Finally, they build it. Our annual Best Mobile Networks feature, coming soon, will reveal that AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are finally bringing mid-band 5G networks to market that have real performance differences over 4G, with real coverage between cities.
And according to Slashleaks(Opens in a new window), Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold4 arrives on August 10, and it’ll potentially be the first phone in a year or so to really feature 5G. Here’s why.
Hope, then disappointment
We used to hear a lot about 5G during phone launches. When the iPhone 12 launched in 2020, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said 5G so many times someone made a super cut(Opens in a new window). 5G and cloud gaming also played a big role in the Pixel 5’s 2020 launch. States have been disappointing so far.
But also all the way in 2020, I felt how much of a difference 5G made when video chatting on a big-screen foldable phone on Korea’s 5G. At the time, of course, I also fell for the hype: I thought my experience would herald a new era of apps on the Galaxy S20 series, and that’s definitely not the case. The problem, of course, was how the carriers oversold their networks. In 2020, any “5G” you received was either basically rebranded as 4G or had such poor coverage that it was very hard to find.
This changes significantly with the mid-range. T-Mobile has promised to cover 260 million people with the midband by the end of 2022, and Verizon claims to cover more than 100 million.
The Galaxy Z Fold series makes high-resolution, big-screen experiences more important than on any other phone. These experiments need bandwidth. Midband 5G has that bandwidth.
And with the Z Fold4, the big screen will be everything. Other supposed features don’t seem like a huge change from the Galaxy Z Fold3, although the new phone has an updated processor and such. What can end up really counting is the moment, the confluence of this big screen, finally, with new networks.
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The 5G experience, Z Fold4 will also be enhanced with some of the new features in Android 13. Google said it was creating new APIs for “tablet-style” large-screen apps in Android 13, as well as releasing new APIs for Android 13. a Google Tablet Pixel reference model in 2023.
Tablet-like apps work well on tablets (mostly Wi-Fi), but they’re also the kinds of apps that define life with a foldable phone, which is often 5G, apart. This will greatly improve the Galaxy Z Fold4 experience.
So I’m looking forward to the Z Fold4, and especially how it intends to use the higher bandwidth networks. And I miss my Galaxy S21 Ultra. It will be time to change.
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