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A variant of the OnePlus 8 will go to Verizon as an exclusive – http://rt.com/search/everywhere/term/exclusive/.
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OnePlus, an upstart Chinese smartphone maker that caters to hardcore, savvy Android consumers, has spent years building up its credibility in the US. A year and a half ago, it planted its flag here through a partnership with T-Mobile. But on Tuesday, the company solidifies its position here by bringing the OnePlus 8 5G UW, its fastest 5G phone ever, to Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest carrier.
Now playing: Watch this: OnePlus 8 coming to Verizon’s 5G network
But with a majority of Americans on lockdown and most Verizon Wireless stores temporarily closed in an effort to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, this launch comes at an awkward time.
While the main benefit of a partnership with a big carrier is a spot in retail stores, where a majority of Americans still purchase their phones, Verizon will instead be relying on OnePlus’ community of dedicated fans, most of whom are comfortable buying their phones online sight unseen.
Now playing: Watch this: OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro review: High-end 5G phones compete…
It’s a twist on the usual handset-carrier relationship, underscoring the surreal times we live in. Verizon gets a digitally savvy partner with a loyal base of customers, as well as the opportunity to pad out its 5G portfolio with a phone that costs $800. OnePlus, meanwhile, taps a much larger base of US consumers than ever before and sets itself up for the next few years with a major partner. Verizon, alongside a new retail partnership with Amazon, boosts its prospects of going mainstream.
“Our users have been hoping for this for a long time, so we’re very happy that OnePlus is finally coming to the Verizon network,” Pete Lau, the phone maker’s CEO, link shrinker – https://boo.re/ said in an email interview ahead of the launch. “This is one of the most important developments in the history of OnePlus.”
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True to Lau’s previous boast to CNET that the company will be “all in on 5G” going forward, the OnePlus 8 5G UW will support Verizon’s ultra-fast variant of 5G, which it calls Ultra Wideband. (Confused by the 5G names? Here’s a breakdown of all the different monikers.) The phone will also support the slower, but broader-covering variant of 5G when it launches in the second half. But Verizon gets to boast that it’ll have the fastest version of the OnePlus – http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=OnePlus 8 in terms of network speeds.
Verizon’s 5G network is live in parts of over 30 cities around the US as well as in over a dozen stadiums. While offering significantly faster speeds compared to the lower band 5G networks from AT&T and T-Mobile, the high frequency nature of millimeter-wave means it only works outdoors and coverage is often limited to just a few blocks.
“Even though it’s a slightly higher price for the device, given the technology and how you’re future-proofing yourself for new capabilities that are coming out on our network, specifically for 5G, I still think it ends up being a good value proposition for the customer,” Brian Higgins, head of device and consumer products at Verizon Wireless, said in an exclusive interview ahead of the launch.
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When Lau hinted to CNET in an interview at CES 2018 that he would be talking to US carriers, he undersold just how quickly that would happen. Lau and Higgins met at that show and began a courtship that culminated in Tuesday’s launch.
“What I walked away from was, here was someone very design and product focused,” Higgins said of his initial meeting with Lau. “He wanted to build a beautiful device.
Lau said that OnePlus’ “slow and steady growth plan for creating only high-quality, high-performing products for tech-savvy users” has been both a key to its success and why its partners value the company.
There were hints that a deal was coming. Previous OnePlus phones like the OnePlus 6T, 7 Pro and 7T supported Verizon but those looking to use the phones needed to buy them unlocked from OnePlus’ website. The Chinese smartphone maker has previously sold phones at T-Mobile and Sprint (which are now combined).
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