An inspection of the One UI firmware for the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 reveals that Verizon may sell two 5G handsets from the South Korean tech firm in the near future. The firmware reveals two device codes believed to be denoting Samsung's 5G smartphones. The first code, beyondxqsq_vzw, likely alludes to the 5G version of the company's upcoming Android flagship, the Galaxy S10. An earlier report mentioned that Samsung internally refers to the 5G model of the Galaxy S10 as the Beyond X. On the other hand, the letters vzw in the device code likely stands for Verizon Wireless. Meanwhile, another code, boltq5gvzw, could refer to the second 5G product from Samsung that Verizon may sell. Recent reports claim that the handset will include a Snapdragon chipset from Qualcomm, and given the different code, the second 5G device may have substantial hardware or design differences compared to the 5G model of the Galaxy S10.
Background: Samsung has closely collaborated with Verizon on the development of devices and services that take advantage of the carrier's 5G network. At an event that took place in Hawaii earlier this month, Samsung announced it will supply a 5G-capable smartphone to Verizon, confirming the gadget will become available to consumers as soon as the service provider begins the commercial deployment of its mobile 5G network. Aside from Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T will likely sell the 5G model of the Galaxy S10, and the device maker is also working with carriers in South Korea on the initiative.
While multiple leaks already supplied details about the specifications and design of the 5G Galaxy S10, there is little information available about the second 5G device from Samsung. However, both handsets will likely feature the Snapdragon x50 5G modem from Qualcomm. This modem is compatible with 5G networks running on both the sub-6GHz and mmWave frequencies. Furthermore, at least one of the two handsets, the 5G Galaxy S10, may sport the Snapdragon 855 chipset. Rumors also mention that the 5G version of the Galaxy S10 will feature a 6.7-inch screen, and include two display cutouts that host the handset's dual front-facing cameras. The back panel of the phablet will supposedly have up to four rear cameras, and the handset reportedly includes 12GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. Furthermore, recent reports also state that the 5G model of the Galaxy S10 will feature an in-display fingerprint sensor.
Samsung will reportedly launch the Galaxy S10 lineup at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, and the company will likely reveal three variations of its flagship smartphone range at the Barcelona event. However, there is conflicting information about the actual release date of the 5G version of the Galaxy S10. Some reports indicate that Samsung will also reveal the handset during MWC 2019, while other rumors suggest the tech giant will unveil the handsets at a later date. On the other hand, there is no available information about the launch date of the possible second 5G device from Samsung.
Impact: The discovery of a possible second 5G device shows the extent of collaboration between Samsung and Verizon in terms of 5G development. Samsung is a major supplier of 5G equipment to Verizon, and the South Korean tech juggernaut played a crucial role in the service provider's 5G Home initiative launched this fall. It is not yet clear what separates the second device from the Galaxy S10 lineup, although it's possible the Android smartphone in question is meant to be a Verizon exclusive.