At €399, the surprisingly feature-packed OnePlus Nord
is one of the most affordable 5G smartphones widely available on the old continent. Stateside, T-Mobile claimed that title with the own-brand $400 REVVL 5G just last week
, but even though its announcement was annoyingly light on details, the Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
could soon step in and take the market's entry point down to $300 or so.
If that happens, you might start wondering if there's any room left to go even lower, and the answer is already a resounding yes. While it's hard to predict exactly how much the world's cheapest 5G-enabled handsets will cost this time next year, bargain hunters can definitely expect to spend way less than $400 when the first wave of phones powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 4-series 5G "platform" enters the scene.
Although Qualcomm is staying mum on the specifications, features, and even the model number of its first 5G-capable Snapdragon 4xx processor
, this is scheduled to see daylight in "early 2021" and find its way inside commercial devices by the end of the year's first quarter.
The semiconductor giant's main objective for this largely mysterious chipset is obviously to support the "rapid proliferation of 5G" by primarily "addressing regions that currently have approximately 3.5 billion smartphone users combined." In other words, Qualcomm envisions the processor as a key growth driver for 5G
handsets in markets where most consumers can't afford the likes of the Galaxy S20
, Note 20, iPhone 12
, or even the LG Velvet, Galaxy A71
, or Galaxy A51 5G
Unfortunately, Samsung is not yet named as one of Qualcomm's launch partners for the new "5G mobile platform", and obviously, neither is Apple.
But Motorola, Oppo, and Xiaomi can already confirm their future participation in this ambitious 5G expansion project, which gives us hope that a Moto G or One-series device with built-in 5G support
could be released in the US at $250 or even $200 sometime next year.