Samsung debuts latest 5G device, low-band 5G device coming later this year

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its newest line of smartphones, including the Galaxy Note10+ 5G, which looks like it will come in two flavors in terms of spectrum band support.

Verizon will be the first carrier to offer the Note10+ 5G, which boasts a large 6.8-in display, starting Aug. 23. The device retails for about $1,300 and is exclusive to Verizon for a limited time.

Qualcomm said its Snapdragon 855 mobile platform and X50 modem is powering the device and supports both millimeter wave and sub-6 GHz TDD spectrum for 5G. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile have all initially deployed 5G using high-band mmWave spectrum in limited parts of select cities, while Sprint is using its 2.5 GHz holdings for 5G, which is TDD sub-6 GHz spectrum.

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“Devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note10 5G are helping to push the transition to 5G, which will be the driving force behind the mobile industry’s largest transformation to date,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, in a statement.

Qualcomm’s X50 does not support low-band FDD spectrum, like the 600 MHz spectrum T-Mobile plans to use for its nationwide 5G coverage, but T-Mobile announced it will sell an exclusive version of the Note10+ 5G starting in the fourth quarter.

“Our exclusive version of the Galaxy Note10+ 5G that will tap into both low and mid-band 5G spectrum will break 5G from the confines of urban centers and help unlock 5G for All with the New T-Mobile,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a statement.

Qualcomm’s newest modem, the Snapdragon X55 supports both TDD and FDD sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum. The chip vendor couldn’t confirm what modem T-Mobile’s Note10+ 5G version will use, but Qualcomm and T-Mobile completed a data call in July on 600 MHz spectrum using Qualcomm’s X55 modem. 

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AT&T holds low-band FDD spectrum with plans for broad 5G and the recently completed its first sub-6 GHz 5G data call in the field, using a Qualcomm 5G modem.

AT&T has said it will introduce the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G by the end of the year. 

In addition to the Note10+, Samsung introduced a smaller Note10 with a 6.3-inch display. Samsung has built a 5G version of the smaller phone, but that is only set to launch in South Korea.