Governments, policymakers, network operators, and handset manufacturers are all excited about the fifth generation of wireless connectivity, or 5G. While a commercial rollout of 5G is not going to happen before 2020 in many parts of the world ( India will adopt 5G in 2022, as per TRAI ), it’s already starting to look like the first wave of 5G smartphones will hit retail shelves as early as first-half of 2019.
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
The Galaxy S10, due to launch in 2019, will be 5G-ready. During the annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii, which runs from December 4-6, Samsung and Verizon have confirmed to sell a 5G smartphone that will hit the US market in the first half of 2019.
While Samsung didn’t reveal the name of the handset, many believe the company’s next-generation flagship will support 5G connectivity. The Galaxy S10 Plus will feature top-of-the-line specifications is expected to come in two screen sizes, but the Wall Street Journal revealed that there will be a third model.
According to the report, it might be the only model to come with 5G connectivity. Samsung is rumoured to show off the Galaxy S10 at the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain.
OnePlus 5G smartphone
OnePlus is will be the first companies to release a 5G smartphone next year. At Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau took to the stage to confirm that the company will release a 5G phone in Europe next year, to be available on EE. It won’t be cheap, though.
In an interview with The Verge, Lau told the publication that a 5G smartphone will cost $200-$300 more. There aren’t many details available as far as specifications are concerned, though we can speculate that it will not be called the OnePlus 7.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G variant
Xiaomi launched the Mi Mix 3, the company’s flagship smartphone, in October this year. The smartphone features a notchless sliding design, a Snapdragon 845 processor, up to 10GB RAM, and a dual-camera setup, both with 12MP shooters.
During the launch, the company also announced a 5G variant of the Mi Mix 3. However, despite building the hype around the 5G aspect, the 5G Mi Mix 3 model won’t be out until 2019. Details about the phone are thin, but we do know that this variant will be powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor.
At China Mobile’s annual partner conference in Beijing, Xiaomi showcased the Mi Mix 3 with 5G support and Snapdragon X50 modem. In terms of design, it looks exactly the same as the regular Mi Mix 3. The difference is that it will be powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor (which was officially launched in Hawaii this week) and not a Snapdragon 845 processor.
Huawei, Oppo launching 5G smartphones in 2019
Huawei has also indicated that it plans to launch a 5G smartphone in mid-2019. Apparently, the company’s first 5G smartphone will have a foldable screen. In other words, expect Huawei’s first 5G smartphone to be a niche device.
Huawei’s sister brand Honor will launch a 5G smartphone next year. Although details are limited, Honor Global President Geroge Zhao did confirm to Pocket-Lint that “5G will be a turning point”.
Even Oppo is working on a 5G smartphone. The Chinese company recently demoed the world’s first 5G mobile phone WeChat video call. This clearly shows that Oppo is on the verge of announcing 5G smartphone sooner than expected.
5 quick facts about 5G
• 5G is poised to create 3 million new jobs, with $275 billion in direct investment and $500 billion in economic growth, in America, according to CTIA – The Wireless Association.
• Ericsson says 5G subscriptions will grow by 50 per cent in 2024 to 1.5 billion, covering more than 40 per cent of the world’s population.
• China has outspent the US by $24 billion in 5G technology since 2015, according to a Deloitte study.
• Ericsson has inked a MoU with state-run with BSNL for the deployment of 5G in India.
• Apple will reportedly launch a 5G iPhone in 2020, according to Bloomberg.