Sprint and LG announced today that they’re going to work together to launch a 5G phone on Sprint’s new 5G network in the first half of 2019. Crucially, the two companies promise that it will be a “really elegant, high-end premium look-and-feel phone … not much thicker than a normal high-end premium smartphone,” in contrast to the 5G brick that Motorola recently announced for Verizon’s network.
Device specifications and timing are still up in the air, with the only details we currently have that it will launch in the first half of 2019, and use Sprint’s planned mid-band 5G spectrum. The mid-band spectrum that Sprint is planning on using for 5G will be less speedy than the millimeter-wave spectrum that Verizon is relying on, but the much lower frequency means that it should cover more of a city with the same number of cell sites.
“Sprint is moving fast on the road to 5G and we are thrilled to announce the first 5G smartphone with the innovative team at LG,” said Dr. John Saw, Sprint chief technology officer. “LG has done tremendous work developing technical designs that enable us to be among the first movers in mobile 5G. Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to putting a beautifully-designed advanced 5G smartphone in our customer’s hands. And we’re excited to revolutionize the mobile industry as we dramatically improve the way Sprint customers work, play and stay connected.”
According to PCMag, the phone is already in the testing phase, which means it’s likely using slightly older components that have already been on the market for a few months. That means the Snapdragon 845 chipset that’s already been seen in this year’s smartphones, likely paired to Qualcomm’s X50 modem and its 5G antennas.
“LG has been working side-by-side with Sprint for nearly 20 years, and we are looking forward to expanding this partnership with 5G,” said William Cho, LG Electronics North America President and CEO. Building on LG’s legacy of innovation, our teams are enthusiastic about partnering with Sprint’s 5G experts to bring next-generation mobile to market in the U.S., while continuing to evolve LG’s best-in-class design elements for Sprint customers.”