ZTE releases first 5G phone in China

With this, the company is beating Huawei to its home market

Axon 10 5G

Chinese smartphone maker ZTE sold the country’s first 5G-enabled smartphone on Monday ahead of a national rollout of 5G wireless networks this year, media outlet Jiemian reported. Announced back at MWC in February, ZTE's Axon 10 5G comes equipped with a 6.47-inch 1080p AMOLED display, and will use one of Qualcomm’s first generation X50 5G modems to connect to China’s upcoming 5G wireless network.

Even though Chinese customers can already get their hands on a 5G device starting today, they won’t have access to a 5G network to run it on until 1 October, when TechCrunch notes that China Mobile is expected to commercially launch its 5G services for the first time. China Mobile hopes to have 5G networks available in more than 50 cities in the country by the end of the year. Two other Chinese wireless carriers, China Telecom and China Unicom, have also been granted licenses to operate commercial 5G networks of their own.

Nevertheless, the release means that ZTE has beaten Chinese smartphone rival Huawei to be the first to release a 5G handset in its home country. Huawei announced its debut 5G smartphone, the Mate 20 X, last month. The handset however is expected to formally go on sale on 16 August in China, despite the phone having come to other countries, such as the UK. Alongside Huawei, Chinese manufacturers OnePlus and Oppo both already have 5G devices available in other territories, namely the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and the Oppo Reno 5G.

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