OnePlus is partnering with McLaren for a mysterious new device — here's the best bet as to what it could be

Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider
  • OnePlus is announcing a new device on December 11 in partnership with McLaren F1, the McLaren Formula 1 team.
  • No details about the device have been shared – it could be a new edition of the OnePlus 6T, but it could also be a brand new line of smartphone separate from the usual phones OnePlus releases.
  • The new smartphone could also come with 5G connectivity.

OnePlus is announcing a new device during an event on December 11 in the UK in partnership with car-maker McLaren, which has a pedigree in Formula 1 racing.

The slogan for the event on December 11 is “Salute to Speed,” which suggest it will be fast, whatever it is.

There aren’t any details yet of what exactly will be announced. It could be a special edition of the OnePlus 6T smartphone, the latest phone from OnePlus.

If not, it could be the launch of an entirely new, secondary line of smartphones from OnePlus in the same vein that Samsung and LG have two lineups of premium smartphones – think Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy Note 9, or the LG G7 and LG V40.

My personal hunch is that it could be a brand new device with 5G connectivity that’s separate from the regular OnePlus lineup. Why do I think that? Because OnePlus previously confirmed a 5G phone arriving in early 2019, according to CNET Spain who spoke with OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei.

To top it all off, the December 11 timing of the event also lines up with a device release in early 2019.

5G is the evolution of the 4G LTE networks we use today for sending and receiving data on our smartphones, and it’s said to be significantly faster and more responsive than 4G LTE. Faster and more responsive is certainly something I associate with sports cars, like a McLaren, perhaps?

Pei also told CNET Spain that the OnePlus 5G phone won’t be the OnePlus 7, the supposed successor to the OnePlus 6T that hasn’t been announced yet, which would line up with my hunch that the OnePlus 5G phone will be an entirely separate line of OnePlus smartphones.

OnePlus also highlights sending the first-ever tweet over the 5G network as an achievement on its OnePlus/McLaren website. The inclusion of 5G in the OnePlus/McLaren website could mean nothing, but I’m taking the approach that every detail on the website is deliberate.

Oneplus mclarenOnePlus

It should also be noted that one of the sketched smartphone designs above also indicate a headphone jack, which is a feature that OnePlus recently removed on the OnePlus 6T model. Again, it could mean nothing.

Considering that 5G connectivity would require a new kind of chip, it’s entirely likely that the upcoming 5G OnePlus will come with the latest and fastest from mobile chipmaker, Qualcomm. Indeed, Qualcomm announced at an August event that its 5G-capable chips will start rolling out to devices in early 2019. And Pei made an appearance at the Qualcomm event, too.

Still, everything here so far is speculation based on industry and company announcements. All we know for sure is that OnePlus is announcing something soon. We’ll find out on December 11.

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