At long, long last, actual 5G phones are here. The next-gen of mobile networks has been a major talking point of every major technology tradeshow for the best part of a decade now, and finally we’re getting to see the shiny new devices that will be able to take advantage of the faster mobile speeds 5G promises.
We’re expecting almost all of the major smartphone manufacturers to either launch a 5G device or show off prototype 5G devices over the next few days, weeks and months. These are the 5G phones we’re looking forward to dreaming of buying.
Read more: MWC 2019
Samsung 5G phones
Samsung recently unveiled the Galaxy S10 5G, a supersized version of the Galaxy S10 that supports 5G. It’s an absolute monster, featuring a 6.7-inch display, triple rear cameras, dual front cameras, a 4500mAh battery and all the trimmings. Though Samsung is yet to announce pricing or specific release details, it says the handset will be out this summer.
Also on its way is the long-awaited Galaxy Fold. Samsung hasn’t released a huge amount of information on its folding phone yet, but says 5G and LTE models will be available. It features a 4.6-inch, HD+ Super AMOLED outer display, and a 7.3-inch, QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED inner ‘Infinity Flex’ display that opens up like a book. When the Fold is closed, it essentially looks like two phones stuck together.
The Samsung Galaxy Fold is coming to the UK on May 3, and it will start at €2000 (around £1800).
Xiaomi 5G phones
Xiaomi unveiled the 5G version of the Mi Mix 3 at its MWC 2019 conference, and the best thing about it might just be the price. Not something we think we’ve ever said about a 5G phone before.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G has the Snapdragon 855 chipset and the Snapdragon X50 5G modem on board. Otherwise it’s the same as its 4G predecessor. There’s the same 12-megapixel dual cameras around the rear, the same 24-megapixel and 2-megapixel cameras on the front, and the same 6.39-inch display as before too.
However, the price is, of course, different. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G will cost €599 (most likely £599 in the UK) when it goes on sale in May. That’s only €100 more than its predecessor, which isn’t too bad considering that OnePlus’ CEO, Pete Lau warned only back in December 2018 that 5G phones might cost between $200-$300 extra.
Huawei 5G phones
Another 5G phone we can look forward to is the Huawei Mate X. However, 5G support is just one of its tricks. The Mate X is a folding phone, which features a 6.6-inch, 2480 x 1148 front display and another 6.38-inch, 2480 x 892 display around the back. When unfurled, these combine to form an 8-inch, 2480 x 2200 screen.
Unsurprisingly, it’s expensive. The Mate X will start at €2299 (~£1995), and Huawei CEO Richard Yu says Huawei will “maybe” be able to start selling the Mate X to consumers around the middle of 2019, depending on the “network deployment status” of 5G mobile operators.
Huawei has also said that a 5G version of the Mate 20 X is on its way. “We’re going to upgrade the Mate 20 X to let it support 5G,” Huawei CEO Richard Yu said at MWC. There’s no word yet on when the handset will come out, or how much it will cost. Safe to say it won’t be any less than the £799 that the 4G Mate 20 X costs.
OnePlus 5G phones
OnePlus brought two 5G-capable devices to MWC, but they were both prototypes that aren’t intended for release. They were also encased in some rather chunky plastic framing, and locked behind a panel.
The Chinese firm did, however, treat us to a demo, during which a triple A fighter pilot game was streamed on a big screen Full HD TV. Such a process and title would normally be way too much for a smartphone’s hardware.
Fingers crossed we’ll be treated to a proper OnePlus 5G phone unveiling in the very near future.
LG 5G phones
LG’s first 5G phone is the LG V50 ThinQ. It’s got five cameras − three on the back and two on the front − a 6.4-inch OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem and a hefty 4000mAh battery.
The equally new LG G8 does not support 5G, so the V50 is there to go up against the likes of the Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G and 5G Mi Mix 3.
Unfortunately though, LG has not yet announced release or pricing details for the V50. However, EE says it will be selling the handset in the UK later this year.
ZTE 5G phones
The ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G also launched at MWC, though no price or release details have yet been announced. We’re hopeful that it’ll be one of the more affordable 5G handsets on the market (when it eventually arrives).
The Axon looks a lot like last year’s Huawei P20 Pro, and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and X50 5G modem. It also features a 6.47-inch AMOLED display, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a triple camera setup around the back − combining a 40-megapixel f/1.8 main sensor, a 20-megapixel 125 degree wide angle lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens.
Oppo 5G phones
Oppo also has a 5G smartphone on the way, but it doesn’t have a name yet. At MWC 2019, the Chinese firm says it will feature a Snapdragon 855 processor, the Snapdragon X50 modem and an incredible 10x lossless zoom triple camera array.
It pulled the covers off a prototype of its upcoming 5G handset, the Oppo Find X 5G, in late 2018. It’s a direct follow-up to the Oppo Find X, and was on show at the 2018 China Mobile Global Partners Conference. The prototype also happens to be powered by the Snapdragon 855 and X50 5G modem.
“We are confident Oppo will be one of the first companies to launch a commercial 5G smartphone in 2019,” said Brian Shen, Oppo’s Global Vice President and President of China Business.
Motorola 5G phones
Motorola’s Moto Z3 is a 5G-ready smartphone, thanks to the Moto Mod 5G, which − just like 5G networks in the US − is “coming soon”.
The magnetic modular attachment, which clips to the back of the Moto Z3, features the ingredients necessary to access 5G services. It contains a Snapdragon 855 SoC, which includes the all-important Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem.
The Moto Z3 shipped with the Snapdragon 835 chip, so the mod is designed to allow owners to retrofit their phone, rather than buying a brand new 5G handset. Unfortunately, it’s only the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z3 that’s compatible with the Moto Mod 5G at present, but if Moto expands the line-up this year, there’s a good chance support will improve.
HTC 5G phones
Poor old HTC hasn’t yet given up on high-end smartphone production. On the contrary, the Taiwanese firm has reportedly claimed that its 2019 flagship will focus on 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, and blockchain capabilities.
We believe this device will land as the HTC U13. We don’t know very much about it yet, but one thing we can assume is that it will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 CPU. Going by recent trends, we can probably expect the HTC U13 to be announced in May.
Unfortunately for Apple fans, it looks like the first 5G iPhone is still a year and a half away. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that the company will launch a 5G mobile this year.
According to a Fast Company report, Apple plans to release its first 5G iPhones in 2020, which will be some time after 5G networks go live. These iPhones will reportedly use the Intel 8161 5G modem rather than Qualcomm’s X50 modem. If the report proves accurate, that could be a huge black mark against the company’s 2019 models.
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