The Android phone industry is super stoked at this moment as 2019 has got off to a great start. While the past few years had been bitter with the removal of the headphone jack, annoying notches and no significant upgrade in Android smartphones, this year is going to be a fantastic one. There is plenty of innovation to look forward to as major manufacturers have confirmed that they are going to launch 5G enabled smartphones.
The shift from 4G mobile internet to 5G is not an upgrade but a giant leap! You will soon be able to download large files at super-fast speeds, stream 4K content on mobile connectivity and even enjoy lag-free gaming.
The list of Android phones that are about to get the upgrade is rather large and all prominent manufacturers are already in. Rumors claim Apple will not do it until 2020 and if you are an Android fan, this is the perfect time to feel proud about your fanboyism as the OS is going to stay ahead of the technology curve.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Edition
The Samsung Unpacked Event witnesses the unveiling of the Galaxy S10 series of phones and there were three different models. However, there is a fourth model dubbed as Galaxy S10 X for the moment which will be powered with a processor capable of handling 5G internet speeds.
In terms of specification, the rumored phone which might get launched in the middle of the year will sport a large 6.7-inch display, 10 GB of RAM which surely sounds like overkill right now but might soon become the norm. Once again, Samsung will innovate in the cameras with a massive bunch of four cameras in the rear and two cameras for selfie lovers.
While the actual release date is not confirmed yet, one rumor claims a launch at the end of March in South Korea, but a global roll-out in the later months.
Huawei Brings in Foldable Tech with 5G
Huawei is going to push things further with a foldable phone and they aren’t going to make users wait for another year or so. The big reveal is expected to be done during Mobile World Congress 2019 and this particular model will also feature 5G connectivity.
It is also being said that the model will be a prototype and will not go on sale until June this year. The problem is that even though major players like Samsung, OnePlus, Huawei are all keen on bringing 5G as well as foldable designs, the cellular service providers adopting the network could take some time.
Besides, foldable phones and their practical issues are not known at this point. They are supposed to last years as any typical flat phone would do. Huawei will use the months in between to further test the technology. The company has not revealed the list of countries where they will launch the new phone and the U.S. could probably not be in it as they don’t focus much on the market.
Nokia Partners with Qualcomm for 5G
Qualcomm Snapdragon processors are the most popular mobile chipset these days being used on almost every device except for the ones powered by Samsung processors and some by MediaTek. HMD Global, the manufacturer behind Nokia has partnered with Qualcomm.
The new Snapdragon X50 5G modem will be used in the new range of 5G phones slated for 2019 release. The company may showcase a prototype at MWC but they are not keen on bringing a model unless it is fully ready. They want customers to be able to experience the speed, mobile operators able to deliver and viable plans before releasing Nokia phones with blazing fast internet connectivity.
OnePlus 7 Will Support 5G
OnePlus is a brand that has always been ahead of the technology curve. They have never hesitated to adopt the latest and greatest which is how they managed to win over millions of customers amidst competition with Samsung and Apple. The company created a fantastic drop notch which had minimal intrusion with the display and they also adopted in-display fingerprint scanner much earlier than most companies.
The team also confirmed that they are working on 5G phones and Qualcomm will be the official chip maker. They also confirmed in 2018 that the next OnePlus 7 will feature 5G connectivity. Qualcomm in their own summit further added that two big brands or possibly models will be the first ones to adopt the technology this year. While every smartphone manufacturer is vying to be ahead of others, they still have to ensure customers can make use of the technology and the price they pay doesn’t go down the drain.
OnePlus often has been smooth in infusing new technology into the consumer crowd and they should probably be able to do the same. Besides, they don’t seem to have plans for foldable phones or any extraordinary upgrades this year which should allow them to focus only on improved internet speeds.
Google Pixel 4?
Google has been really slow to adopt new technologies these days. They were supposed to bring in in-display fingerprint sensor with the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. However, the company refrained from making a move and released the same phone with an annoying top notch. After all, Samsung has skipped an entire generation, retained the headphone jack and never used a notch but rather has gone with a punch hole which seems to be a new era. Google which was supposed to be innovating on all these grounds merely followed Apple and did everything the Cupertino giant did.
The Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL are rumored to sport 5G connectivity. The phones are always revealed towards the end of the year by October or so after Apple’s event. As it will be almost the end of 2019 and manufacturers having released multiple phones that support 5G technology, it is obvious that Google should do the same. They haven’t commented or confirmed their stand on this but Samsung would have launched their 5G phone as well by this year. Delaying their upgrades to 2020 doesn’t sound like a great business idea and let’s hope they bring faster internet speeds without fail on their future phones.
Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei but it has built a customer base of its own and even operates independently in terms of design, power and performance. Chances are high that Honor will be the first few models to receive 5G feature whereas Huawei will bring their phones into the mainstream market only months later. Besides, even when they launch the product, they often focus on the South East Asian market and not all of their phones find their way into the United States, Europe or the United Kingdom.
A rumored claim is that the Honor Magic 2 will be the first possible phone to have a 5G connection and will be equipped by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon processor that supports it. As we literally have no solid details about the upcoming models, the only way to go is to guess and wait for an official announcement. Honor has churned out some of the best phones in the past few years and we can rely on them to come up with promising models once again in 2019.
HTC – 5G is Expected as a Comeback Vehicle
A major player in the world of smartphones who had stumbled into no man’s land for the past few years with hardly any groundbreaking launches. Despite all the shortcomings, HTC U11 and some specific models introduced features that people and reviewers loved. However, the price point of the HTC phones, their specifications and overall value for money wasn’t justified which is why it lost lots of its customer despite still delivering excellent build quality.
Going by the standard approach of HTC, they are still trying to come back and they can do so with 5G phones. After all, this is an entirely new market which is untapped and many major companies are yet to launch phones in this category. If the company could deliver excellent phones with impressive design, value for money and the right hardware choices, they can. HTC has already confirmed the X50 modem used in the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor will be the ones powering their future 5G phones. HTC Vive is possibly the only model we know so far.
LG is Bringing 5G Smartphones to MWC 2019
LG is going to be one among the first to reveal their first 5G smartphone in the United States and it will be revealed in early 2019. The MWC 2019 event will witness the company revealing their model which will run on a Snapdragon 855 processor which has a large 4,000 mAh battery and uses a vapor chamber cooling system. The improved cooling will allow the phone to not only deliver 5G but will also support AR and VR as Qualcomm has talked about it in the past.
Their new processor is capable of delivering AR experiences including games and for travel apps but only select phones which can handle the heat as well as boosted performance will support it. Going by their claim, LG’s 2019 5G phone will be among the list to make the most out of the Qualcomm processor.
Motorola Will Launch Verizon Exclusive 5G Smartphone
Motorola is one among the very few manufacturers to have confirmed everything related to their upcoming 5G smartphone. Their new model will get launched in America as a Verizon exclusive and will obviously be powered by the same Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem found in their newest processor. They have already completed testing the 3 GPP technology on a 5G network.
The confirmed model is the Moto Z3 which will receive 5G support with a help of a mod but the official phone will be Moto Z4. It will run on the newest Snapdragon 855 processor but once again it is not confirmed which model will exactly support 5G natively instead of relying on mods.
Oppo, A New Player in Town
Oppo and Vivo are relatively new brands who came into the industry after OnePlus and Xiaomi became top of the line manufacturers. While many of these Southeast Asian players avoid launching their phones in the USA or other western countries, they are making a steady stride in innovating the smartphone industry.
Oppo has already started working on their first 5G smartphone and it will be a revamped version of the Oppo R15. They are possibly aiming to achieve a launch towards mid-2019 and not delay it much further because being the first few providers in the mobile scene matters a lot so as to not make buyers wait.
Vivo Nex is expected to be the 5G phone but the company has been tight-lipped about their future plans. They haven’t talked in depth about what to expect and are focusing on a lot of other aspects. There is hardly any word on improving internet speeds and adopting what everyone else is doing but we expect the company to make an announcement in the next couple of months. The phone might get launched before the end of 2019.
5G Smartphones and their Pricing
5G smartphones from major players like Samsung, OnePlus, Google and Huawei may not witness a major increase in price because the overall pricing is already on the higher side. Phones that are priced almost $550 are considered mid-range these days whereas Google’s Nexus phones used to be cheaper than this and were considered flagship phones back in the day.
Samsung confirmed that their foldable phone will be quite expensive, possibly $1,500 or even more whereas no other manufacturer has explicitly talked about pricing. With a major upgrade with the new Snapdragon 855 processor and 5G modem, you don’t have to possibly expect any huge price jump and it will be almost the same as the current models. Once the technology trickles down, 5G connectivity will also be available on mid-range and entry-level smartphones.