Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 is the world's first "real" 5G chipset

Galaxy A8s concept Galaxy A8s concept
Lori Graves | 05 December, 2018, 02:03

Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced the world's first 5G modem, the X50, which is supposed to increase download speeds by up to 20x over what most mobile users now experience. With the 5G-ready Snapdragon 855 mobile platform, your next flagship smartphone will be capable of utilizing the high-speed 5G networks once operators are ready.

Obviously do not take this information for definitive, in a few hours we will surely know more!

As for other aspects of the phone's design, the Galaxy S10 Plus appears to have the power and volume buttons on the right, while the left side will have the dedicated Bixby button. The US teleco has issued a press statement on the partnership with Samsung, confirming the arrival of this 5G phone. However, 5G advocates claims the switch will represent a much bigger speed upgrade this time around, making the decision to wait potentially riskier for the iPhone. So, despite a fair amount of skepticism that 5G would ever arrive at all, it has, and it's all but certainly going to be part of most major smartphones launched in the United States within the next year or two.

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Speaking at Qualcomm's Summit in Hawaii, Samsung's Justin Denison has confirmed that this latest phone will be powered by the new Snapdragon 855 processor and will include superfast 5G technology. One potential downside to all this is that we're nearly certainly returning to the years of split phone SKUs - US phones with hyper-specific bands for each carrier that don't play nicely with one another, and non-US phones that don't work on our new networks, just the legacy ones.

We also saw a video call, most notable because it was between two live 5G cells (and showing that this was an actual network, and not just one cell beaming to one phone). All in the name of progress, of course. Obviously, smartphone cameras will benefit enormously from this and we could probably see obvious improvements in the new generation of flagships coming soon.

Samsung is looking to get a first-mover advantage in 5G smartphones, with rival Apple reportedly planning to sit out of the game until 2020. A move to triple rear cameras, in-display fingerprint readers, and an innovative alternative to display notches will most likely allow the upcoming series to stand out from the competition, though it remains to be seen how well it actually ends up performing.

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