• Sprint and LG committed in a press release to launching the first 5G phone in America in early 2019.
  • However, the press release does not say anything about which phone or when.
  • There’s also an apparent subtle dig at the Motorola 5G Moto Mod in the release.


Imagine a stage set with a huge banner as a backdrop, covered with the Sprint and LG logos. A lone spokesman walks out to a microphone under the hot lights, and declares, “Sprint and LG will release the first 5G smartphone in America in early 2019.”

The speaker then kicks over the mic and walks off stage, hands in the air triumphantly.

That’s kind of what happened today with a joint press release from America’s fourth-largest wireless carrier and the smartphone manufacturer that puts the word “ThinQ” on everything it releases.

Editor's Pick

The joint press release from Sprint and LG doesn’t say what device is coming, when it will come, how it will look, how it will work, or give any concrete information at all, really. It just says that an LG smartphone will land on Sprint in 2019, it will be 5G-capable, and it will (likely) be the first of its kind.

The press release does appear to take a subtle dig at the recently revealed Motorola 5G Moto Mod when it says, “Today’s announcement brings us one step closer to putting a beautifully-designed advanced 5G smartphone in our customer’s hands.” However, it would have been an even better dig if it was grammatically correct (it’s “customers’ hands,” not “customer’s hands,” unless Sprint is only going to put the device into one customer’s hands, which I guess is totally possible).

The flagship device that will likely land from LG in the first half of 2019 is the LG G8 ThinQ, which could potentially be the 5G device the companies have in mind. However, it could also be that the first 5G device from LG will be its own beast entirely, maybe the LG 5G ThinQ, which would certainly be confusing.

It also isn’t clear from the press release how this commitment would potentially be affected by the anticipated merger of T-Mobile and Sprint.

Regardless, I guess we can all plan on the first 5G phone in America being an LG device that’s exclusive to the Sprint network. Let us know in the comments how excited that makes you.

NEXT: Forget mmWave, Wi-Fi is the real 5G