Samsung has taken the crown for Australia’s first commercially available 5G phone from 28 May at Telstra. It pips LG’s $1999 V50 ThinQ 5G that will be available from 4 June.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is not just an S10/+ with a 5G modem – it has had several significant performance increases – the most noticeable is the new six camera setup that has tied with a 112 DxoMark with Huawei’s P30 Pro. In fact, it betters the Huawei on stills (117) and selfies (97). While DxoMark (review here) is important, both brands have exceptional cameras.

Galaxy S10 5g
Galaxy S10 5g

Garry McGregor, Vice President of IT and Mobile, Samsung Electronics Australia said,

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G features six cameras enhanced with intelligence so users can take incredible photos and video. The 16MP Ultra-Wide Camera captures a 123° field of vision so users can photograph a stunning range of content from expansive landscapes, to fun social settings. The camera also offers Live Focus video, which helps to focus and create bokeh effects to make the subject stand out. With a new 3D Depth Camera, users can also detect depth, distance, height and length of objects within the camera’s vision using Quick Measure.”

Telstra trade up option at no cost

If you ordered a Samsung Galaxy S10+ from Telstra, you have 21 days from May 28 to redeem the offer (Subject to the full terms and conditions of Telstra’s upgrade offer here).

5G – who needs it?

Telstra has very limited coverage (200 ‘sites’) in the slower sub-6Ghz band (that really offers little over its 4GX speeds with the Samsung S10/+). GadgetGuy has a comprehensive 5G guide here and recommends that unless you have a compelling use case and are sitting on top of a Telstra 5G small cell that there is no compelling reason to buy 5G yet.

Our advice is to wait until the higher speed mmWave (24.25–27.5GHz) band is widely available in Australia (post-2021) and new Qualcomm modems that take advantage of it.

Brief specs (from the global site here)

  • 6.7-inch 3040 x 1440, 505ppi, OLED
  • 4500mAh battery and 25W USB-PD 3.0
  • We are not sure if Australia gets the Exynos SoC or a Qualcomm SD855 – likely the Exynos
  • 8GB RAM and 256/512GB storage – not sure about SD slot
  • Single sim and carrier locked

Most other specs as per our S10/+ review here.

GadgetGuy’s take: This is the beginning but not the endgame of 5G

I do not want to say don’t buy 5G – any brand – but I do want to repeat that you need a specific use case and availability of a 5G signal. Otherwise, you are just buying a very expensive 4G phone!

There is no doubt that the engineering and advances in the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G are impressive and I look forward to seeing just how much of a difference the new camera makes.

At this time, it appears that it is only available in Crown Silver or Majestic Black on a mobile plan from Telstra.