First was T-Mobile in 2018. Then came Sprint last year. Now, Verizon is carrying its first OnePlus phone for sale. The OnePlus 8 5G UW — yep, that's the name Big Red's going with — will be available to buy from April 29 for $800. But unlike any other model of OnePlus 8, this one will be the only one to support millimeter wave 5G.
In the U.S., the unlocked models have modems outfitted to work on 5G bands n2, n5, n66, n71, and n41 — those band numbers correlate to their LTE band equivalents (which the devices also supports) and share the same regions of frequencies: 1900MHz, 850MHz, 1700MHz, 600MHz, and 2500MHz. The bands are in what the wireless industry calls the sub-6GHz category and, in the context of 5G, should bring good land coverage along with throughput in the low to mid hundreds of megabits per second.
Verizon's OnePlus 8 5G UW will work on the carrier's low-band 5G network when it becomes available later this year. However, this will be the only model to feature support for the 5G Ultra Wideband network on n257/n261 and n260 — those are in the 28GHz and 39GHz ranges, respectively, and are able to bring speeds well into the 1Gbps range for a city block or small venue.
Real-world testing has shown how finicky millimeter waves are to capture. The Snapdragon 865's modem is a standalone design this year — "off the board," as is said — for the first time since Qualcomm did the same for when LTE was a burgeoning standard. Furthermore, at least for the Moto Z4 with its 5G Moto Mod, extra antennae had to be installed on the modem to help it retain a signal.
Millimeter wave support is still a feather to Verizon's cap, though — remember that this is in addition to already-existing low-band support (n2, n5, n66), not exclusive from it. And all of this means that the OnePlus 8 will be the lowest-priced 5G phone on the network.
We don't have details on the storage spec — an $800 unlocked OnePlus 8 gets you 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage — so we'll update this story when we hear about that. But we do know that the device will come in Polar Silver and Onyx Black.
You'll be able to pay off the device over 24 monthly installments. If you're switching your number over from another network, trade in an eligible phone, and hop on a Verizon Unlimited plan, you'll stand to get up to $700 off via monthly credits as well as receive a free Stream TV, Amazon Echo Dot, and a smart plug. Current Verizon customers can trade in their device and get $550 off their upgrade.
And, because you still might be wondering, no, the OnePlus 8 Pro will not make it onto Verizon. Or likely any U.S. carrier, for that matter.