PC Magazine

5G Products: Coming Soon

PHONES

Motorola Moto Z3 with 5G Moto Mod

Release date: April 3

Carrier: Verizon

The Motorola Z3 is a midrange, affordable 4G phone ($480) with a $349.99 Mod backpack that will turn it into Verizon’s first 5G device. The backpack, which weighs 4.5 ounces and adds about a third of an inch of thickness, is actually a whole second phone. Inside is a Snapdragon 855 processor, a Qualcomm X50 modem, and a 2000mAh battery.

The mod uses the Z3’s software, cameras, screen, inputs, and outputs. Apps will run on an older Snapdragon 835 processor. The phone has a 6.1-inch, 1080p screen, dual 12-megapixel cameras on the rear, and an 8-megapixel camera on the front. The cameras are okay.

We used the Z3 on Verizon’s 5G network for a day in Chicago. When you snap the Mod on, a ‘5G UWB’ icon appears when it’s transferring 5G data, and we got speeds of up to 600Mbps when outdoors under one of Verizon’s lamppost cell sites. The mod had about 4.5 hours worth of heavy data transfer in its battery, and works as a USB-C modem, but not (yet) as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

At $830 total, this is probably going to be the least expensive 5G phone in the US this year. An advantage of the mod approach is that it may work with future Motorola phones as well. When the Moto Z4 comes out this summer, it may come out by default as a 4G phone and then be enhanced with 5G.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

Release date: April-June

Carriers: All

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G will be the first integrated 5G phone in the US, launching first on Verizon and then on the three other

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