AT&T has announced the Fusion 5G, a budget phone with a couple of features previously reserved for much more expensive devices: sub-6GHz 5G and wireless charging. It will cost $219 (or $6.12 per month if you’d rather go that route) when it goes on sale this Friday, January 7th.
It’s been a few years since 5G started appearing in smartphones — back in those early, heady days the devices were costly and the networks were practically non-existent. Today, the price of entry is clearly much lower. While 5G networks in the US still lag behind much of the world, that might start changing soon if the FAA and FCC can get their acts together.
The Fusion’s inclusion of wireless charging is notable, though not entirely unheard of in a budget phone. Like 5G, it’s a formerly flagship-only feature that’s still somewhat uncommon even in midrange devices. Other specs include a 6.82-inch display, 4,750mAh battery, 48-megapixel rear main camera, and 64GB of built-in storage. It ships with Android 11.
The Fusion 5G only offers slower sub-6GHz 5G — not the faster mmWave — and realistically that’s the network most Fusion 5G owners will be connecting to. Unless you spend a significant amount of your time in NFL stadiums or certain parts of certain airport terminals, you may never come across a mmWave signal. In any case, sub-6GHz 5G will slowly get better when AT&T begins lighting up its new, faster C-band spectrum — which won’t happen for a couple more weeks at least.
Correction January 4th, 4:30PM ET: The Fusion 5G includes sub-6Ghz 5G only. A previous version of this story, based on information from AT&T PR, stated that it includes mmWave 5G. We regret the error.