5G is a beast, but what to do with it?
We did the test for Bloovi - a Belgian platform for the digital industry.
I may now call myself the proud owner of a 5G phone, as one of the first in a country where a 5G network is already available, but I'm not quite sure what to do with it. All very enjoyable to experience. Luckily, I have a data package of 200 GB. The reality is, however, that I hardly ever watch any films or series, especially not on a phone screen. On top of that, while using my new phone, I had to call in the help of a friend several times to find out how Netflix, Android and, yes, even 5G on a smartphone actually work.
Am I not such a techie or is 5G rather confusing for the average user? And does he benefit from such a super-fast mobile internet in the first place?
Switch from iPhone to Android
I had to be the first with a 5G phone: one of those trendy, cool high-tech smartphones that are gigantically faster than all its predecessors. Because that's how it works here in Dubai, you always have to be the first and the fastest on the market. And so I hurried to Etisalat, the local telecom provider, to review my subscription.
It turned out that the switch to 5G was easy, and also completely free.
The only thing missing was a new smartphone that would support 5G, because unfortunately, my AppleX is not comparable. By renewing my subscription, I got a 'free' Huawei Mate 20 X, so I chose this option. "Life may go faster, but that doesn't mean it gets better", I thought as an Apple freak when I imagined how I would experience my move to Huawei - Android in the coming days (maybe weeks?).
Android, so far so good, but what now? I felt lost, but decided to give the transition to 5G a chance, and thus also Android. My apple was put aside with pain in my heart. The big advantage of my 'Mate' (as I now call my new smartphone) is that it has a dual SIM. From now on I can finally combine two numbers in one device, which is really practical considering my travel situation.
Huawei offers an easy tool ('Phone Clone') to transfer all data so that the transfer runs smoothly. Up to now, it's going smooth. Downloading applications was also fast. Although I only came to this conclusion the next day when I really was taking the time to install and personalise my Mate and download about 15 apps in one go. An app was downloaded and installed in just two seconds. "Hell yeah, 5G is a beast" ...
However, it did not compensate for the lack of my iPhone. The first Android day I still had my Apple Watch on, when I wondered at noon why I no longer received notifications. “What am I doing?”
Day two. There I was with my huge telephone. My Mate, even larger than the iPhone 8 Plus, did not immediately give me an answer as to why I necessarily needed 5G. I didn't really feel like the pioneer I had hoped to be.
As a test, I would download something. After searching for half an hour on the internet and in the Google Store, I was forced to ask a friend for help. "Netflix," he said spontaneously. You can apparently download movies on Netflix. I put it to the test and decided to download John Wick. And yes, it happened in just a few seconds. As a result, I now have Johnny Depp on my Mate twice, always suitable for lonely nights.
What else but fast downloads?
The big difference I notice while surfing - which I do regularly - is the loading time. The term often used when referring to the use of 5G, and which really makes a significant difference, is the reaction time or 'latency'. Latency is the response time between the moment you click on a link and get a result, or for example, start streaming a video on your phone.
The phone sends the request to the network, and the moment the network responds, the website delivers the result or starts playing the video. This now happens in literally one second. I can imagine that gamers, for example, will enjoy it a lot.
Why is 5G designed?
Of course, I do not deny that I am proud to be one of the first to own a 5G device and to bring my personal experiences to Bloovi's attention..., although there is a real chance that I will soon return to my beloved iPhone. But the reason for this is that I miss Apple, so I don't mind taking a step back to the familiar 4G world. After all, I don't see the added value for me as an everyday smartphone user for the time being.
Gradually I realised that I might not be the most suitable person to test such a brand new 5G telephone.
On the other hand, I have seen enough and done research in Dubai to tell you something more about the future of 5G. The fifth generation of the mobile network is designed to do much more than just playing games, surf and download movies, that much is clear.
5G is primarily a business opportunity
5G is mainly designed to connect a much larger number of devices than is possible with a traditional mobile network. Consider it a wireless network that ensures that the connected products and devices no longer require constant connections. In this way, the connected devices can continue to collect real-time data through sensors for a certain (long) period, without the risk of failure of these sensors.
It’s clear that 5G will bring huge improvements over the capabilities that 4G offers today, and this for many industries. In Dubai, the announcement was made this year that 5G will soon be used in the healthcare sector and for applications such as remote robotic surgery, but also for AR, VR and IoT projects, autonomous technologies (such as autonomous vehicles), cloud computing, as well as real-time transactions and verifications.
For now, however, it applies to me that after the first test period with my Huawei Mate 20 X - 5G - the type of phone is more important than the speed at with which you surf and download.
Apple is launching its first 5G on the market in 2020. Just saying. The countdown to spring has started for me…
Originally written for Bloovi, read the original article on their website.