While Verizon isn't exactly available in Australia, neither is the 5G network. With the future of the mobile network moving forward to 5G, we can now see just how much that first generation will cost.
Featuring a massive 7 inch screen, a big 4,600 mAh battery, bonus 3D time-of-flight sensor, and of course a built-in 5G modem, we knew the Galaxy S10 5G wasn’t going to be cheap. But now that Verizon has officially announced pricing for the S10 5G, we finally have an idea for how hard Samsung’s first 5G phone will hit your wallet.
For the base model with 256GB of storage, the Galaxy S10 5G will cost $77 a month for 24 months, which translates to a full retail price of $1,852. And if you opt for the model with 512GB of storage, you’re looking at $1,994.
That’s almost twice the price of Verizon’s only other current 5G phone—the Moto Z3—which when combined with a 5G Moto mod results in a total price of $969.
So to help entice potential 5G pioneers, Verizon is offering discounts of up to $926 on the Galaxy S10 5G plus a free “Samsung VIP kit”, but you better read the fine print first.
According to the Verizon’s online store, to get the full $926, you will need to be a new Verizon customer and sign up for an unlimited plan to get a $285 pre-paid debit card, and then enter a promo code after you activate your new line of service.
Then to get the rest of that $926 discount, you’ll need to trade in an old phone, which basically has to be an iPhone, Galaxy, Pixel, or flagship LG phone made within the last two years in order to get the full $641 trade-in.
The only bonus that’s actually easy to get is the Samsung VIP kit—which includes free pair of Galaxy Buds, a wireless charging battery pack, and a free water bottle (lol)—as the only requirement for the kit is that you pre-order an S10 G5 between now and May 15th and then register your device in the Shop Samsung app.
In addition to the S10 5G’s pricing, Verizon also announced it will adjust the pricing of its 5G plans by removing support for 5G service from the company’s least expensive Go Unlimited plan. That means if you have a 5G phone, live in a city with 5G, and want 5G service, you will need to pay for a Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited plan, both of which start at $71 a month per line.
Finally, Verizon announced that in addition to cities with existing 5G service which include Chicago and Minneapolis, Verizon will be expanding 5G coverage to 20 more cities sometime in 2019. Those cities are: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, Providence, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Washington DC.
It was wet, it was windy, and in less than three hours, I think I had experienced the entire gamut of bone-chilling Chicago weather: rain, sleet, and snow. And I did it all to finally get a taste of those sweet super fast 5G speeds on a real, live functioning network. While my short time testing the next generation of mobile communications in the Windy City wasn’t exactly a walk through Millenium Park, I came away with some important info about the state of 5G inits very early days.
However, I would advise that even for someone who lives in a place with 5G coverage and is considering getting a 5G Phone, you should probably just hold off for now. As I discovered while testing Verizon’s 5G network in Chicago, while 5G does offer some ridiculous download speeds, coverage is spotty and generally requires you to be outside, as things like walls, some windows, and other obstructions can quickly reduce 5G speeds down to regular 4G LTE speeds.
Then, after you factor in the price for a new 5G phone and the extra $14 month it’ll cost to add 5G service to your plan (which Verizon will waive for the first few months), and you’re looking at a lot of money for not a ton of upside.
At least for 2019, 5G will continue to be an incredibly tough sell.