We’re about to witness an exciting year in the history of the smartphone, as 2019 will bring us not only the first commercial foldable phones but also the first 5G devices, as carriers around the world will turn on their 5G networks. To add intrigue to mystery, Huawei just confirmed that its first foldable handset will also be its first 5G phone.
Huawei earlier this year said that it wants to launch the world’s first foldable smartphone, putting pressure on Samsung. Until the news came out that Huawei is ready to challenge Samsung, it was widely believed that Samsung will claim that title. That may still be the case, as Samsung will unveil some details about its first ever foldable phone in November, during its developer conference.
Then Huawei teased its own foldable handset at IFA 2018 a few weeks ago, suggesting that a device with a foldable screen could replace computers.
Earlier this week, Huawei Chairman Ken Hu said at a panel at the World Economic Forum that the company’s first 5G phone will have a foldable display.
“In our first [5G] smartphone we’re going to introduce a foldable screen,” Hu said, according to Telecoms. He didn’t reveal any other details about the handset, and the panel focused on the benefits of 5G in the short term rather than devices.
It makes plenty of sense to pack 5G support inside a phone with a novel form factor because foldable phones will have bigger batteries and more room for additional antennas. 5G will require more battery life, reports have said, as well as different antenna arrays.
Hu also said that the phone will arrive in the middle of 2019. Huawei could announce the phone much earlier than that, to continue its attack on Samsung.
We have no idea whether Samsung’s first foldable phone will have 5G support, but Samsung did say the Galaxy S10, due in early 2019, won’t be its first 5G phone. Come November, we may learn more details about Samsung’s most exciting phone in years. But even if Samsung unveils the Galaxy F this year, you shouldn’t expect to see it in stores until later in 2019.