18 May 2019, San Francisco (CNN)
It’s a big day for the future of wireless internet connectivity.
Samsung’s 5G phone has hit the market — it is the first time a smartphone can access 5G without an attachment in the US.
The $1300 Galaxy S10 5G smartphone is now available for Verizon customers in Chicago and Minneapolis. When customers leave those areas, the 5G smartphone will still work on Verizon’s 4G LTE network.
Later this year, the smartphone will launch in additional cities on Verizon and work with other carriers, including Sprint (S) and AT&T (T), which owns CNN’s parent company.
5G is the latest iteration of wireless technology and is expected to allow for things like better video streaming and technical advancements, such as connecting self-driving cars.
The networks are still very limited, but the phone is a big step toward a greater roll out. The launch will likely help carriers test their service and create the foundation for future iterations of 5G devices.
The smartphone features a 6.7-inch display and six camera lenses, including a dual-front camera with a 3D-depth lens to handle things like augmented reality. It’s available in two storage options — 256GB or 512GB — and comes in silver or black.
While the device costs $1300 for Verizon customers, they can snag it for half off for a limited time on Verizon’s website and in its stores.
Verizon was also the first carrier to offer a 5G-compatible phone when it launched its moto z3 smartphone. However, that phone required an accessory that attached to the back of the device to access the 5G network.
One Verizon store representative in Chicago and another in Minneapolis confirmed the 5G device is for sale at their locations but said they hadn’t noticed an increase in sales or lines.
With the release of its first 5G phone, Samsung (SSNLF) gets a running start ahead of Apple(AAPL), which isn’t expected to debut a 5G iPhone until the final quarter of 2020. The transition from 4G to 5G is expected to be more widespread that year, too.