The trendy 5G smartphones technology first arrived in 2019, but it goes mainstream in 2020. This is mostly, thanks to the big tech manufacturers, as well as Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) like Apple, Huawei, and Samsung. 5G (fifth-generation) tech offers blazing-fast speeds in excellent conditions – mmWave connections.
However, while this might be the hype in 2020, not all users around the world could enjoy the technology 2019. The reason, mmWave connections were not exactly available on every street around the world at the time. There was also the aspect of the 2019 high-end phone price tags of the 5G-enabled smartphones. This something that deterred most users from owning the phone – way above the budget.
The trend could change in 2020, given the high number of exciting developments that have happened in terms of implementing 5G. Here’s what you can expect from 5G and the 5G-enabled smartphones in 2020.
5G going global in 2020
5G connectivity is still limited to small sections of countries, like the US, UK, Australia, China, Japan as well as Korea. But the mmWave 5G technology is only available in the US. This means that all the insanely fast speed test results you see online are reserved for US citizens. And while sub-6GHz is currently offering plenty of spectrum across Europe and some parts of the world, the supported countries stand a chance to receiving ultra-fast speeds coupled with decent 5G network coverage.
Several countries are expected to implement their first 5G network coverage in 2020. Japan, South East Asia, South Korea and parts of Europe are some of the regions to roll out 5G. These countries will also be among the first to adopt mmWave in the course of 2020. Furthermore, we anticipate the 5G network rollout process will last for the next few seasons. Official coverage starts at sub-6GHz as well as other low bands before the mmWave connections can be implemented in larger cities.
Unfortunately, it could take another year to see the 5G technology rollout in other countries like India – the second-largest phone market globally. Moreover, the implementation of the mmWave connection will also be delayed another year or more. 5G standalone networks will take years to be available in most parts of the world. This means that you’ll notice your 5G signal is shaky whenever you visit 4G standalone network regions.
Global 5G network coverage to broaden in 2020
We expect 5G network coverage to improve in 2020, and the speeds should be to the roof as well. But the challenge remains in its uniform deployment around the world – with some regions launching faster than others. There’s also the challenge of mmWave and 5G connectivity, at large is still scratchy in most regions, including the US, UK, which uses somewhat advanced rollout infrastructure.
On the upside, 5G network connectivity is expanding, and the supporting hardware is also ready to deploy. Thanks to this, 5G-enabled smartphones are also being released in 2020 – Samsung has already launched 5G-enabled smartphones. Qualcomm is being tasked by several OEMs to supply a 5G-enabled antenna for the mass production of 2020 flagship devices.
Worth knowing, not every 5G-enabled device will sport the same advanced connectivity features. The features and capabilities of these smartphones will differ in different regions around the world. For instance, mmWave-enabled smartphones will only launch in regions that support connectivity. Expect controversial views in the 5G smartphones to be announced in 2020.
Additionally, if high-priced devices will launch without 5G support, the market pricing will be the excuse. Bearing in mind not every user is excited about the new technology breakthrough that is 5G.
More 5G smartphones to launch in 2020
Among the most expensive devices in the market currently, include 5G-enabled smartphones. The good news is, this is bound to change in 2020. This is thanks to the increased number of 5G chips and other components. For instance, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765, Exynos 980, and Media Tek Dimensity 5G SoC give 5G supported features, and they’re predicted to ship in smartphones that’ll cost around $500.
Of the three chipsets, only Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765 supports the mmWave frequencies. Both Media Tek and Samsung chips only offer sub-6GHz. We also predict budget-friendly 5G handsets will ship with varied radio features, including speeds – somewhat slower – when compared to 5G flagships equipped with mmWave antennas. Furthermore, Qualcomm has vowed to help smartphone manufacturers like Apple to develop better 5G mmWave devices by offering better modular parts. Sadly, however, since most 5G chip manufacturers only support sub-6GHz, we anticipate that most smartphones will miss the mmWave tech.
OEMs like Nokia, Motorola, Xiaomi, and Oppo have already announced their plans to launch affordable 5G-enabled devices in 2020. And while Samsung might have already announced its high-end 5G smartphones, the giant manufacturer might be in the works to launch affordable 5G flagship as well.
Do I have to buy a 5G smartphone in 2020?
The decision to buy a 5G-enabled smartphone in 2020 is dependable. You can choose to get trendy and get yourself a 5G smartphone in 2020. The catch is, the fifth-generation network won’t roll out in every street around the world right away. This means that your network might still drop to 4G when you visit 4G standalone regions. Alternatively, you can comfortably wait for the technology to take root, and upgrade later in the year – this fall – when most affordable 5G smartphones will launch. But if you’ve recently lost your phone, and fancy a new, get a 5G device now.
Here’s the list of 5G flagships currently available to purchase:
- Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, Galaxy S20 Ultra – supports all network carriers (available on March 6)
- Galaxy S10 5G – supports AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon
- The Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G – supports AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G – supports Sprint
- OnePlus 7T Pro 5G McLaren – supports T-Mobile
- LG V50 ThinQ – supports Sprint, Verizon
- Moto Z4, Z3, Z2 with Moto 5G Mod – supports Verizon
The mmWave tech will be available on high-end devices that ship worldwide, including Apple devices. The sub-6GHz supported devices will be the most common around the world and are likely to get to more users at a fast rate.
We anticipate an increased number of 5G smartphones will be announced in 2020. Most of these devices will sell at insanely affordable prices. The option to upgrade to 5G-enabled devices in 2020 is great if you’re ready to give it a go. There’s more to be excited about 5G, including 5G smartphones in 2020.