Huawei, Samsung, ZTE and Xiaomi all unveil their 5G smartphones but their’s no sign of Apple’s iPhone – and it probably won’t even be ready in time for MWC 2020!

Way back on day one of MWC 2019, Huawei’s CEO for the Carriers Business Unit, Ryan Ding, joked that there would be more time spent discussing 5G smartphone handsets at this year’s event than anything else. He was not wrong, as the world and his wife rushed to get their brand new smartphone handsets in front of the 100,000+ visitors who stampede through the exhibition floors here in Barcelona.  

“At MWC this year, you may see that 5G phones are a more popular topic than 5G base stations. There may be more vendors releasing 5G phones than there were for 4G phones in 2011,” said Ding. 

Here’s a quick look at the best of the 5G handsets that have been unveiled at MWC 2019, so far. 


Huawei Mate X

Huawei launched its much-anticipated flagship Mate X smartphone handset at a glittering ceremony earlier in the week, and to be fair it does look pretty slick. With its foldable dual screen, 8 inch display, Huawei are claiming it as a potential game changer for UHD mobile content streaming. Those of you who thought that paying £1,200 for an iPhone X was a “little steep”, might want to take a seat before I tell you that the Mate X will retail for around £1,900 in the UK.


Xiaomi Mi MIX 3

For those of you who don’t have £1,900 burning a hole in your pocket, Xiaomi have launched there Mi MIX 3 handset, which promises to be a big hit in the mid-spec handset market. The MIX 3 will be powered by Qualcomm’s powerful Snapdragon 855 chipset, promising high computing power and hyperfast download speeds. 

“We are thrilled to continue our long-standing collaboration with Xiaomi to help bring deliver unprecedented 5G speeds and transformative user experiences to consumers through their latest flagship smartphone, Mi MIX 3 5G,” said Cristiano Amon, president, Qualcomm Incorporated. 

“Powering the new Mi MIX 3 5G and Mi 9, the Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform features the 4th generation Qualcomm AI Engine to make your phone the ultimate personal assistant, the world’s first announced Qualcomm Spectra Computer Vision ISP to capture cinema-grade photography, and Snapdragon elite gaming to transform your premium smartphone into a powerful gaming machine.”

The mix 3 is expected to retail for around £500 when it is released in the UK. 


Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

While this 5G smartphone heavyweight was technically launched the week before MWC19, it is still a subject of much discussion at the show. With it’s foldable screen and high end spec, it will be going directly head to head with Huawei’s Mate X. While Samsung has yet to confirm the retail price for  Galaxy S10 5G, a number of analysts have warned consumers not to expect too much change out of two grand.  

“We are excited to announce that Samsung is making 5G a reality for UK consumers,” said DJ Koh, president and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. 


ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G

After the torrid time that ZTE have had over the last 12 months, hats off to them for being among the first to release a 5G compatible smartphone. The Axon 10 Pro 5G will also run off of Qualcomm;s Snapdragon 855 chipset, following the lifting of ZTE’s ban on dealing with US companies.  

"Terminals are an important part of ZTE’s end-to-end layout of 5G applications. Along with the commercial launch of the world’s first 5G network, ZTE is pioneering the launch of the first 5G flagship smartphone, which perfectly combines 5G core technologies with the ultimate user experience," said Mr. Xu Feng, CEO of ZTE Mobile Devices. "ZTE Mobile Devices is committed to continuous consumer-centric innovations, aimed at providing valuable 5G smart experiences to consumers under comprehensive applicable scenarios, by establishing an ecosystem with 5G smart devices and IoT products."

ZTE has yet to confirm how much the Axon 10 Pro 5G will cost when it launches in the UK early in H2 2019. 


Apple iPhone 5G

It’s fair to say that Apple has seen its market share of the smartphone handset market slump since the heady heydays of the iPhone 6. With Apple saying that they are “in no rush” to get a 5G handset in the market, you can’t help feeling that their market share is going to continue to slide in the short to mid-term. Apple executives recently told reporters at The Verge that they were not looking to get a 5G compatible iPhone into the market until the middle of 2020. Apple’s loss looks certain to be Huawei and Samsung’s gain. 


Also in the news: 

Smooth operators – MWC 2019 day two round-up

5G fanfare – MWC 2019 day one round-up

Ericsson: 2019 is the year that we switch on 5G