EE has launched its 5G network in the UK today (30th May) with a range of exclusive handsets, including the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, Oppo Reno 5G, Samsung Galaxy Fold (although, it's still MIA at present), and of course, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.
As it stands, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is the only 5G-enabled handset that you can walk into a brick-and-mortar EE store, buy and run on the newly birthed 5G network a few minutes later. That's right, OnePlus has beaten every other established brand, including Samsung and LG. That's a seriously impressive coupe for a company that didn't exist five years ago.
5G chops aside, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G was already the most ambitious handset ever conceived by the plucky Shenzhen-based startup. It has an expansive AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate (something even Apple hasn't managed to bring to its iPhone line, despite introducing the technology with the iPad Pro years ago), triple-camera, 30W wired fast-charging, and dual-curved glass design.
However, it might not surprise you to learn that next-generation technology doesn't come cheap, and, as a result, neither does the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.
So, exactly how expensive is the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G? Well, the flagship 5G handset starts from £59 a month with a one-off £170 upfront cost. For that, you'll get unlimited minutes, unlimited text messages, and 10GB of 5G mobile data each month. The 24-month contract also includes two Swappable Benefits. These perks were introduced as part of a major shake-up to EE's mobile offering earlier this month and allow customers to chop and change at any time using the EE app.
Benefits include the ability to take data abroad to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada at no extra cost, free access to BT Sport, or the ability to stream Apple Music, Prime Video, Netflix, MTV and others without using your data allowance.
As such, keep in mind that you don't necessarily need to buy a plan with enough gigabytes of mobile data to sustain all of your music and video streamings – since that might not even count towards your monthly total, provided you use one of the services included in the Swappable Benefits.
At the end of the most affordable two-year 5G contract, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G will set you back £1,586 over the two-year contract. On the most expensive contract, which costs £79 a month with a one-off £10 upfront cost and includes three Swappable Benefits and 120GB of 5G data, you'll have spent £1,906 at the end of 24 months.
That's a lot for any smartphone, but the price stands out because this is a OnePlus-branded smartphone and the Shenzhen-based company has spent the last five years differentiating itself with its value for money. Until now, the manufacturer has always positioned its smartphones as "Flagship Killers" – designed to convince consumers they didn't have to cough-up for a Samsung or Apple-esque price tag to get the same specs, performance, design, and fit-and-finish. Let's not forget, the company charged just £329 for its flagship phone three years ago.
Of course, the company still has a value-focused proposition: OnePlus 7, which launches next month in the UK. And it might be that creating a 5G-enabled handset that launches weeks before the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and years before the iPhone isn't something that can be achieved with a Flagship Killer-like price tag.
OnePlus itself hinted this is the case, when CEO Pete Lau revealed bringing 5G support to any device adds anywhere between $200 (£155) and $300 (£235) to the price of the handset – let alone a two-year contract, which is a different proposition to buying a SIM-free handset and cobbling together your own data plan anyway.
However, the most affordable Galaxy S10 5G plan on 5G EE will cost £1,786 over the two-year contract. That's £200 more expensive than the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, so the Shenzhen-based company is still undercutting its biggest rivals. Whether or not customers will find this enough of a saving – especially from a company that has built its hugely passionate worldwide fanbase on its notion that it doesn't have to charge anywhere close to the same amount as the established players – remains to be seen.
Ultimately, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G lives in a price bracket that we're just not used to seeing OnePlus appear in. While the brand has an almost impeccable reputation for offering great hardware at an affordable price point, can it make the transition to a brand that offers cutting-edge technology and competes with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G?
OnePlus 7 Pro 5G on EE 5G plans ships with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of built-in storage. OnePlus sells the same model SIM-free – albeit without 5G compatibly – for £699 in Nebula Blue and Mirror Grey finishes.