Samsung Galaxy S20 5G: What you need about 5G on Samsung’s latest

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 line goes massive on 5G.

Angela Lang/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Plus Ultra hit shops on Friday, March 6 and with it, the primary massive 5G launch will get underway. While the Galaxy S10 line from final 12 months was largely 4G-focused, Samsung’s S20 telephones are the primary main household of units to include 5G on each US provider, and so they’re prepared from the get-go to faucet into the nation’s nascent 5G networks.

Since the launch of 5G in 2019, networks have matured over the 12 months and 5G telephones are extra succesful due to the upgraded 5G-compatible Qualcomm chips inside them.  All the S20 telephones will help 5G along with 4G LTE within the US on all 4 main carriers.

But that is to not say every provider might be getting the identical telephones or that every expertise would be the identical. If you are contemplating shopping for an S20 for the 5G capabilities, here’s what you will have to know.

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Hands-on with the Galaxy S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra


The units


5G might be current on all types of the S20.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung has three major Galaxy S20 telephones in its lineup: the S20, S20 Plus and S20 Ultra. The telephones share many options, however one space the S20 will differ from its extra highly effective (and pricier) siblings is on the subject of 5G.

Both the S20 Plus and Ultra will help the quick millimeter-wave 5G networks deployed by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, in addition to the low-band and midband 5G networks that AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint use. 

Verizon plans to launch 5G on different bands this 12 months however has but to specify precisely when. Its S20 telephones must be able to utilizing these bands when obtainable.

This is a break from Samsung’s first 5G units — the S10 5G and Note 10 Plus 5G — which both supported simply millimeter-wave 5G or low-band and midband 5G, because of limitations with Qualcomm’s first 5G modem. With Qualcomm’s new X55 modem and newest Snapdragon 865 processor, these limitations go away. 

The S20 for AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, in the meantime, will solely help the decrease and midband 5G networks and lack the chips essential to faucet into the millimeter-wave networks. 

Verizon may have a particular model of the S20 that works on millimeter-wave and decrease and midbands, however it will not be obtainable till the second quarter.


The rear of the Galaxy S20. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

The carriers


AT&T may have all 4 new Galaxy telephones, together with the three S20 variations. 

The S20 will work on its low-band 5G community, what AT&T calls merely “5G,” whereas the Plus and Ultra will work on that community in addition to the millimeter-wave “5G Plus” service that the provider has turned in on in parts of 35 cities.

AT&T is increasing its 5G low-band market depend on Tuesday to coincide with the Galaxy S20 information, to convey its whole listing as much as 45 markets.  

In addition to 5G and 5G Plus (on the S20 Plus and Ultra), as talked about above all of AT&T’s S20 telephones will nonetheless help 4G LTE, which it calls “5GE.” 

Plans: To make the most of any AT&T 5G service, you’ll need to additionally subscribe to AT&T Unlimited Extra or Elite plans. 


Verizon solely presently gives 5G over millimeter-wave (what it calls “ultra-wideband”) and as such will solely offer the millimeter-wave succesful S20 Plus and Ultra at launch, however not the bottom S20. 

Although it’s unclear when precisely Verizon will activate its lower-band 5G, the S20 Plus and Ultra will be capable to help it when it does go surfing.

That particular model of the bottom S20 with help for millimeter-wave and low-band 5G is coming within the second quarter of the 12 months. 

Plans: Verizon contains 5G with its Play More, Do More and Get More limitless plans. Those on its least expensive Start limitless plan might want to pay $10 extra a month for 5G, which brings it to the identical value because the Do More or Play More plans.


T-Mobile’s 5G technique is a bit trickier due partially to its merger with Sprint

The provider may have all three S20 telephones, together with the low- and midband-only S20, which should not be an issue for T-Mobile, because it has a nationwide 5G community on its 600MHz low-band spectrum. 

The S20 Plus and Ultra, in the meantime, might be able to tapping into these 5G networks in addition to the millimeter-wave service T-Mobile has turned on in a handful of cities

All three telephones, like T-Mobile’s earlier 5G telephones final 12 months, will be capable to work with Sprint’s 5G midband community as soon as the still-pending merger goes by means of. 

Plans: T-Mobile doesn’t require any particular plans to make use of 5G.


Like its merger companion, Sprint will carry all three S20 telephones. With its midband 5G community Sprint’s S20 telephones will provide a great mixture of 5G protection and pace will increase, although the rollout of its new community has largely stalled on the 9 cities it launched last summer. (For the Super Bowl it turned on 5G in some components of Miami as properly and has stored the community lively even when it does not formally listing Miami on its 5G web site.)

Although the provider’s earlier 5G units had been introduced to be suitable with T-Mobile’s millimeter-wave 5G, it’s unclear in the mean time if the S20 telephones will help that and/or T-Mobile’s low-band 5G community.  CNET has reached out to Sprint for remark and can replace after they reply. 

Plans: Sprint requires 5G customers to be on its Unlimited Premium or Unlimited Plus plans.

Originally revealed Feb. 11
Update, Mar. 2: Adds up to date particulars on the S20 launch.

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