5G makes its first real debut at the Qualcomm Snapdragon Summit

Qualcomm ushers in the era of 5G with the 855 Snapdragon

Snpadragon 855 Mobile Platform 5G Chip Case

We’ve been hearing that 5G is on its way for a while now, but today at the third annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Qualcomm is really ushering in the era of 5G with the 855 Snapdragon mobile platform.

The 855 is the first mobile platform to support 5G speeds, and Qualcomm has been working with network operators and handset manufacturers to build out a seamless end-to-end 5G experience.

Samsung’s 5G concept phone powered by the 855

The mobile technology monolith said that “real” 5G is just a few months away and that they believe that 5G will be bigger than 3G and 4G. 5G will be a reality across regions starting in 2019. That includes rollouts in China, Japan, Europe, South Korea, North America, and Australia. In the U.S., AT&T will be bringing 5G to 12 cities this year, and they’ll bring 5G to a total of 19 cities in 2019.

AR shopping

But 5G doesn’t just mean faster downloads, it’s going to unlock better AI and XR experiences too. To that effect, the Snapdragon 855 is the first mobile platform to support 1 billion shades of colors. It’s able to capture 4K HDR video, and it supports pro-level video editing, live multi-player games, truly on-device VR, multi-language video chat, AR meal recommendations, AR shopping, real-time voice translation, and the ability to watch video live with friends.

Qualcomm’s 5G smartphone reference design

The Snapdragon 855 also brings with it many neat new tricks. For example, do you think that the in-screen fingerprint reader inside of the OnePlus 6T is exciting? Qualcomm’s 3D new Sonic Sensor takes things to a whole other level. It’s the first ultrasonic solution under a display, and it uses acoustics to simulate the waves of your fingerprints. So even if your display is filthy, your phone will be able to recognize your fingerprint. In addition, it’s more secure than other competing fingerprint reading solutions because it’s able to capture a full sonic image of your fingerprint and pores.

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This is a prototype of a 5G mobile hotspot from Netgear that will run on AT&T’s 5G network

At the summit, Qualcomm is showing off their own 5G concept phone. In addition, we expect to see a concept phone demo from Samsung, as well as 5G demos from Verizon and AT&T. Verizon and Samsung have already announced that they will bring one of the first 5G smartphones to market in 2019.

We’ll dive deeper into the Snapdragon 855 platform tomorrow once more details are revealed.

Qualcomm is live-streaming the keynotes at the third annual Snapdragon Technology Summit, and they can all be accessed here: https://www.qualcomm.com/snapdragonsummit


Pretty much all of the 5G devices that we have seen so far have been turned off or weren’t working models. The closest we got to a speed test was a with Verizon demo using a Moto Mod. The Verizon/Motorola representative made a point to say that in a real-world scenario, you’ll be seeing 10x the speed of LTE. In any case, we watched a 50MB file download in 4 seconds and a 1GB file download in 17 seconds. You can watch the demo below.