Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 26 May 2019

OnePlus launches 7 series with 5G-enabled smartphone and a phone with pop-up camera

Chinese company announced its new smartphone in Bangalore, London and New York

Chinese smartphone manufacturer OnePlus rolled out its latest 7 series - including a 5G-enabled smartphone - at Bangalore International Exhibition Centre on Tuesday.

Promising a more advanced display, slimmer design, faster processor, a pop-up camera and immersive gaming experience, the 7 series include three new models - OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

The new line-up was launched simultaneously in London, New York and Bangalore and will be shown to customers in Beijing on Thursday.

“We constantly challenge ourselves to give people the best experience possible,” said Pete Lau, founder and chief executive of OnePlus, adding, “A great user experience means freedom and should enhance your life instead of distracting you from it. I’m so proud of what we’ve built with the OnePlus 7 series.”

The flagship of the new series is the OnePlus 7 Pro, which has a 16.9 centimetre display, up to 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is powered by high-density battery of 4000 milli Ampere hours, more than enough juice for a full day of phone use. It will be available in "nebula" blue, "mirror gray" and a brown the company calls "almond".

“7 Pro is one the best things happened in the history of OnePlus. We are sure to gain more market traction in India, Europe and the US with our new product,” Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, told The National.

Founded in 2013, Shenzhen-headquartered OnePlus entered the top five brands in terms of market share in the budget segment, where phones are priced at more than $400, for the first time ever in 2018, Hong Kong-headquartered researcher Counterpoint found. As the competition intensified in the global premium smartphone segment, OnePlus grew its market share more than twofold last year.

“Its robust performance came on the back of its strong sales of its flagship model OnePlus 6T. In terms of regions, China, India and Western Europe drove four-fifths of its global shipments,” said Tarun Pathak, an associate director with Counterpoint.

Industry analysts say OnePlus needs to pull up its socks in terms of features and technology as it aims to compete in the premium segment of phones.

“With the OnePlus 7 Pro, the company is pushing into expensive territory competing with the likes of Samsung and Huawei and based on what we know, there are a couple of areas where the it falls short - notably the lack of IP68 [waterproof] certification and wireless charging,” Abbas Ali, managing editor of TechRadar Middle East, told The National.

As a lower-priced product, OnePlus has managed to justify not adding those niceties but now that it wants to compete in the premium space, it has to check all these boxes, added Mr Ali.

The OnePlus 7 series phones are powered by the Snapdragon 855 mobile chip-set that supports cutting-edge camera technologies and on-device artificial intelligence.

The company, which also unveiled its 5G-enabled phone, is powered by the first commercial 5G mobile platform Snapdragon 855 of Qualcomm, an American semiconductor and telecommunications equipment company.

To embrace the dawn of 5G, OnePlus has joined forces with the UK’s mobile network operator EE, one of the largest in the country, to be the first to sell a 5G-enabled smartphone in the UK. So far, OnePlus has established partnerships with more than 20 retail, e-commerce and merchandise operators across Europe.

OnePlus 7 Pro also comes with Zen Mode, a 20-minute shut-off option developed to encourage users to stay off their smartphones.

OnePlus 7 series prices

OnePlus 7 Pro price: smartphone with 12GB RAM and 256GB storage is Dh3,029; 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage is Dh2,768; 6GB RAM and 128GB storage is Dh2,560.

OnePlus 7 price: smartphone with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is Dh1,985 and 6GB RAM and 128 GB storage is Dh1,724.

Availability of the phones is not officially confirmed yet, but it is expected they will be released in selected markets from May 21. Some of the customers in Indian market can also purchase phones at special events on Wednesday.

Middle East customers can expect the availability of phones by the first week of June.

Updated: May 15, 2019 11:19 AM

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