kinda hard to miss, with our OnePlus marquee, and our country lead Tuomas Lampén speaking to a wide range of media about the importance of 5G.

Our relationships with Elisa and EE are a testament to what can happen when everyone wants to change the status quo, and the Elisa and EE 5G experiences are among the best in the world. We’re excited to see how you’ll be using the 5G network, whether it’s watching an HD film around the city, or streaming PC-quality graphics as you play a triple-A game via your OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

The next few years will see more development around 5G, from latency-free gaming through to true AI. It’s an incredible frontier, and there’s no-one better placed than OnePlus to lead it.

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