5G is here. It is not everywhere, that's certain, but in the coming months, we're only going to hear more and more about the advancements in the field – about the faster speeds, the greater capacity, and the new applications made possible by the next generation of cellular services. And it's only a matter of time until 5G airwaves cover every single one of us.
But of course, 5G tech is of no use without hardware to tap into it. Sure, there's AT&T's Nighthawk hotspot which lets you use 5G in a handful of cities, but we know that's not what you're here for. You want to know when the 5G phones are coming, right? Well, here's what we know so far.
Galaxy S10 5G becoming the most popular device among the first wave of 5G smartphones. The phone is already on sale in South Korea and is bound to land on Verizon's shelves on May 16. A release on AT&T should follow soon after, though a specific release date hasn't been announced by the carrier.Given the brand's popularity, it is highly likely to see the Samsung
Starting at $1300, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G isn't cheap, but you get a whole lot of phone for your buck. Think of it as a Galaxy S10+ on steroids: with a larger, 6.7-inch screen, a bigger, 4500mAh battery, and a fourth camera at the back for better depth sensing.
The LG V50 is set to be released on May 10 in South Korea, according to reports out of Korean media. However, this information has yet to be officially confirmed or denied.
In any case, we expect to see the LG V50 arrive in the States as well, probably in the weeks after its Korean debut. The phone is going to be available via Sprint and Verizon, and while it's going to break the $1000 barrier, it could be more affordable than its main rival, the Galaxy S10 5G.
In terms of hardware, the LG V50 ThinQ 5G has a lot in common with the V40. It has a similar design and adopts its triple main camera system. However, you do get a bigger, 4000mAh battery and the faster Snapdragon 855 chip, alongside a more efficient cooling system. Alongside the V50 ThinQ 5G, LG will be also offering a removable accessory that practically adds a second screen to the handset, thus doubling the available screen space.
The Huawei Mate X stands out so much with its "Falcon Wing design and 8-inch foldable display that it's easy to forget that it's also a 5G-capable smartphone – a 5G-capable smartphone that's not coming to the US, unfortunately. But it is expected to launch across parts of Europe and Asia in June of this year, priced at the equivalent of about $2500.
For 5G enthusiasts on a budget, Huawei has the Mate 20 X 5G. Based on last year's Huawei Mate 20 X, the phone features a 4200mAh battery (down from 5000mAh), presumably to fit the necessary 5G hardware. It is now on sale in Switzerland, where commercial 5G went live just days ago, for the equivalent of about $970.
Later this year, 5G may be a key selling point of the Huawei Mate 30, as hinted by Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's Consumer Business Group.
On May 14, OnePlus is going to announce two new smartphones: the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro. While the former would be a true successor to the OnePlus 6T, offering great specs and clean software at a reasonable price, the latter would be the highlight of the show. The 7 Pro is expected to boast an excellent display without a notch, an upgraded camera with advanced zooming ability, and 5G support, among other goodies exposed by several leaks.
5G connectivity on the OnePlus 7 Pro, however, could be available only in certain markets. While the two new OnePlus 7 phones are surely coming to the US, 5G availability is far from certain at this point in time.
While Sony has not officially announced a 5G phone, it has expressed great interest in the technology and its potential. In fact, the company did have a 5G prototype device on display at MWC 2019. Pictured above, it carried a resemblance to the upcoming Xperia 1 smartphone, bearing an extra-tall display without a notch (and we weren't allowed to touch it). So far, we have no indication of any commercial 5G hardware from Sony being worked on.
Xiaomi, on the other hand, has a 5G phone out already. That's the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G, which is an upgraded variant of last year's Mi MIX 3. It is pretty, it comes with a Snapdragon 855 on the inside, and it doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It is set to go on sale today, May 2, in Switzerland. A launch in the US, however, is less likely at this time.
Rumor has it that HTC is working on a 5G phone set for release during the second half of 2019. No pictures of any actual hardware have been leaked so far, so what it looks like we can only guess, but it's logical to expect it boasting a Snapdragon 855 + X50 5G modem combo, as most of the 5G phones listed above.
Announced earlier this year during MWC in Barcelona, the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G is expected to launch in key 5G markets before the first half of the year is out. It is coming to China, Finland, and Austria through carriers, but a US launch is still uncertain. In terms of specs, the phone boasts a Snapdragon 855 chip, a triple main camera, and an edge-to-edge display with a fingerprint scanner built into it.
The Oppo Reno is a remarkable high-end phone packing all sorts of goodies, including a super capable camera capable of 6x optical zoom. That's if you have the larger, 6.6-inch variant of the phone, however, pictured above. The smaller, 6.4-inch variant of the phone has a 5G version that is already available in Switzerland, priced at the equivalent of $1,000.