Samsung Galaxy S10 5G: A cheat sheet

Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S10 lineup includes an upcoming 5G version.

Galaxy S10: Samsung's lineup is solid, but maybe wait for Galaxy S10 5G Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S10 line and two other devices that'll require a bit of a wait. ZDNet's Larry Dignan discusses the latest Samsung news with TechRepublic's Bill Detwiler and Karen Roby.

Samsung's latest flagship phone, the S10, includes a 5G version that will debut this spring.

The Galaxy S10 5G, revealed at Samsung Unpacked in San Francisco on February 20, has a 6.7-inch display and includes an Infinity-O display, an Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, a new triple-camera system at the rear, and Wireless PowerShare that allows the phone to charge any Qi-compatible device.

The Galaxy S10 5G is part of a lineup of four phones, a foldable phone-tablet device called Galaxy Fold, and a trio of new wearables that Samsung announced at Unpacked. The other phones are the Galaxy S10, the Galaxy S10 Plus and the Galaxy S10e. The wearables announced are the Galaxy Watch Active, the Galaxy Fit and the Galaxy Buds.

"Soon, network congestion will be a thing of the past. 5G will change everything—it will enable us to connect and communicate in entirely new ways. It'll empower creators and innovators to bring to life ideas we never thought possible...the whole tech industry has been laying the groundwork for 5G for decades," said Drew Blackard, senior director of product marketing and portfolio strategy at Samsung, at Unpacked.

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What is the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G?

The Galaxy S10 5G is Samsung's first 5G phone. It was announced at the same time as the S10, S10 Plus, and S10e which will come out on March 8. The 5G version will not be available for sale until later in the second quarter of 2019. A specific sales date has not been announced.

The 6.7-inch Infinity-O display on the Galaxy S10 5G will include Samsung's new Ultrasonic fingerprint reader. The phone also offers Wireless PowerShare, which is reverse wireless charging and allows the user to place any Qi-compatible devices, such as Samsung's Galaxy Buds, directly onto the phone for charging. The phone also includes Samsung's 3D Depth Camera for 3D-image capturing to power Video Live Focus and Quick Measure and it has a 4,500mAh battery with Super Fast Charging at 25W.

It works with the DeX docking system which is ideal for enterprise users.

With 5G functionality, consumers on a 5G network can download faster with no lag in their viewing experience, have AR and VR experiences, and make real-time 4K video calls.

SEE: Mini-glossary: 5G terms you should know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

There are three cameras on the rear of the Galaxy S10 5G—there are two internal cameras, and one front-facing camera.

"As network speeds get faster, we'll be able to use our phones to do things we can hardly imagine today. To power these experiences, we outfitted S10 5G with a cutting edge camera system that includes a powerful new 3D depth sensing camera. For starters, this camera allows you to take even more amazing photos and videos. For example, you can add things like background blur to your videos in real time. It maps and measures the world around you in incredible detail and accuracy. For augmented reality, this is going to be a game changer. With faster network speeds and 3D spatial mapping, you'll be able to interact with the world around you in real time," Blackard said.

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What is a 5G phone, and why do 5G phones matter?

Mobile network operators have been racing to deploy 5G networks, and smartphone manufacturers have been scrambling to create devices for these new fifth-generation networks. A true 5G device works on the industry standard of 5G NR that allows for data transmission speeds of up to 20 gigabits per second. 5G cannot be delivered to existing 4G phones because it is separate from 4G standards such as LTE or WiMAX.

Samsung is putting a lot of importance onto the power of 5G technology and touting its blazing fast speeds.

"Back in the day, first generation networks basically let us make phone calls without the cords. Second generation networks introduced mobile data, and that ushered in an era of texting and it changed the way we communicate. 3G made connecting to the internet on the go a reality. It made mobile email and web browsing the new norm. And over the last decade, 4G paved the way for new app economy, the rise of social media and streaming music and video. Each network evolution has been accompanied by mobile revolution. And 5G represents our biggest step forward yet," Blackard said.

One of the biggest benefits of a 5G smartphone is faster speed and reduced latencies compared to 4G phones. A 5G phone will be roughly 20 times faster than a 4G phone, and latency can be reduced to a millisecond. That means that more phones can work in densely packed areas, as many as one million devices per square kilometer, which is ten times what's possible with 4G, according to Blackard.

"The S10 5G has hyper-fast speeds that will forever change the way we consume content. You'll be able to download and watch movies at phenomenal speeds and stream games on demand via the cloud. All your favorite content will be accessible in an instant," he said.

SEE: More must-read mobile tech and smartphones coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard)

In late 2018, mobile network operators such as AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile began rolling out 5G in various US markets, as are similar companies in the UK, Australia, and across the globe.

Senior Principal Analyst for Gartner, Tuong Nguyen, said he does not expect 5G smartphones to appear in any significant volume until the end of 2019. Early tech adopters might be interested in the phone, but if they don't have 5G in their city, they won't be purchasing it, he said.

Frank Gillett, vice president and principal analyst for Forrester, said, "Samsung has added many improvements to its flagship S10 line-up and expanded it to offer three sizes and prices. The numerous improvements to display, camera, and performance should just keep Samsung in its leadership position for Android phones, outside of China. But Samsung needs to deliver on the promised 5G and foldable phones in order to maintain its leadership."

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Who is the target audience for the Galaxy S10 5G?

The target audience for the S10 5G flagship phone is the buyer who wants to be first with a new device, particularly an enterprise user who lives in a market where 5G is available.

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What is the Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner?

The Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is a first for any smartphone manufacturer and it's on the Galaxy S10 5G. The scanner is built into the bottom of the phone's display in a fixed location. It reads 3D ridges of fingerprints, has improved anti-spoofing, and works in full sunlight. Knox Security is built in, and the fingerprint is stored in encrypted TrustZone.

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What is Wireless PowerShare?

A new feature Samsung is offering on its Galaxy phones is called Wireless PowerShare. It uses the Galaxy S10 lineup of phones as a charger for other devices, such as earbuds, smartwatches, and even other smartphones. It will charge even if the phone is not plugged in, but once the phone reaches 30% battery life, it will stop charging anything connected to it.

This might enable a traveler to pack fewer cords and chargers, which would be a boon for anyone who is frequently on the road.

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What is DeX?

DeX mode is an Android-based interface that allows the smartphone to be used with an external monitor for a PC-like experience. Using a dongle, or a multi-port adapter, makes it easy to connect to an external monitor with HDMI. Previously, a docking station was

needed to use DeX with Samsung's smartphones, but now it only takes a dongle or a multi-port HDMI adapter.

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Where and when can I buy the Galaxy S10 5G?

The Galaxy S10 5G will be available at some point during the second quarter of 2019. No sales price has been released, nor has a specific release date been given. It will be exclusive to Verizon in the second quarter upon its release and available to AT&T, Spectrum Mobile, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Xfinity Mobile at a later date this summer.

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What are the specifications of the Galaxy S10 5G?

  • Dimension and weight: 77.1 x 162.6 x 7.94mm, 198g
  • Display: 6.7-inch Quad HD+ Curved Dynamic AMOLED, 19:9 (505ppi)
  • Processor: Octa-core, ⅞ nm process
  • OS: Android 9.0 (Pie)
  • AP: 7nm 64-bit Octa-core processor (Max. 2.8 GHz + 2.4 GHz + 1.7 GHz)
  • Network: Enhanced 4x4 MIMO, Up to 7CA, LAA, LTE Cat.20; - 2.0Gbps download, 150Mbps Upload + None Standalone (NSA), Sub6 / mmWave (28G, 39G)
  • Cameras: Rear: Quadruple Camera with Dual OIS; - Telephoto: 12MP PDAF, F2.4, OIS (45°); Wide-angle: 12MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.5/F2.4, OIS (77°); Ultra Wide: 16MP FF, F2.2 (123°); 0.5X/2X optical zoom, up to 10X digital zoom; 3D Depth: hQVGA; Front: Selfie: 10MP Dual Pixel AF, F1.9 (80°), 3D Depth: hQVGA
  • Memory: 8GB RAM, 256GB (No MicroSD)
  • SIM Card: 1 SIM
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Charging: Super Fast Charging compatible on wired with QC2.0, AFC and PD3.0; Fast Charging compatible on wireless; Improved wireless charging speeds with Fast Wireless Charging 2.0
  • Security: Embedded Ultrasonic Fingerprint Scanner, Face Recognition
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, Barometer, Gyro Sensor, Compass, Magnet (Hall) Sensor, Proximity Sensor, RGB Light Sensor, HR Sensor
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Image: Jason Hiner/CNET