Who doesn’t want faster access to the internet when out and about? The next generation of mobile internet, 5G — short for “fifth generation” — is on the way, and it’s bringing exceptional data download and upload speeds with it.
But there’s still a way to go until 5G is as ubiquitous as the widely available 4G, and we’re still taking our first baby steps into a faster future. Whether you think we need 5G or not, we’re going to see more and more manufacturers start picking up the new standard — and we expect to see the first commercially available 5G phones in 2019. Here is every phone that supports 5G, and a whole bunch of rumors about some that might.
There is absolutely no doubt Apple will pick up 5G eventually, the only question is “when?” At the moment, the whispers indicate that the iPhone giant won’t be looking to release a 5G iPhone until 2020 — so expect 5G capabilities on the iPhone XIS, or whatever numerically nightmarish name Apple adopts.
This is no surprise, really. Apple can be slow to adopt new technology, just look at how long it took for it to adopt wireless charging and water-resistance. That’s not because Apple is lazy — far from it. Instead, Apple will likely only include the standard once it’s sure it works well and is not a waste of time. Being in a dominant market position, Apple can afford to wait.
Apple phones rumored to support 5G
- iPhone 2020
There haven’t been any rumors from Google about a 5G update for the Pixel range but it’s early days yet. The Pixel 3 has only just come out and if Google sticks to its usual schedule, we won’t be seeing the Pixel 4 until October 2019.
However, that Pixel 4 range would likely include the upcoming Snapdragon 855, a chip widely suspected to support 5G connections. If that’s true, it’s highly probable that 2019’s Pixel 4 range will support 5G. We’ll keep this updated as more details emerge.
HMD Global (Nokia)
Like a few other manufacturers, there has been no word on when Nokia handsets will support 5G. However, Nokia has been very active in helping to build up 5G infrastructure and is involved with the city of Tokyo to provide 5G networks in time for the 2020 Olympics. In July 2018, T-Mobile also announced it was working with Nokia to help build a U.S. 5G network. It could also make $3.50 for every single 5G phone released, thanks to its work on the standard.
While HMD Global, the manufacturer of Nokia branded phones, hasn’t yet let rumors slip that it’s working on a 5G phone, we can’t imagine it will be too long before we hear about one.
While Honor will likely be working closely with sister company Huawei, that hasn’t halted its ambition to beat its bigger sibling to the finish line in launching a phone with 5G support. While Honor was originally intending to be the first phone company to release a full 5G phone, its pushed its schedule back to the second half of 2019.
At the moment, it’s likely any 5G phone will be a flagship-level device. We’ll keep you updated as news rolls in.
Honor phones rumored to support 5G
- Unnamed Honor phone
There’s been little on HTC’s 5G plans, but the latest rumors say we’ll be seeing a 5G HTC smartphone in the second half of 2019 at the earliest. We’ve no idea which phone this would be, though the HTC U13 would be the obvious pick.
But it’ll likely work well, despite being one of the later phones to market. HTC was confirmed to be one of the companies working with Qualcomm to bring 5G support to 2019 handsets, and you can expect HTC to implement the tech well.
Huawei has made no bones about its ambitions for 5G, and first spoke about a handset with 5G support in February 2018. Back then, 2019 was the target date for release, and it seems Huawei is still pushing that deadline.
Many early rumors pointed to Huawei’s folding smartphone as being the first hotbed for Huawei’s 5G ambitions, and Huawei has stoked those fires further. If it turns out to be true, a foldable 5G phone would be a double-whammy of technological goodness indeed. Otherwise, the Huawei P30 Pro would be another obvious choice for the tech, but that is just speculation at this stage.
Huawei phones rumored to support 5G
LG is another of Qualcomm’s confirmed 5G partners but the South Korean veteran has been busy outside of that partnership. LG is also shooting for the goal of getting the first 5G phone on the market and teamed up with Sprint to deliver a 5G device for release in early 2019. This phone is separate to the LG G8 ThinQ, and seems to be the rumored LG V50 ThinQ 5G.
LG phones rumored to support 5G
- LG V50 ThinQ 5G
Motorola is in something of a unique position on this list because it has technically already released a phone with 5G capabilities. The Moto Z3 uses Motorola’s Moto Mod attachment to add a 5G power pack accessory onto the back of the phone, making it possible to access 5G networks. At least, it will when the accessory becomes available in early 2019 and even then, it’ll only be available to Verizon customers. So while Motorola technically has a 5G phone already, most people aren’t really counting it as the first 5G phone released. That accolade is being saved for the company that releases a phone with built-in 5G support.
But it does mean Motorola has shown its hand in terms of 5G, and we can definitely expect to see even more 5G connectivity hitting Motorola phones in 2019. We will update you when we have a better idea which phones will contain it.
Motorola phones that support 5G
- Moto Z3 (with Moto Mod)
OnePlus is another manufacturer that has committed to a 5G-capable smartphone in 2019 but that statement may not be all it seems, according to some rumors.
At the Shanghai Mobile World Congress in June 2018, OnePlus CEO and founder Pete Lau confirmed OnePlus plans to release a 5G-ready smartphone in early 2019. However, a new report alleges OnePlus will be seeking to introduce a new range for 5G support, essentially meaning the OnePlus 7 or 7T would be unlikely to have 5G capabilities.
The logic is clear: 5G tech is likely to be expensive and may push the OnePlus 7 out of OnePlus’s usual midrange pricing, making it a huge departure for the company. Therefore, a new model might be introduced to sidestep this issue. However, OnePlus hasn’t shied away from introducing cool new tech in its flagship line so far — the OnePlus 6T debuted an in-display fingerprint scanner, so it wouldn’t be a total shock for OnePlus to slip 5G connectivity into the OnePlus 7. We’ll be keeping an eye on this for sure.
OnePlus phones rumored to support 5G
Oppo recently made waves by claiming an Oppo phone was the first to access a 5G network. According to a claim made by Oppo Global Vice President Brian Shen, the connection was made on a pre-commercially available Oppo R15. Even more recently, Oppo claims to have held a WeChat video call using 5G.
If these claims are true, then it seems Oppo could end up climbing the winner’s pedestal for the first real 5G-enabled phone. But the proof will be in the pudding on release.
Oppo phones rumored to support 5G
- Oppo R15
Samsung is the largest mobile manufacturer in the world, and it would be silly to expect it to sit back and ignore the 5G bandwagon. Samsung already announced it would create a 5G handset for Verizon, and one for AT&T. These will likely be the same 5G model of the Samsung Galaxy S10 — rumored to be called the Samsung Galaxy S10 X — that’s widely expected to support 5G. Interestingly, Samsung may launch a second 5G phone with AT&T later in 2019 too, and this phone will supposedly support the sub-6-GHz spectrum which will lead to broader 5G coverage.
Earlier this year, Samsung’s CEO Dong-Jin Koh confirmed in a press event in South Korea that the S10 won’t be Samsung’s first 5G device. That may mean carrier-branded handsets may come first, or it may be planning to wow us with a completely different smartphone. With Samsung’s new focus on its midrange phones, could one of them be thrust into the spotlight? Or perhaps it will be Samsung’s folding phone? We’ll have to wait and see.
Samsung phones rumored to support 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S10 X
- Later 2019 Samsung 5G smartphone for AT&T
- Potential non-S10 5G phone
There has been next to nothing on the 5G front from Sony, so we have no idea when a 5G Xperia smartphone might be released. However, Sony is on Qualcomm’s list of 5G partners, so you might see one in 2019.
Xiaomi phones that support 5G
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 (5G model)
ZTE is named as another of Qualcomm’s 5G partners and originally planned to release a 5G smartphone in early 2019. Unfortunately, ZTE has had to delay its first 5G phone until later this year for an unknown reason. So while ZTE is still on the 5G wagon, don’t expect it to be the first to market.
ZTE phones rumored to support 5G
- Unknown ZTE 5G phone
Updated February 6, 2019: Added the latest rumors of 5G phones, including clarity on Samsung’s 5G phones and LG’s V50 5G.
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