The 5G OnePlus 7 Pro Finally Launches in the US on Sprint


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OnePlus announced the OnePlus 7 Pro earlier this year, and it was a big step for the company. Not only did this phone sport a pop-up selfie camera an high-refresh display, but it also had an optional 5G radio. However, the 5G variant wasn’t available in the US until now. OnePlus just partnered with Sprint to launch its first 5G phone in the US. 

In case you need a refresher, the OnePlus 7 Pro is the latest phone from the Shenzhen-based company and the second with US carrier support. It previously partnered with T-Mobile for the OnePlus 6T and 4G OnePlus 7 Pro. The OnePlus 7 Pro has many of the same features as phones from Samsung and Google that cost hundreds of dollars more. It has a Snapdragon 855, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 6.67-inch OLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate. Almost the only box it didn’t check was 5G support, and now it has that in the US if you’re on Sprint. 

5G in the US is still a mess as carriers scramble to roll out millimeter-wave networks. These signals can transmit a lot of data, which is how Verizon is able to show off speeds of 1 to 2 Gbps on a phone. However, millimeter-wave requires line-of-sight to the transmitter. So, it works in outdoor spaces and large indoor facilities like stadiums that have been outfitted with antennas. 

The US is severely lacking in lower frequency mid-band 5G, sometimes called sub-6. In most countries, these frequencies form the backbone of fledgling 5G networks, and that’s what the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G supported at launch. The phone came to several European markets like the UK and Finland. Since then, Sprint has launched a US 5G market using 2.5GHz bands, and that supports the OnePlus 7 Pro. 

5g-spectrum

5G is being deployed in two distinct sets of spectrum, with very different characteristics.

Unlike many 5G phones, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is identical to the 4G version save for the additional modem inside. You’ll be able to pick up the OnePlus 7 Pro from Sprint in any of the nine markets where it has launched 5G service starting today. However, it’s more expensive than the 4G version you can order from OnePlus or T-Mobile. The 5G phone is $840, or you can lease the phone for $20 per month. The 4G phone starts at $700, and it’s unlocked. Sprint says all its stores will have the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G for sale starting September 6th. 

Sprint and T-Mobile are planning for a merger that will see the smaller carrier swallowed up by “The New T-Mobile.” Those mid-band 5G licenses are very important to T-Mobile. It’s unclear how T-Mobile will migrate people to its network, so you might want to exercise caution before buying an expensive new phone on Sprint.

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Xiaomi tops Indian smartphone market for eighth straight quarter – gpgmail


Xiaomi has been Indian’s top smartphone seller for eight straight quarters. The company has become a constant headache for Samsung in the world’s second largest smartphone market as sales have slowed pretty much everywhere else in the world.

The Chinese electronics giant shipped 10.4 million handsets in the quarter that ended in June commanding 28.3% of the market, research firm IDC reported Tuesday. Its closest rival, Samsung — which once held the top spot in India — shipped 9.3 million handsets in the nation during the same period, settling for a 25.3% market share.

Overall, 36.9 million handsets were shipped in India during the second quarter of this year, up 9.9% from the same period last year, IDC reported. This was the highest volume of handsets ever shipped in India for Q2, the research firm said.

As smartphone shipments slow or decline in most of the world, India has emerged as an outlier that continues to show strong momentum as tens of millions of people purchase their first handset in the country each quarter.

Research firm Counterpoint told gpgmail that there are about 450 million smartphone users in India, up from about 350 million late last year and 300 million in late 2017. This growth has made India, home to more than 1.3 billion people, the fastest growing market worldwide.

Globally, meanwhile, smartphone shipments declined by 2.3% year-over-year in Q2 2019, according to IDC.

Chinese phone makers Vivo and Oppo, both of which spent lavishly in marketing during the recent local favorite cricket season in India, also expanded their base in the country. Vivo had 15.1% of the local market share, up from 12.6% in Q2 2018, while Oppo’s share grew from 7.6% to 9.7% during the same period. The market share of Realme, which has gained following after it started to replicate some of Xiaomi’s early model, also shot up, moving from 1.2% in Q2 2018 to 7.7% in Q2 2019.

Samsung showroom demonstrator seen showing the features of new S10 Smartphone during the launching ceremony. (Photo by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The key to gaining market share in India has remained unchanged over the years: better specs at lower prices. The average selling price of a handset during the Q2 was $159 in the quarter that ended in June this year. Seventy-eight percent of the 36.9 million phones that shipped in India sported a sticker price below $200, IDC said.

That’s not to say that phones priced above $200 don’t have a market in India. Per IDC, the fastest growing smartphone segment in the nation was priced between $200 to $300, witnessing a 105.2% growth over the same period last year.

Smartphones priced between $400 and $600 were the second-fastest growing segment in the country, with a 16.1% growth since the same period last year. Chinese phone maker OnePlus assumed 63.6% of this premium segment, followed by Apple (which has less than a 2% market share) and Samsung.

Feature phones that have maintained a crucial position in India’s handsets market continue to maintain their significant footprint, though their popularity is beginning to wane. 32.4 million feature phones shipped in India during Q2 this year, down 26.3% since the same period last year.

India has become Xiaomi’s biggest market. It entered the country five years ago, and for the first two, relied mostly on selling handsets online to cut overhead. But the company has since established and expanded its presence in the brick and mortar market, which continues to account for much of the sales in the country.

Earlier this month, the Chinese phone maker said it has set up its 2,000th Mi Home store in India. It is on track to have presence in 10,000 physical stores in the country by end of the year, and expects to see half of its sales come from the offline market by that time frame.

Samsung has stepped up its game in India in last two years, as well. The company, which opened the world’s largest phone factory in the country last year, has ramped up productions of Galaxy A series of smartphones that are aimed at budget conscious customers and conceptualized a similar series that includes Galaxy M10, M20, and M30 smartphone models for the Indian market. The Galaxy A series handsets drove much of the growth for the company, IDC said.

Even as it lags behind Xiaomi, Samsung shipped more handsets in Q2 2019 compared to Q2 2018 (9.3 million vs 8 million) and its market share grew from 23.9% to 25.3% during the same period.

“The vendor was also offering attractive channel schemes to clear the stocks of Galaxy J series. Galaxy M series (exclusive online till the end of 2Q19) saw price reductions which helped retain the 13.5% market share in the online channel in 2Q19 for Samsung,” IDC said.

But the South Korean giant continues to have a tough time passing Xiaomi, which continues to maintain low profit margins (Xiaomi says it only makes 5% profit on any hardware it sells). Xiaomi has also expanded its local production efforts in India and created more than 10,000 jobs in the country, more than 90% percent of which have been filled by women.


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