Snapdragon 5G phones to arrive in Q2 2019

It is the first to offer 5G, and will be in numerous 2019 flagships from Samsung, Google and other phone manufacturers.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon platform now powers most high-end Android smartphones, including Samsung's flagship phones.

Qualcomm is betting big that 5G will jump start the saturated smartphone market. Qualcomm, of course, would argue that its annual launches provide consumers the best product they can get year in and year out, but as 5G looms on the horizon - and news that Apple's not getting in on it until at least 2020 - 2019 may be a tough sell from a silicon perspective.

Verizon (and AT&T, and Sprint) has already confirmed that it will be welcoming 5G on the back of an unannounced Samsung smartphone.

"5G will usher in a new era of mobile connectivity, allowing people to connect to data, experiences and other in ways never thought possible", said Brian Higgins, Vice President, Wireless Device and Product Marketing at Verizon.

The Snapdragon 855 mobile chip series supports multi-gigabit 5G, AI and immersive extended reality (XR) collectively, said Qualcomm.

5G will be rolled out, starting in the first half of 2019. Qualcomm is heavily invested in 5G, and it needs excitement around the standard to build if it's going to sell its pricey new modems to manufacturers.

It would not be a shock to find the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 sporting 5G right out the gate. While this fingerprint sensor is technically separate from the chipset, Qualcomm does say that it is not dependent on the Snapdragon 855, but it won't be used with other chipsets, seeing as it is all part of one package from Qualcomm.

In Europe, EE intends to launch 5G networks in major United Kingdom cities including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Leeds through 2019.

While 5G offers fast speeds, it has limitations: the signals can't travel very far nor penetrate walls and fog, so you'll have to dot loads of base stations everywhere, inside buildings and piggybacking on 4G towers outside.

We'll learn more about this and the 855 in general tomorrow.

More details on the Snapdragon 855's internals are due to emerge tomorrow. This is the latest iteration from Qualcomm, using ultrasonic technology, after having shown it off for the first time over three years ago. Working with mobile industry leaders Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, we also recently achieved Australia's first live 5G connection using a mobile test device powered by the Snapdragon X50 5G modem, on our network.

Starting in 2019, Android phone makers will start shipping new devices with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 system-on-a-chip (SoC), which will be the first chip to support 5G.

  • Latoya Cobb