After years of playing catch-up with the Android superpowers, Chinese firm Huawei is among the manufacturers leading the way in 2018.
For example, the Huawei P20 Pro is the first mainstream handset to include a triple-lens rear camera
Now the company is setting its sights on next-gen data speeds; revealing plans to launch a handset next year packing the firm’s very own 5G modem.
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At its Global Analyst Summit in China (via Android Central), Huawei detailed its plans to release its first 5G-enabled phone in the second half of 2019.
Given then firm usually refreshes its Mate range at the end of the summer, it appears the Huawei Mate 30 might be handset to look out for.
We’re expecting this year’s model to be called the Mate 20, so that’d be the natural follow-on if Huawei follows its 2018 convention.
As for the homegrown modems, Huawei firm revealed the Balong 5G01 chip in February at MWC 2018, in Barcelona. The Chinese firm previously said the model capable of 2.3Gbps bandwidth.
This particular model is designed for mobile hotspots and self-driving cars. However, it is also working on modems exclusively for use in 5G smartphone.
If Huawei was to launch its 5G phone before the end of 2019, it would be available alongside the planned roll out of 5G services in the United Kingdom.
Ofcom just held the first UK 5G spectrum auction, with services expected to arrive in 2020. So far there are no 5G capable devices on the market, but we expect that to change dramatically in the next year or so.
5G smartphones incoming?
Earlier this year, Samsung signed a strategic agreement with Qualcomm that covered the “transition to 5G”, perhaps suggesting the first consumer 5G phone will be made by Samsung.
Samsung had previously earmarked 2019 for its first 5G handsets, so the S10 or the Note 10 would be natural candidates. Given the Note 10 has generally been geared towards business users, perhaps this would be the best landing spot for the 5G modem?
Elsewhere, it’s rumoured HTC’s forthcoming U12+ handset could beat Samsung to the punch.
In February a prototype of the unreleased handset reportedly appeared at a 5G event in Taiwan, showcasing speeds of 809.58Mbps
Are you ready for 5G or are you quite happy with 4G LTE speeds? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.