China’s chronic need for speed has resulted in the world’s first 5G smartphone which was unveiled on Sunday by Shenzhen-based telecom giant ZTE at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The prototype smartphone has been aptly dubbed the “Gigabit Phone” since it’s capable of download speeds reaching up to 1Gbps — that’s 10 times faster than most existing smartphones.
While ZTE itself has called the Gigabit Phone a “forward-looking” smartphone, which implies that it’s nothing more than a concept phone that won’t be sold to consumers, China Daily reports that the phone will enter “mass production” early next year. We wouldn’t suggest holding your breath.
At the conference, reporters were disappointed that the phone was locked up in a transparent case, allowing them to only view the phone’s speed test. CNET reporter Roger Cheng wrote that this was the moment that 5G technology had finally “jumped the shark,” joining a chorus of other tech writers in calling the Gigabit Phone “not actually a phone” — and more of a “circuit board.”
Either way, the company says that it plans to use the technology it has developed in making the phone in future projects and smartphones.
“We are thrilled to introduce the world’s first smartphone with download speeds up to 1Gbps. With the new device, the way people stay connected will be changed forever,” a ZTE spokesperson said. “Focusing on 5G technologies will be one of the key priorities of ZTE’s global development. ZTE will be very glad to leverage its technology strength and experience in 5G to cooperate with government and business partners to discuss and facilitate the upcoming 5G era.”
With 1Gbps download speeds, you’ll be able to instantly live-stream high-quality video and watch 360 degree panoramic VR video — as long as the video you’re watching isn’t on YouTube or Facebook which in China would be slowed down by a VPN, of course. If you ever happen to pick up one of these, we’d recommend splurging on an unlimited data plan.
[Images via China Daily]
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