It looks like Sprint is looking to be the first to be recognized as being the first carrier to offer 5G smartphones in the U.S. According to an announcement they made on Tuesday, the wireless provider will be collaborating with smartphone manufacturer, LG, to produce the first real 5G phone. The project is determined to finished by early 2019, which is only a few months away.
Its biggest competition is Verizon, who recently unveiled the Moto Z3, a 5G-upgradeable device that promises to be available by the end of the year.
However, unlike Verizon's strategy with the Moto Z3, Sprint (together with LG) will be creating a device that's fully ready for 5G technology. When it launched, Motorola revealed that the Moto Z3 will be upgradeable to 5G through the help of a 5G Moto Mod. And even though the Moto Z3 will be available by the end of the year, its 5G Moto Mod won't be ready until next year. This gives Sprint a big chance to achieve the title as the first 5G smartphone in the US.
Right now, both Sprint and LG have not revealed information on device specifications on their first 5G device. The only thing we know about this device is that LG promises it will have a "really elegant, high-end premium look-and-feel." As for its thickness, the manufacturer shares that the phone is "not much thicker than a normal high-end premium smartphone."
In addition to the look of the phone, Sprint intends to equip the phone with its mid-band 5G spectrum. Comparing this with the mmWave spectrum Verizon will be using, Sprint's technology won't be as speedy but will be more available in cities; thanks to its low frequency. When it launches, it could be available in the six cities that were announced this year. But Sprint has plans to launch a 5G network in three more cities in 2019.
PCMag earlier reported that the mystery phone is already in its testing phase. This could mean that the device is equipped with older components like the Snapdragon 845 chipset. Hopefully, these phones will still be capable enough to compete when they launch next year.