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Samsung’s 5G smartphone goes on sale in U.S.

May 18,2019
Samsung’s 5G smartphone hit the U.S. market on Thursday - although it won’t be of much use outside Minneapolis or Chicago.

More than a month after it was unveiled in Korea on April 5, the Galaxy S10 5G went on sale by the biggest U.S. mobile operator, Verizon. Sprint, the fourth largest, also announced it would start selling LG’s V50 ThinQ later this month.

Verizon customers can buy the S10 5G with 256 gigabytes of storage for $1,299, although 5G services are only available in parts of Minneapolis and Chicago. The S10 5G, which was priced at 1.397 million won ($1,170) in Korea, switches to 4G LTE when users are outside of those areas.

Verizon introduced Motorola’s Moto z3 upon the U.S. launch of 5G service early last month. But the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be the first smartphone in the United States that can receive 5G signal without the help of a separate device like an add-on modem. Motorola’s Z3 needs a 5G Moto Mod for 5G.

To use 5G, Verizon customers have to sign up for special plans that cost $85 to $95 per month, according to a report from CNBC. They are considerably more expensive than the cheapest 5G offered by mobile operators in Korea - which cost $50 - although the low price comes with limited data.

Sprint announced Thursday it will start selling LG’s V50 ThinQ and HTC’s 5G Hub on May 31. Sprint started accepting orders for the two devices on Friday.

The V50 ThinQ, released in Korea last week, is a less expensive alternative to the Galaxy S10 5G while the Hub connects multiple Wi-Fi devices like laptops and tablets to 5G networks.

Sprint and AT&T are also expected to sell the Galaxy S10 5G later this year.

Sprint has 5G service in four cities and says it will add five more, including Los Angeles and New York, over the next few weeks, according to a report from VentureBeat. AT&T says its 5G network covers 19 cities, although it hasn’t started selling 5G phones.

Verizon says it will have 5G network coverage in 30 cities across the United States by the end of the year.

The Galaxy S10 5G is scheduled to debut in Britain on June 7. Releases in other countries have not been confirmed by the company.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]


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