With the coming of 5G, who will win the race to the first true 5G phone? Let’s find out.
Few days ago, we posted about 5G and gave some important information about it. Today we’re going to put together a list of all the major Android manufacturers that have either teased or confirmed 5G phones.
Google Pixel 4 could launch with a 5G network support. Google has traditionally partnered with Verizon as the exclusive carrier for the Pixel range, and Verizon is fully aboard the 5G train.
HMD Global (Nokia)
Qualcomm recently listed many OEMs which all pack the 5G-ready Snapdragon X50 5G modem and Nokia licensee HMD Global was one of them. So basically, a Nokia 5G phone is surely coming.
As of April this year, Huawei has reportedly spent $600 million on 5G research since 2009. Its also a fact that there is no OEM on this list with a larger stake in the success of 5G than Huawei. So we can safely say that despite their high profile setbacks in the U.S, it seems foolish to bet against Huawei being the first OEM with a 5G phone ready for prime time.
Honor is a sub-brand of Huawei and they could actually be first when Honor launches the world’s first 5G phone next year. Sooooooooo guess what!!!!!!??????? Huawei’s claim to the 5G throne could well be snatched by… Huawei. But aside from Honor CEO George Zhao’s claims, we know absolutely nothing about the phone itself.
The fallen Android king already has a partnership in place with China Mobile for 5G development in the region and has refused to give up on its mobile business despite several years of catastrophic failure. With HTCs continued persistence, we can expect HTC to try their hands in the 5G field.
Lenovo is Motorola’s parent company and it is one more OEM promising to absolutely, 100 percent become the first company to deliver a commercial 5G phone. But we’ve all been burned by Lenovo’s promises before, most recently with the bezel-less Z5 concept sketch posted by none other than Lenovo‘s vice president Chang Cheng himself.
As usual, LG has also promised to launch “the first 5G smartphone in America in early 2019” in partnership with U.S. carrier Sprint. A Sprint executive recently let slip LG’s 5G phone will be “distinct” from the rest of the pack and “immediately recognizable” as a 5G device. Considering the many different weird and wonderful form factors we’ve seen grace the G series in the past, it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see 5G pushed as the G8’s marquee feature.
If you ask Motorola, the Moto Z3 qualifies as a 5G phone because of the New 5G Moto Mod that will arrive in early 2019, connecting the Moto Z3 to 5G network. The next in the series, Moto Z4 currently codenamed “Odin,” is expected to be powered by the Snapdragon 855 SoC and once again opt for 5G Moto Mod rather than native 5G support.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei confirmed the company will release a 5G phone next year during the Qualcomm 4G/5G Summit in October.
Oppo recently claimed to be the first manufacturer to successfully connect to a 5G network using a smartphone — in this case using a heavily modified Oppo R15.
However, they are one of the many Chinese OEMs that could benefit greatly from 5G’s global rollout, so expect to see a 5G phone from the Dongguan firm sooner rather than later.
Samsung is far and away the biggest Android OEM and it has already revealed its own 5G-ready Exynos modem and is apparently readying a special Samsung Galaxy S10 variant with 5G support for release in Spring 2019. There’s speculation that the 5G Galaxy S10 model will debut at an event in mid-February, which would coincide nicely with Samsung’s usual Mobile World Congress keynote spot. As for Samsung’s long-awaited foldable phone, which also looks set for a 2019 launch, there’s a very strong chance it won’t support 5G.
The Japanese giant has been relatively quiet on the 5G front. But they are on Qualcomm’s X50 5G list though.
Vivo hasn’t promised to deliver the first commercial 5G phone either, but it has merely noted that it hopes to bring the first batch to market sometime in 2019.
So Xiaomi recently revealed the almost completely bezel-less, slider-packing Mi Mix 3. They also confirmed that a 5G variant of the phone is on the way in Q1 2019. That announcement makes Xiaomi the only OEM on this list to have actually confirmed the exact model of its first 5G phone.
ZTE is looking to bounce back in 2019 with a 5G phone of its own, after a short-lived U.S. supply ban threatened the company’s very existence this year.