Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

The Wrap – 5G Begins

The world of 5G kicks off now, and we’re looking at Samsung, Oppo, and Telstra to find out what’s on offer. Plus check in with Computex and Apple to see what’s coming, all in five minutes.


For the end of May 2019, this is The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup, and it may well be the end of May, but it’s the beginning of something else. The beginning of a new era for smartphones and high speed mobile connectivity.

You’ll probably end up seeing quite the number of posters and ads in the coming months, because 5G is here, and it’s more than just a number and a letter smushed together.

Really, it’s about speed, with the fifth generation mobile network technology aimed at bringing faster mobile connections, which can help you do more. More mobile broadband speed, more capabilities. More more. That sort of more.

It’s been coming for a while now, actually, and while Australia’s major telcos are all working on something, as are quite a few carriers around the world, Telstra is launching it locally this week.

And that means if you have a need for the fastest mobile technology now, and a decent amount of money to spend monthly, you can jump on the 5G immediately. Kinda. Sorta.

Depending on where you are, the results may vary. Pockets of every Australian capital city have access on the Telstra 5G network, with most of that in Queensland or Tasmania, but you may not get the fastest connection for

A. All that long until it does roll out more, or

B. Even when you’re in that range

At its launch this week, we saw speed tests from a few devices, with the HTC 5G Hub not quite setting anything on fire with standard 4G speeds, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G hit a 4G speed of 1.2 gigabits per second, and the Oppo Reno 5G pushed a more 5G-like 1.9 gigabits per second.

Those speeds were captured in the Telstra building on George St in Sydney, which should be the main point where Telstra will do the best, so what it will be like out in the real world is anyone’s guess.

Right now, you’ll likely pay a premium for 5G ahead of time, and you may not even see those speeds.

But the premium is definitely there, with a minimum of $132 per month on Telstra with the Galaxy S10 5G for a measly 3GB of downloads per month, an amount you might chew through in seconds. That’s for the phone and the access, mind you, and while Samsung hasn’t given an outright price for its first 5G phone, if you want it right now, you’ll have to pay monthly.

The same isn’t true for Oppo’s 5G Reno, which will cost $1500 and work on Telstra’s 5G network, and presumably other 5G networks later down the track. Telstra said 5G should work on prepaid, and right now there’s no “extra cost” for 5G, though that may change in a year.

Both are different phones, and even the Samsung S10 5G is basically a new flagship, sporting a big screen and more cameras, while the Oppo Reno is a new phone with a big screen and 10x zoom for its three cameras. That’s the 5G world we live in, though, with premium phones for the folks that get into 5G first.

For now, 5G is at the beginning, and you should see more 5G phones this year. You can expect an LG shortly, and probably some more later on, with more 5G telcos to come, as well.

And if you thought that was it for the week, you’d be wrong.

You see this week was the week of Computex, a massive computer event in Taiwan that kind of sets up what laptops, tablets, and desktops will be using for the year.

Intel was there showing off the next generation of its Core processors, delivering what it calls its tenth-generation, codenamed “Ice Lake”. The new chips are smaller and yet more powerful, packing improved graphics and support for AI.

And that’s just the beginning.

Dell has announced new XPS laptops sporting the Ice Lake Intel chips, which also get support for 802.11ax WiFi, also known as WiFi 6. It’s faster and ready for a more wireless future, with Dell’s XPS 13 sporting premium materials and some big practically bezel-free screens.

Acer, ASUS, and HP also showed off some laptops, and Razer was there with a machine that looked very much like a MacBook Pro, but made for folks who animate and spend time making graphics and video.

And Apple, well, Apple updated the iPod Touch this week.

More for something completely different, there’s a new iPod Touch bringing a cut-down iPhone 7 for just under $300 in what feels like a play for kids and gamers, kind of like an Apple take on a mobile gaming system.

We’re not sure we get this one, but ahead of Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference next week, it’s just one more change Apple can bring to people looking for new gear.

Until then, you’ve been listening to The Wrap, Australia’s fastest technology roundup. You can find out about what you’ve heard here on the Pickr website.

The Wrap appears every Friday at Podcast One and iTunes, and will be back next week for more technology in the space of five minutes. Until then, have a great week, and we’ll see you next time on The Wrap. Take care.

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