Verizon launches Galaxy S10 5G and unveils 20 more 5G cities for 2019

At $1,300, the Galaxy S10 5G becomes the first US phone with 5G built in.

Eli Blumenthal Senior Editor
Eli Blumenthal is a senior editor at CNET with a particular focus on covering the latest in the ever-changing worlds of telecom, streaming and sports. He previously worked as a technology reporter at USA Today.
Expertise 5G | Mobile networks | Wireless carriers | Phones | Tablets | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms | Mobile | Console gaming
Eli Blumenthal
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Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
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Verizon's 5G rollout is spreading to more markets. And with the expansion comes the launch of Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G.

On Thursday, the largest wireless carrier in the US said it will begin taking preorders for Samsung's first  5G  phone, with pricing starting at $1,300 for the 256GB Galaxy S10 5G. A 512GB option will also be available for $1,400, and both phones will come in either a "crown silver" or a Verizon-exclusive "majestic black."

Those who preorder the device will also receive a "VIP kit" that includes a pair of Samsung's wireless Galaxy Buds , a wireless charging battery pack and a water bottle.

Read: How to preorder the Galaxy S10 5G from Verizon or Samsung

As was previously revealed by noted leaker Evan Blass, the phone will be available May 16.

Announced alongside the  Samsung Galaxy S10  phones with 4G LTE  unveiled in February, the S10 5G will start as a Verizon exclusive before heading to the other major US carriers later in the second quarter.

While the processor and software are the same as its S10 siblings, the 5G has a larger 6.7-inch AMOLED display, a 4,500-mAh battery and six total camera lenses -- up from five on the S10 Plus . A time-of-flight depth camera has been added to the back of the S10 5G.

The Galaxy S10 5G is Verizon's second 5G phone, following last year's Moto Z3, which gained 5G capabilities through a "Moto Mod" accessory earlier this month. The S10 5G is the first phone with 5G integrated into the hardware. An early test of Verizon's 5G network in Chicago found limited, spotty coverage.

Users will need one of Verizon's Above or Beyond unlimited plans to access 5G on the new Samsung device. Verizon, however, said it will waive its $10 5G add-on fee for a "limited time" for those users who buy a 5G phone such as the S10 5G.

There is no timeline for how long the add-on fee will be waived, making this promotion a bit different than the one that currently accompanies the Z3 and its 5G mod. Those users will still have the add-on fee waived for three months, regardless of what plan they are on. After three months those users will need to pay $10 per month.

New 5G cities announced

In addition to the new Galaxy, Verizon on Thursday also revealed the names of 20 cities that will get 5G in 2019.

New to the list are Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Des Moines, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Mo., Little Rock, Memphis, Phoenix, Providence, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Washington, DC.

No timeline was announced for when the company will be turning on the 5G network. Verizon had previously promised to turn on 5G in 30 cities in 2019 and earlier this month launched mobile 5G in parts of Chicago and Minneapolis.

Read: Verizon's 5G network launch was rocky, but it has a plan

Watch this: We tested Verizon's new 5G network

AT&T has turned on its 5G network in 19 cities across the US, although the service isn't available to consumers, while Sprint says it plans to launch its network in four cities in May before expanding to nine total locations before the end of the first half of the year.

In addition to launching mobile 5G in these cities, Verizon says it will expand its 5G Home broadband network to some of them, though it isn't providing details on which cities will get both networks or when.

The 5G Home network and the 5G mobile network will both be on the industry-standard NR 5G technology going forward, allowing for Verizon to have one 5G network for both mobile and fixed 5G.

Verizon first launched its 5G home network, designed as a rival to traditional cable internet, in Sacramento, Los Angeles, Houston and Indianapolis last October using a different network technology than the one it is using for its "ultra wideband" mobile 5G service.

In January, however, the company announced on its Q4 earnings conference call that it would be pausing the rollout until the second half of 2019 to wait for standards-based hardware. 

From Apple to Samsung: 5G phones available right now

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Originally published April 25 at 2:55 a.m. PT.