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Hands-on: Our first-hand 5G experience with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Seoul, South Korea

By Wong Chung Wee - 26 Sep 2019

Hands-on: Our first-hand 5G experience with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Seoul, South Korea

We had a brief, first-hand 5G experience with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in the city of Seoul, South Korea. It was confined to using the device at high data speeds, and the service provider was KT. Read on to find out how Samsung’s 5G implementation in South Korea felt. In case you're wondering, the unit uses Samsung's own 5G chipset.


Our top speed 5G test results from SpeedTest.

We loaded SpeedTest on the device and measured its upload and download speeds in various locations of Seoul, indoors and outdoors. Our best SpeedTest results were at street level, outdoors, i.e., 285Mbps for download, and 66.2Mbps for upload.

At certain locations, in the same settings, SpeedTest reported as 5G speeds as low as 43.4Mbps for download, and 60.6Mbps for upload.

The SpeedTest results for our 4G LTE experience.

The handset naturally falls back on 4G once it fails to connect to 5G infrastructure, and it was typical in the range of more than 50- to 67Mbps for download, and upload speeds typically hovered in the range 12- to 22Mbps. But we managed to record 4G speeds that clocked 174Mbps (download), and 26.7Mbps (upload) respectively. The dead giveaway was its ping response time of 34ms, which is about three times that of 5G.

We did notice that even if the data speeds of 5G lowered to the performance level of 4G, the former’s advantage of low latency stood out. It hovered around 11- to 12ms for ping times, while jitter remained consistently low at 3ms. In comparison, when the smartphone was on 4G, the latency dropped to 34ms for ping responses, while jitter is usually the same or just 1ms higher than 5G rates, at 4ms.

Our Samsung Galaxy S10 5G test set.

Low latency is excellent for responsiveness so we can play FPS mobile games with little fear of lag. Other areas like augmented and virtual reality on 5G will put us on the forefront of living in smart cities. For now, the consumer use cases of 5G remain limited to its high-speed data connectivity, with the advantage of supporting up to 1 million devices in a 1km2 area. The theoretical top speed of 5G is 20Gbps, up to 20 times that of typical 4G LTE. From our initial experience, the 5G download speeds typically range from 100Mbps to 284Mbps.

You can uncover more insights with regards to the Samsung Galaxy S10Galaxy S10+ and the Galaxy S10e. The Galaxy S10 5G is however not available in Singapore shores as our 5G network is in the developmental stage, but our experience in Korea is a glimpse of 5G expectations when it does roll out.