4G isn’t disappearing any time soon, but within a year, many will have made the quantum leap to gigabit cellular bandwidth.
Let’s start this one off by pointing out that you don’t need 5G right now, and given cost projections of 5G modems in addition to the history lesson that 4G taught us a decade back, you’d be spending considerably more for predictably spotty service at best — at least until 2020. The second-generation 5G modems for smartphones are aiming for launch next year on Qualcomm’s chips, and all accounted, the wait is almost certainly well worth it. A litany of technical glitches can be expected on the newest 5G models despite manufacturers’ best efforts.
Nonetheless, we wouldn’t fault you for wanting to get in on what’s either freshly launched or just around to corner in the 4G and 5G world, and we’re here to tell you about the latest mobile phones that deserve the most attention right now. Sadly, there’s not much to show for 5G handsets at the moment since the technology is still brand new, but we’ll go over what we know. At the time of writing this, there are four days to go before we see two such handsets unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019, so keep an eye out for that.
Latest Released or Soon-to-Release Non-5G Phones
1. LG G8
You’re not excited about 5G? That’s okay: There’s plenty of odd techie bits to talk about in LG’s newest offering that’s slated for release on February 24. The most notable detail worth discussing here is the “Crystal Sound OLED” technology that uses the screen as a literal speaker in tandem with the empty space inside the device as an amplifier of sorts.
2. Galaxy S10 (Series)
With Samsung, no introduction is needed. The new Galaxy S10 series brings four variants to the table with one of them supporting 5G — more on that one in a moment. In the meantime, the other three devices are essentially a matter of size and camera count with cost to match them. With “Infinity O AMOLED” that reduces blue light output by 42 percent, “spoof-proof” in-screen 3D fingerprint sensing and up to 1,000 GB of storage, the Korean manufacturer has aimed for a legendary release in March.
3. Galaxy Fold
Remember way back when the Galaxy S5 was speculated to be the first foldable phablet? It didn’t happen, but the recently unveiled Galaxy Fold fills the void five years late with full-blown flagship specs and a sweet battery to boot. We don’t think this is quite the jump-start that the mobile market needs right now, however, and a telltale sign of woe was noted with this particular handset: no 3.5 mm headphone jack. It’s an omen of what’s not to come on the Galaxy S11.
The First 5G Phones
1. Galaxy S10 5G
Are you surprised? This device is planned for a March release alongside its other S10 variants: the S10, S10+ and S10e. As you’d expect, this is the only one that supports 5G. It also delivers a quad-camera setup and a massive 6.7-inch screen.
2. Huawei and LG
We haven’t heard anything conclusive about these companies’ offerings yet, but they’re aiming to reveal their 5G handsets during MWC 2019, which will run from February 25-28. LG indicated that it’ll be the first to release a 5G device, which should launch on February 24 or 25.
3. 5G Moto Mod (currently, Moto Z3)
This isn’t a phone; it’s a mod. In case you haven’t kept up, Motorola took the abandoned LG route with a modular smartphone concept that allows for additions that expand upon baseline functionality. In the coming months, the 5G Moto Mod should bring 5G functionality to compatible Motorola devices, which at the current time is only the Moto Z3 but will undoubtedly spread to more models later in the year.
Also Read: 10 Best Smartphones of 2018