Update: MWC 2019 is in full swing and a number of 5G phones have been announced, including the Huawei Mate X, LG V50 ThinQ and more.
In much of the world – including the US and UK – we will see 5G networks launch in 2019. They’ll be faster than 4G, but you won’t be able to utilize the new speeds with your current handset. You’ll need a 5G phone.
However, the majority of phones launching in the near future won’t support the fifth generation network. That’s not a huge problem because 5G coverage won’t be widespread for a while, but if you want your next phone to be future-proofed then you’ll want it to work with 5G.
During CES 2019 at the start of the year, smartphone chip-maker Qualcomm said it expects to see over 30 5G devices launched in 2019, with most of those being smartphones.
While the rollout of 5G networks may take some time, you should at least have a choice of 5G phones to whet your appetite.
With that in mind we’ve created this guide to the various confirmed and rumored 5G handsets.
You’ll find everything we know about these phones below, including when and where they’re likely to launch, and we’ll be constantly updating our 5G phones list with all the latest information.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung has announced it first 5G phone and it’s a top-end flagship dubbed the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G.
As well as 5G, the phone has a 6.7-inch QHD+ screen, a 4,500mAh battery, a top-end chipset, 8GB of RAM, and four rear cameras, consisting of a 16MP ultra-wide lens, a 12MP variable aperture lens, a 12MP telephoto lens and a 3D depth-sensing camera.
The Galaxy S10 5G also has a dual-lens front-facing camera (cut into the screen, so there’s no notch and minimal bezel), and 256GB of storage.
It sounds exciting but it won’t come cheap, as while the price hasn’t yet been confirmed it’s sure to cost more than the $999 / £899 (about AU$1,400) Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus when it goes on sale this summer.
Huawei Mate X
It essentially has three screens, with one big 8-inch OLED display that can be folded in half, leaving you with a smaller screen on each side of the handset, one of which is 6.6 inches and the other 6.4.
The phone also has a triple-lens camera, a 4,500mAh battery with fast charging, a high-end Kirin 980 chipset, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. All in all the Huawei Mate X could be the most exciting of the early 5G phones, but it also might be the most expensive, as it’s set to cost €2,299 (around $2,600 / £2,000 / AU$4,770).
OnePlus has spoken numerous times about a 5G handset, and it could be one of the first to launch one, as the company wants to be the first to launch a 5G phone in Europe. Though we’ve since heard more specifically that it will go on sale in Q2, so presumably between April and June 2019.
We also know that it will be coming to the UK, as OnePlus has confirmed that UK network EE will stock it. However, it doesn’t appear to be coming to the US and might not be officially launched in Australia either.
OnePlus has now shown off a prototype of its 5G handset at MWC. The prototype has a top-end Snapdragon 855 chipset, a 21:9 screen and no notch. It also seems the phone might have a QHD+ screen, which would be a higher resolution than OnePlus has used before.
However, the company hasn’t yet confirmed the resolution and as this was a prototype the final specs might differ anyway.
Either way, it’s going to cost more than you might expect a OnePlus handset to. The company’s CEO has confirmed that it will be around $200 (roughly £155/AU$275) to $300 (approximately £235/AU$415) more than a typical OnePlus handset.
LG V50 ThinQ
LG is another company that has announced a 5G handset, namely the LG V50 ThinQ. Launched at MWC 2019, this phone has a 6.4-inch 1440 x 3120 AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 855 chipset, 6GB of RAM, and a triple-lens rear camera, with a 12MP standard lens, a 12MP telephoto one and a 16MP ultra-wide one.
There’s also both an 8MP standard lens and a 5MP wide-angle one on the front of the phone.
The LG V50 ThinQ also has a 4,000mAh battery, and it should be built to last, as it’s both IP68-certified (for dust and water-resistance) and sports military-grade drop protection. There’s also an optional second screen attachment in the form of the LG DualScreen.
We’re not sure exactly when the phone will land or how much it will cost, but expect it sometime in the first half of 2019, and expect to pay a high price.
Given that Huawei has launched a 5G phone it’s not overly surprising to hear that Honor is working on one too, given that this is a sub-brand of the company.
Honor’s president said – according to Android Authority – that not only will Honor launch a 5G phone in 2019, but that it will be the first to market with a 5G handset.
Given all the 5G phone announcements recently that now seems unlikely, but it certainly sounds like the phone will be coming soon then, though we have no idea which countries it will be sold in.
Apple will of course eventually launch a 5G phone, but it’s not likely to be one of the first companies to do so.
As of February 2019, the latest news on that front is that Apple is currently deciding which company’s 5G modem chips to use, which further suggests a 5G handset is a way out, as that’s a decision we’d expect to be made way before launch.
The good news though is that whenever Apple launches its 5G iPhone it’s likely to be globally available, since iPhones are sold in most countries.
Motorola has taken an odd approach to 5G, as initially rather than a 5G phone from the Lenovo-owned company we’re going to see a 5G Moto Mod, one which would be compatible with the already-available Moto Z3.
We don’t know exactly when the 5G Moto Mod will land, but the vague window of early 2019 has been put forward, which could in a sense make the Moto Z3 one of the first 5G phones once the Mod does launch.
Note however that the Moto Z3 is a US and Verizon exclusive, so even once the 5G Moto Mod lands there won’t initially be a widely available 5G Motorola handset.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
This model has a Snapdragon 855 chipset, a 6.39-inch 1080 x 2340 AMOLED screen, 256GB of storage, a dual-lens 12MP rear camera and a dual-lens front camera which slides out of the top of the phone, so there’s no need for big bezels or a notch.
A big highlight though could be the price, as at €599 (around £520 / $680 / AU$950) it could undercut most of the first wave of 5G handsets. It’s set to land in Europe from May and expected to land in the UK, but it’s not clear whether there will be US or Australian availability.
Oppo is yet another company that claims to be aiming to launch the first 5G handset, though more specifically the company has now said that the phone will start becoming available during Q2 2019. That announcement came during its MWC 2019 press conference, as did a confirmation that it will use a Snapdragon 855 chipset.
Back in December the company even showed off a 5G prototype, one which also used the high-end Snapdragon 855 chipset. However, we don’t know much else about the phone, or how much it will cost. We also wouldn’t expect it to be as widely available as some phones on this list.
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G
ZTE has also used MWC 2019 to announce a 5G phone, specifically the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G.
Set to land in Europe and China during the first half of 2019, this has a Snapdragon 855 chipset, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and a trio of rear cameras, namely a 48MP standard lens, a 20MP wide-angle lens and an 8MP telephoto lens.
There’s also a 20MP front camera, a 6.47-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen with a notch, 6GB of RAM, a 4,000mAh battery and 128GB of storage. Pricing and exact availability is still to be confirmed.
Vivo is also known to be working on a 5G phone, but as yet we don’t know much about it and it won’t be one of the very first, with the company aiming for a commercial launch in 2020, according to GadgetsNow.
We also wouldn’t count on the phone being widely available, since most Vivo handsets aren’t.
The foldable Royole FlexPai launched globally during CES 2019 at the start of 2019, and while it’s not 5G enabled right now, a software update later in the year will unlock support for the fifth generation of network.
You can buy the FlexPai now, however it’s expensive and we found during our hands on time with the phone that the software needs some serious polish before we’d be able to think about recommending it as a viable everyday device.
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #techradar http://www.techradar.com/news/5g-phones-what-are-the-first-5g-phones