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Samsung’s regular Galaxy S20 doesn’t support ultra-fast 5G

Samsung’s regular Galaxy S20 doesn’t support ultra-fast 5G


But Verizon says a mmW S20 is coming later this year

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Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

All of Samsung’s Galaxy S20 phones — the just-announced S20, S20 Plus, and S20 Ultra — support 5G. But at launch, only the latter two will be compatible with ultra-fast millimeter wave networks, like the one Verizon currently bases its entire 5G experience on. The standard Galaxy S20 only supports “sub-6” 5G used by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint in the United States.

Sub-6 5G offers better coverage and range than millimeter wave, but peak data speeds (upwards of 500 or 600Mbps) can’t match the gigabit performance you get with mmW — if you’re standing in exactly the right spot, at least.

Since the S20 lacks millimeter wave tech, Verizon has decided not to sell it at launch; the biggest US carrier will only offer the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra when preorders open up this month. But eventually, Samsung will make an S20 that’s fully optimized for Verizon’s 5G network. The carrier says that model will arrive sometime in the second quarter of this year.

So the long and short of it is this: if you want one of Samsung’s latest flagships and you also want the best possible 5G compatibility, get either the S20 Plus or Ultra. But if those phones are simply too big for you and you’re a Verizon customer, there is another option coming, but you’re in for a bit of a wait.