The MWC 2019 was abuzz with discussions around foldable phones and their future. With every brand trying to grab the spotlight, foldable phones are said to be a major leap for mobile technology. At the same time though, the other side of the tradeshow was all about one thing - 5G.
While hardware makers were trending foldable phones, wireless equipment makers and telecom operators were going crazy over the next generation of wireless communication. Chip makers like Qualcomm have already announced platforms to support 5G, and companies are now in a race to launch at least one phone with 5G support in their arsenal.
Here's a list of all the phones that shall support 5G and are expected to launch soon!1. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
The recently announced S10 family has already received a lot of attention from the media as well as users. Celebrating 10 years of the S-series, Samsung has tested the limits of technology this year. The Galaxy S10 5G was announced alongside the rest of the S10 lineup last week and it sports the same display, battery, and camera as the mainstream variant.
But, it runs on an Exynos 9820 processor, coupled along with a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem for 5G support. It shall come in 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB internal memory configuration only, and does not support expandable storage, possibly due to larger 5G components. It shall launch in the second half of 2019, exclusively via Verizon in the US. Pricing hasn't been announced yet and we don't think it'll sell without a contract in the beginning.2. Huawei Mate X
This phone blends the two most interesting aspects of technology right now, bendable display and 5G. Huawei isn't only a phone maker, but also a major force behind the manufacturing of telecom equipment. Hence, the brand says the Mate X will be the world's fastest 5G foldable phone thanks to its expertise in the enterprise segment.
The phone houses an in-house Balong 5000 5G modem, though we aren't sure when and where you'll be actually able to use it. American carriers are expected to roll-out 5G in the coming one year, and considering recent Huawei - U.S government turmoil, it's a possibility the Mate X never makes it to the USA. Even this phone doesn't have an availability date or price right now.3. Xiaomi Mi MIX 3
Instead of launching a brand new phone, Xiaomi is choosing the wise path of launching a 5G variant of an existing model. The design, display, and camera continue to remain unchanged, and the processor has been upgraded from Snapdragon 845 to 855. Further support is added thanks to the X50 modem.
Xiaomi has been transparent and says it'll retail for €599 ($679) in May. This is among the cheapest 5G phones we are seeing right now, and even Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said he didn't expect 5G phones to be as cheap as Xiaomi's device.4. LG V50
Even LG chose to launch a 5G variant of its existing phone, the V40 "ThinQ". And, LG wants to be extremely noisy about it and has added a glowing 5G logo on the back. The design has gotten a little bulky, presumably to make space for Snapdragon 855 and surrounding antennas. Even the battery is slightly larger at 4000mAh.
A price hasn't been announced and the company said it'll be available by March-end, or whenever a carrier partner is ready to roll out 5G.
These are a few phones that are confirmed to ship soon. A few companies like OnePlus, OPPO, and Sony showed off prototype phones running 5G. These were just meant to show us that they are ready with a 5G offering and are waiting for the right time to launch.
Incorporating a 5G modem right now is not only expensive but also challenging from a design point of view. Hence, until 5G is rolled out to a sufficient number of users worldwide, it makes no sense to launch compatible phones.