Wireless carrier Sprint and device manufacturer LG have teamed up to launch a 5G smartphone in the United States by the first half of next year.
The announcement comes amid Sprint's attempts to persuade regulators to approve its merger with rival T-Mobile. The combination of the two carriers will help build the next-generation wireless network faster, the companies claim.
Sprint, LG To Launch 5G Smartphone In 2019
The 5G smartphone by LG will be customized to work with Sprint's proposed 5G network, but it will also be compatible with T-Mobile's existing 4G network, according to Sprint director of product development John Tudhope.
All the other details of the 5G smartphone, however, remain unclear, including its name, price, specifications, and exact release date. Sprint, however, claims that it will be the first smartphone in the United States that will come with built-in 5G support, though Verizon will likely challenge that distinction, as it is planning to launch its own 5G smartphone.
Sprint is promising a 5G network that will allow users to enjoy download speeds that will take only seconds for full-length HD movies instead of minutes, as well as playing online games without any lag or delays. The carrier's 5G network will launch next year in the cities of Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington before it expands to other parts of the United States.
Should You Jump Into 5G Technology Right Away?
The race to enable 5G networks is on among carriers and manufacturers, as the technology is a huge step toward the future of the internet.
Motorola is working on a 5G Moto Mod that will add 5G capabilities to Verizon's Moto Z3 when it is strapped to the smartphone. The mod will be powered by its own battery, so that the Moto Z3 will not suffer from short standby times.
Qualcomm, meanwhile, also recently announced the X50 5G modem, but it will have to be paired with a separate chipset such as the Snapdragon 845.
The takeaway here is that the first generation of devices that will function with 5G technology will be clunky and underdeveloped, compared to the current generation of smartphones working with 4G networks. It should be safe to say that LG's 5G smartphone for Sprint coming next year will follow the same trend.
As Slash Gear points out, users who are living in areas where 5G will be initially rolled out and who have a legitimate need for high-speed internet may want to consider upgrading once the technology is available. However, for most users, it may be best to wait until all the kinks have been worked out.