Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G is a phone without a network

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G was the final announcement at the company’s big Unpacked event — a phone promising mobile internet speeds dramatically faster than today’s LTE networks. But there’s one big problem: there are no 5G networks in the United States for the S10 5G to actually work with, and we’re not sure when that will meaningfully change.

The fact that Samsung didn’t offer a release date or price for the S10 5G is easy to explain. When Samsung sells the S10 5G is wholly dependent on when its carrier partners, and especially Verizon — the phone is exclusive to Verizon to start — have a 5G network that’s ready for it. And as of the S10 5G’s unveiling, there are simply no 5G networks from US carriers that are ready for a phone. In fact, none of the carriers have even announced formal plans or dates when they’ll launch any publicly available 5G products.

That’s why even though the ultra-futuristic Galaxy Fold has a release date, the S10 5G doesn’t yet.

Even though Verizon might argue that it already has a 5G network, it doesn’t have a 5G network for phones. While the company did technically announce its preliminary 5G TF network to replace wired landline internet connections last fall, it’s not compatible with any Verizon mobile 5G devices. (Verizon has actually halted rolling out its home network offering until later in 2019 when the actual 5G standard equipment is ready.)

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