Samsung gave us our first glance at the Galaxy S10 5G at an in-camera press conference yesterday, and my boy – it's a lot of phone. It's the size of a Galaxy Note 9, but slightly thinner and lighter (shocking), and sports a unique and shimmering silver finish that I like. It also features a 5G logo on the back, because of course, it does, and … it's about all I can tell you about the experience because Samsung did not let anyone activate it.
But I think we can still say a lot about this phone, even on an invisible screen. That's because we have a datasheet for this, and it reads like something from the dream of a phone geek.
The massive 6.7-inch display is basically the same as the Note 9, but it has an even larger battery of 4,500 mAh to maintain it when it's on a connection 5G more energy hungry. It comes with 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM (the only one This is also the first Samsung phone to officially support wired charging USB Power Delivery (3.0), probably because powering this 4500mAh battery would take a lot of time with the typical Adaptive Fast Charge brick from Samsung, bundled with the S10 and the S10 +., it has a fourth rear camera for 3D depth mapping (there is also a 3D depth camera at the front – I bet it's finally Samsung's face plug), which you will not find on your totally average Galaxy S10 +, even if you pay about 1500 USD for the ceramic model 1 TB. Oh and the 5G.
The Galaxy S10 5G is not a phone for you, me or anyone. It's a phone to watch us, geek, and be so slightly envious.
We do not know how much the Galaxy S10 5G will cost (prediction: too much!) When it will arrive on Verizon's temporary exclusive in the first half of 2019, and as you can see, even the release date is vague – giving us a window extending essentially from March to June 2019. The S10 5G will also be offered by AT & T, T-Mobile and Sprint, but not before the second half of the year. (I think these release windows are so big because carriers do not yet have a good estimate of their 5G deployment schedule.)
What I do know is that there is absolutely no good reason to buy it. It seems exceptionally unlikely that anyone, except for a very small group of people, can take advantage of the 5G connectivity of the phone in 2019 – something that will probably continue to be true even in 2020. And we we all know what will happen later this year when the S10 5G is more widely available: the Galaxy Note10 will be launched and everyone will forget that the S10 5G is even a thing. And that probably does not matter to Samsung.
The S10 5G is primarily a marketing exercise designed to showcase Samsung's 5G control and absolute dominance of the US carrier market. They will sell some expensive phones to super-players and a handful of 5G nerds and I do not think Samsung has any illusions about it. This is not a phone for the phone geeks or really anyone that exists in a meaningful sense of the market. This is a phone that Samsung installs on a base of press release and shouts to the world: "This is the first 5G phone that will be remembered", then retire to his museum, to never be heard again.
And the price and coverage will not be the only reasons to stay away. The S10 5G is also essentially bothered by the future because it is powered by Qualcomm's first generation Snapdragon X50 5G modem and I even advise those of you who are really interested in the 5G to wait. the launch of Snapdragon X55 phones. next year. They will be less energy intensive and will support virtually all known 5G iterations. I also think that they will not be priced in the stratosphere, at least not as high as the very first 5G phones this year.
The Galaxy S10 5G is not a phone for you, me or anyone. It's a phone to watch, who likes geek, and who is a little jealous – and that's exactly what Samsung and the operators want to get from these first 5G phones. I think they did a pretty good job, on paper.