Verizon and Samsung have announced plans to release a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019, representing what will be one of the most high-profile US debuts for the new mobile networking standard. There aren’t any details yet on the device itself, but Bloomberg previously reported that the two companies were in talks to bring a 5G version of the upcoming Galaxy S10 to the US.
Samsung and Verizon will be attending Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit in Hawaii this week, and will have a proof-of-concept phone using Qualcomm’s X50 5G modem on hand. Separately, Samsung is developing its own 5G modem, the Exynos 5100, which will presumably be used for international 5G variants of the Galaxy S10 based around Exynos processors. Samsung recently announced the Exynos 9820 system-on-chip that will almost certainly power those devices.
This will be Samsung’s second major 5G showcase in under a week. South Korean carriers SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus all launched their 5G networks over the weekend, with SKT CEO Park Jung-ho using a prototype Samsung phone to make video calls around the country. “I feel deeply moved by this first video call on a 5G smartphone,” Park said, in comments reported by The Korea Herald. “It was much clearer than on LTE and the response was quick.” The carrier’s 5G network presently covers 13 South Korean cities and counties; Verizon’s is set to go live in early 2019.