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Galaxy S10 5G will sell in May, preorders start 'soon'

Samsung's first 5G phone goes in sale in the US on May 16.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Samsung is ready to join the 5G era. Its Galaxy S10 5G will start selling in the US in May, with "preorder starting soon," the company said on Thursday.

Samsung's fastest phone will sell with Verizon first, before coming to other carriers. It's also likely can also buy the Galaxy S10 5G unlocked directly from Samsung's website.

The Galaxy S10 5G is the fourth, largest and most advanced variant of the Galaxy S10 series. With a 6.7-inch screen, a total of 6 cameras and the ability to shoot portrait mode video, Samsung is holding the S10 5G aloft as the deluxe model of its flagship line for spring.

Read: Thanks to Samsung and Verizon, 5G is about to get all up in your face

Now playing: Watch this: Galaxy S10 5G camera, 5G demo at MWC 2019
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Although we don't have a price yet, the 5G version is expected to be more expensive than the Galaxy S10 Plus, which starts at $1,000. Together, these phones, and the foldable Galaxy Fold for $1,980, are helping push the cost of premium phones even higher.

As Samsung's first 5G phone, the S10 5G represents the tip of the spear, Samsung's and otherwise. Last week, Verizon flipped the switch on its first 5G network, which CNET got a chance to test in downtown Chicago. 

The tests revealed a rocky start, but Verizon's rushed efforts to claim first in the world are just the beginning. AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are close behind, with phonemakers readying their first 5G wares. On Verizon's network, the Moto Z3 with an attachable 5G Moto Mod became the first 5G-capable phone to go on sale. 

Now playing: Watch this: We tested Verizon's new 5G network
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5G, along with foldable phones, represents one of 2019's biggest phone trends. The next-generation technology is set to increase the download speeds on your phone by anywhere from 10 to 100 percent, depending on where you live and which network you're on. The networks won't be capable of those speeds yet. 

5G will grow inch by inch, as our patchy tests on Verizon's hatchling network revealed. But early benchmarking speed test results were promising in areas where 5G was active.

Beyond download speeds, 5G has the ability to connect you to massive bandwidth, which means that in the future, 5G-ready phones will be able to do things like host crystal clear video calls with no lag and AR and VR environments that won't make you feel sick because of a lag known as latency. 

galaxy-s10-5g-demo

You can pinch and zoom on this ball player to see the pitch from different angles, while the game streams.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You'll also be able to interact with streaming media in different ways, as in the live 5G demo Samsung showed off in March on the Galaxy S10 5G, where it was possible to pinch and zoom on a baseball player on the field to see his pitch from multiple angles during streaming.

"[5G] will change the way people work, this will change the way businesses can be efficient. This will change education," said Mike Haberman, Verizon's VP of network engineering.

Here are the 5G phones coming your way this year, including the Galaxy S10 5G.

Published at 7:10 am. PT.
Update, 7:30 a.m. PT: Added more detail.