Sprint’s Vice President of 5G development, Mishka Dehghan, shared a few more details about the operator’s first 5G-enabled smartphone in a recent interview with Mobile World Live, describing the upcoming device as a “beautiful, shiny object” able to stand apart from other mobile devices and be immediately recognizable as a 5G phone. Although confirmed earlier this summer, the VP reemphasizes that Sprint’s first 5G phone will be developed in collaboration with LG, adding that the network operator worked closely with the Korean smartphone maker during the device’s early stages of development.
According to Mishka Dehghan, Sprint’s first 5G-enabled phone manufactured by LG will launch in the United States in early 2019, right around the time the network operator will introduce its 5G mobile network to customers. The 5G infrastructure will spread across nine cities initially, but evidently, the network will continue to expand over the coming years. As for how this 5G phone will stand apart from the crowd, no exact specifications have been revealed, but nevertheless, it seems like Sprint and LG have strongly emphasized on the smartphone’s exterior design in a quest to create a device that will represent a new generation of mobile phones. But whether this “shiny” smartphone will stand apart from the crowd by evolving the familiar chocolate bar form factor or by introducing an entirely new design language is unclear. Several smartphone makers are working on developing devices equipped with flexible displays which will allow for new form factors including foldable units, and LG Electronics’ display division has been developing flexible panels for many years, so much so that the OEM holds more patents in the flexible display category than its close rival Samsung, according to a previous KIPO report.
Sprint’s VP also reaffirmed that the operator’s 5G mobile network will heavily facilitate the gaming industry, as well as the business-to-business segment through the Curiosity IoT platform unveiled at Mobile World Congress. Having said that, there is a possibility that the upcoming LG smartphone will also put an emphasis on gaming, or at least it will be proficient in running demanding 3D application with the help of high-end internal components. Sprint’s first 4G-enabled phone was also a high-end device, namely the HTC Evo 4G running Android 2.1 Éclair, which was introduced to the United States in mid-2010.