Dec 21, 2018

5G Phones

2019 will usher in new 5G phones, but do we need one? First, 5G service will not be available in many places, so the technology will be useless to most. Second, 5G pioneers will suffer the slings and arrows of new technology and we all know the first generation of most new technology is buggy. Third, the technology is expensive and may cost a few hundred dollars more per phone with 5G.

5G mmWave has worse range and worse penetration compared to the current LTE. A mmWave signal can be blocked by buildings, trees, and even your hand. It also does not work well in the rain or fog, and the ~60GHz chunk of this spectrum can actually be blocked by the air around you. To get around the hand blockage, extra antennas will be added to phones, taking up valuable battery space. One redeeming feature is the phones will be backward compatible, so you can spend more money to get the same service you have now.

First generation 5G chips will be much larger compared to the other extremely-small smartphone components. They will also require more power to use. More size for technology means less size for battery and smaller battery means less usage time between charging.

Bottom line, increased cost, limited availability of 5G coverage areas, new technology woes, and less use time from the battery all point to waiting to buy, unless you have a desire to be 'first on your block' to have new technology for bragging rights.

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