Why Your Next Smartphone Purchase Should Be In Late 2019

Image: Supplied

With local telcos well on the way to rolling out 5G networks, many of us will be wondering what to do with our next smartphone or connected tablet/laptop purchase. Should we follow out usual upgrade cycle, whatever that is for you, or wait until 5G capable devices are available? Here are some rough time frames to consider.

Telstra's 5G Network Is Now Live

Australia is one step closer to having its first 5G mobile service. Today, Telstra switched on 5G technology across selected areas of the Gold Coast. Here are the details.

Read more

With Telstra and Optus testing out their 5G networks with pre-production devices and plans by Telstra to have 500 5G-capable sites by the time we ring in the new year, those of us thirsting for faster communications will soon start to see our desire fulfilled. But past experience suggests rushing out to buy a new 5G-ready device might not be the best idea.

For a start, new 5G devices will be priced at a premium and the network they'll need for maximum performance won't be ready all in one go. It will take the carriers some time to get the network to a point where you can enjoy those speeds across the same footprint you have with 4G today.

If the only reason you're upgrading a smartphone or other connected device is for faster cellular comms, then the main sticking point won't be the hardware in your hand - it will be the availability of the fast network.

We seem to have settled into a cycle with the announcement and release of new smartphones. Samsung launches its new flagship devices in March, during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Apple releases their new iPhones in September and Google pushes new Pixel devices a few weeks later.

It's hard to be definitive now, but I'd expect all of next year's flagship phones to support 5G. But with Samsung coming early in the year, I'd wait until later in 2019 rather than upgrading straight away unless you needed a new phone for some other reason.

By the latter part of next year, the carriers should be well on the way to deploying 5G widely. I'd expect major city centres to have a reasonable level of 5G coverage by then. So, if faster comms are important to you I'd wait before spending your money.

What Australians Need To Know About 5G Networks

Public Wi-Fi used to be a lifesaver, something that let you escape the misery of poor reception to quickly contact friends or stay organised throughout the day.

But it's also a gigantic security risk. People still rely on public hotspots around the country though, because an exposed connection to the internet that works is preferable to poor reception or no reception at all. Something that might help change that, however, is 5G.

Read more


Comments

    new iPhones in September and Google pushes new Nexus devices a few weeks later.

    New Nexus devices???

    5G got me excited but not in a hurry to have it. The speeds tested are mind-blowing but what really blows my mind is how still can't get decent reception no matter whether you are country or city.

    Ok, I'm a PC dinosaur so I'm not the most tech savvy when it comes to phones. Why the F*k would you buy a thousand (close to two thousand) dollar phone right now if it's not 5G capable? I was actually silly enough to think they were 5G capable from the latest models. Most certainly won't be upgrading my old Sammy GS5 until they do!

      For me, it's not a necessity, just like having a 1080 HD tv to upgrading to a 4K tv. The 1080 Tv does the job fine so no need in rushing to get 4K until you want to or need to.

    right now if it's not 5G capable?
    I guess it's a combination of a lot of people not being aware 5G is coming, folks who have contracts expiring before then (and will roll to whatever's available at the time) and that for a lot of applications there may not (initially) be anything to be gained by 5G over 4G.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now