30 May 2019
2019 is supposed to be the beginning of 5G smartphones. We have already seen a few of the 5G phones from different OEMs and a few others are lined up for the rest of the year. But despite all the hype surrounding 5G, not every smartphone maker is planning to release a 5G phone this year. Apple is reported to release first 5G iPhone in 2020 and now, the Chinese brand Meizu seems to be following the same path.
An alleged Meizu roadmap has leaked which throws some light at company's plan regarding 5G devices. It shows that Meizu is set to start 5G network testing in Q3 2019 followed by first 5G device prototype production in Q4 2020. It means while many of the OEMs would be announcing 5G smartphones and other devices, Meizu will begin testing and laying the groundwork for the first commercial release.
The current roadmap reveals that Meizu is hoping to launch the first 5G smartphone sometime in Q2 2020. It means we are about a year away from seeing a 5G phone from the company. The second quarter means it should become official between April and June 2020. This is considering everything goes according to the plan because if there are any issues, it would likely result in the launch timeline getting delayed.
If you are wondering why Meizu's plans are late as compared to the competition, there is a good reason for that. It is reported that Meizu opted for NSA (Not Stand Alone) standard for 2018 due to the unavailability of the SA (Stand Alone) standard. But later when 3GPP decided to freeze NSA, it had to change everything and switch to SA standard. This is what is one of the reasons for the delay in Meizu's plans to come up with a 5G phone.
While many other details are currently not available, Meizu is most likely to make use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem in its device. This is because all other 5G modems are currently out of reach due to one reason or another. Huawei is not interested in selling its Balong 5000 modem, Samsung's Exynos 5100 is yet to become available for third-party OEMs, and MediaTek's Helio M70 modem has not started shipping officially yet.