As carriers face off to bring 5G to the masses, AT&T is making a name for itself by marketing two 5G networks: “5G E,” which isn’t really 5G, and “5G+,” which delivers true 5G speeds. AT&T’s 5G+ network is still in the early stages, with service in 12 cities as of this writing.
But what about their phones? Do AT&T 5G phones exist? The short answer: not yet. However, the 5G-ready Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be available this summer.
Read on to learn about all of AT&T 5G phones, devices, and their availability.
What’s With AT&T 5G E and 5G+?
AT&T has a couple of different names for its 5G networks: 5G or 5G+, and 5G E.
In order to be one of the very first networks to claim 5G support and 5G speeds, AT&T took to marketing its 4G LTE Advanced technology as “5G Evolution” or 5G E. This irritated many other carriers (Sprint is actually now suing AT&T for false advertising), because the technology, while fast, is not actually 5G or capable of delivering 5G speeds.
AT&T refers to its true 5G network as “5G+” to differentiate it from other brands, just as Verizon calls its 5G network “5G Ultra Wideband.” AT&T plans to have the 5G+ network in 19 cities in 2019.
What 5G Phones Does AT&T Have?
In 2018, AT&T installed its 5G+ network in 12 cities with the intent to expand to 19 in the first half of 2019. Despite the network’s current infrastructure, AT&T has no 5G phones available just yet.
Nevertheless, there is one product you can use with AT&T’s 5G+ network at the moment, and it’s a mobile hotspot called the Netgear Nighthawk 5G. The Nighthawk 5G is a standalone mobile hotspot that can connect your smartphone or computers to WiFi running at 5G speeds.
AT&T Has one 5G product available—the Netgear Nighthawk 5G MObile Hotspot
Planned 2019 AT&T 5G Cities
Currently, only testers can use these devices in specific AT&T markets. Results from journalists testing the Nighthawk 5G on AT&T’s 5G+ network have shown speeds ranging between 200Mbps and 1Gbps when connected to smartphones and laptops.
To get one yourself, you’ll have to wait until AT&T sells them to customers later this spring for the hefty price of $499.
AT&T’s Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
AT&T has not announced a specific release date for the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G on its network, but have said they plan to release three devices in 2019.
The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will debut with AT&T later this spring
“We’re on track to make our next mobile 5G device, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone, available this spring,” wrote AT&T in a press release.
Samsung’s 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 5G is a giant, closer in size to a tablet than a traditional phone. The phone includes:
- State of the art hardware and Samsung and Android’s latest software.
- A 5G antenna compatible with 5G cell sites and capable of downloading and uploading speeds 20 times faster than 4G LTE.
- Four rear cameras for any photography scenario.
- All glass and aluminum body.
- The largest Edge-to-edge Infinity-O display that is more vibrant than previous Samsung Galaxy models.
As for price, Verizon is the first carrier featuring the S10 5G and is currently selling pre-orders of the S10 5G for $1,300 (256GB model) and $1,400 (512GB model). That’s pretty steep for any smartphone, but if you’re interested in being an early adopter, that’s the price of entry. 5G coverage will likely be spotty for the first year or so, so you may decide against the investment in this pricy device.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Specs
|Price||256GB model: $1,300; 512GB model: $1,400|
|Display||6.7-inch Infinity-O Dynamic AMOLED|
|Resolution||1440 x 3040 pixels|
|Cameras||2 selfie cameras: 10MP and Time of Flight (TOF) camera for 3D face recognition and depth
4 rear cameras: 12MP wide-angle, 12MP telephoto, 16MP ultra-wide angle, and TOF
|Fingerprint Reader||Ultrasonic in-screen fingerprint reader|
|Internal Storage||256GB or 512GB|
|OS (depending on carrier)||Android 9.0|
AT&T 5G Plans
AT&T has no plans currently available for 5G phones, but they do offer one for the Netgear Nighthawk 5G. This plan costs $70/month for 15GB of data, which is more affordable than AT&T’s 4G LTE plan of $50/month for 10GB. These plans won’t necessarily be comparable to wireless service plans, however, because mobile hotspots data plans only come with data.
The only other carrier currently offering 5G plans is Verizon, which is a $10/month add-on to their unlimited plans. With that information, it’s possible to deduce that AT&T may also link 5G data options to their own unlimited plans in the future.