So yeah, we're basically just working with a slightly spruced-up version of the phones we've already started testing. Now we're left with another question: How well did Samsung's 5G network perform?
Well, we're not entirely sure. The thing with these demos is that they need to be taken with a grain of salt. All of the Galaxy S10 5G units Samsung had on display were running the same MLB demo app, which allows you to view streams from different positions around the field, and even rotate your view around players in key positions. (You can, for instance, swing around a batter right as he smashes one downfield.) I don't even like baseball, but if this represents the future of watching the sport, I'd happily give it a chance. MLB's test app doesn't attempt to replicate the experience of being at a baseball game; it wants to give you perspectives you'd never get by being there live in real time.
On most of those demo phones, the baseball video streams were stored locally. But one of them was plugged into a DeX dock and connected to an external monitor. This was the phone that was running on Samsung's homemade 5G network. There is, however, no way to definitively prove that. Samsung declined when asked if we could run a speed test or visit the company's 5G network setup on the other side of the convention hall.) It's a shame, though I understand Samsung's rationale: Trade shows are hardly ideal for wireless connectivity, and the speeds I probably would've gotten in a speed test wouldn't tell the full story. Fine. Ultimately, Samsung's demo was more about the kind of unique experiences 5G can provide on this version of the S10 than it was about proving that 5G networks work as fast as advertised. Consider me cautiously optimistic.
It's pretty clear that, despite all the talk going on here, we're not going to get a great sense of what these new networks are capable of at MWC. That's alright -- we'll get our chance soon. What's also clear is that this version of the Galaxy S10 is probably the most polished of any of the first-generation 5G phones we've seen so far at the show.