Bringing in the new wave if the latest 5G wireless technology, smartphones are at it to accelerate the change while reshaping the user base. From Apple (AAPL) to Samsung, all smartphone manufacturers have utilized the 4G technology in their phones. But 5G technology requires an upgrade to a new smartphone. And you can expect the first one to hit markets in early 2019.
The race to achieve a significant share of the wireless market is now stiff with T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S) opting for the merger, while Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) making up the rest of the giants in the sector.
All these telecom providers are looking to bring 5G to the markets by the year-end or early 2019. Here is the list of upcoming smartphones that support 5G technology:
Chinese brand Xiaomi is gearing up to release in October its Mi Mix 3 smartphone that will be capable of 5G technology. The phone will come in a 6.4-inch display and runs on Android version 8.0 Oreo operating system. The device will be backed by 2.8 GHz quad-core Kryo 385 plus 1.8 GHz quad-core Kryo 385 processor, 8 GB RAM, 12-megapixel Exmor-RS CMOS rear-facing camera, a 5-megapixel front-facing one and comes with 4,000 mAh battery.
Lenovo-owned Motorola has come out with a 5G Moto Mod add-on accessory along with the Moto Z3 smartphone. This add-on will boost the smartphone’s capacity to meet the 5G technology when it is made available. The accessory features an inbuilt 5G modem that is inside a plastic backpack and uses magnets and pogo pins to bond with a Motorola Z3 phone. The phone will hit the shelves of Verizon last month, while the 5G Moto Mod will be made available in early 2019.
The Moto Z3 smartphone comes with Snapdragon 835 processor, Android 8.1 Oreo, and has a 6-inch Super AMOLED screen. It also features dual 12-megapixel rear-facing dual-LED flash cameras, 8-megapixel front-facing camera, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB of internal storage along with microSD card support, fingerprint sensor and USB-C connectivity. It has a 3,000 mAh battery capacity and priced at $480 without a contract.
Oppo’s premium flagship sister OnePlus is gearing to launch its OnePlus 6 successor in October, and another OnePlus smartphone (could be the 7) with 5G technology in January 2019. The parent company of OnePlus and Oppo, BBK, is working on 5G phones with Oppo R15 spotted for testing 5G speeds.
Sprint has tied up with LG to manufacture a 5G premium smartphone that will be optimized only for Sprint 5G network. The carrier predicts to launch 5G networks in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. The phone is likely to hit the markets in the first half of 2019.
HUAWEI, VIVO & SAMSUNG
Huawei is scheduling to launch its first 5G smartphone in the third quarter of 2019. Rival Chinese brand Vivo also intends to launch its 5G-capable smartphone next year. Samsung is also working on a device that will support 5G technology. Huawei, Vivo and other companies including Xiaomi, Nokia brand licensee HMD Global, LG, Sony, HTC, Oppo and ZTE have partnered with Qualcomm for 5G modem chip. It is clear that 5G smartphones might hit the markets next year.
Most of the Android smartphone manufacturers have initiated on building a 5G-capable smartphone. On the other hand, Apple is planning for 5G modem chips from MediaTek instead of Intel (INTC) or Qualcomm for the 2019 iPhones.
The tech giant launched its 4G-capable smartphone only after carriers offered decent coverage in their 4G networks. Considering that, we could safely estimate that Apple might come out with a 5G-capable smartphone as late as 2021.
According to a DigiTimes report, 5G smartphones shouldn’t pick up until 2021 and will account for 97% of the total number of 5G high-end device shipments by 2022. In 2022, almost one in five phones sold will support 5G technology. Manufacturers are considering for devices that will offer a decent 5G connectivity and not turn into a battery killer. Let’s wait for more details to pour in from the manufacturers on 5G connectivity.