Samsung 5G phone out by first half of 2019 in US

Expect more flagship phones to feature fingerprint sensors embedded underneath their front displays in 2019, along with 5G connectivity.

Qualcomm today took the wraps off of the Snapdragon 855, its newest flagship mobile chipset.

5G can offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

Also included inside the reference 5G phone is Qualcomm's own RF antenna, QTM052, created to help eliminate interference and signal issues common in phones when something as simple as holding the device occurs. The Snapdragon 855's performance is three times better than its predecessor, the Snapdragon 845. It's little surprise, then, that Qualcomm embedded a new computer vision ISP into the 855, so phones of the future will be better able to "recognize who and what you're capturing".

"That's the mobile processor that will be in the 5G smartphone as we launch 5G", Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said Tuesday at the Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii.

Today being the "5G Day" means that it wouldn't go too far without live 5G demonstrations.

Qualcomm is another key partner for the as-yet unannounced 5G Galaxy phone. While cable modem alternatives using 5G in place of fixed-line broadband internet connections will reach the market first, all eyes are on mobile devices whether those be smartphones, tablets, laptops, VR and AR headsets, or something else.

The processor will also feature a built-in Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which is something we expect to see on most flagship mobile processors these days.

The Porsche Design Mate 20 RS already uses a fingerprint reader under the display but it's an optical type and not ultrasonic! The publication also reported that Samsung was in discussions with Verizon about a possible exclusive agreement for distribution in the United States.

There's no official word yet on which phone makers might adopt the Snapdragon 855 and its 3D Sonic Sensor, though Katouzian said the first such devices would come out in the first half of next year.

What hasn't yet been revealed is how the overall CPU and GPU performance has increased, how much more efficient it is than the previous generation, and how all of these changes will manifest themselves in real-world use-cases. The press conference is now underway, and we will announce more details shortly. This will add PCB space in mobile devices that previously only used internal modems, reducing volume for other components (such as battery).

Vanessa Coleman

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