Verizon Wireless is the first carrier to bring a 5G-capable smartphone to the U.S. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G went on sale yesterday and so far, 5G on this device seems promising, at least going by what several people have experienced while trying out the new network.
5G promises speeds of over 10x faster than the current LTE (up to 10Gbps), but Verizon has been quite smart in highlighting the speeds users can expect, ensuring that it doesn’t overpromise and end up under-delivering when the time comes. The carrier has so far indicated that initial speeds of anywhere between 300Mbps and 900Mbps can be expected once 5G goes live and indeed, this is what early adopters of the Galaxy S10 5G are reporting.
Crazy 1Gbps speeds
Folks at Tom’s Guide took the S10 5G for a spin to find out just how fast the new 5G Ultra Wideband network can get in River North and West Loop neighborhoods in Chicago. Apparently, crazy-fast speeds of between 700Mbps and 1Gbps were registered on multiple occasions during the entire three hours of testing.
While there were occasions where the speeds breezed past the 1Gbps mark, at times things also went as low as 370Mbps, which is still fast by LTE standards. The occasional drop in signal strength is perhaps one of the major issues facing Verizon’s 5G, but it’s clear that improvements are bound to come.
Over at CNET, the Galaxy S10 5G is said to deliver mind-blowing speeds in real-world tests. Jessica Dolcourt took this baby for a spin in Chicago and got some amazing results, including downloading Netflix’s 103-minute long movie Wine Country in an astonishing 8 seconds; downloading (and installing) PUBG game weighing 1.86GB in under 2.5 minutes; and downloading the entire Season 2 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (in 4K) in about 5 minutes. Crazy stuff huh!
In comparison, downloading the same series on 4G LTE could only manage a single episode in 4 minutes, which says a lot about what 5G brings to the table over LTE.
— Jessica Dolcourt (@jdolcourt) May 16, 2019
During the entire testing period, Dolcourt was able to get speeds of up to 1341.15Mbps, which is simply mind-blowing, as she put it.
Related: 5G Android phones device list
Blazing fast speeds
At Digital Trends, the Galaxy S10 5G is said to offer blazing fast speeds on Verizon 5G in Chicago, but only if you are on the right block. This highlights one of the early problems of 5G – limited coverage that is easily affected by things like walls, trees, weather, distance from the 5G nodes, and even how you hold the phone, among other stuff.
Unless you are within range of the node, your device won’t pick up a 5G signal, instead, it will default to LTE. During the tests, peak speeds maxed out at 1.35Gbps and even though the connection is not consistent, the speed never went below 550Mbps, which is still impressive by all means.
With these kinds of speeds, it only took 93 seconds to download 10 episodes of Sneaky Pete from Amazon Prime Video and just 30 seconds to get a full episode of The Flash from Netflix.
While its obvious 5G is still raw, there’s a lot of promise if these initial test results are anything to go by. However, there’s still a long way to go, especially when it comes to coverage, signal consistency, latency and even upload speeds, although the latter still depends on LTE for the moment. There are also cases of excessive battery drain, something Verizon says will improve over time.
If you are a resident of Chicago or Minneapolis and you have some $1,300 to burn, the Galaxy S10 5G might be worth it, but the device is more likely to be on LTE than on 5G on most occasions, at least for the next one or two years.