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Samsung has a 5G prototype on display at CES, and we nearly missed it

Updated Jan 10th, 2019 8:43AM EST
Samsung 5G Phone
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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It’s not surprising to see 5G-ready smartphones at trade shows such as CES and other similar events, as we’ve been talking about the next-gen telecom standard for years. But 2019 is really the year when 5G smartphones will be available to buyers in several markets, as local carriers are ready to launch both real and fake 5G networks. Samsung is going to be one of the companies to have 5G phones ready in 2019, including at least one Galaxy S10 version if rumors are accurate.

Samsung’s 5G phones will be available in the US and Korea, where carriers have already confirmed support. So far, three US operators announced they would sell Samsung 5G phones this year, including AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon — Sprint revealed its plans just a few days ago.

That said, the phone that Samsung showed at CES 2019 was placed under protective glass and labeled as a “5G prototype smartphone.” That means we’re not looking at the Galaxy S10 5G version in the image above. Or if we are, Samsung is yet to confirm it.

Per ZDNet, the phone retains the form factor of its current smartphones, which means it has volume and Bixby keys on the left side, while the power/lock button is present on the right side. Furthermore, the front-facing camera was visible at the top of the device.

The Galaxy S10 is expected to feature a punch hole camera design which Samsung calls Infinity-O display. It’s unclear from the photo, but this likely isn’t an Infinity-O device.

This isn’t even the first time that we get to see a 5G phone from Samsung. The company demoed a device in early December at Qualcomm’s press event. That phone featured a strange design with a camera notch appearing on one of the sides:

Image source: Engadget

It’s unclear when the Galaxy S10 5G phones will launch, but we’d expect them to arrive in the first half of the year, just as more markets get 5G coverage in the US and other countries.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.