What is 5G? What to know about the tech upgrade that will make your phone even faster

What phones will utilize 5G?

Right now, there are a limited number of phones that support 5G networks, though manufacturers are currently working to build out a larger network of them in order to meet the demand that will eventually come out of the rollout. However, some of the larger manufacturers, like Apple, have yet to adopt the tech. That means getting a device that you prefer (or want to use) may be difficult until 5G has been more fully deployed later on down the line.

Why’s it so important that you get a proper phone to handle the kind of speeds 5G can provide? The Wall Street Journal illustrates the issue quite nicely, noting that two Galaxy S10 5G phones continually overheated while using 5G and kept dropping down to 4G, when outside temperatures hit or exceeded 85 degrees. And if this is happening with phones that are supposedly built for 5G in higher temperatures, imagine how a phone that isn’t equipped for it might behave.

Technically, as of right now, there are just three devices that can handle 5G at its full speeds: the LG V50 ThinQ 5G, Moto Z3, and Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G, but if you don’t live in an area where you can utilize the service, they’re useless in that department.

One of these is pretty tricky when it comes to purchasing, as well. If you buy the Moto Z3 in a Verizon store, they will most likely check to make sure your account is provisioned correctly to avoid issues caused by the LTE to 5G cutover. But if you purchase the phone online or via a third-party, you may have to call into Verizon for provisioning.

Plus, its 5G compatibility comes with a catch: it’s not 5G-ready out of the box. You’ll need to spend another $200 for the Moto 5G Moto Mod to enable this feature.With the 5G Moto Mod, the total for the Moto Z3 comes to a less-affordable $680. But if you have to have 5G, it’s still the best deal out there – if you want to be prepared, at least. It’s likely additional phones on the market may adopt similar gimmicks during the rush to market and ensure consumers have something to use when the change happens – and not for the better. Some manufacturers, though, are taking their time.

Current rumors indicate Apple may not be trying for a 5G iPhone release until at least 2020, so even with the 2019 iPhone event on the horizon for September, it wouldn’t be strange to see the monolithic company remaining slow and cautious when it comes to rolling out new phones specifically for 5G. If it’s taught us anything in the past, Apple is generally slow to introduce new tech, such as a USB-C charging cable for its phones, which still doesn’t look like it’s coming this year, either.

As far as Google’s smartphones go, the search engine giant hasn’t spoken on what kind of 5G updates its Pixel phones will receive, if any. The upcoming Pixel 4 could be a contender, but it’s not slated to land until October 2019. That particular model is poised to see the addition of the Snapdragon 855 processor, which could augment the phone with 5G connectivity. Of course, for the moment this is all supposition, unfortunately.

Another obvious contender is Samsung, one of the largest smartphone manufacturers in the world. The Samsung S10 5G model is the company’s first attempt at bringing the tech to its Galaxy line. Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will also be getting 5G support when it relaunches after having fixed its initial design kinks.

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Rumor has it, the manufacturer is also working on launching an additional 5G phone in tandem with AT&T for 2019, which could also offer 5G coverage. Samsung is still keeping mum on the situation, but given its innovations, we can’t count it out when it comes to being ahead of the curve for the latest smartphone tech.

Don’t count Sprint out of the mix, either, as it’s yet to merge with T-Mobile and the network is seeing some impressive results already with 5G infrastructure – and it’s heading into areas that have more dense populations than it previously was available in, as well.

Makers like Honor, Sony, Xiaomi, ZTE, HTC, and Motorola are also all working on their own devices to prepare for the coming 5G wave, and you can expect to hear more about what they have in store for users over the coming months. While Huawei will also be on the bandwagon and also has phones that already support 5G in the form of the Mate X and Mate 20 X 5G, dubious relations with the United States after spying allegations make it a difficult recommendation for your first 5G-capable device.

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