At $699, the OnePlus 8 price makes it the cheapest 5G phone to get

OnePlus 8
(Image credit: Future)

The OnePlus 8 is the first affordable 5G-capable Android flagship to come out in 2020 – and starting today, you can buy it in the US. 

You can pick up the OnePlus 8 unlocked starting at $699 for the 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, or bump up the price to $799 for 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. That's fairly cheap for a 5G phone.

There are other options: the OnePlus 8 from T-Mobile (which includes Sprint) is now available on-contract and supports 5G sub-6 connectivity. There's also a version that supports Verizon and connects to its  5G mmWave network along with the upcoming sub-6 network when it launches later this year.

Caution, the OnePlus 8 Verizon model will have you paying a bit extra. Its price starts at $799 (or $33/month for 24 months), a tax for Verizon's faster mmWave speeds. To help, Verizon does sell the OnePlus 8 in an exclusive Polar Silver hue.

The more premium OnePlus 8 Pro is also available in the US today, but given that it isn't sold by carriers, you'll have to pick it up from OnePlus' online store.

The first mainstream cheap 5G phone in the US?

While the Samsung Galaxy S20 line launched in March 2020 as the first mainstream 5G-capable phones, the series did not include a more affordable flagship model. The OnePlus 8, with a price rivaling the standard iPhone 11, is the first in this niche category to become available in the US.

Like Apple’s iPhone, the OnePlus 8 packs flagship-quality specs and cameras at a lower price than the fuller-featured OnePlus 8 Pro. While it doesn’t make our best cheap phones list, the OnePlus 8 is at least a lower-cost alternative that, yes, can connect to next-gen 5G networks. 

And while 5G networks haven’t expanded out to reach many consumers outside urban zones, US carriers have their own plans to expand them through 2020 and beyond. 

David Lumb

David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.