Five Chinese 5G phones from this year’s Mobile World Congress
China had a bunch of 5G stars at MWC this year, including Huawei, Xiaomi, and ZTE
5G networks aren’t quite here yet, but that’s not stopping companies from showing off their 5G handsets. Chinese smartphone makers came out in force at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to show off handsets that you won’t be able to use for ages.
Of course, the biggest barrier to using these phones probably won’t be technology, but politics. Still, let’s not let international relations get in the way of drooling over some new phones, right?
The Huawei Mate X may not be the first foldable phone. It’s not even the first foldable 5G phone, since the 5G variant of the Samsung Galaxy Fold will go on sale in South Korea in May.
That’s probably why Huawei has chosen to dub the Mate X the “world’s fastest foldable 5G phone” instead. They’re promising a download speed of up to 4.6 Gbps (based, of course, on Huawei’s own testing with its own 5G network gear).
“Over 20,000 (yuan)… too bad that my kidney is only worth 8,000,” said one Weibo user.
Xiaomi didn’t show off its foldable phone, but it did show its 5G phone, the Mi Mix 3. Xiaomi said that the Snapdragon x50 5G modem can provide download speeds of up to 2 Gpbs.
Donovan Sung, Xiaomi’s Director of Product Management, demonstrated its 5G connection during the product launch by calling up telco partner Orange Spain over a 5G connection. (Because nothing sells the potential of the huge data pipeline of 5G than, er, a phone call?)
Xiaomi is partnering with several carriers to launch the device in Europe in May for a price of US$680.
Like Huawei, ZTE is another major 5G equipment maker from China. It’s not surprising then that the brand has launched a 5G phone under its name called the ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G.
According to ZTE, the phone will be able to hit peak download speeds of up to 2 Gbps. We’re still, however, waiting on ZTE to tell us the price.
OnePlus did not have a big presence at MWC -- it actually gave its 5G phone to Qualcomm to present instead. But this still doesn’t explain why they decided to display their first 5G prototype in some kind of phone coffin.
Although it wasn’t possible to see the entire phone -- raising the possibility that this smartphone might be, I dunno, triangular -- OnePlus did showcase what the prototype can do. In this case that meant playing games while being streamed through the cloud: The phone was connected to a Bluetooth Xbox controller, allowing people to play Ace Combat 7 on the phone, streamed through a 5G network.
OnePlus’ 5G phone is set to launch in the first quarter of 2019, according to the company. It was hard telling what the actual phone will look like (c’mon, go for the triangle) but at least it didn’t come to MWC without an actual 5G phone, like...
Still, the company did make deals with four carriers to sell the unnamed phone, so we hope we’ll see it soon.