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Ready for 5G? Samsung’s new flagship phones are equipped

A 5G light with thread crossing over it, signifying connectivity.

David Ramos/Getty Images

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It’s not particularly surprising that Samsung has announced a new phone, available to order next week. But every version of the Samsung Galaxy S20 is equipped for next-generation wireless known as 5G.

Phone makers like Samsung know that 5G networks are still under construction. In some spots, 5G phones download slower than 4G.

But later this year, networks will improve dramatically, and phone buyers will notice, according to Bob O’Donnell, president and chief analyst at Technalysis Research.

“People for a while were upgrading every year. Now it’s more like two to three years. The investment, for someone who is like, ‘OK, it’s time for me to get a new phone. Oh, I hear about this 5G stuff. I should probably get one that’s got that,'” O’Donnell said.

Initially, according to wireless tech consultant Peter Rysavy, 5G will have faster, better video.

“You will be able to view video in ultra high definition,” Rysavy said. “It also means a lot more people can simultaneously engage in applications that consume a lot of bandwidth.”

At this year’s Super Bowl, ticket holders with 5G phones could stream from five camera angles. That’s the promise for 5G phones like Samsung’s. But the technology’s pricey; this model starts at $999.

Samsung rival Apple is rumored to launch its 5G phone this fall.

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