Samsung has announced that it will produce a 5G phone next year and we’ve seen a prototype version of the device at Qualcomm’s 2018 Tech Summit which we’re attending.
The big news is that the handset has a notch on the right-hand side. We’ve seen a few recent renders with a notch in this location, but this is the first time that we’ve seen anything quite like this.
As you can see, the notch is sloped into the corner. However, this definitely isn’t final hardware according to the Samsung spokespeople who were stopping anybody from touching the handset which was placed inside a DeX dock.
Samsung did tease different notch designs at its Developer Conference back in November – such as a pinhole notch in the corner of the screen – but this is a different design again.
- What is 5G, when is it coming and why do we need it?
The catch with the new handset is that it’ll likely be US-only – Verizon and AT&T have said they’re both getting a piece of the action. We know from today’s events that the handset is running the new Snapdragon 855 platform with X50 5G modem.
We think the new handset will be the US version of the Galaxy S10 – Samsung usually releases two versions of its ‘S’ series handsets; one based on its Exynos chip which comes to most territories including the UK and another based on Qualcomm’s latest platform for the US market.
The handset was running on Verizon’s 5G network (they set up the 28Ghz network especially using a mobile base station) while another device was streaming 4K video over 5G to a screen which it was connected to via the DeX dock and HDMI. This is obviously power intensive and apparently, Samsung had to keep swapping the two devices over.
We’re not totally sure why, we can only think there was a possible overheating issue due to the intensive work being done by streaming 4K over the 5G modem (remember this isn’t a final device).
The phone was obviously lightly disguised but clearly has a Note 9-style camera strip on the back featuring dual cameras. There was also a headphone jack as well as the now-familiar Bixby button.
Samsung representatives wouldn’t be drawn on the handset details at all and even had to check they could confirm it was based on Snapdragon 855.
The genesis of 5G has certainly reached a watershed moment – from modems inside server racks a couple of years ago to this – actually demonstrable 5G devices. And with rollout in the UK and US slated for 2019, it’s an exciting time for the tech.