Samsung Electronics' new Galaxy A71 5G smartphone hit U.S. retail channels today (June 19) at a price considerably below most 5G handsets.
Without a trade-in, the phone is priced at $599 at AT&T (for pre-order), T-Mobile, Sprint and Samsung's retail website. Verizon will offer the phone later this summer, according to a Samsung news release.
At roughly half the cost of Samsung's Galaxy S 5G line, the new model will be the least expensive 5G-enabled phone available in the United States, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Proponents of 5G tout its potential to deliver strong signals and the fast uploads and downloads they allow. Some experts have said 5G will boost the electronic payments industry by making it easier for banks and other participants to gather substantial amounts of data before allowing transactions.
Despite the technology's promises, 5G's rollout reportedly has been hindered by the disruption caused by COVID-19 and consumer fears about 5G's safety.
Even before the pandemic, some critics suggested the technology posed health risks. After COVID-19's eruption, the anti-5G crowd went into overtime, with some leaders proffering entirely unproven theories that 5G facilitated the virus's spread by weakening immune systems. Mainstream scientists have by andlarge dismissed those claims.
Analyst Craig Moffett of Moffett Nathanson in New York told Barron's this week that the real benefit from 5G for consumers could be "years away." A challenge for carriers, he said, will be creating services that strike the best balances between signal-strength far from towers and upload and download capacity.
5G's roster of boosters includes the Federal Communications Commission, which early this year issued a news release stating the agency was working to foster 5G availability nationwide.
The A71's specifications include: 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display, four cameras, fast-charging battery and expandable memory.
OnePlus, LG and Motorola sell 5G phones in the U.S. Apple doesn't yet but numerous observers predict a 5G iPhone will be made available later this year.