South Korea's Samsung and LG are reportedly planning to introduce their first 5G-capable smartphones at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February next year. According to a report, the companies will announce the phones during the mobile trade show, followed by the launch in March to coincide with the roll out of 5G services. Both companies have already officially hinted at their plans for the 5G smartphones, but the release details were hazy until now.
Samsung has in the past said it will be introducing its first 5G smartphone via US telecom operators like Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T, whereas LG had confirmed it will launch its 5G phone on Sprint. The manufacturers are also said to be in talks with South Korean telecom companies for 5G device launches. A report by The Korea Herald notes that Galaxy S10 series will be launched at MWC 2019, citing industry sources, with one of the models in the series being 5G capable.
To recall, as per a recent report from The Wall Street Journal, Samsung will include the 5G capabilities in a variant of its upcoming Galaxy S10 smartphone. This phone will feature a mammoth 6.7-inch screen and is internally codenamed ‘Beyond X'. It will also pack as many as six cameras—two in the front and four on the back. The phone may also include a feature called “reverse wireless charging,” using which the phone could be used to wirelessly charge other devices by placing them together.
On the other hand, LG's upcoming 5G phone is rumoured to be a variant of the LG G7 ThinQ, The Korea Herald notes, originally unveiled in May this year. The Korea Herald notes that the upgraded LG G7 ThinQ will be using Qualcomm's 5G chipset. It is unclear whether the phone will be dubbed as G8 ThinQ or not.
The company had earlier planned to showcase the 5G-version of G7 ThinQ in May next year, but it advanced the plans to not be left behind in the crucial 5G race, the report adds.
The 5G adoption is not just limited to the South Korean manufacturers, pretty much all smartphone companies including the likes of Huawei, Asus, HMD Global, OnePlus, Vivo, Xiaomi, Oppo, ZTE, and Sony, as well as the chip makers are actively working on 5G devices. Many of the smartphone makers are likely to use Qualcomm chipsets with the X50 modem to include 5G functionality in their devices.
Among the firms that have been most vocal about their upcoming 5G devices, Xiaomi showcased the 5G variant of its Mi Mix 3 phone at a recent event in China. The phone is expected to hit the store shelves sometime in Q1, 2019. OnePlus is likely to release its first 5G phone with a price-tag close to $800, and has confirmed it will arrive by May-end.
We will likely hear more from the smartphone and chip makers about 5G during the upcoming trade shows, including CES and MWC.