The $1,300 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is here: What you need to know

Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G is coming to T-Mobile on June 28

samsung galaxy s10 5g news announcement4
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

For the 10th anniversary of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, it’s either go big or go home, and Samsung is going gargantuan. Its ultimate flagship smartphone this year, apart from the experimental Samsung Galaxy Fold, isn’t the Galaxy S10 Plus, but the Galaxy S10 5G.

Updates

Galaxy S10 5G is coming to T-Mobile

The next carrier to carry Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G is T-Mobile, which will start selling the 5G phone beginning June 28. T-Mobile’s 5G will only be accessible in parts of Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York, so signal will swap to 4G LTE if 5G is unavailable.

Like Verizon, T-Mobile’s 5G — at least with the Galaxy S10 5G — is sticking to mmWave (millimeter wave), which means range is short and walking into a building near a 5G node will likely mean you lose 5G service. T-Mobile has a coverage map so you can ensure the area you’re in has 5G.

The Galaxy S10 5G will cost $31.25 per month for 24 months on a no-interest installment plan (with a $550 down payment). The full retail price is $1,300. You should know this device does not support T-Mobile’s 600MHz 5G spectrum it plans on launching later this year.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is available from Sprint

Sprint’s 5G network rolled out to a number of cities — with more coming — and you can experience 5G speeds on the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, as it’s now available from the carrier.

Pre-orders began June 14, and the phone has already shipped out to customers. It’s only available to order in markets with direct access to Sprint’s 5G network though, and at the time of writing, that includes Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, and Kansas City. Access to 5G for Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. will be arriving within the coming weeks, according to Sprint.-

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G launched first on Verizon in the U.S.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G first launched on Verizon’s 5G network in the U.S. in the middle of May. Be warned, not all Verizon stores will be carrying the phone.

It’s a huge and expensive device, but don’t be worried you’ve missed out on the best deals if you didn’t pre-order. Verizon is offering some excellent deals on both variants of the S10 5G, and you’ll be able to pick up the 256GB model for $54.16/month, for 24 months, on Verizon Device Payment. The 512GB model is obviously more expensive, and will put you back $58.33/month. Both of those deals come with 0% APR.

If you’re looking for discounts (and who isn’t?) there are plenty available. You can get up to $450 off in the form of monthly bill credits by trading in an eligible smartphone, while those switching to Verizon can also claim a $200 Mastercard. Be aware that to access 5G networks you’ll need to be on Verizon’s Above and Beyond Unlimited Plan. Still, if you want to experience the fledgling 5G networks in many U.S. cities, then it’s either this or the Moto Z3 that you’ll need to do it. The S10 5G first launched in South Korea on April 5.

Specifications

The phone shares many of the same specifications as the Galaxy S10 Plus, which the company announced alongside the Galaxy S10 and a lower-cost Galaxy S10e, but there’s a massive 6.7-inch screen instead of the 6.4-inch one seen on the Plus. That’s the biggest screen we’ve ever seen in a Galaxy S device. Samsung has also managed to keep the S10 5G’s size almost the same as the 6.4-inch Galaxy Note 9, which is an impressive feat achieved by shrinking down the bezels through the new hole-punch camera display technology.

What exactly is 5G? It’s the fifth-generation mobile network technology, following 4G LTE, and it promises much faster data speeds and lower latency. While there aren’t a lot of 5G networks available yet, U.S. carriers are expected to ramp up deployment in 2019 through 2021, though it’s unlikely we’ll see any kind of nationwide coverage soon. Instead, select cities will have specific 5G zones, so these 5G phones won’t offer too much for the immediate future and will frequently drop back to 4G LTE when there’s no 5G service available.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Galaxy S10 5G is different not just in size from the rest of the S10 range, but because it also has a 5G logo on the back. More importantly, it has a fourth camera on the rear. The ultra-wide-angle, telephoto, and standard lenses that are present on the S10 and S10 Plus are paired with a fourth Time of Flight (ToF) camera on the S10 5G to accurately capture 3D depth data. This ToF camera is also present on the front next to the standard 10-megapixel selfie camera. Samsung said this will enable augmented reality experiences that are only possible through 5G, though no examples were shared of what this may look like.

The ToF cameras also enable a new feature called Video Live Focus — considering Samsung’s Portrait Mode is called Live Focus, which is a portrait-mode live effect for videos, where a blur is added behind a subject. A new tool called Quick Measure is also available, and while Samsung hasn’t mentioned what it does, we presume it means using the depth camera to get measurements of objects in the real world, not unlike Apple’s Measure app.

The rest of the specs, as previously mentioned, are in line with the S10 Plus including the 8GB of RAM, 128GB of base storage, and the in-display ultrasonic fingerprint sensor.

The entire Galaxy S10 range may feature the latest Snapdragon 855 processor from Qualcomm, but it’s the special X50 modem that’s used in the S10 5G that enables connectivity to 5G networks. The rest of the phones do not use this modem, so they won’t work with 5G networks at all. To ensure 5G doesn’t cause any major battery drain — which was a problem with some of the first 4G devices — Samsung has outfitted a massive 4,500mAh battery in the Galaxy S10 5G. To juice this beefy battery back up, Samsung’s also outfitting the S10 5G with Super Fast Charging at 25W, so you shouldn’t need to wait too long to get back to 100 percent.

Price and availability

Three colors will be available for the S10 5G, including a black, gold, and silver model.

The Galaxy S10 5G is now available in the U.S., from Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. AT&T is expected to carry it before the end of the summer as well. The phone’s price starts from $1,300.

Updated on June 25, 2019: The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is coming to T-Mobile.

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