As the next-generation 5G cycle is picking up pace in the United States, many smartphone manufacturers are rushing to work on releasing phones with 5G support. Now, Lenovo Vice President Chang Cheng has confirmed that Lenovo will be the first company to launch a 5G smartphone powered by the new Snapdragon 855 SoC. This comes soon after tipster Roland Quandt hinted that the new Qualcomm chip in mass production since June. If this is true, then the first phones with the new Snapdragon 855 chipset should launch by the end of 2018 or early 2019.
Cheng posted on Weibo that Lenovo will be the first to launch a smartphone with 5G support and Snapdragon 855 SoC. However, Cheng hasn't unveiled any timeline for launch. As mentioned, the new chip is expected to arrive late 2018 or early 2019; therefore the smartphone could also be unveiled sometime around that time only.
However, Cheng has earned a reputation of exaggerating claims in the past. With the Lenovo Z5, Cheng posted exaggerated teasers ahead of the launch, claiming for a notch-less display, mammoth battery, and more. However, the Lenovo Z5 was a dampener when it finally launched with a display notch and a 3300mAh battery. Therefore, we recommend you take all his announcements with a pinch of salt.
Apart from Lenovo, other companies that are working on 5G phones include Oppo, Huawei, and OnePlus. Huawei confirmed that it will launch a 5G smartphone in the third quarter of 2019, while Oppo announced its partnership with Qualcomm earlier this year for 5G phones next year. OnePlus also confirmed that its 2019 flagship will be 5G compatible, and rumours also suggest that Samsung's Galaxy S10 flagship will offer 5G connectivity.
Lastly, Vivo also plans to launch its first 5G-capable smartphone next year as well, using Qualcomm's X50 5G NR modem. Other companies that have partnered with Qualcomm for 5G modem include Xiaomi, Nokia brand licensee HMD Global, Sony, LG, and ZTE.