Following AT&T, Sprint confirms it will carry Samsung’s 5G smartphone in 2019

Samsung Galaxy A9 hands-on
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

While it feels like it’s been a long time coming, 5G smartphones are arriving sooner than you may think. One day after Samsung announced it will be launching a 5G smartphone on Verizon’s network early next year, both AT&T and Sprint revealed that they, too, will offer the device around the same time.

The 5G smartphone will be the second device to launch on AT&T’s 5G mobile network, following the completion of the first millimeter wave mobile 5G browsing session with a standards-based device on a 5G network back in October. AT&T and Samsung also teamed up to create America’s first manufacturing-focused 5G Innovation Zone — a test bed that will allow both the carrier and manufacturer to take a closer look at how 5G will impact the manufacturing industry.

Following Verizon and AT&T’s announcements, Sprint made sure it was known that the carrier wasn’t being left out. According to PCMag, Sprint’s vice president of product engineering and development, Ryan Sullivan, confirmed to the publication that it is also teaming up with Samsung to launch a 5G smartphone in the first half of 2019. Around that time, the carrier also plans on beginning its mobile 5G rollout in nine markets including New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more.

As for the 5G smartphone, Digital Trends was on the ground at Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Technology Summit this week and caught a glimpse of the concept phone. At the summit, Qualcomm also announced its new Snapdragon 855 processor, with 5G support.

While there weren’t many details as far as specs go for the 5G smartphone, it’s likely that it will include Samsung’s RAM module that the company announced in July. Known as the LPDDR5 module, it’s the first 10-nanometer-class 8GB RAM out there. Not only will it help to provide battery life by reducing power consumption, but it will also provide greater efficiency. It also brings quicker data transfers to the table that are 1.5 times faster than the chips being used in top-tier smartphones.

While it’s been years in the making, the 5G technology brings its fair share of improvements, including speeds up to 100 times faster than current cellular service, along with reduced latency. It will also bring advances to technology like connected cars, augmented reality, cloud-powered apps, and more.

Once 5G service goes live early next year, those with Samsung 5G smartphones will be able to take advantage of the network through Verizon immediately. The carrier also mentioned that users will be able to take advantage of additional services, games, and features.

“5G will usher in a new era of mobile connectivity, allowing people to connect to data, experiences, and other people in ways never thought possible,” said Brian Higgins, vice president, wireless device and product marketing at Verizon, in a press release. “Together, Samsung and Verizon have made huge gains in bringing 5G commercial services to consumers in several cities. Now, we’re partnering to create a smartphone to put the power of 5G in the palm of your hand.”

Verizon originally kicked off its 5G network testing in the United States two years ago and then launched the first home 5G internet service in October — available in Houston, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, and Sacramento, California. Last month, it also made the first 5G video call using a Moto Z3 smartphone that comes equipped with a 5G Moto Mod.

Meanwhile, loyal iPhone users might have to wait a while longer for their 5G device. News of Verizon and Samsung’s plans for 5G come the same day that rumors surfaced about Apple’s plans for the network. According to Bloomberg, sources close to the matter claim the company doesn’t plan on releasing a 5G iPhone until at least 2020.

Updated December 4, 2018: Sprint confirms plans to offer a 5G smartphone in 2019.


OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.

The Galaxy S10 may be announced before MWC, sell for up to $1,750

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.

Sprint’s 5G rollout: Everything you need to know

Sprint is building its next-gen 5G network in preparation for a 2019 rollout, but it's taking a decidedly different approach than some of its competitors, including Verizon and AT&T. Here's everything you need to know.

Ditch your smartphone for a year and win $100k from Vitaminwater

Vitaminwater is willing to part with $100,000 if you're willing to part with your smartphone partner for a year. Could you last for a year armed with only a 1996-era phone? Here's your chance to find out.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Walmart drops prices on Apple Watches and other fitness trackers

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and wearable heart rate monitors from Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, and Garmin are popular gifts. Wearables are smarter and more capable than in earlier years. We found the best wearables deals on Walmart.

The best Wear OS watches

There are a ton of different Wear OS watches out there, but which one's right for you? No matter what you're looking for from a smartwatch, here are the best Wear OS watches out there.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Smart Home

This device detects when your pet is at the door and opens it for them

Tired of waiting for your dog to come inside, or running home in the middle of the day to let your four-legged friend out? Wayzn automatically opens sliding doors for your dog and gives you remote control.

Apple pushing update to iPhone in China in response to legal troubles

Apple has been facing legal issues in China due to alleged infringements of patents from Qualcomm Inc. On Friday, Apple announced it will push a software update in China in hopes of resolving any potential legal issues around the iPhone.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.